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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 11:32 EDT

Academic and Business-led R&D mining projects receive $464,308 investment

June 7, 2013

ST. JOHN’S, NL, June 7, 2013 /CNW/ – Four mining R&D projects are
receiving a total of $464,308 in support from the Research &
Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC).  The
announcement was made today at the opening of the annual Baie Verte
Mining Conference by the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister
Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation.

“The mining industry in Newfoundland and Labrador continues to be a
strong contributor to our economy. It has a rich history of providing
rural employment, as well as enhancing industrial growth,” said
Minister Hutchings. “R&D investments in the mining and minerals sector
further demonstrate our government’s commitment to developing technical
solutions that will contribute to long-term sustainability, while
maintaining practices that are environmentally responsible”.

The projects announced today will improve technical processes as well as
investigate new ways to apply environmentally responsible disposal
practices. Anaconda Mining Inc. is receiving $11,625 to increase
efficiency in both its mining and milling operations at its Pine Cove
Mine on the Baie Verte Peninsula.  Working in collaboration with the
College of the North Atlantic (CNA), Anaconda will investigate grade
control in the open pit, and increased gold recovery in the milling
process.

“We are extremely pleased with our progress and remain optimistic that
our work with these partners will revolutionize our mining and
processing capability at Pine Cove,” said Allan Cramm, Anaconda’s
General Manager. Anaconda hopes this enhanced recovery project will
allow the operation to mine what is generally considered today as lower
grade ore resulting in a mine life beyond the 6.5 years currently
remaining.

Rambler Metals and Mining Canada Limited is receiving funding for two
separate projects, both of which are being carried out at or near its
Ming Copper-Gold Mine on the Baie Verte Peninsula. One project is
receiving $178,439 to research the viability of extracting gold from
nearby, exposed, legacy mine tailings, and the other is receiving
$250,000 to test the technical and economical feasibility of extracting
copper from the Ming Mine’s Lower Footwall Zone.

“We are delighted to be working with RDC on these projects. Each of them
has a particular importance to us. If the test work proves positive,
this research will be useful when combined with other ongoing
engineering studies with the overall goal of improving the project
economics for Phase II of our growth strategy,” Peter Mercer, VP,
Corporate Development of Rambler Metals & Mining commented. “In
addition, the research spearheaded by Memorial University will be of
value, even beyond our own needs.”

Drs. Penny Morrill and Tao Cheng of Memorial University are leading the
fourth project in collaboration with Rambler Metals and Mining and Dr.
Abigail Steel of the Provincial Government’s Mines Branch.  They are
receiving $24,244 to support their investigation of improved methods of
remediating acid mine drainage from legacy mine sites.  Projects such
as this feature collaboration between three key partners: academia,
industry and government.  It is a priority for both industry and
government to ensure that mining practices are environmentally sound.

“RDC is actively supporting R&D projects that will improve the
likelihood of new discoveries, and increase metal recoveries from known
deposits,” said Glenn Janes, Chief Executive Officer of RDC. “By
investing in R&D to develop new and better technical processes, it is
possible to extend the life of our mines for the benefit of both
industry and nearby communities such as Baie Verte”.

Funding for these projects comes from RDC programs, including R&D Proof
of Concept, R&D Vouchers, and GeoEXPLORE. For more information about
RDC’s funding programs, visit www.rdc.org.

About the Research & Development Corporation

RDC is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving
Newfoundland and Labrador’s R&D performance. RDC works with R&D
stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and
departments.

Backgrounder

R&D Vouchers

Anaconda Mining Inc.
Anaconda Mining Inc. operates the Pine Cove gold mine on the Baie Verte
Peninsula. It also has other adjacent properties that it is actively
exploring for possible new gold production. The company wishes to
enhance its gold recovery by improving the efficiency of its open-pit
mining and milling operations. To do this, it plans to research ways to
better define ore grades in the pit as a guide to blasting and to
deciding what blasted material to transport to the mill; and presenting
the ore-grade data in a computerized graphical model for ongoing mine
planning. At the milling end, it plans to develop an automated control
system for the increased recovery of gold during the flotation process;
and to define the specifications for automating the control-system
process. Anaconda is working with the College of the North Atlantic to
develop these research proposals. RDC is supporting this effort through
its R&D Vouchers program with funding of $11,625, to a total project
cost of $17,000.

