Construction has started at the Gunnison Copper Project, in southeast Arizona.
Excelsior Mining Corp. announces that construction has started at the Gunnison Copper Project, in southeast Arizona; first copper production is anticipated in Q4 of 2019.
"Our ability to move quickly from the close of project financing to the initiation of construction at our Gunnison Copper Project is a demonstration of the operational capacity and experience of the Excelsior team," said Stephen Twyerould, president & CEO. "We look forward to updating all stakeholders as we move through the construction process. Our approach during this stage of development will remain, as always, focused on delivering technical excellence and long-term value for our shareholders."
Hydro Resources has commenced drilling the production wellfield and the accompanying compliance wells. Hydro Resources are experienced in-situ recovery ("ISR") wellfield drillers; this experience includes drilling for in-situ copper recovery projects. There are currently three drilling rigs on site with two additional drilling rigs arriving early 2019. A total of 63 wells, including 41 production wells and 22 compliance wells totaling approximately 82,000 ft. will be completed. The significant number of compliance wells will ensure groundwater protection as per state and federal regulatory requirements. Drilling of the production wellfield is expected to be finished in Q2 of 2019. The initial wellfield area will be 400 ft. by 400 ft. with a spacing of approximately 70 ft. between delivery and production wells.
Schmueser and Associates has been chosen as the general contractor. Construction activities will include:
- Wellfield drilling and infrastructure — The wellfield has been designed to provide maximum operational flexibility including reversing wells and adjustable flowrates to maximize copper production.
- Access road construction — An additional access road south of the I10 Highway is currently being installed. The Gunnison Copper Project is one of the most easily accessible mining projects in the world.
- Johnson Camp Mine plant upgrades — Upgrades to the processing facilities include enhanced controls and instrumentation, new rectifiers, increased solution heating capacity as well as a number of other modifications that will ensure Gunnison produces Grade A, 99.999 percent pure copper cathode.
- Pipeline distribution and infrastructure — A two-mile-long high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipeline corridor will safely transport solution to the JCM processing facilities. Pipeline corridor liners, double-pipe containment and maintenance ponds will ensure best practice in terms of environmental management and safety.
- Electrical distribution and infrastructure — Electrical distribution to the wellfield will include moving and utilizing the existing substation near the crushing facilities that are currently on care and maintenance; thereby providing substantial cost savings to Excelsior.
- Process pond upgrades and completions — The existing ponds are being modified to accommodate the copper solutions from the wellfield. Additional pregnant leach solution (PLS) capacity is also being created at Gunnison to provide operational flexibility.
- New acid storage facilities — These new facilities have been designed to enable the company to take advantage of market acid pricing opportunities as they arise.
"Schmueser & Associates LLC is pleased to have been selected as the General Contractor for the Stage I Gunnison Copper Project/Johnson Camp Mine," said Larry Schmueser II, president of Schmueser & Associates. "We look forward to working with Excelsior Mining Corp. on this low cost, environmentally friendly, copper production process. The goal of our project team puts a priority on safety with the understanding that achieving the budget and schedule are critical to the success of the project."