What is the Palmer Project?
The Palmer Project is a promising mid-stage mineral exploration project, operated by Constantine Metal Resources Ltd., which has the potential to become a future high-grade, underground copper-zinc-silver-gold-barite mine. The Project is located south of the Haines highway, near the historic Porcupine placer gold camp. Geologically, it consists of 200-million-year-old volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) mineral prospects characterized by high-grade concentrations of zinc, copper, silver and gold mineralization.
Significant exploration and evaluation work are still needed to determine if mining will be proposed for the mineral deposits at the Palmer Project. Detailed environmental, geotechnical, and socioeconomic studies as well as extensive community consultation will be undertaken prior to applying for permits to construct and operate a mine. Baseline environmental studies began in the summer in 2008 and will progress and expand in accordance with exploration success.
The current exploration activities are authorized and permitted by several State and Federal agencies and have undergone rigorous Environmental Assessments by the Bureau of Land Management in 2016 and 2017. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources maintains a webpage with links to several documents with additional details: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/palmer/
Constantine has submitted applications to develop an underground ramp (tunnel). The ramp will allow for year-round underground drilling and additional technical studies that are needed to further evaluate the mine potential of the project. The proposed activities described in the Plan of Operations for underground development and exploration are designed to meet all applicable environmental laws that have been developed to protect water quality and fish and wildlife resources. These applications are now under review by several agencies and a decision to begin construction is contingent upon receiving all necessary approvals. Surface exploration and drilling across the greater property will continue as in past years under separate State and Federal authorizations. We invite you to read the more about the proposal in the documents below and to contact us if you would like to discuss the project activities in further detail.
History of the Palmer Project
It all started with Merrill Palmer, a Haines local who prospected and began staking claims back in 1969. Merrill has played an active role in the project, which now bears his name, maintaining faith in its potential and seeing a number of companies explore the Property with encouraging but limited success. These include Anaconda Copper (1979-80), Southeastern Minerals (1980-83), Bear Creek Mining (1983-85), Newmont Exploration (1987-89), Granges Exploration (1989), Cominco (1990-93), Kennecott (1993-97), Rubicon Minerals (1998-2000), and Toquima Minerals (2004). A major breakthrough occurred in 2007 when Constantine drilled high-grade copper and zinc mineralization in areas now known as the RW and South Wall zones. Since that time Constantine has drilled 52 holes (to the end of 2013) and defined a mineral resource. To date, there has been over $15 million and tens of thousands of person hours invested in exploration work on the property.
Joint Venture with Dowa
In 2013 Constantine signed an agreement with Dowa Metals & Mining Co., Ltd. of Japan allowing Dowa to earn a minority 49% interest in the project by funding US$22 million in exploration over four years. The vast majority of this money has been spent on efforts to define a mineral resource that merits mining. Through this agreement, Constantine was designated as the operator of the project and continues to manage all activities including communicating our plans and activities to the community.
Beginning in 2017, Constantine and Dowa formalized a joint-venture business partnership on the Palmer Project, using the combined expertise of both organizations to move forward in the exploration and eventual development of the Palmer project.
Constantine and Dowa share a long-term vision to build a modern and sustainable project that may one day support a modern underground mine operation in Haines. Dowa’s commitment to a resource-recycling society and high-bar of corporate social responsibility are two of the many reasons we are proud to form this partnership to advance the Palmer Project.
The origin of the Dowa Group of companies dates back to the late eighteen hundreds mining copper and zinc Kuroko (VMS) deposits in northern Japan. Dowa developed their smelting and refining expertise over the years dealing with these relatively complex, polymetallic ores. Now Dowa purchases mineral concentrate throughout the world from mines owned by others (including currently operating mines in Alaska). The refined metals produced at Dowa’s facilities in Japan are sold domestically and internationally and go into many of the items we use in our daily lives.
Dowa has a reputation for operating some of the most technologically advanced and environmentally sound smelting and refining complexes in the world. Dowa has utilized their expertise in efficiently recovering many of the trace and rare elements contained in complex ores and have applied this to recycling. They are now a world leader in metal recycling and waste treatment, and employ a unique business model that is integrated with environmental business activities. To view Dowa’s corporate social responsibility reports please visit http://dowa-csr.jp/en/report/index.html
2019 Underground Exploration Plan
A Plan of Operations (Plan) has been submitted to the Mental Health Trust Land Office (Trust), the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) by Constantine Mining LLC (Constantine or the Company) for the Palmer Advanced Exploration Project (the Project) located in the Porcupine Mining District in Southeast Alaska. This Plan describes the second phase in a two-phase advanced exploration program. Phase I included construction of a surface access road, portal pad, and settling ponds which were partially completed during the 2018 construction season. The two-phase approach was adopted to allow Constantine to initiate the surface access work on Phase I in 2018, while evaluating additional environmental and engineering data to develop final designs and management plans for Phase II.
Plan of Operations - Underground Exploration Proposal (main document)
The following items associated with the Plan of Operations are available for public comment until May 15th, 2019. For more information, please visit: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/palmer/
- Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water, draft Reclamation Plan Approval (J20185690RPA) Amendment 1. The supporting document for review is Appendix C Reclamation Plans and Cost Estimates Palmer Advanced Exploration Project Haines, Alaska Phase II - Underground Exploration Upland Mining Lease No. 9100759 April 2019.
- Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water, draft Waste Management Permit No. 2019DB0001 for the containment and disposal of non-domestic wastewater and potentially acid generating waste rock from the Palmer Project.
- Written comments can be sent by mail, email, or fax to:
Kyle Moselle, Associate Director
Alaska Department of Natural Resources / Office of Project Management and Permitting
400 Willoughby Avenue, Suite 400, Juneau, AK 99801
Email Kyle Moselle