VANCOUVER — NorZinc Ltd. has announced that it has a Water Licence and Land Use Permit for its portion of an all-season access road to the Prairie Creek Mine in the Northwest Territories, meaning it now has all major permits required for construction of the road and the mine.
The Water Licence and Land Use Permit was granted by Parks Canada Nov. 22. NorZinc has already obtained mine permits and on Nov. 13 it obtained a road permit from the Mackenzie Valley Land & Water Board (MVLWB).
The all-season road will provide the mine with year-round access to broader road networks, a Nov. 25 release stated. The mine is located in the southern NWT between the Yukon border and Great Slave Lake and will produce high grade zinc, lead and silver.
NorZinc plans to develop the Prairie Creek Mine in two phases, the release said. Prior to major construction on site, phase one will start with the construction of an initial 170-kilometre winter road to the Prairie Creek Mine site, planned for the first quarter of 2020.
Prior to commencing that winter road construction, NorZinc must obtain approval from both the MVLWB and Parks Canada for a series of updated road management plans. NorZinc said in the statement it will consider alternative road construction options to retain schedule.
Construction of the all-season road is planned to be launched in 2020 with limited supplies delivered to site to support the mine refurbishment program. In 2021 and 2022, the main site construction is planned to be completed, including installation of a dense media separation circuit, new backfill plant and electrical facilities as well as underground development to access high grade ore for the initial years of operation.
Don MacDonald, president and CEO of NorZinc, stated in a release, “We finally have the last major permit in place to build the Prairie Creek Mine and will be working very hard over the coming weeks to present, and obtain approval for, the management and monitoring plans for the all-season road so we can advance construction and start to build.”
He added, “The timely approval of the management plans will be critical for us to continue to meet our development schedule outlined over 16 months ago. It is also critical that we develop the Prairie Creek Mine in a manner that is the most environmentally sustainable and with the strongest local indigenous support.”
Development projects carried on in 2019 have included de-risking programs, detailed engineering and design of the mine facilities, and assessment of, and proposals for, rehabilitation of certain site facilities in anticipation of construction, including site cranes, accommodation, the mill roof and some electrical facilities.