Endako Mine

Endako Mine is currently in a state of Care and Maintenance.

Commodities: Molybdenum (Mo)

Location: Located 190 km west of Prince George, near the center of BC.

Geology and Type of Deposit: Endako is located in the Intermontane region of the Canadian Cordillera. The Endako ore is hosted in a very large, 220 million-year-old (Late Jurassic) granitic rock body. The deposit is a molybdenum porphyry deposit with the molybdenite concentrated in quartz veins in the granitic rock.

The Operation: Endako is currently under Care & Maintenance. Operations ceased in July 2015, due to low molybedenum prices. When in operation, Endako is Canada’s largest molybdenum producer, and one of only two mines in Canada that produces molybdenum as its primary product. In 2016, it became an asset of Centerra Gold Inc., through their acquisition of Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc.

Mining Method: Endako is a conventional open pit mine that extracts molybdenite, a molybdenum sulphide mineral commonly referred to as "moly". Blasting is done 2-3 times per week. Ore and waste rock is loaded onto haul trucks by electric shovels. The ore is transported to the primary crusher located in the pit. The waste rock is transported to the waste rock dump.

Processing: Ore from the crusher is conveyed 800 metres to the mill. There, grinding is done in 5 circuits, each consisting of one ball mill and one rod mill. From there, the slurry is directed to a flotation circuit that recovers molybdenum disulphide concentrate. Tailings that sink to the bottom of the flotation cells are piped to the tailings pond located about 800 metres from the mill. The molybdenum concentrate recovered from flotation is pumped as a slurry to a disc filter to remove water. Then it is fed into a drier by screw conveyor and finally it is moved to the on-site, multiple-hearth roaster, where the molybdenum disulphide concentrate is converted into technical grade molybdic oxide (MoO3). These materials are loaded into metal drums for shipping.

Markets: About 85% of what is produced is shipped via bulk carriers to Asian markets, where it is mostly used in the production of specialty steels that are strong, light-weight, and corrosion-resistant. The remainder is sold in North America.

Community and Employment: When in full-scale operation, Endako employs about 280 people. Most of the employees live in the Village of Fraser Lake.

Environmental Considerations: Endako is located on a high plateau in the picturesque region of the Nechako Valley, which supports abundant wildlife. At closure, land disturbed by mining will be reclaimed by the mine operators and returned to a sustainable ecosystem. The end goal of Endako's mine site reclamation plan is to return the land as close as possible to its natural state as wildlife habitat and forest. The reclamation process begins with reseeding with grasses to stabilize barren surfaces in the short term and allow native species to invade in the long term. Between 20,000 and 40,000 trees and shrubs are planted each year. One of the biggest challenges is developing soil, a slow process made more difficult by the short growing season.

Currently, two tailings ponds hold the mill waste water from Endako. All tailings pond water is recycled back to the mill where it is used again in the milling process, and mixed with fresh water from Francois Lake; none is released to natural drainage.

Although this is a sulphide mineral mine, the ore rock is slightly basic, so neither the tailings nor the waste rock dumps generate acid rock drainage (ARD) at Endako Mine. Waste rock is hauled from the pit to waste rock dumps. A number of these piles have been reclaimed by re-sloping and re-vegetating with grasses, shrubs and trees.

BCMEM's Endako MINFILE profile.