Ringwald will oversee all the work for the completion of the new feasibility study at the project, and will work closely with the joint engineering team which includes JDS Energy and Mining and Chinese firm Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (BGRIMM).
The mining and mineral processing engineer has consulted on feasibility studies for companies including Selwyn Resources, Brett Resources, Geocomp International, Tournigan Energy, SRK and Placer Dome Technical Services, among others.
"I am very pleased to again be working with Mr. Ringwald in managing the re-engineering of the Carmacks project and completion of a new feasibility study and advancement of the project to construction," said president and chief executive officer, Dr. Harlan Meade, who was the CEO at Selwyn Resources prior to joining Copper North in March.
In October, Copper North said it was undertaking a joint Canadian-Chinese feasibility study for its Carmacks project as part of its plan to reduce costs. BGRIMM is responsible for all process design and equipment selection for the project, including the procurement of equipment from China, which is expected to lower project expenses.
Since coming on board in March, Copper North's chief executive Dr. Meade devised a three phase plan to reduce costs and improve operations at Carmacks from a previous feasibility study conducted in 2012, while also restructuring the company's financial position.
Part of his plan was to benchmark the company's project against other similar properties, after which it concluded that Carmacks' estimated capex ($225 million) is too high, leading to this joint approach to reengineer the project. The move is similar to an approach undertaken by Central Asia Minerals on the recently constructed Kounrad project in Kazakhstan, which also used BGRIMM for detailed engineering and procurement work, bringing down capital costs by almost half.
Discussions with both JDS and BGRIMM so far have suggested there is opportunity for alternative development plans that would significantly slash costs, including the recovery of copper using vat leaching and the addition of gold and silver recoveries.
Copper North said Monday that metallurgical test work for Carmacks is progressing to confirm the optimal leach design and operating parameters to leach copper, followed by gold and silver.
Initial test results, for simulation of the vat leach environment, indicate shorter leach times for copper than expected, opening up new opportunities for the leach plan," according to Copper North's statement.
An additional test work program is in progress to determine the feasibility of an agitated tank leach process as an alternative to vat leaching, the company said, which would shorten copper leach times even further.
The metallurgical work and development plan is expected to be wrapped up by the end of this year, with the new feasibility study targeted for completion in the third quarter of 2015.