Nunavik nickel firm wants to nearly double Raglan’s lifespan (Nunatsiaq News – July 27, 2015)

Glencore proposing to dig four new underground mines at Raglan

The operators of Nunavik’s Raglan nickel mine hope to expand its lifespan well beyond 2019, with the addition of five new underground mines across the region’s nickel belt.

Glencore, the corporation that operates Raglan and its four current underground mines, has submitted the project to the Kativik Environmental Quality Commission, which reviews the social and environmental impact of development in the region.

With current operations scheduled to wind down by 2019, Glencore completed a scoping study last year, the company said, which confirmed viable nickel deposits on the eastern half of the Raglan property. The first phase of the expansion would include two underground mines, called Mine 14 and Donaldson, which would operate from 2019 to 2032.

The exploitation of three new underground mines, Mine 8, Boundary and Boundary West, could extend production from 2023 to 2039, Glencore said in a preliminary information document submitted to the KEQC in 2014.

The total annual production for the duration of those two phases will remains the same as at present, Glencore said, at 1.32 million metric tonnes.

The Phase II and III mines would operate with much of the same infrastructure already in place on Raglan’s property, including the Katinniq complex, which houses accommodation for workers, the mine’s concentrator and sewage system, along with the 150-kilometre road network, which connects that site to the Donaldson airstrip and the mine’s port at Deception Bay.

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