New porphyry copper mine approval

The sharp rise in commodity prices and a favourable political climate have sparked a strong interest in developing mineral properties in western Canada and the US. The rebirth of mining in these areas after years of absence is an exciting and positive occurrence for miners, operators, and the business community.

The intervening years, however, have seen several key operational changes. In particular, scrutiny of the potential effects of new mines has increased. This change has caused a need for transparent and defensible water quality predictions for mine facilities.

An enviable record of accomplishment

Since the 1980s, SRK has provided clients with detailed evaluations regarding the environmental effects of their mine sites. During this time, new equipment and reporting procedures have increased efficiency and client benefits.

Most recently, this combination of experience and advanced testing procedures rewarded clients in Alaska and British Columbia when our water quality predictions led to the acceptance of proposals for new mine sites.

In 2004, Teck Pogo Inc. began construction of the underground Pogo Mine, a gold mine near Fairbanks, Alaska. To secure the needed approvals, SRK prepared water chemistry predictions for the underground mine, waste rock disposal area, and dry-stacked tailings. Operations at this mine are now underway.

New approvals

Success was also achieved in British Columbia, where several copper porphyry properties are being re-examined. SRK contributed to the approval of the undeveloped Red Chris Project operated by bcMetals and the mining of new zones at the Mount Polley Mine owned by Imperial Metals.

Aware of the need to respond quickly to market forces, SRK helped companies NEMI and Western Canadian Coal begin small mining operations and assisted Falls Mountain Coal start a full-scale mine. These mines are located in British Columbia’s major coalfields in the northeastern sector of the province.

The development of a profitable mining operation requires the desire to succeed, good people, and access to the best information.

With offices on six continents, our team of geochemists is near at hand.

Stephen Day: sday@srk.com


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