VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board has recommended approval for a proposed all-season road for Canadian Zinc's Prairie Creek mine project, in the Northwest Territories.
The review board issued its ‘Report of Environmental Assessment and Reasons for Decision’ on Tuesday and submitted the report to the Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett.
The board’s recommendation is subject to the company implementing several measures outlined in the report, which it considers necessary to prevent significant adverse impacts on the environment and local people.
"The review board has recommended a series of measures and made suggestions intended to reduce or avoid identified impacts and mitigate any significant adverse impact on the environment. Canadian Zinc is confident that the measures prescribed by the board, many of which build on Canadian Zinc's commitments made during the environmental assessment, can be satisfactorily addressed,” said COO Alan Taylor in a statement on Tuesday.
Taylor pointed out that the board had acknowledged the enthusiastic support for the project, voiced by the leaders and members of Nahanni Butte Dene band, the nearest potentially affected community, based on expected socioeconomic benefits.
Part of the road will run through the Nahanni national park reserve, which surrounds the Prairie Creek mine.
"Having successfully completed the environmental assessment and secured the recommendation of the review board that development of the all-season road be approved, we will now proceed to quickly finalise the definitive feasibility study and pursue financing for the construction and development of the Prairie Creek mine," added chairperson and CEO John Kearney.
The mine site presently contains a near-complete mill, three levels of underground workings, a fuel tank farm, office facilities, accommodation facilities and workshops.
The mine will be an underground operation, based primarily on mining the main quartz vein, with a steady-state production rate of 1 350 t/d over a 17-year mine life. During full production, about 485 000 t/y of ore will be mined. A detailed mine plan has been developed that provides for early access to key areas underground to maximise the metal mined while minimising mine development.
The Prairie Creek project will produce three types of concentrates: zinc sulphide, lead sulphide and lead oxide.
The 2016 prefeasibility study indicated average yearly output of 60 000 t of zinc concentrate and 55 000 t of lead concentrate, containing about 86-million pounds of zinc, 82-million pounds of lead and 1.7-million ounces of silver.