Taseko to re-start SX-EW plant at Gibraltar
Taseko Mines Ltd. of Vancouver has begun to refurbish the solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) plant at its Gibraltar mine, located near Williams Lake, B.C. The anticipated capital cost of the project is $3 million, with the plant expected to be operational by the fall of 2006.
Gibraltar’s SX-EW plant is capable of producing up to 7 million lb of LME-grade cathode copper per year. During its 12-year operation between 1986 and being put on standby in 1998, the plant produced 85 million lb of cathode copper at a cost of approximately US$0.75/lb.
Since the mine re-opened in early 2005, oxidized copper ore has been removed and stockpiled, while sulphide mineralization has been treated in the mine concentrator. Mining in the Pollyanna pit has progressed to the point where sufficient oxidized copper ore is available for placement on the leach pads to support continual operation of the SX-EW plant.
Gibraltar has 16.5 million tons of proven and probable oxide reserves grading 0.148% acid-soluble copper at a 0.10% cut-off in the Pollyanna and Connector pits. These reserves contain approximately 23 million lb of recoverable copper. In addition, a new oxide zone was discovered in 2003.
For further details on Taseko and its properties, visit www.tasekomines.com.
Alexis buys Aurbel gold mill in Val d’Or
As of the end of May, Toronto-based Aur Resources Inc. has sold its 1,400-tonne/day Aurbel gold mill and its remaining 50% interest in the Aurbel property to Alexis Minerals Corp., also of Toronto. The mill and property are in Val d’Or, Que. The mill is on care and maintenance and is fully permitted.
Alexis has agreed to pay $3.0 million in cash, with Aur retaining a 2.5% net smelter royalty. Alexis assumes responsibility for all bonding requirements with the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and Fauna to fulfill current site closure plans. The replacement cost of the plant is estimated to be $35-40 million.
Alexis will also purchase Aur’s exploration office in Val d’Or and the Aurbel property, covering about 100 km2 of the Bourlamaque batholith. This property hosts the Lac Herbin gold deposit (1.8 km from the Aurbel mill), and the past-producing Ferderber and Dumont gold mines as well as several gold showings. An underground exploration program is underway to evaluate the Lac Herbin project.
Information on the other projects owned by Alexis can be found at www.alexisminerals.com.