MELBOURNE, Sept. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - MMG has submitted the Izok Corridor Project Proposal to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) and key authorizing agencies commencing the environmental assessment and regulatory review process as per the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.
The proposal sets out the preliminary mining and environmental considerations for the Izok Corridor Project based on the 2011 pre-feasibility study.
The Project encompasses zinc-copper deposits located near Izok Lake and High Lake in Nunavut, Canada. MMG also has approximately 2,000 square kilometres of exploration tenements including the High Lake East, Gondor and Hood projects where exploration programs are ongoing. There are also a large number of other underexplored greenstone belts in the region.
"The Izok Corridor Project is an important component of MMG's zinc strategy as a number of major mines, including our own 500,000 tonne per annum Century mine, wind down production over the next five years," said Mr Michael Nossal, MMG's Executive General Manager, Business Development.
"With global zinc supply expected to decline by up to 1.8 million tonnes over the next five years, the Izok Corridor Project represents an opportunity to meet medium- to long-term demand requirements for zinc-based products by industrial, commercial and residential sectors worldwide," he said.
The Project Proposal is one of the initial regulatory requirements for the project. Following a successful pre-feasibility study completed in the second half of 2011, MMG initiated a definitive feasibility study in 2012. The definitive feasibility study is expected to take 18-24 months and represents an investment of over US$50 million. In addition, regional exploration is ongoing.
The pre-feasibility study determined the preferred development option of establishing processing operations at the proposed Izok mine, including a two-million-tonne per annum concentrator, which would also process the ore from the High Lake mine.
The proposed transportation route is likely to be a 350-kilometre all-weather road that would connect the proposed Izok mine to a new port at Grays Bay with the capacity to ship 650,000 tonnes of concentrate per annum, and permit the back-haul of High Lake ore to the Izok mill.
Mr Nossal said that the Project Proposal was underpinned by a strong commitment to sustainability.
"MMG is committed to responsible and sustainable development, and our focus remains on open relationships with our local communities and on minimising potential impacts to the environment," said Mr Nossal.
"We have already started to inform and engage communities in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut and will complete another full year of environmental baseline data collection."
"The Izok Corridor Project is expected to provide a number of economic benefits to Nunavut including the creation of employment, business opportunities, skills development and the payment of taxes to the federal, territorial and Inuit governments."
"We will continue to work closely with the NIRB, regulators and local stakeholders on the details of the Project Proposal as part of our ongoing feasibility work on the project," he said.
MMG is a mid-tier global resources company which explores, develops and mines base metal deposits around the world. It is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (Stock Code: 1208).
MMG currently owns and operates the Century, Golden Grove and Rosebery mines in Australia, the Kinsevere mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the LXML Sepon mine in Laos.
Its major development projects include Dugald River, a high grade zinc-lead-silver deposit located in north-west Queensland, Australia, and the Izok Corridor base metals project in Nunavut, north-west Canada.
MMG also has significant exploration projects and partnerships in Australia, Africa and the Americas.
It is one of the world's largest producers of zinc and also produces significant amounts of copper, lead, gold and silver.
SOURCE: MMG (Minerals and Metals Group)
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