MANITOBA – CROWFLIGHT MINERALS of Toronto has finalized a $55-million debt facility to complete its Bucko Lake nickel development in the Thompson Nickel Belt. The loan was arranged by RMB Resources and is underwritten by FirstRand Ireland.
The Bucko Lake mine is slated to begin production in the middle of this year. The project is based on probable reserves of 2.4 million tonnes grading 1.84% Ni and 0.14% Cu. The deposit also contains an indicated resource of 4.9 million t at 1.62% Ni and 0.11% Cu plus an inferred resource of 2.6 million t at 1.67% Ni and 0.11% Cu. At an ore mining rate of 1,000 t/d the mine will have a life of eight years.
The mine is being developed via decline for longhole open stoping with sublevel access on 30.5-metre intervals. Maximum stope size will be 20 x 20 metres. Backfilling with cemented hydraulic fill and development waste is planned. There is also a 340-metre-deep shaft that was sunk in the 1970s.
Crowflight purchased and moved the Chimo mill to the Bucko Lake site. The plant is fitted with a primary SAG mill, regrind ball mill, flotation cells, cyclones and dryers.
Crowflight planned on spending approximately $68.8 million to get the property into production. The total base case operating costs are estimated to be US$3.24/lb of nickel. The feasibility study updated in March 2007 is posted at www.Crowflight.com.