Company officials said the biggest benefits to the latest milestone in Moss's growth are the improvement in safety for employees and the local community, the reduction of emissions and overall significant economic savings over the life of the mine.
"The installation of a power line directly to site to deliver utility power is expected to result in significant operational savings over the lifetime of the mine," the company said, noting that its feasibility study in 2015 estimated five 750kW diesel-powered generators.
"At the 5,000-tonne-per-day processing rate, the diesel generators are estimated to consume roughly 90,000gal (340,687L) of diesel per month, or 3,000gal per day. The company currently has six generators operating during the commissioning period as it ramps up to commercial production."
Work is processing for bond acquisition, which is required for construction of the power line.
The results will be immediate and measurable, Northern Vertex added, once the upgrade and maintenance work for the Silver Creek Road and the tertiary county mine access road. Safety will also be substantially increased for about 100 Moss mine employees as well as those using the roads for business and recreation.
"Road reconstruction is planned to start immediately to widen the access road to two 12ft (3.66m) lanes complete with five-foot shoulders and an additional 15-foot-wide utility corridor on the west side," the miner outlined, adding that changes to the vertical and horizontal alignment will improve sight distances on curves.
Other upgrades to the roads include removal of protruding cobbles and boulders on Silver Creek Road and the placing on both roads of a 12-inch-thick (30.48cm-thick) surface course of crushed mine waste rock.
President and CEO Kenneth Berry said that the company has been encouraged by the level of support received from the public, and the city, county, state and federal staff and representatives.
"Within the FONSI (finding of no significant impact), it is stated that measures to reduce adverse impacts to cultural resources, wildlife/special-status species and VRM (visual resource management) were incorporated in the design of the proposed action," he said. "We acknowledge the advice and assistance from the very dedicated personnel at Mohave Electric Cooperative and the BLM Kingman Field Office to incorporate these measures into the design and the environmental assessment of the projects."
Northern Vertex announced first gold pour at the open-pit Moss operation in Bullhead City, which it owns 100%, on March 7. In a May update, the company said it had mined about 241,000t of ore-grade material.