Hope for extended mine life
Canada Fluorspar Inc. says the results of a new preliminary feasibility study of its St. Lawrence fluorspar project have reaffirmed the viability of the venture.
In a recent news release, president and CEO Lindsay Gorrill said the study’s results highlight the economics of the project and continue to reflect a significant fluorspar asset.
Mr. Gorrill acknowledged the current price of approximately US $540 per metric ton for acid grade filter cake fluorspar also adds substantial potential upside to the project’s economics.
The updated study, which was completed by Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. – an independent engineering firm, estimates an average production of 131,000 ton per annum – up from 122,000 – over a 14 year mine life.
Compared with the original preliminary feasibility study from May 2011, the project’s capital cost has jumped from $98 million to $154 million, while operating costs have climbed $208 per metric ton to $231 per metric ton. Ongoing capital costs are estimated at $72.5 million.
Several factors are identified as contributors to the projected low operating cost including high grade ore, high recoveries, existing infrastructure and historical operations, close proximity to tide water, access to suitable process water and local community and provincial government support.
In addition to the preliminary feasibility study, Newspar Canada Fluorspar’s 50-50 joint venture with Arkema, is undertaking a review as well to establish a more precise understanding of the project’s cost and scope.
Although the project is expected to have a mine life of approximately 14 years, significant resources in addition to currently defined mineral reserves may extend the time frame.
Canada Fluorspar announced an update of its exploration activities on the ‘Director’ and ‘Grebes Nest’ veins on the company’s 100 per cent owned St. Lawrence mineral properties in a second news release last month.
A 13,000 metre-drilling program on the ‘Director Vein’ was started Jan. 15.
The first phase includes 3,000 metres to be drilled as part of a northern extension of the old Alcan workers at greater depths than previously explored, as well as a future 5,000 metres to be drilled on the ‘Director South Extension’ area based on the vein identified in the 2012 trenching program.
Meanwhile, the company is planning to drill 5,000 metres on the Grebes Nest property later this year, depending on the results of surface trenching to be carried out during the first half of 2013.
Mr. Gorrill acknowledged the company is excited about previous and future exploration.
“We are very encouraged by the results of the 2012 Director Vein trenching program, a vein that has a history of significant high grade fluorspar.
“We have long been aware of the 41 identified veins of fluorspar on our exploration licenses and are looking forward to trenching programs at ‘Grebes Nest, Scrape’, ‘Church’ and ‘Black Duck’ to help us better understand these other prospects and, together with our Newspar partnership, to get closer to our goal of becoming a major player in the fluorspar industry.”