operations faqs

A list of our most frequently asked general mine related questions are below.

The entire project will cover approximately 580 acres in Lake Township. This is slightly smaller than the Menominee-Marinette Twin County Airport, which covers 600 acres. The open pit is approximately 83 acres.

It will take approximately two construction seasons to prepare the mine for operations.

The mining method that will be used is called ‘open-pit mining’, which is the process of mining a near surface deposit by means of drilling and blasting a pit using one or more horizontal benches. Once the rock is blasted, we separate the material with economic value (ore) from the material without economic value (waste rock). The ore will be sent on for further processing at the mill, while the waste rock will be sent to multi-layered storage facilities. When mining ceases the waste rock will be placed back into the pit, covered, and revegetated.

The gold ore will be processed indoors using conventional milling processes. A part of the process involves introducing cyanide in reaction vessels to separate the gold and silver from the other minerals, which is a method that has been used safely for over a hundred years.

The process water from this operation will be routed through a cyanide destruction step to degrade the cyanide to safe levels. So, both the water and waste from the gold extraction process will be stripped of cyanide before they exit the mill building on their way to the multi-layered tailings storage facility. Water from the tailings facility will route to the double-lined water retention basins before reuse in the mill process. Excess water from the ponds will be routed to the wastewater treatment plant for processing before discharge. The discharge of treated water is under management the Mine’s NPDES permit, and will meet all water quality standards applicable to the river.

Our team will provide a cyanide management plan addressing the handling and safety of cyanide chemicals as required by our mining permit. Also, we’ll follow the International Cyanide Management Code, which was developed by a multi-stakeholder committee under the guidance of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the then-International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME).

The slurry-like rock material at the end of the mill process that is not economical is called tailings. A multi-layered facility featuring a leak detection system and sump will be constructed on-site to store this material. Any water collected in this facility is sent to the water treatment plant for processing. When mining ceases the tailings facility will be dewatered, covered, and revegetated.

A barrier between the pit and the river made with clay and cement that runs from the surface down into bedrock where it is anchored. The slurry wall is approximately 50 yards from the river and is put in place as an extra layer of protection.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) develops and enforces safety and health rules for all of the nation’s mines. At a minimum, MSHA is required to inspect each surface mine twice a year. However, MSHA may enter the property at any time without notice.

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