Mining firm Barrick has commissioned the tailings reprocessing project at the shuttered Golden Sunlight Mine in Jefferson County, Montana, US.
Over the next decade, the new project is expected to provide tax revenue worth ‘tens of millions of dollars’ for the state while removing potential water pollution from the mine site.
The new facility is intended to reprocess the ground rock, called tailings, at the Golden Sunlight mills where gold was previously extracted.
Bristow said: “Last year, we started this groundbreaking plan to initiate mining closure at Golden Sunlight while continuing to create economic benefits.
“Working in close collaboration with state agencies, we were able to complete the permitting process in time and commission the tailings processing facility, creating value for all our stakeholders. We look forward to shipping the first concentrates within weeks.”
Barrick said that the new project will focus on removing and concentrating sulphur (iron pyrite).
This concentrated sulphur is planned to be sold to and used in the production of gold at the Barrick-operated and majority-owned Nevada Gold Mines in the US.
The product is expected to help remove a source of potential groundwater contamination.
Upon completion of the reprocessing, the remaining benign material is planned to be backfilled into the Mineral Hill pit.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte said: “This project is an example of what’s possible when state agencies provide a stable, predictable regulatory process that companies like Barrick can rely on.”
During nearly 40 years of operation, the Golden Sunlight mine reported production of more than three million ounces of gold.
The mine was closed in 2019 when the production of gold was no longer ‘economically viable’.