Pele Mountain Initiates Permitting Process at Eco Ridge Mineadmin
Pele Mountain Resources Inc. announced today that the Company has submitted the Project Description for its Eco Ridge Mine to the federal government’s Major Projects Management Office and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The submission of this document initiates the official permitting process for the Company’s planned uranium mine and processing facility near Elliot Lake in Northern Ontario.
To view the Project Description: http://www.pelemountain.net/pdf/pele_project_description.pdf
The Project Description details Pele’s approach to sustainable development at Eco Ridge. The mining, processing, and waste management plans make innovative use of proven technologies to build a modern, state-of-the-science facility, significantly more advanced and environmentally-friendly than historic operations in the Elliot Lake region.
The underground mine will be developed by ramps from surface, using trackless development and longhole slashing to leave more than 60-percent of the broken ore underground within designed containments for bioleaching. Underground bioleaching was used extensively for commercial uranium production in the Elliot Lake region during the 1980s and 1990s.
The balance of development material (less than 40-percent) will be trucked to surface and deposited on a heap leach facility (“HLF”). The leach cells will be designed to fully contain the leach solutions and to allow for progressive decommissioning. The HLF will be operated, decommissioned, and reclaimed using methods successfully employed at other modern mine sites around the world. No tailings pond will be required at Eco Ridge.
Environmental impact will also be minimized by relying on underground and surface bioleaching and through a processing operation that recycles leachate in a closed circuit until it is piped to the uranium recovery facility where it will be clarified and processed in a solvent extraction circuit. The uranium will then be extracted in a stripping circuit, and then washed, dried, and packed into drums for shipment.
Preliminary analysis of this design indicates that the Eco Ridge Mine can be operated in a manner that generates no liquid effluent requiring treatment. As a contingency, to address the unlikely event that some water may require treatment before release, a “standby” water treatment facility designed to use best available technology is proposed, including adequate back up storage capacity.
In October 2007, Pele received a positive scoping study for its Eco Ridge Mine which outlined NI 43-101 compliant resources of 6.4 million pounds of “indicated” U3O8 (5.68 million tonnes grading 0.051-percent U3O8 ) and 36.1 million pounds of “inferred” U3O8 (37.26 tonnes grading 0.044-percent U3O8), which provided the basis for an economically-viable, environmentally-compliant uranium mining and processing operation(1). A pre-feasibility study for Eco Ridge, led by SRK Consulting in collaboration with SNC-Lavalin, is expected to be completed in the spring of 2009. The Project Description provides target dates for completion of the licensing and permitting activities by year-end 2010, the beginning of construction in early-2011, and the commencement of uranium production in late-2012.
Pele President and CEO Al Shefsky stated, “The submission of our Project Description represents a significant milestone in the development of the Eco Ridge Mine. We look forward to working closely with all levels of government, as well as First Nations and stakeholders, to ensure a transparent and accountable process as we advance this exciting venture. The Project Description demonstrates our commitment to develop an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable uranium mine which, we believe, will deliver long term benefits to the region and to Pele shareholders.”
More than 300 million pounds of U3O8 were mined from conglomerate beds near Elliot Lake by Rio Algom and Denison Mines from 1956 to 1996, earning the region the title “the Uranium Capital of the World”. Pele management believes that as an established mining region with excellent infrastructure, well-understood geology, and a politically-stable and mining-friendly jurisdiction, Elliot Lake is an ideal location for the development of a secure and reliable long-term uranium supply.
Pele Mountain Resources is committed to the sustainable development of the Eco Ridge Mine in the historic Elliot Lake mining camp. The company is developing a safe, secure, and reliable uranium mining operation in order to deliver lasting benefits to local communities and its shareholders. Pele also holds a diverse portfolio of gold, diamond, and base metal projects in Northern Ontario. Pele stock is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “GEM”.
(1) The Scoping Study is preliminary in nature and includes both indicated and inferred mineral resources. Inferred mineral resources are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the preliminary assessment will be realized.