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NorZinc completes permitting process for Prairie Creek mine in NWT

NorZinc’s Prairie Creek zinc-lead-silver project in the Northwest Territories. Credit: NorZinc

Following the receipt its land use permit last month, NorZinc (TSX: NZC) has now received a new water licence from the government of Northwest Territories for an expanded 2,400 t/d mine plan at its Prairie Creek project, thus completing the permitting process for its mine operation.

Rohan Hazelton, president and CEO of NorZinc, said, “The receipt of the water licence represents a substantial milestone for the company with respect the advancement of the Prairie Creek project and recognition from the GNWT of the significant impact the project will bring to the region and all stakeholders.”

Based on the preliminary economic assessment completed in October 2021 and the envisioned mining rate of 2,400 t/d, the Prairie Creek project would have a net present value (at 8% discount) of $299M with average EBITDA per annum of $123 million and will deliver over C$8 billion in economic activity to the region over its 20-year mine life.

Located in traditional Dene territory, about 200 km west of Fort Simpson, NorZinc’s Prairie Creek property consists of the proposed high-grade zinc-lead-silver mine and surrounding land and access.

Should everything go according to plan, the Prairie Creek mine is expected to enter production by the end of 2025. The project’s original timeline was delayed by more than a year as NorZinc was required to obtain additional sub-certificates referred to as “management plans” on top of the permits required to build and maintain an all-season road from Liard Highway to the mine site.

NorZinc will continue to work closely with the regulatory bodies – Parks Canada and the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board – on the completion and final approval of the management plans associated with construction of the project’s Phase 1 all-season access road.

The company recently began staging work in preparation of constructing the 170 km Phase 1 road. All Phase 1 approvals from the respective regulators are expected in October 2022.