Idaho General Mines Inc. announced Monday that it has filed a plan of operations with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, a key step in realizing its Mount Hope molybdenum project in Nevada. Mount Hope is one of the largest molybdenum-porphyry deposits in the world and, once in operation, the project will be the first large-scale, high-grade molybdenum mine placed in production in the United States in over 20 years.
Molybdenum is used as a solid lubricant, a lubricant and grease additive,a catalyst in petroleum refining,and in the steel and stainless industries, where it is an important additive for strength and corrosion resistance.
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Moly consumption has been growing at an average rate of more than 5 percent per year for the past 15 years, according to Idaho General Mines. The current market price for moly is over $25 per pound, and the company believes that the metal remains in tight supply.
Permitting for the large Mount Hope project may take up to two years following submission of the plan of operations. Following public review and a favorable decision by BLM, construction of the mine and building of plants is expected to take an additional 20 months.
The proposed new moly mine will be an open pit operation, located in the southern part of Eureka County, Nevada, and is expected to employ about 330 people on a continuing basis. The known deposit is estimated to be over 930 million metric tons. The anticipated life of the mine is 53 years.
Idaho General Mines, headquartered in Spokane, Wash., says it has obtained financing for completing the permitting and engineering work on the Mount Hope project.