British Columbia, Canada
Thompson Creek Metals Co, Inc. - 75%
|Production||Molybdenum - 6.96 Mlbs (2011)|
|Deposit Type||Porphyry molybdenum (low F-type)|
|Reserves & Resources||Molybdenum - 286.2 Mlbs (proven & probable, Feb 2011)|
|Mining Method||Open pit|
|Processing Method||Crushing, grinding, flotation, roasting|
|Mine Life||To 2027|
Trucks (Cat 789C & Terex, MT4400AC) & shovels (23.7 m3)
|Processing equipment||Crushers, Grinders - 36-ft SAG; 22-ft Ball mills (2); Regrind mills (Isamill - 3 pcs), Flotation circuit, 9m Thickener, Roaster|
Last updated: September 11, 2012
The Endako open pit molybdenum mine is located in central British Columbia, Canada approximately 190 km west of the city of Prince George.
The mine is a joint venture between Thompson Creek Mining Ltd. (a subsidiary of Thompson Creek), which holds a 75% interest and Sojitz Moly Resources, Inc. which holds the remaining 25% interest.
In 1927, two local hunters turned prospectors discovered mineralized boulders along a ridge that was located close to the village of Endako. It was only thirty years later that the space age created a need for molybdenum and made it economic for the metal to be mined at Endako. The mine commenced production in 1965 under a predecessor company of Placer Dome Inc. Thompson Creek Mining Ltd. and Nissho Iwai Moly Resources Inc. formed a joint venture and acquired the operations from Placer Dome in 1997.
Endako is a conventional truck and shovel open pit mining operation that processes the molybdenum ore on site through a concentrator and roaster. The mill was recently upgraded to 55,000 tonnes per day as to be able to process the proposed expanded mining operations. The open pit is going to be expanded and would encompass all three existent pits.
In 2011, the mine produced 6.96 million pounds molybdenum.
Endako mine is located in central British Columbia, Canada roughly 190 km west of Prince George. British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province. Fraser Lake is the nearest town - it is located 15 km east of the mine site. The mine is 10 km south of the Yellowhead Highway and it is accessed by a paved road. A railway parallels the highway.
The mine site is part of the Nechako Plateau a hilly area of low elevations (670 m to 1,070 m above sea level). Vegetation consists of pine and spruce with interpersed areas of grassland.
The average temperatures are 15 deg Celsius for summer and -12 deg Celsius for winter. Annual precipitation averages 60 centimeters. Mining operations are conducted year long.
The Endako deposit is located within the Intermontane Morphology / Tectonic belt of British Columbia.
The molybdenum mineralization is hosted in the Endako Quartz Monzonite which appears to be a phase of the larger Francois Lake Batholith that is middle to Late Jurasic in age. The strike length of the mineralization is roughly 4.8km from northwest to southeast and it is roughly 0.75 km wide. The deposit dips to the west and south west at about 45 degrees.
The Endako deposit consists of an elongated stockwork of quartz-molybdenite veins within the Endako quartz monzonite phase of the Francois Lake Batholith. The orebody is a series of major en-echelon moly-sulfide veins that strike from north through east across the deposit and dip west to south.
The primary ore is molybdenite (MoS2) with minor associated chalcopyrite, scheelite, and galena. Gangue minerals are quartz, pyrite, K-feldspar, biotite, sericite, clays, calcite, and anhydrite.
As of February 2011, mineral reserves were estimated at 280 million tonnes grading 0.046% molybdenum for 286.2 million pounds. Measured and indicated mineral resources were estimated at 79.6 million tonnes at 0.037% molybdenum for 45.0 million pounds.
Endako is a conventional truck (Cat 789C & Terex, MT4400AC) and shovel (23.7 m3) open pit mining operation.
The mine consists of three pits that are to be encompassed by and mined as a single larger pit. An overland conveyor transports ore from an area in between the Denak West and East pits to the mill.
In 2011, mine life was estimated at 16 years based on existing reserves and the 55,000 tonnes per day processing capacity.
A new crushing, grinding, and flotation process was commissioned in 2012 as part of the expansion process.
The process plantl consist of the following unit operations:
- In-pit crushing with the existing in-pit crusher
- Crushed ore storage and reclaim
- Semi-autogenous (SAG) mil (36 ft) in closed circuit with a pebble crusher
- Ball mill secondary grinding in closed circuit with cyclone classification
- Rougher / scavenger flotation
- 5-Stage column clean flotation with 2 regrinding stages
- Concentrate Thickening
- Concentrate filtering and drying
- Tailing disposal
- Fresh and reclaim water supply
- Reagent preparation and distribution
The molybdenum roaster has a capacity of 30,000 to 35,000 lbs per day of molybdenum. It is a conventional gas-fired, rotary, multiple hearth type, converting MoS2 concentrate to MoO3. The roasted molybdenum tri-oxide product is packaged in truckload lots for delivery to various customers.
The Thompson Creek Group of Companies and its officers, managers, and employees are committed to operating as environmentally responsible producers of high quality mineral products. The company has environmental management practices appropriate to the nature, scale, and impacts of their activities and products.