Engineering & Mining Journal

JAN 2018

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 6 E&MJ • JANUARY 2018 Trump Signs Executive Order on Critical Minerals On December 20, President Donald Trump issued an executive order, "A Federal Strat- egy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals," that recognizes the U.S. is heavily reliant on imports of certain mineral commodities vital to the nation's security and economic prosperity. This dependency on foreign sources creates a strategic vulnerability for both its economy and military to adverse foreign government action, natural disaster, and other events that can disrupt supply of these key miner- als, the administration said. The order calls on U.S. government agencies to identify ways to both stream- line the permitting processes to expedite exploration, production, processing, repro- cessing, recycling, and domestic refining of critical minerals; and to ensure that miners and producers have electronic access to the most advanced topographic, geologic, and geophysical data within U.S. territory. "It is encouraging to see the adminis- tration identifying as a strategic priority, the nation's domestic minerals and met- als, which serve as the front end of the supply chain for American prosperity and security," said National Mining Associa- tion (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn. "Our country's dependence on miner- al imports has doubled over the past 20 years," he added. "Today, less than half of the mineral needs of U.S. manufac- turing are met from domestically mined minerals, and we are 100% import-de- pendent for 20 key minerals." The secretary of the interior, in coordi- nation with the secretary of defense and in consultation with the heads of other rele- vant executive departments and agencies, shall publish a list of critical minerals in the Federal Register no later than 60 days after the date of the order. Within 180 days of the secretary of the interior pub- lishing the list, the secretary of commerce, in coordination with the secretaries of de- fense, the interior, agriculture, and energy, and the United States Trade representa- tive, shall submit a report to the president. Centerra Operations Suspended at Mount Milligan Citing a lack of sufficient water resources, Centerra Gold reported that mill process- ing operations at the Mount Milligan mine in British Columbia, Canada, have been temporarily suspended. Mill processing operations are expected to recommence at partial capacity by the end of January and at full capacity after the spring melt. As previously disclosed, the mine expe- rienced a drier than normal spring and sum- mer during 2017 with a limited amount of spring snow melt. This resulted in lower than expected reclaim water volumes in the tailings storage facility (TSF), which is used for mill processing operations. The water shortage has been exacerbated by unanticipated extremely cold temperatures at Mount Milligan, which has resulted in a greater than expected loss of water volumes in the TSF due to ice formation. The company sought to mitigate the water shortfall by drilling additional water wells during the fourth quarter. While the effort was somewhat successful, the addi- tional water obtained was insufficient. It is expected that by the end of Jan- uary there will be adequate fresh water available to restart mill processing op- erations using just one of the ball mills (38,000 metric tons per day to minimize water requirements). The company ex- pects that additional fresh water will be- come available after the spring melt, typ- ically in April, at which time it expects to restart the second ball mill returning mill processing operations to full capacity. Meanwhile, mill maintenance crews will continue to carry out preventative main- tenance activities and may bring forward other maintenance work that had been planned for later in the year. The Mount Milligan mine continues to operate accord- ing to its mine plan and will continue to ex- pose, mine and stockpile additional ores for future processing. Year-to-date the Mount Milligan mine has produced approximately 225,000 oz of payable gold and approxi- mately 54 million lb of payable copper. Feasibility Study Supports Lynn Lake Gold Development Alamos Gold has reported results from a positive feasibility study of its Lynn Lake gold project in northwest Manitoba that support development of a project produc- ing an average of 170,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold over its first six years of op- eration and 143,000 oz/y over its first 10 years of operation. The project is based on Centerra expects to restart milling operations at Mount Milligan by the end of January when there will be enough water available to operate one of its ball mills.

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