Formation Capital Corp. of Vancouver, B.C., has completed the purchase of the Big Creek hydrometallurgical complex, formerly owned by Sunshine Precious Metals. Included in the deal is a 36,000-ft2 hydrometallurgical plant, a 24,000-ft2 alkaline leach plant, tailings pond, buildings and land. The plant was designed to produce 4.0 million lb copper, 10,000 oz of gold, and 10 million oz of silver annually, and it operated successfully for 12 years. Formation is reported to have paid US$1.6 million for the complex, which would probably cost at least US$50 million to replace.
The Big Creek complex is located about 200 miles north of Formation's 100%-owned Idaho Cobalt Project (ICP), which surrounds Noranda's Blackbird Co-Cu mine. The ICP is the only high-grade primary cobalt deposit known in the United States. Minable proven and probable reserves of 1,093,188 tons grading 0.652% Co, 0.49% Cu and 0.018 oz/ton Au have been identified in two of the four known mineralized zones. If inferred resources are added, the tonnage triples. Annual cobalt production is projected at 1,500 tons.
Formation has applied for permits to develop an underground mine and concentrator. The company hopes to become the only integrated cobalt miner and chemical refiner in North America. Details of its plans can be found at www.FormCap.com