Minto copper-con trucks deliver to Skagway
North of 60 Mining News – February 1, 2020
Last updated 9/26/2020 at 11:51am
Pembridge Resources plc Jan. 28 announced that trucks are now delivering copper concentrates from its Minto Mine in the Yukon to the Skagway Ore Terminal in Southeast Alaska.
Access to the Minto mine requires crossing the Yukon river at Minto Landing, which is between the communities of Carmacks and Pelly Crossing.
During summer months, a barge is used to transport concentrates and supplies across the Yukon. During the winter, an ice bridge provides access over the river.
During the shoulder seasons – typically late-October to mid-January and early-April to early-June – Minto is only accessible by air and concentrates are stored at the site.
With the ice bridge now thick enough, trucks loaded with concentrates containing 35 to 40 percent copper, along with gold and silver byproducts, are making the roughly 280-mile (450 kilometers) trip to Skagway. Once at the ore terminal, the concentrates will be held in storage facilities until there is enough to ship to Japan, which is expected in March.
Sumitomo Corp., which entered into an offtake agreement for these concentrates coming out of Minto, will be receiving at least the first 55,000 metric tons shipped from the restart of operations at the Yukon Mine.
Under this agreement, Pembridge is receiving advanced payments for monthly copper concentrates produced at Minto mine through the end of 2020.
These advances are based on 90 percent of the estimated value of concentrate produced each month, with final payment due when the concentrates are delivered to Japan.
Pembridge received its first US$3.4 million payment under this agreement in early November from 90 percent of the estimated value of the copper, gold and silver contained in 1,734 metric tons of concentrates produced during October.
Since that time, the UK-based company received a second US$3.7 million advance for 1,793 dry metric tons of concentrate produced during November; and a third US$5.4 million payment for 2,919 metric tons produced in December.
The Minto mine has enough room to store roughly 14,000 wet metric tons of concentrates and the ore storage facility has a storage capacity of 34,000 wet metric tons.
Pembridge said trucks will be running steady to deliver as much concentrate to Skagway as possible while the ice bridge is in place.
"The haulage contractors, Lynden Transport, will be working day and night now until the ice bridge breaks up, to get as much of the concentrate stored at the Minto mine, down to the ore storage facility on the dock at Skagway, ready for shipping," said Pembridge Resources Chairman and CEO Gati Al-Jebouri. "We look forward to making the first shipment of concentrate to Japan at the end of March."
Shipments bound for Japan typically range from 7,000 and 14,000 wet metric tons.