Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

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REGIONAL NEWS - U.S. & CANADA DECEMBER 2018 • E&MJ 13 forward with the finalization of the per- mitting process. Based on the updat- ed feasibility study, the company filed amendment requests, renewals or new applications for all permits required to begin mine construction at Copperwood. After the review of comments received from public and tribal interests, as well as recommendations from the U.S. Envi- ronmental Protection Agency (EPA), the MDEQ developed the draft permit con- ditions, which have been accepted by the company. These conditions include the preservation of 717 acres of high-quality wetlands and 93 acres of forested upland in the headwaters area of the wild and sce- nic Black River and the creation of 18.3 acres of forested and emergent wetlands on site at the Copperwood project; and stream mitigation by creating 13,700 feet of natural stream channel on site at the Copperwood project and replacing a cul- vert on the Two Mile Creek in Ontonagon County that is blocking brook trout pas- sage in a tributary to the wild and scenic Cisco Branch to the Ontonagon River. On October 24, a combined final public hearing was held in Ironwood, Michigan, for the Part 632 Nonferrous Metallic Min- ing Permit amendment and the Part 55 Air Discharge permit. This public meeting was the last major step prior to the grant of the Part 632 and Part 55 permits. The com- pany anticipates that the Part 315 Dam Safety Permit-Tailing dam draft permit will be issued shortly. The Lake Superior Water intake application is being reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). A final report was submitted by Highland to the Corps in September. NAP Outlines Plans to Extend LDI Mine Life In its third-quarter earnings report, North American Palladium (NAP) announced increased palladium production and a new plan to extend the mine life at the Lac de Iles mines (LDI). Underground production was 565,277 metric tons (mt) at an average grade of 3.2 grams/mt (g/mt) this quarter compared to 500,560 mt at an average palladium grade of 3.8 g/mt in the third quarter of 2017. The company produced 56,852 ounces (oz) of payable palladium at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of US$733/ oz compared to 53,118 oz of palladium at an AISC of US$688/oz in the third quarter of 2017. "We are pleased to report another strong quarter at LDI, with palladium production increasing by 7% over the same period last year based on higher underground and surface ore produc- tion," said Jim Gallagher, president and CEO of NAP. "These excellent production results combined with strong palladium prices resulted in an increase in revenue of 48% and adjusted EBITDA of more than $100 million year to date." The company announced the results of a new feasibility study for LDI, which outlined a new plan to extend the mine life, generate increased cash flow by op- timizing resources formerly included in the Roby open-pit pushback plan, and by added reserves that were previously left unmined in the open-pit design. This new approach will take full advantage of LDI's large, lower-grade near-surface resources and allow for the mining of more resourc- es at an improved grade than contemplat- ed in the prior 2017 feasibility study. NRP to Sell Construction Aggregates Business Natural Resource Partners (NRP) has signed a definitive agreement to sell its construc- tion aggregates business segment, Van- taCore Partners, to an affiliate of Sun Cap- ital Partners Inc. for $205 million before transaction expenses and customary pur- chase price adjustments. The transaction is expected to close by year-end and is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino An- titrust Improvements Act. "The sale of our construction aggre- gates business segment will enable NRP to substantially accelerate the de-levering and de-risking of our capital structure and represents an exit from this business," said Craig Nunez, president and COO of NRP. Credit Suisse Securities is acting as financial advisor to NRP. Vinson & Elkins LLP is acting as legal advisor to NRP. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, NRP is a diversified natural resource com- A cross section looking east shows the mining approach to the LDI orebody.

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