Clean Air Metals Inc. is pleased to announce that Sudbury and Montreal-based BBA E&C Inc. has been selected as the prime engineering consultant to lead the execution of the remaining Prefeasibility Study (PFS) work packages on the Thunder Bay North Critical Minerals Project.
The work package will include the overall underground mine design, optimized life-of-mine planning, dilution estimation, mining selectivity and cut-off policy optimization, mining value chain optimization ("mine-to-mill"), estimation of proven and probable (2P) mineral reserves and reporting according to NI 43-101 requirements. In keeping with Clean Air Metals' objective in seeking net-zero carbon neutrality at Thunder Bay North, BBA will conduct trade-off studies around conventional mine fleet, trolley-electric and battery-electric vehicles (BEV) as well as site infrastructure design, tailings management solutions and provide overall cost estimation.
DRA Americas continues with the metallurgical optimization work that was started in May 2022 (see press release dated May 26, 2022). It is expected that the metallurgical test program will be completed in Q1 2023 with the mill flowsheet and plant design phase commencing immediately and continuing into Q2 2023. Completion of the entire Prefeasibility Study is expected in Q3 2023.
Mineral Resource Update
Clean Air Metals has engaged SLR Consulting to complete a validation of in-house resource estimates that were generated for the Current and Escape deposits within the Thunder Bay North Project (see press release dated August 2, 2022). The Corporation intends to use the validated mineral resource estimate will be used for the basis of a standalone technical report authored by SLR with a target release in Q1 2023. It is expected that the updated mineral resource estimate will be the foundation for the mine planning in the PFS technical report.
Carbon Capture and Carbon Sequestration
Carbon capture and carbon sequestration are becoming more relevant to all industries as society strives to a net zero impact to the environment. Carbon capture is the trapping of carbon emissions after they have been emitted but before they enter the atmosphere. Carbon sequestration is the storage of removed or captured carbon in various environmental reservoirs.
The carbon sequestration potential of ultramafic mine tailings has been recognized previously at multiple operations. Mining operations that produce ultramafic rock tailings have the potential advantage of sequestering CO2 into the waste material. Carbon sequestration into exposed tailings has a two-fold benefit; 1) reducing carbon foot print associated with the mining process through CO2 sequestration and 2) potential stabilization of tailings by the formation of secondary magnesium carbonate minerals that can act as a cement within the tailings after they are deposited.
Clean Air Metals has initiated a number of studies, including specialty testing at world-class research facilities, to better understand the carbon sequestration potential of the waste rock and mill processing tails at Thunder Bay North. A Master of Science research project at Lakehead University is looking at the effects of hydrothermal alteration on the mineralized ultramafic rocks and characterizing the magnesium alteration products to identify potential reactive mineral species. Results to date show that the ultramafic and mafic rock units and minerals at Thunder Bay North successfully capture and sequester CO2 gas from the atmosphere.
Abraham Drost, Chief Executive Officer of Clean Air Metals commented: "Planned 2023 project milestones include a mineral resource update in Q2 2023 and delivery of a prefeasibility study and 2P mineable reserves in Q3 2023. The Company has a long-term commitment to development of an environmentally sustainable mining operation at Thunder Bay North. It is well financed for the next chapter of that journey having recently closed the first tranche of a C$15 million mining royalty investment into the Thunder Bay North Platinum-Palladium-Copper-Nickel project by Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp."
Clean Air Metals Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Panoramic PGMs acknowledge that the Thunder Bay North Critical Minerals Project is on the traditional territories of the Fort William First Nation, Red Rock Indian Band and Biinjitiwabik Zaaging Anishinabek. The parties together are the Cooperating Participants in a Memorandum of Agreement dated January 9, 2021 (press release January 11, 2021) and Exploration Agreement signed April 13, 2022.
The Company appreciates the opportunity to work in these territories and remains committed to the recognition and respect of those who have lived, traveled, and gathered on the lands since time immemorial. Clean Air Metals is committed to stewarding Indigenous heritage and remains committed to building, fostering and encouraging a respectful relationship with First Nations and Métis peoples based upon principles of mutual trust, respect, reciprocity and collaboration in the spirit of reconciliation.
Clean Air Metals' flagship asset is the 100% owned, high grade Thunder Bay North Project, a platinum, palladium, copper, nickel project located near the City of Thunder Bay, Ontario and the Lac des Iles Mine owned by Impala Platinum.