REVELSTOKE – The MAX Molybdenum Mine at Trout Lake resumed mill operations on July 27. The operation mines and mills molybdenum into a fine powder concentrate at their facility located on a mountainside above Trout Lake.
Currently, the operation is using materials stockpiled at the surface and will work at a reduced rate until full production resumes underground.
Contractors are nearing completion of underground rehabilitation work in the mine following a collapse on September 20, 2010. Nobody was injured in that collapse, which occurred after staff observed stability issues with the mine. Production mining has been halted since then and crews began rehabilitation work in November, 2010.
Contractors are completing a bypass on the main access ramp and also completing new drilling work now.
In April, MAX Mine parent company Roca Mines Inc. announced a $2.5 million agreement with South Korean investor SeAH Holdings Corp. The funds are being used to recommence production and for general working capital.
Roca Mines president and CEO Scott Broughton said about 25 workers were involved in rehabilitation work earlier this year, ramping up to about 60–65 as the re-start date approached.
Broughton said the mine was targeting processing 500 tonnes of raw material per day this summer and hopes to increase that to 1,000 tonnes by the fall.
The MAX Mine started production in late 2007. The facility is based on an existing mine that operated until the 1970s, when it was shuttered. A spike in molybdenum prices facilitated the re-opening of the mine.
The final product is a powdery molybdenum sulphide concentrate which is used primarily for creating alloys. It brings heat- and corrosion-resistant properties to the final products.