Jervois Board of Directors Approves Full Construction of Idaho Cobalt Operations


Jervois Mining Ltd informs that its board of directors has approved the final construction of the Idaho Cobalt (ICO) operations of Jervois in the United States. ICO is located approximately 40 miles west of the town of Salmon in east central Idaho.

The approval follows the pricing and portfolio closing of the Jervois subsidiary’s offer of senior secured bonds to raise US $ 100 million, guaranteed by Jervois. Once the preconditions for the release into receivership of the bond proceeds that are expected in 4Q21, they will be used for the payment of capital expenditures, operating costs and other costs associated with the construction of ICOs and its entry into production. . The first production of ICOs continues to be expected from mid 2022.

The properties on which the mine and mill are located within United States National Forest Lands managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS). Jervois controls 100% of the unpatented mining claims on these lands, or 313 unpatented vein mining claims. All ICO activities comply with the requirements of the USFS and the Environmental Protection Agency. The site is environmentally licensed with an approved plan of operations.

Jervois acquired ICO in July 2019. ICO has been partially constructed, with more than US $ 120 million invested by previous owners since the discovery of the cobalt deposit. Before launching the final construction, Jervois commissioned DRA Global and its sub-consultants, M3 Engineering (M3), to prepare an Australian Bank Feasibility Study (BFS) updated to the JORC Code 2012 Edition and a feasibility study for the ‘Canadian National Instrument 43-101 on ICO, the results of which were announced on September 29, 2020.

M3 has been appointed Principal Engineer for the detailed design and first works of the site in November 2020, and an EPCM contract for the full construction is expected to be executed shortly. M3 is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, and was selected as the Preferred Engineering Contractor due to his extensive construction experience and track record of successful project delivery in the United States, particularly with regard to local conditions in Idaho and the capabilities of regional entrepreneurs.

The final construction of ICO will include the development of an underground mine over a 10 month period from September 2021, which is expected to deliver the first ore to an operational plant in July 2022. Mine development is executed by Small Mine Development (SMD), based in Battle Mountain, Nevada. SMD was also involved in the mine design and costing for the updated BFS.

ICO will include an ore crusher and a 1,200 tonne per day concentrator to produce separate concentrates of cobalt and copper. Gold mineralization in the ICO mining reserve will be largely dependent on cobalt concentrate and will be recovered at the São Miguel Paulista (SMP) refinery in Brazil, subject to Jervois completing its SMP acquisition and successfully restarting the refinery in stages. in 2022 and 2023. Copper concentrates will be sold in North American markets. The tailings will either be placed underground or filtered and placed safely in a dry waste storage facility.

Jervois has developed detailed plans to operate ICO in an environmentally friendly manner. Jervois’s demonstration of its ability to build and operate in an environmentally safe manner, as well as the necessary drilling success once underground access opens (to convert existing and future mineral resources into mineral reserves) should support positively discussions with the USFS and other US regulators regarding future expansion using the footprint of the currently disrupted site.

Jervois entrusted Metso Outotec with the design, manufacture and delivery contract for a diameter of 4.7 m. and a 750 kW semi-autonomous mill (SAG) 2.5 m long. The plant will comfortably fit the nameplate’s 1,200 tpd processing capacity cap applied in the BFS ICO, which is based on the company’s currently approved plan of operations. Delivery from the Metso Outotec SAG plant to the Idaho site is scheduled and on schedule for 4Q021.

Initial work on the site is well underway, with full construction scheduled to begin on the ground in September 2021. ICO will create around 200 local construction jobs and 180 operational positions once the site goes into commercial operation.

The first works of the site include:

  • Limited remaining earthworks and concrete design and execution.
  • Installation of a high density polyethylene coating on the base of the waste storage facility.
  • Commissioning of the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Construction and commissioning of a pumping system; • Construction of an accommodation camp.
  • Bolting and meshing of the gate and extension earthworks of the gate bench.
  • Erect buildings that will allow construction to continue through the winter.

All of these activities have been designed and are in various stages of execution on the site.

The mine site is equipped with all the necessary infrastructure, including access roads from Salmon and Challis, full power supply (under US $ 0.05 / kwh; Idaho Power has offered ICO 100 electricity % renewable from 2023, the first full year of mine and grinding operation), a drilling field for water supply, communications and all earthworks and earthworks on the site.

The design and construction of the processing facility and all associated supporting infrastructure is managed by M3; work on the site in progress has been the subject of calls for tenders from local and regional subcontractors.

With the pricing announcement and the closing of the books on the US $ 100 million senior secured bond offering by the Jervois subsidiary, the company is excited to move on to final construction at ICO now. Once in operation, ICO will be America’s first cobalt mine in generations. Considering the many applications and significant risks in the supply chain of cobalt, it has been designated a critical mineral by the US government and has been listed by the Home Office in coordination with other executive agencies. in accordance with decree 13817, “A federal strategy to ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals” (82 FR 60835), the final list being published in May 2018 (83 FR 23295). Jervois remains actively engaged with the US government regarding the geopolitical and economic importance of the Idaho settlement.

The Jervois Board of Directors is delighted to announce this significant investment in Idaho. Idaho is an extremely favorable and attractive jurisdiction to invest, and rules the United States with its stable legal and political system, tax and other regulations to facilitate investment and job creation, while simultaneously protecting the pristine natural environment of the state. Jervois is thrilled to become an important economic partner for the State of Idaho and Lemhi County.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/exploration-development/06072021/jervois-board-approves-full-construction-of-idaho-cobalt-operations/


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