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Chieftain to test water treatment facility

Posted: September 28, 2012 - 12:08am

Chieftain Metals plans to fire up and test its acid mine drainage water treatment facility at its Tulsequah Chief Mine property within the next few weeks.

“Not for long run,” Chieftain president and CEO Victor Wyprysky said in a telephone interview on Thursday, “but for testing.” The company plans to bring in experts and start up for a week or ten days, he said. “We’re not sitting idly around with nothing being done.”

The Toronto-based mining company announced in June that it would violate its water quality permit by shutting down its water quality facility for financial and engineering reasons.

Wyprysky said that he understands local concerns about the acid mine drainage now leaking into the Taku river system.

“It’s not that we don’t pay attention and don’t give that some serious regard, because we do,” Wyprysky said. “It is not as if we don’t get the concerns. We have been and will address them fully.”

Chieftain spent $9 million on the water treatment plant, which went live in early 2012. It inherited the design from the Tulsequah Chief Mine’s previous owners, Redfern Resources Ltd.

“We built it, ran it and were in compliance,” Wyprysky said. However, he said, Chieftain needed to make improvements.

“In many important ways nothing has changed,” Wyprysky said. The company has always planned to tie the treatment in with the mine project and it has always been financeable, he said.

Chieftain announced September 24 that it had entered a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Procon Holdings, a subsidiary of China-based CAMC Engineering Hongkong Co., Ltd.  CAMC purchased a 60 percent stake in Canadian Procon Holdings in January, according to CAMC China-based parent company SINOMACH.

The Juneau Empire was able to contact a spokesperson at Procon Holdings, however the spokesperson was not able to provide a comment before the story went to press.

Chieftain (TSX: CFB) closed Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange at 2.77, down 0.07 from the previous day.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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