TIMMINS, Ontario The feasibility study is done, FALCONBRIDGE is conducting an internal review, and applications have been made for environmental permits for development of the Montcalm nickel deposit 75 km northwest of Timmins.
The Montcalm deposits contains an estimated resource of 7.0 million tonnes of sulphide ore, of which about 5.1 million tonnes grading 1.46% Ni and 0.7% Cu are minable. An underground mine would have a life of 8 years and employ 145. Capital costs are estimated at $141.5 million. Ore would be transported to Falconbridge’s facilities in Timmins and Sudbury for processing. The Kidd metallurgical complex would be modified to accept Montcalm ore, and the changes may lead to mining similar deposits in the area.
In preparation for mining the Montcalm deposit, Falconbridge has reviewed numerous water treatment and discharge options. The discharge of clean, treated water from the site directly into the Groundhog River is preferred by both the provincial government and the company.
There are two options for discharge to the Groundhog River. The first is a 15-km buried pipeline from the Montcalm mine to an existing 44-hectare Falconbridge claim that divides the proposed boundaries of the recommended Groundhog Provincial Waterway Park.
"Concern has been raised by some regarding discharge at this site due to its proximity to sturgeon spawning beds," stated project manager John McDonald. "We have demonstrated through modeling and an ecological assessment that this concern is unwarranted. This analysis is available to anyone who wishes to review it."
The second option consists of an 8-km naturalized drainage way, the final 200 m of which would lie within the proposed boundaries of the park.
Falconbridge has proposed a land rights exchange whereby Falconbridge would relinquish the land associated with the pipeline option to the Crown (approximately 22-ha) in return for the temporary drainage way access rights (approximately 2 ha) through the proposed park. Upon closure of the mine, the drainage way access would be returned to the Crown.
McDonald added, "The proposed boundary amendment is a solution that would increase the area of the park and allow the Montcalm project to proceed using the discharge strategy that would result in the least physical disruption."
In addition, Falconbridge has undertaken an Effluent Dispersion Modeling Study and a review of potential effects on the Groundhog River. Based on those studies, the company is confident that there will be no adverse impact on biotic communities and fish populations or on water quality.
You can contact John McDonald at 705-267-8842 or JMcDonald@falconbridge.com.