BRITISH COLUMBIA - HATCH LTD., an independent engineering services company, has told Vancouver's ROCA MINES that its Max molybdenum project could be economic at current metal prices. Given the uncertainty in historical molybdenum oxide prices, Hatch has examined several scenarios.
The feasibility of both a small, high-grade underground mine and a larger-tonnage, lower grade operation were considered. Using a measured and indicated resource figure of 1.38 million tonnes at a cut-off grade of 0.5% MoS2, a 500-tonnes/day mine and concentrator could produce 6.1 million lb of molybdenum in concentrate over three years. An investment of US$24.16 million was estimated in this case. A higher-tonnage operation would depend on a measured and indicated resource of 11.35 million tonnes at a cut-off grade of 0.2% MoS2. A 2,500-tonnes/day operation would produce 31.7 million lb of molybdenum in concentrate over 10 years. Capital investment in that case would be US$104.8 million.
Roca is advancing the Max project by performing underground inspection, further diamond drilling, geology, metallurgy, and geotechnical investigations at proposed plant and tailings sites. Underground rehabilitation and ventilation have been completed and access restored to over 2 km of existing adit, crosscuts and drifts.
The Max project is located 60 km southeast of Revelstoke. It never reached commercial production despite extensive underground work during the 1970s and 1980s. More information is posted at www.RocaMines.com.