Engineering & Mining Journal

JUL 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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REGIONAL NEWS - U.S. & CANADA 8 E&MJ • JULY 2019 1 million mt at grades of 0.27% nickel, 107 ppm cobalt, 0.019 grams (g)/mt pal- ladium, and 0.009 g/mt platinum. Improvements incorporated into the updated Dumont feasibility study, as compared to the previous 2013 feasibility study, include an increase in electrifica- tion of the mine by incorporating trolley assist on the main ramps. This will re- duce cycle times and reduce diesel con- sumption by more than 35%. Also, the new study includes concentrate roasting and conversion to ferronickel as the route to market for the nickel concentrate. The updated Dumont feasibility study was led by Ausenco, with participation by SRK Consulting (resource model and geo- technical), David Penswick (mine design and financial modeling), WSP Global (environmental), Golder Associates (en- vironmental geochemistry), Wood PLC (tailings design, site water balance, and closure planning), and Norascon (civil and earthworks). PEA Supports Constantine's Palmer Project in Alaska Constantine Metal Resources has re- ported positive results from a prelimi- nary economic assessment (PEA) of the Palmer zinc-copper-gold-silver project in southeast Alaska. The project is owned by the Constantine Mining LLC joint venture, with Constantine Metal Resources hold- ing a 51% interest and Dowa Metals & Mining holding the remaining 49%. Con- stantine Metal Resources is the operator. The Palmer PEA describes a low- capex, low-operating-cost, high-margin underground mining operation with at- tractive environmental attributes. Concur- rent mining is planned for both the Palm- er and AG Zone deposits. Site topography enables lateral underground access to the base of the deposits and bottom-up, grav- ity-assisted mining. Mine design utilizes longhole mining methods, subvertical ore passes, and an underground crusher and conveyor to deliver mineralized material to the mill. Three high-quality concentrates (zinc, copper and barite) will be produced. A pyrite concentrate will also be produced for placement underground as backfill. Based on current resources, mine life is estimated at 11 years after 24 months of preproduction development. Steady- state mining and processing rates are planned at 3,500 metric tons per day (mt/d). Preproduction development capital is estimated at $278 million. Mine operat- ing costs are estimated at $65.4/mt. Teck is Held Liable for Columbia River Damage In early June, the U.S. Supreme Court de- clined to hear an appeal by Teck Inc. of the case brought forward by the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) in Washing- ton. The case involved Teck's lead-zinc smelter in Trail, British Columbia, and its pollution of the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt in Washington. The decision to not hear Teck's appeal leaves a previous ruling in place, award- ing more than $8 million in legal costs to the tribes. It also makes Teck responsible for cleaning up the damage from decades of pollution. Teck claimed the U.S. courts lacked jurisdiction over the company, but the Ninth Circuit found it "inconceivable" that Teck didn't know its waste was aimed at Washington when discharge flowed di- rectly into the Columbia River a few miles upstream from the U.S. The U.S. border is about 15 kilome- ters (km) from the smelter and Teck was essentially accused of using the Colum- bia River as a toxic discharge system by flushing away slag and heavy metals that blackened beaches downstream. The tribes argued that Teck should be found liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Cleanup, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Teck maintained it has spent millions of dollars cleaning up the Columbia River and a Canadian company should not be held liable under the CERCLA. The tribes also prevailed in its effort to establish that Teck has "joint and several" liability for damages caused by its waste, meaning Teck will be re- sponsible for all damages regardless of whether others may have also contribut- ed to the harm. "This decision brings the tribes' more than 20-year legal battle with Teck to a close," Rodney Cawston, chairman of the Colville Business Council, said. "We are very grateful for this result, that the high- est court in the land agrees that Teck is liable for the enormous damage it inflict- ed on our river." Cawston said Teck released nearly 10 million tons of toxic slag over nearly a century from its smelter. Mosaic Will Close Plant City Phosphates Facility The Mosaic Co. announced it will close its idled Plant City phosphates manu- facturing facility in Hillsborough Coun- ty, Florida. The small team of Mosaic employees currently responsible for care and main- tenance activities will remain on site to manage closure and compliance respon- sibilities over the next several years. Operational since 1975, Plant City produced approximately 1.3 million met- ric tons (mt) of finished phosphates in 2017, its last year of operation. The plant was idled in late 2017 because it was one of the higher cost phosphates facilities in Mosaic's Florida operations and due to global phosphate market conditions. Seabridge Gold Will Acquire Goldstorm Project in Nevada Seabridge Gold has entered into an agree- ment to acquire the Goldstorm project in Nevada from Mountain View Gold Corp. for 25,000 Seabridge common shares. The Goldstorm property consists of 134 mining claims and 1,160 leased acres (totaling approximately 3,900 acres or 15.9 km 2 ) located about 3 kilometers (km) to the east of Seabridge's Snow- storm Property. Snowstorm's 80.3 km 2 of land holdings are strategically located at the projected intersection of three of the most important gold trends in northern Nevada: the Carlin Trend, the Getchell Trend and the Northern Nevada Rift Zone, the company said. Goldstorm has had limited exploration to date. Previous operators identified a series of northwest trending veins that showed strong pathfinder geochemistry and highly anomalous gold results, the company said. A surface trench on one of these veins yielded 3 meters of 9 grams/ mt gold and 44 g/mt silver. Mountain View's limited drill testing of this vein returned promising grades including an intersection of 2 meters assaying 5.5 g/ mt gold of which 1 meter graded 9.29 g/ mt gold and 73g/mt silver. Seabridge Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk said, "Snowstorm is a very valuable exploration asset for us and it will be a primary focus for our exploration team this year, including our first drill program on the project expected to begin later this summer. In preparation, we have staked additional claims where available."

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