TSX-V-listed Northern Vertex Mining has received certified grant letters for right of way (ROW) for the powerline, fibre-optics and access road construction for the Moss gold and silver mine, in Arizona.
The letters and ROW, from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), signal a “milestone which offers measurable safety and economic benefits for all stakeholders,” the company said on Friday.
The installation of a powerline directly to site to deliver utility power is expected to result in significant operational savings over the life of the mine.
The company's 2015 feasibility study had estimated five 750 kW diesel-powered generators.
At a 5 000 t/d processing rate, the diesel generators are estimated to consume about 90 000 gallons of diesel a month, or 3 000 gallons a day.
Power costs were based on power generation and the overall power rate estimated at $0.20/kWh assuming a diesel price of $2.50 a gallon.
The company currently has six generators operating during the commissioning period as it ramps up to commercial production.
Powerline construction will require the posting of a reclamation bond with the BLM prior to permission to proceed being granted.
The company is, meanwhile, proceeding with the acquisition of the bond.
“The switch from diesel fuel-generated power to utility power not only benefits the environment by eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions, but the financial savings will be very significant if fuel prices continue to escalate,” Northern Vertex noted.
In addition, the upgrade and maintenance of the Silver Creek road and the tertiary County Mine access road will have immediate and measurable results, the company added.
The level of safety will be increased substantially for the estimated 100 Moss mine employees and the many local persons and tourists using the roads for business and recreational purposes.
The attendant costs of delays to personnel and truckers, and the engagement of security personnel to direct the one-way traffic control will be eliminated, while the direct economic benefits to Northern Vertex also include a reduction in maintenance costs to operational vehicles and those of suppliers and the local community.
Road reconstruction is planned to start immediately to widen the access road to two 12 ft lanes complete with 5 ft shoulders and an additional 15 ft wide utility corridor on the west side.
Changes to the vertical and horizontal alignment will improve sight distances on curves, Northern Vertex added.
Other upgrades include the removal of numerous protruding cobbles and boulders on Silver Creek road and the placing of a 12-inch-thick surface course of crushed mine waste-rock on both roads.