GeoEXPLORE Industry-led

Rambler Metals and Mining Canada Limited
Rambler Metals and Mining Canada Limited (‘Rambler’) is currently
producing copper concentrate from its new Ming Copper-Gold Mine on the
Baie Verte Peninsula. Shortly before the start of renewed copper
production in 2012, the Company had mined, milled and shipped gold doré
from a richer section of the ore body. Near to the Company’s mining
property there exists the now-Crown-controlled tailings area left from
historic mining activity. These tailings contain residual gold that was
present in the original copper deposit with grades estimated at 1-2
grams per tonne. Rambler Metals and Mining will conduct research into
the technological and economical feasibility of recovering that gold by
reprocessing the tailings. Testing will be focused on the “liberation”
of gold from its surrounding minerals and how best to concentrate that
gold using various methods. Because the tailings are from several
previously mined ore bodies, each with different mineral
characteristics, the accurate testing of samples from the old tailings
area is essential. Should research results prove positive, it could
lead to a positive environmental impact as the reprocessed tailings
would be treated to more modern standards. RDC is supporting this
research by contributing $178,439 from its Industry-led GeoEXPLORE
program for a total project investment of $238,169.

R&D Proof of Concept

Rambler Metals and Mining Canada Limited
Rambler Metals and Mining Canada Limited (‘Rambler’) is currently
producing copper concentrate from its rehabilitated Ming Copper-Gold
Mine on the Baie Verte Peninsula. The higher grade copper ore currently
being mined has an initial mine life of 6 years with many of the ore
zones still open for future exploration. Below the current development
there sits a significantly larger resource of lower grade copper
mineralization in an area known as the Lower Footwall Zone. Rambler
will be carrying out research into ways of pre-concentrating the copper
content in the Lower Footwall Zone to produce a higher grade product
which may be more economically feasible to develop. If the research is
proven positive it may allow the over 18 million tonnes of lower grade
copper mineralization to be included in the minable reserves, in turn
adding to the mine’s life. Considering the larger volumes of copper
concentrate that could be produced from an operation of this size, as
part of the program the Company also plans to investigate the
thresholds of building a hydrometallurgical refinery to produce pure
copper from concentrate.  RDC is supporting this research by
contributing $250,000 through its R&D Proof of Concept program to a
total project cost of $372,668.

GeoEXPLORE Collaborative Research Opportunities

Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University

Mining of mineral sulphides (like chalcopyrite, a common copper mineral
mined in Newfoundland) produces waste rocks and liquid mine tailings.
These tailings contain residual heavy metals such as iron and lead.
When exposed to water and air, the mineral sulfides oxidize, producing
acid mine drainage (AMD) (acidic water containing high concentrations
of heavy metals). If allowed to escape into the general environment,
AMD can cause problems for plants, animals and drinking water. To
better understand how AMD from mine tailings can be remediated, this
research will look at ways of reducing the acidity and heavy metal
content of AMD at two former mining sites: the former copper mines of
Consolidated Rambler Mines Ltd., and the Gullbridge Copper Mine.

Drs. Penny Morrill and Tao Cheng, environmental geochemists at Memorial,
will be collaborating with Dr. Abigail Steel of the Mines Branch,
Department of Natural Resources, and personnel with Rambler Metals and
Mining Canada Limited, investigating the potential for remediation of
AMD at these sites. Three approaches will be taken to see if: 1) AMD
can be remediated naturally; 2) AMD can be remediated by encouraging
the growth of special microbes that can reduce the acidity and in turn
decrease heavy metal concentrations; and 3) plants can take up heavy
metals through their root systems, thereby removing metals from the
environment. Part of the experimental work will include testing the use
of biofoul (waste from shellfish industry) to create the necessary
oxygen-poor conditions that allow beneficial microbes to flourish. A
Master’s student and an undergraduate Honour’s student will be part of
the research, each producing a thesis. Positive outcomes from the
research will improve the environmental sustainability of mining, and
alleviate potential threats from legacy tailings. RDC is supporting
this research by contributing $24,244 from its GeoEXPLORE Collaborative
program to a total project cost of $29,580.

SOURCE Research & Development Corporation


Source: PR Newswire