eCobalt Solutions Inc. reported that activities continue to progress at its Idaho cobalt project (ICP). Located near Salmon, Idaho, the ICP is the sole, near-term primary cobalt deposit in the United States.

“As we prepare for underground mine development, capital raised from our recent financing is being deployed on pre-construction activities as planned,” said Paul Farquharson, president and CEO of eCobalt. “Delivery of the water treatment plant components has commenced, and we have awarded contracts to construct the plant starting in May. This fulfills an integral part of our approved Plan of Operations, and our commitment to sustainable water management at the ICP for the long-term benefit of the region, the environment and the communities in which we operate.”

The water treatment plant, designed and supplied by Veolia Water Technologies, will treat water from the underground mine and runoff from the dry -stacked tailings facility prior to discharge in accordance with the ICP’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The water treatment plant uses advanced treatment processes for metals and nitrogen removal in a compact footprint. Water discharged will meet all of the requirements of the permit and will help protect water quality in the basin, Farquharson explained. Engineering of the water treatment plant is complete with components en route to the ICP in preparation for commencement of construction.

Construction contracts have been awarded for the water management ponds; building pads for the concentrator, mill and water treatment plant; QA/QC for all earth work and concrete; fuel island; gravel haul; and potable water wells. Engineering for the roaster design in the optimized feasibility study is progressing based on data gained from pilot tests being conducted with Dundee Sustainable Technologies.

Additional surface construction support equipment is being delivered to the site and the transition from pre-construction environmental monitoring to the Operational Monitoring schedule has begun.

To transition the ICP to construction and prepare for operations, environmental systems, warehouse expansion and health and safety plans are being updated, as well as hiring for several integral roles, including mine manager, superintendents and metallurgists. Over the course of the coming weeks, pre-construction activities will continue to progress in preparation for full construction ramp up in the summer of 2018.