The Crawford nickel sulphide mission in Ontario could have a mine lifetime of 25 years. Credit score: Sebastian Janicki/shutterstock.com
The Crawford mission primarily consists of two zones – the primary zone and the east zone. Credit score: Canada Nickel Firm Inc.
Mining on the Crawford mission will use autonomous haulage and drilling applied sciences. Credit score: Evgeny_V/shutterstock.com.
The Crawford nickel sulphide mission in Ontario, Canada, is being developed by Canada Nickel Firm (CNC), an exploration firm targeted on nickel.
Crawford is predicted to be among the many high 5 largest nickel sulphide operations on this planet supplying nickel to producers of chrome steel and electrical car batteries.
CNC acquired the mission from mineral exploration firm Noble Mineral Exploration in November 2019.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by CNC with Mattagami First Nation and Matachewan First Nation in 2020 concerning the exploration and growth actions on the mission.
The feasibility examine (FS) for the mission is presently ongoing and is predicted to be accomplished by the tip of 2022. The estimated mine lifetime of the mission is 25 years.
Location and geology of the Crawford mission
The Crawford nickel sulphide mission is situated 42km north of Timmins within the Timmins-Cochrane Mining Camp of northeastern Ontario. It lies within the western a part of the mineral-rich Abitibi Greenstone Belt, which runs alongside the Ontario-Quebec provincial boundary and is the world’s largest and best-preserved greenstone belt.
The Crawford mission is primarily composed of two deposits, specifically the primary zone (MZ) and the east zone (EZ).
The underlying rocks on the mission web site are a part of the Deloro Assemblage, which hosts the Crawford Ultramafic Advanced (CUC). The assemblage primarily consists of mafic to felsic calc-alkaline volcanic rocks with native tholeiitic mafic volcanic models and an iron formation cap product of chert-magnetite and containing low ranges of iron.
Mineralisation of the Canada-based nickel-sulphide mission
The nickel sulphide mineralisation on the Crawford mission is characterised as a komatiite-hosted Ni-Cu-Co-(PGE) deposit, which is analogous to the Dumont nickel deposit in Quebec, Canada.
Nickel mineralisation in the primary zone is a combination of pentlandite, heazlewoodite and awaruite, which mix to type the high-grade core. Heazlewoodite and awaruite, with minor ranges of pentlandite, are the predominant nickel minerals within the low-grade domains.
A lot of the nickel mineralisation within the east zone is made up of heazlewoodite, with smaller quantities of awaruite.
Reserves of the Crawford mission
The general measured and indicated assets of the mission are 1,425.1 million tonnes (Mt) grading 0.24% nickel, whereas the inferred assets are estimated to be 670.1Mt grading 0.23% nickel, as of July 2022.
The mission can also be estimated to include measured and indicated assets of 1.06 million ounces (Moz) of palladium and platinum, 8.5Mt of chromium, 183,000t of cobalt, and 93.9Mt of iron.
Mining at Crawford nickel-sulphide mission
The Crawford mine plan design contains the mining of two,794Mt of ore over its mine life, together with two years of pre-stripping previous to the commissioning of the method plant.
The Crawford mine plan contains three separate open pits, together with the primary zone (MZ), east zone-west (EZ-W), and east zone-east (EZ-E).
The MZ is the most important and would be the first to be mined. Mining at EZ-W will begin through the ultimate 12 months of MZ operation, whereas that at EZ-E will start two years after commencing mining at EZ-W.
The mining actions is not going to require any overburden drilling or blasting as 85% of the rock is homogenous, which permits bulk blasting on 15m benches with 311mm holes. The remaining 15% of the rock shall be eliminated utilizing 229mm holes and seven.5m flitches.
Crawford will make use of autonomous drill programs (ADS), enabling the usage of blow gap drills with out onboard operators.
The mining fleet will comprise small backhoe excavators, 40t articulated vans, medium-sized face shovel excavators, 90t haul vans, 290t haul vans, and electrically pushed face shovel excavators.
The 290t haul vans will use autonomous haulage programs (AHS) that don’t require onboard operators. Trolley-assisted truck hauling will enhance the pace of operation and scale back the power consumption of the 290t haul vans on uphill load hauls.
The processing facility will use a traditional milling course of that features crushing, grinding, desliming and flotation according to normal ultramafic nickel operations.
The run of mine (ROM) ore will endure major and secondary crushing in a semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill and a ball mill grinding circuit, adopted by desliming by way of hydrocycloning.
The focus from the desliming circuit will endure flotation and magnetic separation to get better nickel sulphide and magnetite focus. The focus shall be thickened, filtered, and stockpiled on-site earlier than being loaded onto railcars or vans for supply to offsite smelters.
The method plant for the mission shall be developed in three phases. Section one growth will embrace a processing capability of 42,500 tonnes per day (tpd), which shall be elevated to 85,000tpd in section two. Section three will add secondary crushing, a 3rd ball mill, and extra downstream capability to extend the processing capability to 120,000tpd.
A non-binding MoU was signed between CNC and Glencore in January 2021 for the potential utilization and/or modification of the latter’s Kidd concentrator and metallurgical plant for the small-scale start-up of the mission. The concentrator is situated about 40km south of the Crawford property.
Infrastructure of the Crawford mission
The Crawford mission is accessible from Provincial Freeway 655. A 13.2km part of the freeway will must be realigned because it passes throughout the pit envelope.
A 20km rail spur that companies the processing plant is deliberate to be developed for the mission. The rail spur will connect with Glencore’ Kidd Operations rail line.
Energy for phases one and two of the mission shall be sourced by way of a 2.5km overhead powerline linked to the present H6T and H7T transmission strains of the provincial utility Hydro One.
A brand new 38km-long, 230kV overhead powerline that can connect with an present transmission line in Timmins shall be inbuilt section three. The road will connect with a brand new 120kV substation and 6 most important transformers put in close to the processing plant.
Floor water storage on the sedimentation pond and groundwater wells will present freshwater and make-up water. Water recycled from the tailings storage facility shall be used to satisfy a substantial portion of the water requirement for the mine’s operations.
CNC signed an MoU with the Taykwa Tagamou Nation in December 2020 to determine a long-term, mutually advantageous financial relationship.
A second MoU was signed in April 2021 to finance the mine fleet for the mission.
Contractors concerned within the Crawford mission
The technical report and preliminary financial evaluation for the mission had been ready by Ausenco Engineering Canada, an engineering firm; Caracle Creek, a mineral exploration consulting firm; and Wooden Canada, a consulting and engineering firm.
Impartial mining advisor David Penswick was employed to develop an open-pit mine design, mine manufacturing schedule, and monetary mannequin of the mission.
Engineering and consulting agency Golder and Wooden Canada had been appointed to gather the environmental knowledge wanted for the environmental social impression evaluation (ESIA).
Switch Surroundings and Society (TES), a consulting agency specialising in neighborhood engagement, was contracted to design and implement the neighborhood session strategy.
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