Scandium International Mining Corp. (“Scandium International” or the “Company”) and Nevada Gold Mines (“NGM”), have signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) to initiate a joint technical and economic feasibility program at NGM’s Phoenix Mine, near Battle Mountain, Nevada. The purpose of this joint development program is to confirm the economic and technical viability of a critical metals recovery (“CMR”) project at the mine site.
The LOI defines a detailed US$2.7 million spend program which includes bench test work, pilot plant testing, and feasibility study design work. The program is anticipated to require 15 months to complete. With program completion, the partners intend to take an investment decision on construction and operation of a plant facility to recover critical metals from mine solutions. The LOI also outlines key parameters of a partnership, including formation of a joint venture to hold the plant facility, and a 50:50 ownership in the recovery circuit asset.
The project is envisioned as an ion-exchange recovery system, capturing critical metals that are currently recirculating in heap leach copper solutions at Phoenix, specifically targeting nickel, cobalt, scandium, zinc and potentially other metals that prove to be economically recoverable.
This CMR project, and other similar projects in development, have the potential to produce material quantities of strategically important metals, tailored to today’s tech-driven products, and can do so from a distributed global copper production base. The environmental impact from this production process is minimal – no new mines are required. From a copper industry standpoint, this CMR process can effectively increase mine valuations, can effectively extend mine/reserve life at current production rates, and will result in cleaner tailings, potentially lower ongoing environmental management costs, and lower final reclamation expense.
The Phoenix Mine is a gold-copper producer owned and operated by Nevada Gold Mines. The mine produces a copper/gold concentrate, copper cathode and gold dore. Nevada Gold Mines assets in Nevada represent the single largest gold-producing complex in the world.
- LOI signed between SCY and NGM, defining a development program for CMR.
- Program designed to confirm technical feasibility and economic recovery of critical metals from heap leach solutions at Phoenix Mine.
- LOI outlines a multi-step development program, totaling US$2.7M spend, and 15 months to complete, including an on-site pilot plant.
- LOI further outlines 50:50 JV partnership, if parties agree to construct an onsite recovery circuit to produce a series of metal concentrates. The refinery circuit would be located off-site from the Phoenix Mine and 100% owned and operated by SCY
- Metals targets include nickel, cobalt, scandium and zinc, possibly others.
George Putnam, CEO of Scandium International Mining Corp. commented:
“Quality partners are an essential ingredient in shared projects. That noted, we are genuinely pleased to be working with NGM and the Phoenix Mine team, to demonstrate the technology and economic viability of a CMR project in the copper business. We look forward to achieving a profitable, reliable, repeatable success with this project, and one that focusses directly on the priority of North American sourcing of critical metals tailored for technology-driven applications in transportation and communications.”
Nevada Gold Mines, Executive Managing Director, Greg Walker commented:
“We are excited to begin working with our partner, Scandium International Mining Corp., on finding ways to extract critically important minerals for the future of the United States, furthering the country’s ambitions to become a leader in the green economy. In addition, this partnership aligns with our vision to protect Nevada’s environment not only for today, but for future generations.”