|Commodity||Zinc, Silver, Copper, Lead, Gold|
Yukon Territory, Canada
Jinduicheng Canada Resources Corporation Limited
|Operator||Yukon Zinc Corporation|
|Deposit Type||Volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS)|
|Reserves & Resources||
Copper - 103 Mlbs (proven & probable, June 2011);
|Mining Method||Drift & fill|
|Processing Method||Crushing, grinding, flotation|
|Mine Life||To 2022|
Axera 7-240 Jumbo drill (2); Robolt 5-126 Rock bolting machine (2); Toro 1400 LHD (1); Toro 007 LHD (2); EJC 145 LHD (1); Toro 50 Haul truck (2); Cat 120H Grader (1); Cat D4 Bulldozer (1); Normet Shotcrete Machine (1); EJC30SX Haul truck (ejector) (1); Hydracore Gopher Diamond Drill (1); Pneumatic longhole drill (1); Triple 4ce ANFO Loader (1)
|Processing equipment||Crushers, grinders, flotation circuit|
|Employees||265 (September 2013)|
Yukon Zinc Corporation
Last updated: August 30, 2012
Wolverine zinc-silver mine is located 190 kilometers northwest of Watson Lake in southeast Yukon Territory, Canada. The mine is owned by Yukon Zinc Corporation a private company majority owned by JDC (Jinduicheng Molybdenum Group Mining Co., Ltd ). JDC is the top Asian molybdenum producer and the same time the world’s third largest molybdenum producer.
The Wolverine Lake area was first explored in the 1970s and 1980s by a Syndicate managed by Archer, Cathro & Associates. They discovered a vegetation kill zone that was subsequently drilled by two holes unfortunately terminated above the main mineralized horizon at the Wolverine deposit. The discovery hole was drilled only in August 1995.
Wolverine is an underground mine that has on-site milling capabilities of 1,700 tonnes per day to produce zinc, copper and lead concentrate. The mill was commissioned in 2010 and as of 2012 production is increasing to design capacity. Commercial production (60% of capacity) was achieved in the first quarter of 2012. The concentrate from Wolverine is trucked to the British Columbia port at Stewart.
Current mine life is through 2022 but there is potential to expand the reserves through drilling.
The Wolverine mine is located some 282 kilometers northeast of the capital city of Whitehorse in southeast Yukon, Canada. It is also 190 kilometers by road north of Watson Lake and 180 kilometers south of Ross River.
The mining property encompasses 107 square kilometers. It lies some 26 kilometers west of the Robert Campbell Highway. The mine is also serviced by a 1,340 meter long all-season gravel airstrip.
The project area is characterized by rounded peaks and U-valleys shaped by glaciers in a not that distant past. Higher elevations host vegetation made of alpine fir, dwarf birch and willow. Lower marshy areas host mixed spruce boreal forests. Wildlife is abundant and includes the Finlayson Caribou herd, moose, bears, birds and different types of fish in the lakes.
Climate is cold and dry. The mine operates year-round.
Wolverine is a classic volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit hosted in felsic volcanic and argillaceous sedimentary rocks of probable mid-Paleozoic age. The seafloor mineralization accumulated through precipitation from a buoyant plume or as sub-seafloor replacement during volcanic activity.
The massive sulphides occur in two tabular semi-continuous lenses of moderately dipping massive sulphide mineralization within Devono-Mississippian rhyolite and argillite strata. Each of the lenses has a core zone that ranges from 6 to 25 metres in true thickness, flanked by thinner massive sulphide mineralization.
Hydrothermal alteration types associated with the mineralization in order of decreasing abundance are sericitization, chloritization, silicification and carbonitization.
As of December 2011, it was estimated that mineral reserves permit a mine life of 9.5 years. There is good potential to expand the mine life through exploratory drilling.
Wolverine is an underground mining operation. The mineralized horizon is accessed through a decline that was collared at 1,345 m a.s.l. Mining is done by employing the drift and fill mining method. Paste is the primary material used in back-filling but some loose rock from developments is also being used.
A remotely operated spraying unit dispenses the shotcrete onto any weak rock walls. Drilling is performed by electric hydraulic drill jumbos mounted on diesel carriers. Rock-bolting operations are performed with electric hydraulic units. LHDs (2.7, 3.9 and 4.8 cubic meters) are being used in conjunction with two 50 tonnes and one 30 tonnes haulage trucks.
Ventilation is achieved through two ventilation raises and through the main decline. Power is supplied by mine generators. Compressed air is used for de-watering. An industrial Ethernet cable is used for mine radio and other communications.
The Wolverine mill was commissioned in 2010 and reached full design capacity of 1,700 tonnes per day in Q1 2013.
Metallurgical process consists of crushing, grinding and flotation. The mill produces zinc, copper and lead concentrates.
The majority of the concentrate from Wolverine is trucked to the British Columbia port at Stewart.
All the waste rock is stored underground as backfill as it has the potential for acid generation. The majority of tailings would also be used as backfill material with the remainder stored in a facility lined with a geomembrane.
Yukon Zinc is committed to being environmentally and socially responsible and will manage its business accordingly. Yukon Zinc supports activities that help build the social, cultural, environmental and economic health of the communities in the regions where it operates.
Annually, Yukon Zinc supports cultural/environmental youth camps in Ross River and Watson Lake, Yukon, as well as sports teams and other valuable community based initiatives. The Company has provided support towards local hospital foundations including the Tapestry Foundation for Mount St. Joseph’s Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation (Vancouver), as well as the Yukon Hospital Foundation.
In 2011 and 2012 Yukon Zinc was awarded the Yukon Government’s Robert E. Leckie Award for social responsibility and leadership in applying innovative environmental practices and technologies in mining.