Friday, April 1, 2016

There's Gold in that thar mountain, and money in those winds!

Mount Hays may soon be a busy scene of industrial development with
twin projects possible for the south slope of the mountain

Alternative energy generation is soon going to meet mineral extraction, that if the plans of an Italian-French consortium prove to be workable for the North Coast.  Details of an ambitious plan are beginning to take shape following early indications that significant gold reserves could be found from below Mount Hays, a project which could provide for a range of benefits to the region in a number of areas.

Production is still a way down the line as MinérauxOrSciocco LPC prepares to begin exploratory work on the South Slope of Mount Hays later this spring, with the company rather excited at the prospects of what may be awaiting them deep inside the North Coast's most visible mountain range.

Rupertites have no doubt noticed an increase in helicopter flights criss crossing the mountain side, as survey crews have used specialized technology that MinérauxOrSciocco brought in from a similar project in the Italian Alps where the company has also discovered large reserves of gold. Follow up core samples have provided indications that the North Coast reserves could make the project feasible.

Interest in mining first started to percolate last year, as the international investment group behind the project made a quick stop over in Prince Rupert as part of a tour of Northern British Columbia mining interests, it was during that trip that the Italian-French group met up with Canadian investors from Canadian Chicane Wind hoping to move forward their plans to develop a wind farm on Mount Hays.

Wind Power electrical generation
is a key element of a proposed mining
proposal for the Mount Hays area
Looking for a way to kick start some old plans to generate electricity from the wind farm concept, CCW officials outlined how their plans for a string of wind turbines on Mount Hays could provide the required electrical generation capacity to power the twin pump design that MinérauxOrSciocco plans to use. A process which would both extract gold from Mount Hays and transport tailings. Any excess power generated could be directed to the British Columbia grid, should volumes allow.

Fracturing technology that has been modified by the Italian-French group will draw water from an intake location off of the Ridley Island Access road and transport it through a system of pipelines that will travel across the southern side of Mount Hays to the mine area entry point. From there, high pressure water will be pumped into a specially designed drilling system that will push the gold reserves into a collecting pen, from there the gold will be separated from the tailing's, with the latter pumped by pipeline to a reclamation plant/work camp to be developed upstream from the Galloway Rapids bridge.

Exploration of Mount Hays has been taking
place through our unusually warm winter
with the potential for large reserves of
gold a possibility 
Once the gold has been processed it will be delivered by trucks to a shipment point at a terminal location still to be determined, with MinérauxOrSciocco considering both existing shipment terminal locations in the region or the creation of their own terminal that could be developed on waterfront land near the Industrial Park.

Outlines of the proposed development are to be provided at an upcoming Open House for the project, with both the mining company and the wind power group at CCW looking to share the full scope of their concepts with the public. As well the timeline for the required environmental assessment process will be provided during the public information session.

Locals will remember that the concept of a wind farm for Mount Hays is not a new idea, the project dating back into the early part of this century.  The potential  of wind power generation was recently mentioned by Mayor Lee Brain, who during the course of the public engagement portion of the March 21st Council session, commented that the prospect of alternative energy is something that the City might have some interest in. Though he noted at the time that it's an expensive proposition and the city currently has more immediate priorities to deal with.

Should the the mining group move forward with their plans, funding for those alternative energy projects could in the end be self-driven by the financial returns from the mining activity that takes place. Benefits for the community could also be expected to be found from more than just economic results. In order to access the main area for potential development. As part of the development MinérauxOrSciocco intends on creating a network of roads that will make use of the current roadway that travels up the north side of Mount Hays from Wantage Road as the main entry point into the city. That improvement alone could open the old ski chalet area for tourist related development, with tourists for the most part oblivious to the mining taking place on the south side, with the exception of the occasional vehicle transiting around the mountain ridge roadways. Further information on the proposed development is expected to be released later today after the noon hour.

Update: In a noon hour video presentation on Friday, MinérauxOrSciocco LPC has provided a few more details on the ambitious plans for Mount Hays, you can review their video conference notes here.

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