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Snapshot: Two junior miners making plans for life after COVID-19

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Snapshot: Two junior miners making plans for life after COVID-19

Despite the reduction in the onsite workforce at mines and projects to mitigate the COVID-19 effects, companies with projects in Chile continue with geological work, environmental permitting and plans to restart development of their initiatives once the prevention measures are lifted. 

On Monday, two junior companies unveiled details of their gold and silver projects in northern Chile. 

RIO2 is moving closer to construction and this week submitted the environmental impact assessment for its Fenix gold oxide project 140km northeast of Copiapó in Atacama region. 

The project involves an open pit to extract 20,000t/d of ore over a 19-year mine life. Construction is set to start during 1Q21 and involve up to 1,200 new jobs in the region. 

To provide the water needed for the mine, the company is betting on wastewater and trucks. Last year, Toronto-based RIO2 and a major water supplier for Copiapó signed an agreement on treated wastewater. 

Earlier this year, CEO Alex Black told BNamericas that first gold production is targeted for 4Q22. 

Meanwhile, Vancouver-based Aftermath Silver plans field work involving a 3D laser survey of the historic mining voids, inventorying of existing historic run-of-mine stockpiles and leachpads, and a program of 3,500m of reverse circulation and diamond drilling at the Cachinal silver-gold project in Antofagasta region. 

Existing drill sites will be used in the planned campaign, while core from the program will also be used to advance with metallurgical test work, the company said in a release. 

The existing soil geochemical grid will be extended to a separate lease package of the project and the ground magnetic data will be re-processed with 3D technology, Aftermath said. 

At the Challacollo silver-gold project in Tarapacá region, the junior said it will work on permitting for a 4,500m diamond drilling campaign. 

Photo credit: RIO2

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