The economic analysis includes costs associated with the planned analysis of mill operations in the pre-production period and first year of operations to investigate process revisions that could lead to increased mill performance. This will include the evaluation and prioritization of modern process controls and equipment upgrades.
Concentrate Marketing and Transport
Based on historical concentrate data, ScoZinc concentrates are expected to be readily marketable, grading 57% and 71% for zinc and lead respectively, with no penalties. Previous concentrate shipments from the ScoZinc mine were shipped to Europe and Asia.
Current infrastructure provides a number of options for the shipment of ScoZinc's concentrate. The final concentrate shipment plan will be determined at a time closer to the commencement of production at the ScoZinc mine. Proximity to port facilities, railway and highways could provide for favourable transportation costs.
Excellent infrastructure is in place at the ScoZinc mine. ScoZinc has its own storage and concentrate loading facility at Sheet Harbour with a capacity of 8,500 tonnes, or 1.5 times the expected shipment size. The mine has access to ample grid power and water supply. Paved roads lead to the mine property and there is nearby access to rail.
Environment, Community Relations, and Permitting
ScoZinc operations have enjoyed strong support from local communities and the Nova Scotia government. Permitting of the expansion of the Main pit to the southwest resulted in the granting of Environmental and Industrial Approvals in October 2011 and May 2012, respectively. Existing permits will need to be amended to accommodate further expansion of the Main pit, the start-up of the Northeast pit and underground mining to achieve the approximate eight year mine life projected in the PEA.
Staffing of the restart of operations commenced in 2011 with the appointment of the General Manager (see August 16, 2011 news release). The mine is expected to employ approximately 120 persons during full operations in Q3 2014. The neighbouring communities provide a good source of skilled workers and many former employees remain interested in re-joining operations at ScoZinc.
The current mine plan and economic model do not include the Getty Deposit. The current mine plan would be updated following future definition drilling of the near surface portion of the Northeast deposit. As experienced at the adjacent and contiguous Main deposit, the surface drilling in the Northeast deposit is expected to convert Inferred mineral resources into Measured and Indicated categories. An expansion of Measured and Indicated in-pit mineral resources is expected to favourably impact the mine planning for the transition from Northeast deposit to the Getty deposit following the first 7 to 8 years of mining.
Addition of the Getty deposit and expanded mineral resources could add more than 3 years to the current mine life. ScoZinc also has extensive mineral claim holdings in close proximity to ScoZinc operations that have potential for district scale distribution of mineralization... Additional field geochemical surveys of the geophysical targets identified in the airborne survey were undertaken in early 2012; results are being analyzed.
This news release has been reviewed and approved by Joseph Ringwald, P.Eng., Vice President Mining with Selwyn Resources Ltd., Jeffrey B. Austin, P.Eng., independent metallurgical consultant, and Gerry Beauchamp, P.Eng., independent consulting mining engineer. All are Qualified Persons under NI 43-101.
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