Canadian Consulting Engineer

Molybdenum mine planned for remote northern B.C.

A team of consulting engineers has been helping Adanac Moly Corporation prepare environmental and socio-economic im...

April 10, 2006   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A team of consulting engineers has been helping Adanac Moly Corporation prepare environmental and socio-economic impact studies for the proposed Ruby Creek Molybdenum mine in remote northwestern B.C.
Molybdenum is a grey metallic element derived from molybdenite ore. It is used to produce steel and nickel, in alloys, electrodes and catalysts. It is also used to support filaments in electric lamps.
In March, Adanac was ordered to proceed with its application for an environmental assessment certificate with the B.C. government. The feasibility studies for the application involved Klohn Crippen Berger, who did the environmental and socio-economic impact assessment and tailings disposal facility. Golder Associates planned the pit and mine, Wardrop Engineering planned the processing plant, and SGS prepared plans for the comminution and flotation testwork.
First explored in 1905, the Ruby Creek area was staked in 1967 for Adanac. Their plans to develop the mine will affect a footprint of 843 hectares approximately 1,500 metres above sea level, located 39 kilometres by gravel road from the town of Atlin.
Estimated to cost $414 million, the mine is expected to be active for 20 years. It will process 20,000 tonnes of ore and produce 28 tonnes of molybdenite concentrate daily. The concentrate will be sent to the port of Skagway in Alaska for shipping.
Because the project could affect the lands and hunting habitat of the Taku River Tlingit First Nations, that community is intimately involved in the studies and public consultations for the mine, and will be submitting its own land use impact study to the B.C. government. The area is home to caribou, Stone’s Sheep, moose, grizzly bears and hoary marmots.
Among measures to mitigate the general environmental impacts, the mine is being designed to rely on fresh water supplied from wells, while diversion ditches will move clean water around the site downstream to Ruby Creek. Reclaimed water from the tailings disposal facility and from the open pit operations will supply water for the mill. All water on site will end up in the tailings disposal facility and be discharged downstream when conditions allow, primarily during the spring and fall high flow times.


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