Highland Copper Company Inc. takes great pleasure in announcing the receipt of the mining, dam, and air safety permits from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for its Copperwood project situated in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan, United States.
The MDEQ has accepted Highland’s request to revise the Mining Permit, which was originally granted in 2012 to Copperwood Resources Inc., the Company’s 100%-owned subsidiary, under the provisions of Part 632, Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. The amendment was necessary to permit the Company to start construction at Copperwood in agreement with the modifications to the mine plan and facilities specified in the updated feasibility study published on June 15th, 2018.
The MDEQ gave out a final decision to approve the amendments requested by the Company after reviewing and considering comments received during a public hearing, which took place on October 24th, 2018, followed by a written comment period about the proposed amendments. The amendments were approved under specific conditions that should be met by the Company, namely:
- Present a revised subsidence monitoring plan for the life of mine and post closure period
- Provide a plan to perform confirmation baseline environmental sampling and review before beginning mining operations
- Retrieve the ore stockpile area and dispose off the geomembrane liner as per the regulations
- Recover or remove water intake and power supply infrastructure as per the approved plans unless beneficial use agreements are established with another party
Other important permits received include Wetlands, Air, and Dam Safety
On the basis of the updated feasibility study on Copperwood in 2018, the Company had filed applications with the MDEQ to amend, renew, or get all other permits needed to start mine construction at Copperwood.
Apart from the Mining Permit, the Company has received three important extra permits from the MDEQ: the Part 315 Dam Safety Permit-Tailing Dam, the Part 55 Air Discharge Permit, and, as announced earlier, the Part 301/303/325 Wetland Permit. The application to get a Lake Superior water intake permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) is pending and a final decision is anticipated in the next few weeks.
We have achieved another important milestone with all major permits required to build and operate the Copperwood mine now in place. This is the culmination of significant work completed in the past year by our Michigan team and I believe we have, most importantly, achieved the social license to operate in the community.
Denis Miville-Deschênes, President and CEO, Highland Copper Company Inc.
Internal work by the Michigan team is ongoing on several aspects to develop the economics of the project, comprising of items such as financing options, mine design, process plant and mobile equipment selection, power and communication infrastructure planning, and concentrate transport options study.
It is difficult to raise additional funds due to the state of the capital markets for a company like Highland as well as current commodity prices. Management is analyzing various options, such as the sale of assets, the issuance of new equity or debt, and other potential strategic transactions. The principal objective of the management is to raise adequate funds to fulfill its current commitments, to fund management and administration expenses, and to solve its working capital deficiency. However, it cannot be guaranteed that additional funds can be raised or will be available on terms acceptable to the Company or that a strategic transaction can be finished.