Thunder Bay's Wolfden Resources has released a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for a proposed zinc mine in northeastern Maine.
The company lauds Pickett Mountain as one of the highest grade polymetallic deposits in North America.
Exploration drilling continues to expand the resource but the PEA places an initial mine life of 10.7 years on the deposit.
The initial capital expenditure to build the mine is US$147.4 million with a return on investment within 2.4 years.
Since the deposit is near surface, the PEA said the ramp up to full production is possible within a year after a construction decision is made.
Production will use a combination of long hole open stoping and Alimak mining methods.
The last mineral resource of Pickett Mountain, from January 2019, estimates 19.32 per cent zinc inside 2.05 million tonnes in the indicated category, and 20.61 per cent zinc within 2.03 million tonnes on the inferred. Besides zinc, the property also shows lead, copper, silver and gold.
A 5,000-metre drill program is underway to expand and upgrade the resource.
The 2,751-hectare (6,800 acres) property is located 85 kilometres west of the New Brunswick border. The deposit is five kilometres from a state highway.
The massive sulphide deposit on the property was discovered by Getty Mining (a division of Getty Oil) in 1979. A corporate takeover by Chevron curtailed any sustained exploration work. The property was explored intermittently in the 1980s until Chevron abandoned their interests in metal exploration in 1989 and let the leases lapse.
The property had been largely unexplored until Wolfden acquired the property in 2017 for USW$8.5 million.
The proposed mine is projected to provide employment for 100.
“The PEA underscores our belief that the solid economics of the Pickett Mt. Project and its resource are still largely unrecognized by investors and not reflected in the current market capitalization of the company,” said Wolfden president-CEO Ron Little in a Sept.14 news release.
"With base metal prices moving higher, these results reaffirm our commitment to increase and upgrade the mineral resources through aggressive exploration and to further de-risk the project with our ongoing pre-permitting efforts and additional technical and baseline studies."