VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Junior project developer Canadian Zinc has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) to assess electricity supply options for the Prairie Creek zinc/lead/silver mine.
Under the terms of the MoU, NTPC has agreed to work with Canadian Zinc to evaluate how it can supply the primary electrical energy source to the mine, how it can install generating and connection facilities or other infrastructure assets to provide such electricity, and to study the integration of other energy alternatives, specifically liquefied natural gas (LNG), as part of the energy supply for the mine.
The NTPC is investigating the potential to supply LNG for power generation in local communities to reduce dependency on diesel fuel, including at Fort Simpson, where the LNG would be delivered along the same existing highway network that would be used to supply the Prairie Creek mine.
"The development of LNG production facilities in northern British Columbia and the recent discovery of natural gas in the Liard/Horn River basins of the Northwest Territories, which are located adjacent to the existing highway haulage route, has made LNG, [deliverable] to the mine by the proposed all season road currently in the advanced phase of the environmental-assessment permitting process, a viable alternative energy source for the Prairie Creek mine," COO Alan Taylor stated.
Canadian Zinc touted the use of LNG for power generation as having significant benefits for the environment as typical emissions are much lower than that of diesel fuel sources, with a reduction of 11% to 20% in greenhouse-gas emissions, an 80% reduction in mononitrogen oxide emissions and a 75% reduction in particulate emissions. Further, in the unlikely event of any spill, LNG would evaporate immediately and dissipate quickly into the atmosphere without causing any environmental impact to soil, groundwater or surface waters.
Canadian Zinc expects to complete a definitive feasibility study by mid-2017, dovetailing with improved metal prices.
Canadian Zinc's shares have gained 43% since the start of the year, and on Tuesday changed hands at C$0.30 apiece.