LABRADOR — The preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Michelin uranium project in the Central Mineral Belt is positive, according to Fronteer Development of Vancouver. The property is held by Aurora Energy Resources, a wholly owned Fronteer subsidiary.
AMEC Americas prepared the study based on both open pit and underground mining of the Michelin and Jacques Lake deposits. A 10,000-t/d mill is to be built at the Michelin site. Pre-production capital costs would be $932.6 million. Besides the mines and mill, at least 140 km of new roads must be built, an electrical transmission line is needed, and surface buildings including accommodation for a workforce of 400 must be constructed.
Aurora is working on the environmental baseline studies for the project and consulting with provincial and federal government regarding the regulatory requirements.
The Michelin project is within the area covered by a three-year moratorium on uranium mining imposed by the Nunatsiavut government in March 2008. Consequently, Aurora has undertaken an extensive community engagement initiative to build understanding around mining and the benefits communities can expect to derive from the Michelin project. The initiative includes holding open houses in all North Coast Labrador communities; conducting small group and one-on-one meetings; meeting local government representatives; opening information centres in Aurora's Postville and Makkovik offices; and developing a targeted youth and elder information program. Responses to these community initiatives have been very positive, with high attendance and growing interest, says Fronteer.