A proposed tungsten and molybdenum project at Sisson Brook in New Brunswick has received approval from Canada’s federal government.
“The economic impact of the Sisson Mine project will be huge for New Brunswick. The federal environmental assessment approval moves this project one step closer to putting hundreds of New Brunswickers to work,” New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said last week when the news was announced.
Northcliff Resources (TSX:NCF), which owns Sisson, said in a press release that the project passed a “rigorous federal environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.”
“Successful completion of the environmental assessment process is an important milestone in the development of the Sisson Mine,” added Chris Zahovskis, president and CEO of Northcliff.
The Sisson project is being developed through a partnership with Northcliff and Todd Minerals, a subsidiary of New Zealand-based company Todd. In 2013, Todd Minerals entered into an agreement with Northcliff to provide $39 million in funding in exchange for a direct interest in the Sisson project and a 15-percent stake in Northcliff. In total, the companies will commit $579 million to mine development.
The open-pit mine will be located 100 kilometers northwest of Fredericton, and is considered one of the largest deposits of tungsten in North America. Once it begins producing it will be Canada’s only tungsten mine. Canada is currently a minor producer of molybdenum.
The project “will also help rejuvenate New Brunswick’s mining industry and add a source of tungsten to Canada’s mineral production,” said Dominic LeBlanc, federal fisheries, oceans and Canadian Coast Guard minister.
Future plans for Sisson
Sisson will be capable of producing an average of 30,000 tonnes per day of tungsten- and molybdenum-containing ore over an estimated 27-year mine life. Mineral processing facilities to produce tungsten and molybdenum concentrates, as well as ammonium paratungstate (APT), will be located on site. The APT plant will be the first of its kind in Canada. The site will also have a water treatment plant, tailings storage facility and ancillary buildings including offices, a laboratory and a warehouse.
Zahovskis said Northcliff will now focus on “securing offtake and financing to advance the project.” The company expects initial project commissioning to begin this year, and sees up to 500 jobs being generated during the two-year construction phase. The mine will provide about 300 jobs once it enters production.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Shaw, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.