eCobalt Solutions reports an update on its feasibility study and recently initiated pre-construction activities on its 100% owned Idaho Cobalt Project (ICP) in anticipation of final FS receipt expected later in September. The ICP is the only near term, environmentally permitted and primary cobalt project located in the USA. In 2016 eCobalt commissioned the FS with Micon International and SNC-Lavalin.
Paul Farquharson, President & CEO of eCobalt commented, “We are encouraged by the recent progress and preliminary results of the feasibility study. As we anticipate results to be filed in September, we are fast tracking key pre-construction activities at the mine site this fall in preparation for the expected recommencement of construction in 2018 after project financing is completed”. He continued, “The recent addition of Floyd Varley, COO, and LLee Chapman, VP Administration has proven instrumental in the advancement of the ICP towards these pivotal goals.”
The FS study is in its final stage with mine design and schedule and CPF design completed. Since the last FS update, Small Mine Development (SMD) has provided cost inputs for the final optimized mine schedule which was delivered to Micon for mine and mill capex estimation. SMD, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, has a solid reputation for providing safe, productive and innovative underground, hardrock mining solutions.
A draft capex summary is expected early in September for client review. This draft summary is expected to allow the company to rapidly update economic iterations using varying input parameters to determine optimal cash flows and revenue timing. The completed financial and reserve analysis, along with supporting reports, are expected to be completed for release in September.
In anticipation of the receipt of the final FS, the company has initiated pre-construction activities at the ICP mine site. These select tasks are designed to minimize cash expenditures and timelines to recommence construction activities in 2018. These tasks are currently being reviewed by the Forest Service and other stakeholders for input and approval. Tasks under consideration include:
- Mile Post 8: This is a section of access road to the mine site that requires additional work to allow for longer length haulage trucks to deliver the existing ICP pre-purchased equipment currently stored in the Company’s warehouse in Salmon, Idaho, up to the mine site for assembly
- Transportation of stockpiled gravel up to the site to be used for construction material
- Mobilizing the company owned crusher to the site
- Burying of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System water discharge pipeline
- Burial of on-site septic tanks
- Remediation of tailings waste storage facility drainages
- Installation of temporary power for construction.
Initial feedback from the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service is encouraging and they are supportive of moving the project from care and maintenance status into construction and operational status.
After a positive review of the geotechnical drilling results from the Blackfoot industrial property located in southern Idaho, the purchase of the property was completed last week. This has allowed the company to initiate the permitting of the site for construction and operation and further assess and finalize engineering requirements. The Blackfoot property was chosen for its excellent infrastructure including low cost electrical grid power, paved road, adjacent rail, potable water, and access to the local municipal water treatment plant. In addition, Blackfoot is located along Highway 15 between Pocatello and Idaho Falls giving the company access to a large pool of skilled labour.
The ICP is comprised of the mine/mill site located in Lemhi County, Idaho, near the town of Salmon, Idaho and the Cobalt Production Facility (CPF), a stand-alone hydrometallurgical facility to be located in Southern Idaho. The CPF will process concentrates from the M/M into cobalt, copper and gold end products. The project is slated to produce the equivalent of 1,500 t of high purity cobalt sulphate annually over a projected mine life of 12.5 years.