Foran Mining says it has bolstered the design team for its ongoing definitive feasibility study at the McIlvenna Bay project, in Saskatchewan, Canada, providing the company with the technical expertise to execute on its strategy of building the world’s first copper mine designed to be “carbon neutral” from day one of production.
The advisors are anticipated to employ a range of technologies and initiatives in the design of the mine and processing facilities to materially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the environmental impact of the operations.
Foran says its due diligence to date has highlighted the potentially superior returns achievable through implementing this strategy, while the use of battery-electric vehicles will also be safer for employees, reducing risk of injury and physical stressors, such as vibration and noise.
The FS team includes experts from:
- Stantec – mine design and engineering;
- Knight Piésold Ltd – tailings storage facility design;
- Halyard Inc – process plant design;
- Micon International Limited – resource estimate;
- Base Metallurgical Laboratories Ltd – metallurgical testing;
- Canada North Environmental Services Ltd – environmental; and
- Synergy Enterprises – sustainability and carbon accounting
Dan Myerson, Executive Chair of Foran, said: “The appointment of these world-class environmental and engineering specialists reflects our ambition to develop a technically and economically compelling solution to the environmental and social challenges which have been traditionally associated with the sector. We are therefore thrilled that professionals of this calibre have agreed to support us on this journey.”
He added: “Together, we intend to ensure that our operations emit net zero greenhouse gases and set new safety benchmarks for the industry, while also ensuring that the local community and the broader Canadian population benefit from our operations. The responsible production of copper and zinc is critical as the world transitions to a low carbon future; these metals are used in the production of renewable energy assets and electronic industries, for example. We look forward to providing more updates, in relation to our infill and expansion drilling, as well as announcing more detailed plans about how we will be putting our ambitions into practice.”
The 2020 prefeasibility study on McIlvenna Bay envisaged a 3,600 t/d underground operation with on‐site crushing and mineral processing facilities, a paste plant and filtered tailings storage facility. It considered a nine-year life of mine and scheduled treatment of the full reserve of 11.34 Mt grading 4.01% Zn, 1.14% Cu, 0.54 g/t Au and 20.97 g/t Ag. It also included plans for McIlvenna Bay to be an early adopter of battery-electric haul trucks.
Foran recently commenced its largest drill program ever (pictured), with over 30,000 m of infill and expansion drilling in the deposit. This has been designed to maximise the conversion of the current inferred resource to the indicated resource category, which can then be interrogated for inclusion in the updated reserve statement.
Foran says the feasibility study will, among other things, look to:
- Further optimise and detail the McIlvenna Bay project engineering, including the estimation of reserves, mine design, stope sequence, development and production schedules;
- Refine power and equipment requirements to support the company’s commitment to carbon neutral operations;
- Update and detail the design and feasibility of the tailings desulphurisation process, dry stack storage facility and cemented paste backfill processes;
- Provide detailed construction scheduling, including optimisations that would arise from pre-fabrication and/or modular (off-site) construction to the greatest extent possible;
- Identify further mine optimisation to increase productivity and reduce operational expenditures; and
- Consider equipment usage and activities where greenhouse gas emissions can be eliminated, reduced or offset to ensure that McIlvenna Bay is a carbon neutral operation.