After releasing a prefeasibility study in May, Spanish Mountain Gold (ESXV: SPA) is moving its Spanish Mountain gold project forward. The company has launched several optimization initiatives and the environmental assessment for the project, located 70 km northeast of Williams Lake, British Columbia.
To optimize gold recovery, Spanish Mountain has hired Ausenco Engineering Canada to go over the mill flowsheet, further reducing capital and operating costs. Under consideration is piloting a direct flotation reactor (DFR), simplifying the flowsheet, and boosting gold recovery through a finer primary grind, and the inclusion of a primary gravity circuit.
Linkan Engineering has been engaged to design a passive water treatment system that would inhibit neutral sulphide oxidation and associated metal leaching. Spanish Mountain says water management and treatment is a high priority for the project.
The company also has its engineers assessing the route of a power line to the project.
As the baseline environmental assessment studies continue, Spanish Mountain is consulting with the three First Nations that signed memoranda for engagement a decade ago. The initial project description (IPD) is nearing completion, and it will be circulated to the First Nations for comment and input before it goes to the provincial and federal regulators. A site-wide water balance program to study groundwater flows near the planned pit and tailings management area is also underway.
The company has an active program of exploration drilling to expand the resources ahead of the feasibility study. The geological model of the project suggests that mineralization is open at depth and along strike.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)