Vancouver — With the use of second hand mining equipment, the capital cost for Polymet Mining’s (POM-V) proposed NorthMet base and precious metals project in northeastern Minnesota, could be reduced to US$200 million.
Vancouver-based Penguin Automated Systems investigated the capital and operating cost using the moth-balled Cliffs-Erie plant in combination with the custom designed hydrometallurgical process – PlatSol(TM) – to extract base and precious metals from NorthMet ore concentrates.
The crushing and grinding circuits can be re-used for processing NorthMet ores while new flotation circuits must be added to complement the new PlatSol(TM) hydrometallurgical process and on-site copper SX/EW.
The capital cost for process plant and infrastructure was estimated by PASI at US$235 million and operating costs at US$6.59 per tonne. This compares to US$600 million prior to the agreement with Cleveland Cliffs.