Mr. Michael Doolin reports
PROPHECY SUBMITS NEVADA STATE MINE OPERATING PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR GIBELLINI VANADIUM PROJECT
Prophecy Development Corp. has submitted, through its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Nevada Vanadium, the applications and engineering design reports (EDRs) for the primary mining permits that govern project construction, operations and closure for its Gibellini vanadium project, located in Eureka county in Nevada, to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), with copies provided to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Gibellini project environmental impact statement (EIS) contractor, SWCA.
The permit applications, submitted on Oct. 31, 2019, were for the water pollution control permit and the Class II air quality permit. These Nevada permits have been developed to provide construction level engineering that supports the mine plan previously submitted to the BLM in the plan of operations. Comments received from both the BLM and SWCA were used as guidance in the engineering design to ensure the state and federal permits are aligned and reflect the most current guidance provided by both the NDEP and BLM.
NDEP water pollution control permit
Mining in Nevada is regulated under the authority of the Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 445A.300 -- NRS 445A.730 and the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 445A.350 -- NAC 445A.447. Water pollution control permits (WPCPs) are issued to an operator prior to the construction of any mining, milling or other beneficiation process activity. Facilities utilizing chemicals for processing ores are required to meet a zero-discharge performance standard such that waters of the state will not be degraded.
The engineering design for heap leaching, the processing facility and the mine design (M3 Engineering and Newfields Companies LLC) were integrated into to the site closure plan that was also submitted as part of the WPCP application. This design will facilitate concurrent closure of the heap as each heap cell is finished leaching. This will allow the closure to be initiated during operations. At the end of active mining, the site can be closed at minimal technical risk. This reduces the closure duration and liability and the commensurate reclamation bond.
Air quality Class II permit
The Nevada Bureau of Air Pollution Control issues air quality operating permits to stationary and temporary mobile sources that emit regulated pollutants to ensure that these emissions do not harm public health or cause significant deterioration in areas that presently have clean air. This is achieved by stipulating specific permit conditions designed to limit the amount of pollutants that sources may emit into the air as a regular part of their business processes.
Any process/activity that is an emission source requires an air quality permit. NRS 445B.155 defines an emission source as any property, real or personal, that directly emits or may emit any air contaminant.
The Class II permit for Gibellini is for facilities that emit less than 100 tons per year for any one regulated pollutant. Since the vanadium processing will utilize a heap leach, the emissions will be under the threshold for more complex air permits. The engineering design incorporates stringent emission control technology to minimize emissions. The modelled emissions from the entire Gibellini project are well below the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS).
The enhanced baseline reports (EBRs) were extensively used in the project engineering design to ensure that potential environmental impacts identified in the reports would be avoided or minimized by facility design. These engineering controls help ensure that avoidance of potential environmental impacts is built into the project from the start of the design process. Doing so will allow environmental protection measures to be taken to minimize the risk of impacts that cannot be completely avoided in the design and ensure upfront project planning that is sensitive to all environmental resources.
Integration with BLM 12-month 3355 EIS process
The Nevada permit applications were brought forward in the permitting process to identify any issues resulting from NDEP review that could affect the project design in the plan of operations early. By resolving the state permitting issues prior to the start of the EIS, it will help ensure that the 12-month schedule mandated by the BLM secretarial order 3355 (S.O. 3355) can be met and interruptions to the schedule can be avoided.
"The Prophecy team is working diligently with the support of the federal and state regulators and is actively engaging all stakeholders in order to obtain all the state and federal permits required to begin construction of North America's first primary vanadium mine. We are on track to initiate the EIS process after the notice of intent is published, which will be a milestone in permitting the Gibellini project," notes Ron Espell, vice-president of environment and sustainability. "It will represent the starting point of a well-defined 12-month process under the Department of the Interior's secretarial order No. 3355 that shareholders will be able to mark on their calendars."
Michael Doolin, Prophecy's chief executive officer and chief operating officer, observes: "The state of Nevada is the best jurisdiction for mining investment in the world, according to Fraser Institute. The deposit is critical as Gibellini's annual production profile of 9.75 million pounds of V2O5 outlined in the independent preliminary economic assessment is sufficient to meet United States current vanadium consumption requirement."
About Prophecy Development Corp.
Prophecy is developing the Gibellini project -- the only large-scale, open-pit, heap leach vanadium project of its kind in North America. Located in Nevada, Gibellini is currently undergoing EPCM and permit development.
We seek Safe Harbor.
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