Permitting delayed at Black Butte in Montana

Permitting at Sandfire Resources' (TSXV: SFR; US-OTC: SRAFF) Black Butte copper project in Montana has been delayed by a new statewide standard for nitrogen during the growing season.

The company says it will expand its mine plan to include a treated water reservoir that can meet Montana’s new pollution standards year round. It has to add the information to its draft environmental impact statement (EIS). As a result, it will not submit the statement until winter 2019.

“While this slight delay in completing the draft EIS is disappointing, we now have significant momentum towards making the Black Butte underground copper mine a reality,” Sandfire CEO and vice president of project development Rob Scargill said in a press release. “While this slight delay in completing the draft EIS is disappointing, we now have significant momentum towards making the Black Butte underground copper mine a reality"

The company is also initiating a feasibility study on the project that will include results from the fall drill program the company began in late October. It expects to finish the feasibility study in the second quarter of 2019.

According to a 2013 PEA, the Black Butte project contains 15.7 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 3.4% copper, 0.1% cobalt and 13.9 grams per tonne silver for 1.17 billion lb. copper, 36 million lb. cobalt and 6.98 million oz. silver. The project also contains 2.26 million inferred tonnes at 2.8% copper, 0.09% cobalt and 13.8 grams silver for 140 million lb. copper, 4.9 million lb. cobalt and 1 million oz. silver.

The study assigned the project a US$109 after-tax net present value at an 8% discount rate and a 20.2% after-tax internal rate of return. The project would cost US$217.8 million in initial capital. Payback would occur in 4.7 years.

In June 2018, the company’s CEO John Shanahan passed away suddenly. The company appointed Scargill the interim CEO.

Earlier this year, the company changed its name from Tintina Resources to Sandfire Resources America. Sandfire Resources NL (ASX: SFR; US-OTC: SFRRF) owns 78.1% of the company.