Canadian Mining Journal


Canadian Zinc two permits closer to production

Canadian Zinc (CZN-T) continues to progress down the road to production at its Prairie Creek mine in the Northwest Territories.

Canadian Zinc (CZN-T) continues to progress down the road to production at its Prairie Creek mine in the Northwest Territories.

Further development of the world class underground lead, zinc and silver mine has been on hold until the company receives three key permits from the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board and the federal government.

Now that number is down to one.

The company announced that the Board issued two land use permits: one for mining and another for a transfer facility.

The first permit allows the company to extract ore and waste rock from the deposit, operate a flotation mill concentrator to produce zinc and lead concentrates, create a waste rock facility, and refurbish and develop site facilities.

The second lets it build and operate the Liard transfer facility, which will be built near the junction of mine access road and the Liard Highway. Once constructed the transfer facility will serve as a staging area at the southern end of the winter access road so that outbound concentrate can be stored along with inbound supplies.

Both permits are valid for five years and with optional two year extensions.

At the beginning of the year the same Board issued the permit the company needs to build and operate a winter access road that will connect the mine to the Liard Highway.

Now all that is left is a water license. When and if the Board issues the permit, it will then need to be approved by the federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

Canadian Zinc also needs to get its final permits from Parks Canada for a portion of the winter road that passes through the Nahanni National Park Reserve and for the building of a second road staging area within the park known as the Tetcela transfer facility. It expects to receive the permits in the near term.

Originally on the outskirts of the Nahanni, the park’s expansion over the years means that the mine is now surrounded by the park on all sides.

Much of the mine and mill was constructed in the 1970s and 1980s, leaving Canadian Zinc to refurbish the existing facility. It expects to have a 1,000-t/d mill running once in operation.

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