Canada

Tanco (Bernic Lake) Mine

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Lithium
  • Cesium
  • Tantalum
Mining Method
  • Room-and-pillar
Production Start... Lock
SnapshotPublic records for Tanco Mine production data for 2022 are not available.

Tantalum Mining Corporation owns the world's largest and operating pollucite mine, which is one of the largest known lithium-cesium-tantalum deposits in the world.

Mining on the TANCO property began in the 1920’s, but the commercial mining of the TANCO pegmatite did not begin until 1969. Over the years, the property has commercially produced tin, tantalum, cesium, lithium, and rubidium.

TANCO Mine was engaged in lithium ore mining operation from 1987 to 2009. The mine started producing lithium spodumene concentrate again in 2021.

In addition, Sinomine currently mines small amounts of cesium underground at Tanco. Sinomine has plans to increase its output of cesium products at Tanco.

The Sinomine is actively promoting the open-pit mining plan of the Tanco mining area.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Tantalum Mining Corporation of Canada Ltd. (operator) 100 % Direct
Sinomine Resource Group Co., Ltd. 100 % Indirect
The Tantalum Mining Corporation of Canada Limited owns and operates the Tanco Mine located at Bernic Lake in southeastern Manitoba. It was acquired by Sinomine Resource Group Co., Ltd.

On June 28, 2019, Cabot Corporation sold its Specialty Fluids business including the Tanco Lithium, Cesium, Tantalum mine, Manitoba to Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co. Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinomine Resource Group Co., Ltd.

Deposit type

  • Pegmatite

Summary:

The Tanco pegmatite is part of the Winnipeg River-Cat Lake pegmatite field. This vast pegmatite field has been subdivided into two pegmatite districts, and subsequently into several different pegmatite groups according to their mineralogy, geochemistry and location (Cerný et al., 1981).

The Tanco pegmatite is a subhorizontal, essentially undeformed, bilobate, saddle-shaped body. The pegmatite is about 1520 m long, 1060 m wide, and up to ~100 m thick, thinning toward the edges. The volume of the pegmatite is ~21,850,000 m3, the mass is ~57,430,000 tonnes, and its average density is 2.63 g/cm3 (Stilling et al., 2006). It occurs mostly under Bernic Lake, southeastern Manitoba and it is most known by drill core and underground mining exposures. This highly fractionated pegmatite of the lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT) family has an extensive mineralogy (more than 100 listed minerals) and it is zoned (consists of nine internal zones). The outer zones are concentric, whereas the layered inner zones are segmented and locally complex in shape.

Mineralogy from Tanco is very extensive with more than 100 minerals listed in the literature (e.g. Cerný et al., 1996; 1998). Tanco has also yielded holotypes of four new minerals: cernýte (Kissin et al,. 1978), tancoite (Ramik et al,. 1980), diomignite (London et al., 1987), titanowodginite (Ercit et al., 1992), Ercitite (Fransolet et al., 2000), Groatite (Cooper et al., 2009).

The Tanco pegmatite is a mineralized, peraluminous pegmatite body, belonging to the LCT family, Rare-Element-Li subclass, complex type, subtype petalite (updated classification by Cerný and Ercit, 2005).

The bulk mode of Tanco is close to a muscovite granite, with the exception of 8 wt.% petalite, 2.8 wt.% lithian micas, and 1 wt.% primary spodumene. The contents of all other accessory silicates and phosphates are only in tenths of a wt.%, and minerals of the high-field-strength elements account for mere hundredths to thousandths of a wt.% each. Accordingly, the bulk chemical composition of the pegmatite corresponds to that of a peraluminous, moderately silicic, high-phosphorus, Na>K granite, with enrichment in Li, Rb, Cs and F; moderate contents of Tl, Be, B, Ga, Sn, Nb and Ta, and remarkable depletion in Fe, Mn, Mg, Ca, Ba, Sc, Ti and Zr. A very high degree of fractionation is shown for the bulk pegmatite by the values K/Rb 4.7, K/Cs 9.3, Rb/Cs 2.0, Rb/Tl 137, Fe/Mn 0.63, Mg/Li 0.02, Al/Ga 917, Zr/Hf 2.6, Zr/Sn 0.21 and Nb/Ta 0.19 (Stilling et al., 2006).

Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

2021 Production of Spodumene - from mid-october 2021
CommodityUnits2021
Spodumene kt  ....  Subscribe
All production numbers are expressed as concentrate.

Operational metrics

Metrics20222021
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Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

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Aerial view:

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