Bull River in British Columbia, Canada, may become the “first copper mine in North America to utilise X-Ray transmissive ore sorting technology on a commercial scale”, Canadian Critical Minerals CEO Ian Berzins said this week.
The Toronto Venture-exchange listed junior is renting a Steinert KSS 100 X-Ray transmissive ore sorter from Bayhorse Silver to upgrade stockpiled mineralised material at the former Bull River mine, near Cranbrook, which has an estimated 135 million pounds of copper in resources that also contain gold and silver.
Canadian Critical Minerals plans to sort and deliver up to 90,000 tonnes of mineralised material from a circa-180,000t surface stockpile over two years to New Gold’s New Afton mine and mill under a recently announced ore purchase agreement.
Material will be screened, crushed and sorted to separate low grade and waste from higher grade material so that only the latter is trucked.
“Once the sorter is operational we can begin sending concentrated material to New Afton, thereby generating revenues from the surface stockpile,” Berzins said.
“Proceeds from the [ore purchase agreement] will be used to continue with final permitting of the project, ongoing care and maintenance costs and further capital upgrades at the project.
“We are very interested to assess the applicability of ore sorting on our mineralised material on a large-scale basis as a grade control strategy.
“Potentially, ore sorting can be integrated into the Bull River milling operation in the longer term. By first renting the ore sorter from Bayhorse Silver we can gain operational knowledge prior to purchasing a new machine.”