YUKON TERRITORY – With an eye toward increased production later on, Vancouver’s SHERWOOD COPPER has purchased a second ball mill for its proposed Minto copper-gold mine 240 km northwest of Whitehorse. The mill is a 3.2- by 3.7-metre Allis Chalmers unit identical to the first ball mill purchased for the project. The second mill was purchased from Asarco for US$75,000. It will remain in Arizona for the time being.
Preliminary grinding studies indicated that the plant as currently designed is capable of processing an average of 1,564 tonnes of ore per day, with the limiting factor being the single ball mill. Preliminary indications are that the addition of a second ball mill could increase throughput to approximately 2,000 to 2,200 tonnes of ore per day, for about a 30% to 40% increase in throughput. Sherwood says the flexibility offered by having a second mill is important.
The company also announced that its Quartz Mining Licence has been extended to June 30, 2016. Type A and B water licences for the project will expire on the same date.
In the late 1990s, a feasibility study was completed by prior owners, permits obtained and construction of an open pit mine commenced. Construction was suspended after expenditures of approximately $10 million, due to depressed copper prices. During construction, the mill foundations were poured, the ball and SAG mills were purchased and moved to site, the mine accommodations were constructed and the site was connected to a permitted Yukon River crossing by a 29-km production standard access road. All of this infrastructure has been well maintained and would be available for future operations, according to Sherwood.
A more full description (history, geology, maps and photos) of the Minto project is available at www.SherwoodCopper.com.