Silver Mines (ASX: SVL) is finalising its environmental impact statement (EIS) in readiness for developing its Bowdens Silver project, which hosts Australia’s largest undeveloped silver deposit, and is also one of the largest silver deposits globally.
According the company, preliminary components of the environmental statement confirm a “favourable” outcome for the project’s development.
The study reveals minimal impact on surface and ground water, with air quality and health parameters both within limits.
“Baseline environmental data captured at Bowdens has been ongoing for approximately eight years so we have a comprehensive data set to draw from,” Silver Mines managing director Anthony McClure said.
“Since acquiring the project in mid-2016, we have progressed with a methodical de-risking and we are delighted to announce the preliminary key components of the EIS have been successfully determined with particularly favourable outcomes,” he added.
Additionally, the report indicates “substantial” local benefits for the region, which according to the company, is a high unemployment jurisdiction.
The project is about 26km east of Mudgee in New South Wales’ Central Tablelands.
At peak, the project will need 320 personnel during construction and 230 during operation, with a prefeasibility study last year indicating the project has a 17-year life span.
The feasibility study estimates 2 million tonne per annum open cut operation to produce about 53 million ounces of silver, 116,000t of zinc and 83,000t of lead.
Underpinning the study was a maiden ore reserve of 29.9Mt at 69g/t silver, 0.44% zinc and 0.32% lead.
The project is anticipated to generate $1.899 billion in revenue over the life of mine after an initial capital outlay of $246 million.
Silver Mines expects to lodge the EIS along with mining lease and development applications during the latter half of the year.
As the gold price reaches all-time highs – hitting A$2,013/oz this morning, silver is following the precious metal’s trajectory.
Trading at A$22.35/oz this morning, silver is up almost 8% over the last six months and 6% during the last 30 days alone.
Spurred by this morning’s news, Silver Mines’ share price was almost 11% higher at $0.051 in early trade.