Cobalt project developer Fortune Minerals has entered into an option to buy an alternative site to construct the proposed hydrometallurgical refinery that will process metal concentrates from the planned Nico cobalt/gold/bismuth/copper mine, after the rural municipality of Corman Park last month rejected the company’s zoning change application for its lands near Langham, Saskatchewan.
Following the rejection, Fortune entered into discussions with a number of municipalities and reported on Tuesday that it had executed an option agreement for a parcel of lands that had already been planned for industrial use and met infrastructure and services requirements.
Fortune said that it was also completing an updated technical report for the Nico project, in Northwest Territories. This would include a lower capital cost start-up scenario of selling metal concentrates directly from the mine to defer construction of a refinery as an alternative to the vertically integrated development scenario.
Fortune's proposed hydrometallurgical plant would provide for 80 to 90 full-time employees with a payroll of about $9-million a year. Using a typical employment multiplier, this would result in two additional indirect jobs for every employee creating another 170 jobs in the region.
The company added that contracting opportunities during construction were estimated to be valued at $76-million with operational expenditures of about $25-million a year, totalling about $525-million over the current estimate of the mine life.