HudBay Minerals Inc. (“Hudbay”) will employ approximately 70 consultants and contractors over the next four months in an $8 million confirmatory drill program on Rosemont project private land. Project site preparation is underway and drilling is anticipated to begin in September.
The US Forest Service has been notified of the drill program, including the access routes to ensure public safety. The drill program components were designed to ensure compliance with existing environmental plans, permits and other constraints, such as dark skies concerns and water recycling. Archeological sites and wildlife locations are being avoided in the program. The Forest Service has made a determination that the use of approximately 1.5 miles of existing Forest Service roads would not cause a significant disturbance of surface resources and therefore would not require a plan of operations.
The drilling program’s goal is to improve the company’s understanding of the geology and mineralization and to collect rock characteristic information to validate the current mine plan. The drilling program does not include any areas outside of the currently proposed mining zones within the Rosemont Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The program will engage six diamond drilling rigs at the site, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to complete the core sampling of approximately 85,000 linear feet. Hudbay expects the drilling program to be completed by the end of 2014.
Hudbay is not anticipating that the drilling program will modify the current mine plan that was analyzed in the Rosemont FEIS that was recently completed. If such a modification were to be required, then Hudbay would submit an updated plan for consideration by the US Forest Service.
Supporting the drilling at the designated Rosemont project pit, the Rosemont Camp facility and Hidden Valley ranch will be used for temporary office trailers and storage to accommodate additional work needs for the program. With the start of the work, there is no public access allowed on Rosemont project private property in keeping with Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) compliance. Personnel and signs will be in place to direct the public around the private property.
Water for the drilling program will be provided by wells on private property that are located at the Rosemont Junction and Rosemont Camp areas. Well cleaning, development, and drilling has been on-going and will continue through September to ensure adequate supply of water for the drilling program.