Canadian Mining Journal


Study sees extended mine life at Canadian Zinc’s Prairie Creek

That mines and mining projects get recycled from one company to the next isn’t new – it happens all the time.

What makes the Prairie Creek mine a little different is that Canadian Zinc Corp. (TSX: CZN; US-OTC: OTCQB) managed to pick up the permitted, fully built, and yet never operated, mine, for a song, thanks to the demise of the legendary Hunt brothers.

The Texas-based siblings acquired the Prairie Creek property, 500 km west of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories’ Mackenzie Mountain Range, in 1966. They completed exploration and a feasibility study, built a road connecting the property to the Liard Highway, and then financed and built the mine and mill. But lower silver prices and bankruptcy proceedings intervened in 1983, derailing their plans just at the time they hoped to flip the switch.

So when Canadian Zinc acquired the mine for about $2 million in the early 1990s, the junior got a processing plant that was about 90% finished, a 1.5-million-tonne capacity tailings impoundment, a power plant and a water treatment plant.

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