TSX-V-listed explorer and developer ScoZinc is hopeful that when it announces the results of a prefeasibility study (PFS) for the idled Scotia mine, near Halifax, it will be an improvement on past assessments.
The company confidence levels are boosted by the recent doubling of the mineral resource estimate for the historic zinc/lead mine and Ausenco Engineering Canada’s completed review of the processing operations.
Ausenco’s processing trade-off technical study has determined that the mill contained a number of production and maintenance bottlenecks, the removal of which will contribute to increasing the efficiency of the mill.
Ausenco also identified a number of low-cost improvements that could be made during a relatively short refurbishment period to de-risk the processing operations.
“Ausenco’s detailed review of our processing operations over the last few months has confirmed our strategy that a low mill refurbishment cost is realistic and achievable within a reasonable time frame. Combined with the recently announced new mineral resource estimate, which almost doubled the Scotia Mine’s mineral resources, we are encouraged that the upcoming PFS will be a significant improvement on the past preliminary economic assessments (PEAs),” comments ScoZinc president and CEO Mark Haywood.
A December 2018 PEA for the historic zinc/lead mine, in Nova Scotia, calculated that restart capital of C$27-million will be required. The mill will operate on a 3 000 t/d basis for 6.4 years, delivering 325-million pounds of zinc and 185-milllion pounds of lead over this time.
The results of the PFS will be announced at the end of next month and are expected to support the company’s view that Scotia has the potential to be a “long-term low-cost openpit base metals producer”.
The project has total measured and indicated resources of 25.45-million tonnes at a zinc-equivalent grade of 2.84% and total inferred resources of 5.01-million tonnes at a zinc-equivalent grade of 2.13%.