QualityStocks would like to highlight Comstock Mining Inc. (NYSE Amex: LODE), a Nevada-based gold and silver mining company with extensive, contiguous property in the Comstock District. The company began acquiring properties in the Comstock District in 2003. Since then, the company has consolidated a significant portion of the Comstock District, amassed the single largest known repository of historical and current geological data on the Comstock region, secured permits, built an infrastructure and brought the exploration project into test mining production. The company continues acquiring additional properties in the district, expanding its footprint and creating opportunities for exploration and mining.
In the company’s news yesterday,
Comstock Mining reported that shortly after completion of the $2.4M heap leach facility (announced July 2) the company has also completed the new crusher facility’s construction.
Comstock has already begun commissioning the necessary equipment for the new facility and anticipates rapidly accelerating testing/calibration over an approximately ten day period as the facility springs to life. Once the testing phase is complete, LODE will be stacking processed ore onto the heap and has already prepared the site for stock piling ore around the crusher itself (to provide an optimal throughput blend of rock type/material into the crusher).
This beauty was overdesigned and should be handling well over the initial usage of some 1M tons/year throughout its prime, with projections for ore crushing capacity up to 3.5M tons/year before any upgrading is required. LODE has really made a strong investment in the future of their Nevada mining operations and the ore coming out of the newly readied Lucerne Resource Area (necessary construction, supplier engagements, and hiring complete since mid-May) should find its way to the crusher very soon.
The crusher facility design has taken into consideration just about everything required to see to it that the large amounts of ore coming in from the company’s surrounding resource generating areas are amply handled, with a KPI-JCI 3055 primary jaw crusher and a 3-axle, twin 200HP drive K400+ cone crusher taking center stage alongside the huge wobbler feeder. The wobbler (and its screen) will actually vet a majority of the ore on the first pass, with the oversize chunks getting crushed down to within processing tolerances (100 percent minus 1.25 inches) and cement used as an agglomeration additive to ensure the fine particulate matter is captured (and that overall consistency/continuous circulation can be maintained throughout the leaching process).
President and CEO of LODE, Corrado De Gasperis, explained that the crusher commissioning represents a huge milestone for LODE on the company’s march to production and underscored the sophistication, as well as robustness of the state-of-the-art, American-made equipment being commissioned. In addition to the primary processing elements, the facility also includes the relevant scalping screens (6 x 16 footer with a 72” conveyor and the 7 x20 foot screen, with 30” mounted conveyors), multiple ancillary 36” conveyors, the agglomerator, cement silos, control tower, environmental bag house equipment for dust prevention, and of course the new 4WD (36” belt) retractable super stacker that can easily stack material up to 150 feet.
De Gasperis emphasized that everything was going according to plan and that LODE is on schedule to do their first gold pour this summer, with hiring currently underway (expected to bring the site staff level to over 100 people) to accommodate the expansion of the Merrill Crowe zinc precipitation processing facility slated for later this month. Once enough material is crushed and stacked out for the Merrill Crowe process, we should see some serious color, as LODE will be leaching substantial quantities of prime, mineralized ore.
LODE has been a real boon to the communities of Northern Nevada, having put some $6.3M into just the crusher alone (not to mention all the other CAPEX put into getting their NV properties up and producing) and utilized the services of three local firms, as well as one out of Texas, to complete the crusher. Cruz Construction Company, Inc. out of the nearby city of Mound House (only 10 miles from the mine) in particular has benefitted tremendously as the site prep has progressed, getting plenty of work out of LODE and helping to employ many locals. Goodfellow Corp. out of Boulder City and A.M. Smith Electric, Inc. from nearby Carson City, as well as JC Industries out of Texas, were all used to complete the job to this point and should remain valuable allies moving forward with overall operations.
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