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Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


Processing plant construction begins at Bunker Hill; production to restart by year’s end

The Idaho silver, zinc and lead mine shut down in 1981 and has now had maintenance and restoration work underway since 2016

Processing plant construction begins at Bunker Hill mine; production to restart by year's end
The mine's newly installed Russell portal. Photo credit: Bunker Hill Mining

Toronto’s Bunker Hill Mining Corp. (TSX-V: BNKR) is preparing to restart an Idaho silver, zinc and lead mine that shut down over 40 years ago.

The company started construction of the site’s new processing plant in early May. A resource expansion and exploration drill program is also underway. Maintenance has been ongoing since 2016 in preparation for production by the end of 2024.

“The start of our processing plant construction represents a vital and exciting milestone in our journey to restart the Bunker Hill Mine,” chief executive Sam Ash said in a press release Tuesday. Mill commissioning will also begin by the end of this year and production will ramp up to full capacity by the end of March, 2025.

A preliminary feasibility study was conducted in late 2022. It found that the project was worth about US$52 million, would have an initial lifespan of five years and have a 36 per cent internal rate of return after tax.

Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality gave Bunker Hill a pre-permit to construct at the end of April. This crucial authorization enables the company to start building all of the site’s new infrastructure and facilities needed to support upcoming activity.

Processing plant construction begins at Bunker Hill; production to restart by year's end

Photos: Bunker Hill Mining

Read more: U.S. Gold interview highlights importance of flagship site’s new mining permit

Read more: U.S. Gold Corp acquires environmental quality permit in Wyoming

Project is 23 per cent complete

The site’s tailings facility is only 8 per cent constructed and will require more work going forward than anything else. However, 73 per cent of the operation’s engineering work has been completed, which is positive.

Bunker Hill received a US$67 million financing package from Sprott Resource Streaming and Royalty last June to advance its flagship Idaho asset. Thus far, the company has sunk US$17 million and nearly 125,000 hours of labour into getting the past-producing mine back into action.

Idaho is the sixth most attractive state for mining investments, according to the most recent Annual Survey of Mining Companies by Canada’s Fraser Institute. It sits below Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska and Montana — respectively.

The state’s Coeur d’Alene mining district in the north is particularly known for its silver, zinc and lead production. It produces significant quantities of copper and antimony as well.

Idaho also has several active gold projects, such as the Stibnite operation run by Perpetua Resources Corp. (TSX: PPTA), the Delamar gold-silver mine owned by Integra Resources Corp (TSX-V: ITR) and the Challis gold project being developed by U.S. Gold Corp. (Nasdaq: USAU).


U.S. Gold is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage 


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