Selwyn has during the past several years constructed a road network linking the new airstrip and camp in Don Valley with the shorter airstrip and camp at the XY deposit. The drill road improvements have greatly increased exploration and operational efficiencies. The Howard's Pass Access Road, currently used as a winter road, connects the XY area to the community of Tungsten in the Northwest Territories. The road needs upgrading with installation of new stream crossings for all season usage but is otherwise adequate for exploration and development operations.
Aircraft on new air strip in Don Valley
Due to the location of the site, the need for significant new infrastructure is perhaps the major hurdle facing Selwyn Project; with power and concentrate transportation being the main factors. Both of these factors are major components of operating costs.
Remote sites are commonly solely dependent on diesel power for their power needs. Early economic evaluation of Selwyn Project used diesel power as the base case for modeling capital and operating costs. Since then, Selwyn has completed a systematic review of potential nearby hydroelectric sites, both in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, to evaluate their power potential. The addition of hydroelectric power is not seen as completely eliminating the need for diesel power but would replace high cost diesel power with lower cost hydroelectric power.
More recently, Selwyn Chihong has evaluated the usage of LNG as a substitute for diesel fuel. The use of LNG is dependent upon construction of an LNG plant at Fort Nelson in northeast BC. Use of LNG could significantly reduce energy costs for the Selwyn Project.
Preliminary evaluation indicates attractive run-of-river hydroelectric opportunities that could generate up to 20 megawatts of power on a seasonal basis, minimizing the requirement for diesel power generation. Ongoing studies are now evaluating the feasibility of adding some water storage to extend the availability of power to the winter months. The potential peak power generation capacity from hydroelectric sources is roughly equal to the base-load requirement of the proposed mine-mill facility. The addition of hydroelectric power could provide Selwyn Project an assured supply of reasonable cost power and significant operating cost benefits compared to many other base metal mines that are wholly dependent on diesel power.
Selwyn continues to evaluate the various infrastructure alternatives to determine the optimum development plan for Selwyn Project, taking not only capital and operating costs into consideration but also considering environmental impacts and operational efficiencies.
Don Valley Camp
Selwyn Project Road