The CS Project

 

The Company’s CS Pozzolan-Perlite Project in Esmeralda County, Nevada, USA, covers large deposits of natural pozzolan and perlite and is planned as the company’s first development project.

Large deposits of both industrial minerals have been defined by mapping, trenching, drilling and bulk sampling. The deposits are comprised of extensive deposits of volcanic tephra and tuff meeting the requirements for High Quality Natural Pozzolan (HQNP) in the Tuff Zone and in the eastern part of the Main Zone, along with deposits of perlite in the eastern and western areas of the Main Zone which also have pozzolanic properties.

An additional area of HQNP, the Northeast Zone, presents a large additional target currently only defined by one drill hole and surface samples.

Extensive testing programmes have been carried out by the Company and samples submitted to potential customers for their own testing with successful results.

The Plan of Operations envisages a 27-year mine life where both perlite and natural pozzolan are mined from the Main Zone in years 1-15 with pozzolan continuing to be mined in the Tuff Zone in years 16-27. It also allows for the following production options:

Natural Pozzolan

  • Direct sale of as-mined ore to cement companies; and 
  • Construction of a fixed process plant to crush and grind natural pozzolan for sale to cement companies and ready-mix concrete companies. 

The first of these options has the lowest capital and operating cost but a fewer number of potential customers. The second option would require construction of a grinding plant, most likely off-site.

Perlite

  • Production of coarse horticultural grade perlite using mobile crushing and screening equipment and use of undersized perlite as natural pozzolan; and 
  • Construction of a fixed perlite processing plant to produce a range of raw perlite products in coarse, medium and fine grades. 

The mobile plant for the first of these perlite production options is available from the quarry industry and can be bought, rented or leased and, subject to availability, production could start quickly at a relatively low capital cost. The Company has been working with equipment suppliers to cost and source the required process plant and has received cost proposals for the rental of the various plant items in line with the Company’s objective to develop the project at minimal capital cost.

The Plan of Operations also includes programmes of drilling and bulk sampling to run concurrently with mining. These exploration programmes will test for extensions of perlite and natural pozzolan which are open ended and project beyond the current pit limits. This includes evaluation of the extensive Northeast Zone which so far has been tested by a single drill hole which intersected 40m of high quality natural pozzolan from surface. Previous exploration suggests that the Northeast Zone target extends over an area at least as large as the Main Zone and is an exciting target for further evaluation.

Mine Permits

Following finalisation of the Project’s Environmental Assessment (EA) the lead regulator, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has handed down a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Company’s Mine Plan of Operations and accordingly determined that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required per Section 102(2) (c) of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FONSI recognizes the positive contributions that the use of natural pozzolan can make to a reduction in CO2 emissions in the US as a replacement in the cement industry for the fly ash from coal-fired power stations.

The BLM has also issued its Decision Record approving and authorising the Company’s Mine Plan of Operations. This now allows the Company to develop the CS Mine according to that plan and in compliance with the various environmental mitigation measures and best practice measures proposed by the Company in its various submissions to the BLM.

The BLM Decision authorises the extraction of perlite and natural pozzolan under the regulations applicable to locatable minerals governed by the 1872 Mining Act. This means that no Federal Royalties are payable on production of either perlite or pozzolan.

As with all mining projects in Nevada, the Company will be subject to the Nevada Net Proceeds Tax (variable between 2% and 5% of net profits depending on profit margin) and Federal Income Tax.

Copies of the EA, the FONSI and the Decision Record as well as various Supplemental Environmental reports are available for download from the BLM’s eplanning website at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/1505504/510

In addition to the Mine Plan of Operations, the BLM has approved the Company’s Plan of Development for long-term and short-term rights of way to enable it to develop the groundwater well proposed for use in connection with the project.  The Company has already obtained water rights and had granted a temporary water extraction permit by the Nevada Division of Water Resource pending the grant of the Company’s longer-term permit application.

In conjunction with the BLM Decision Record, the Bureau of Mining Regulation and Reclamation (BMRR), a bureau of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, has granted the Company its Nevada Reclamation Permit.

Whilst the BLM EA included a detailed consideration for air quality issues, emissions from process plants are regulated by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection Bureau of Pollution Control.  A Class II air quality control permit has been issued for the Phase I mobile crushing and screening plant. It is not expected that drilling and blasting will be required for rock extraction but, should this prove necessary, a blasting licence may be required. This permit is a short lead time item and an explosives storage facility is included in the BLM approved Plan of Operations and in the Air Quality Permit Application.

A few other minor short-lead-time permits are required and are not expected to hold up the development of the project.

For further information on pozzolan click here and for additional information on perlite click here.

    

Coarse grade expanded perlite from CS drill hole 17CSRC3
Coarse grade expanded perlite from
CS Project drill hole 17CSRC3