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How many jobs will the Black Butte Copper Project provide?

If a Mine Operating Permit is approved by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and a mine is constructed and put into operation, the economic benefit for Meagher County and surrounding areas will be significant. There will be approximately 200 positions needed during the mine construction phase which will last 24 months. When the mine opens, the operational phase will employ approximately 240 full time jobs and 50 full time contractors. These will range from underground miners to truck drivers, electricians, mechanics, business and accounting services, clerical support, human resources, management personnel and related occupations such as engineers, geologists, environmental scientist, hydrologists, surveyors, maintenance personnel and other technical support positions.

Why else is copper important?

There are many industrial uses of copper due to its high ductility, malleability, thermal conductivity and resistance to corrosion. It ranks third after iron and aluminum in the amount of quantities consumed for industrial purposes. Copper is the main component of coins for most countries. Everyday uses of copper include electrical conductivity, green energy (windmills and solar systems) doorknobs, household fixtures, frying pans, and even knives, forks and spoons, if they are made from electroplated nickel silver. Read More

Do we need copper to stay healthy?

Copper is an essential nutrient to all higher plants and animal life. In animals and humans it is present in tissues, liver, muscles and bone. The main function of copper in the body is to act as a co-factor in various enzymes and copper based pigments. In fact, due to its reported healing powers, copper has been used extensively in devices known as “Bio-Circuits”. At lower level, all components, (copper, zinc, etc.) are actually needed to sustain life, thus we take multivitamins and mineral supplements.

Do microwaves require copper?

Yes, vacuum tubes, cathode ray tubes and the magnetrons in microwave ovens use copper, as do wave guides for microwave radiation. Wire mesh, woven of commercially pure copper, is used in hundreds of applications ranging from antenna found on planes to RFI shielding.

Do my cell phone and computer have copper in them?

Yes, integrated circuits, as well as printed circuit boards increasingly utilize copper as a replacement for aluminum because of its superior electrical conductivity. Copper is used as a material in the manufacture of computer heat sinks, due to its superior heat dissipation capacity compared to aluminum.

Is copper important for producing renewable energy?

Yes, copper is an important component of solar energy, wind energy, hydropower and electric vehicles. Copper is the highest rated thermal and electrical conductor among engineering metals; all kinds of power systems utilize copper to generate and transmit energy with maximum efficiency and minimum environmental impact. A wind turbine contains 3-4 tons of copper per megawatt. Electric vehicles can use up to 3 times the amount of copper as a conventional car. Copper is also easily recycled and can be reused over and again. Copper is and will remain an important factor in the future of renewable energy development.

Is copper important for producing electricity?

Yes, about 65% of copper is used in electrical applications such as power generation and transmission of electricity, transformers, motors, bush bars, generators, etc. Copper is used to provide electricity throughout the country and world safely and efficiently. In the case of electrical equipment, it is used in wiring and contacts for PC, TV, mobile phones and circuitry. It is also a vital input for building wind generators and in hybrid/electric cars.

Where will the copper go after you bring it out of the mine?

Once copper mining is underway, the material must pass through a milling process where the rock is ground into the consistency of fine flour (38 microns) and about 12% of it, which is the ore mineral, chalcopyrite, is ‘floated’ away from the rest through a process called flotation. This material creates a 24% copper concentrate which will be trucked (between 15-18/day) to rail in sealed containers where it shipped off site and sold to a smelter or concentrate buyer. The copper concentrate will likely be shipped overseas to a copper smelter and refined into copper metal as there is little smelter capacity left in North America. We will determine which railhead would be used during our upcoming feasibility study with the most likely candidates being Livingston or Townsend.

Scientifically, how did the Johnny Lee deposit form?

The 1.4 billion year old deposit formed on the seafloor around a “black smoker” type hot springs system. In this type of sea bottom hot spring, hot water with high concentrations of dissolved metals and sulfur vent onto the seafloor, and encounter very cold seawater. The change in temperature and chemistry cause the metallic elements including copper to bond with other elements and precipitate onto the seafloor as metal-bearing minerals. These build up in sheet like layers that can be mined.

What is size of footprint will the mine have?

Located completely on private land, our underground mine will have an extremely small foot print above and below ground. The underground workings contain approx. 11.6 million tonnes of copper encompassed in an area of 3,000 feet by 2,000 feet. The surface disturbance of the mine workings will be around 270 acres surrounded by a tall wildlife protection fence which includes the 80 acre cemented tailings facility, 20 acre process water pond, all roads, parking areas, plant facilities, and the temporary waste rock storage areas. Read More