Canada-based Ferus Natural Gas Fuels (Ferus NGF) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the proposed Casino Mining and Selwyn Chihong mine projects in the Yukon and Northwest Territories (NWT).

A two-phase LNG plant will be built and operated by Ferus NGF close to Fort Nelson, British Columbia (BC), in order to ensure long-term security of supply for mines.

The company selected this area to reduce the cost of transporting LNG to the mines.

Expected to be commissioned in 2020 and 2022 respectively, each phase will produce 300,000 US gallons per day of LNG, in addition to supplying the power generation plant and mining operations for the two projects.

"It may also benefit neighbouring mines, industries and communities currently powered by diesel by making the LNG more broadly available."

The proposed LNG plant in Fort Nelson is planned to be completed by collaborating and consulting with the relevant community and First Nations groups in north-east BC, Yukon and NWT.

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Furthermore, with the liquefaction of up to 50Mcf/day of natural gas, the plant could indirectly create jobs by reactivating some upstream drilling activity.

Parent company of Casino, Western Copper and Gold president and CEO Paul West-Sells said: “The use of LNG instead of diesel in our operations will significantly reduce the cost of power generation and will eliminate 140,000t per year of CO2 emissions over the current 22-year mine life.”

The Selwyn Chihong project is expected to eliminate 115,000t per annum of CO2 emissions over the current mine life of 11 years.

Ferus NGF president and CEO Dick Brown said: “In signing this MoU and adopting LNG as part of the energy portfolio for their projects, Casino and Selwyn Chihong are demonstrating progressive thinking and remarkable leadership.

“Not only does this fuel choice make their projects cleaner and more competitive, demonstrating their commitment to building modern, environmentally responsible mines, it may also benefit neighbouring mines, industries and communities currently powered by diesel by making the LNG more broadly available.”