New Brunswick tungsten-moly mine gets environmental green light

Facility would be North America's only tungsten mine

Canada could be back to producing tungsten again following the closure of the country's only tungsten mine in late 2015.

On Friday the owners of the Sisson Tungsten and Molybdenum Mine Project in New Brunswick, eastern Canada, said the Canadian government approved the mine following an environmental assessment.

"Successful completion of the environmental assessment process is an important milestone in the development of the Sisson Mine. The decision reinforces the thoroughness of the environmental assessment submitted by the Sisson Partnership, reflecting our commitment to create a project that will bring economic benefits to New Brunswick while protecting the environment. Our focus now will be on securing offtake and financing to advance the project," Northcliff Resources (TSX:NCF) President & CEO Chris Zahovskis said in a statement.

Image of Sisson Mine infrastructure, from the 2013 feasibility study, courtesy of Northcliff Resources.

The open-pit mine near Fredericton is being developed by the Sisson Partnership, owned by Northcliff and Todd Minerals Ltd., a subsidiary of the Todd Corporation. It will be operated by Sisson Mines Ltd. The mine would be North America's only producer of tungsten, whose market is currently dominated by China. The metal also known as wolfram is used to produce electrical wires, as well as X-ray tubes and smartphone screens.

The $579 million project includes a 30,000 tonnes per day processing facility, averaging 557,000 tonnes of ammonium paratungstate and 4.1 million pounds of molybdenum, annually. The mine has 334.4 million proven and probable tonnes of mineral reserves and a minelife of 27 years, states a 2013 prefeasibility study – and is one of the largest tungsten deposits outside China, according to Northcliff.

Photo of tungsten filament in a light bulb by Anderson Mancini, Flickr Creative Commons image