Excelsior Mining announced the results in mid-October for the well stimulation modelling at its Gunnison copper project in Cochise County of southeastern Arizona.
Well stimulation has the potential to fundamentally change the performance of the wellfield, reduce the need for raffinate neutralization or change the design criteria for the neutralization plant. Excelsior commissioned a leading engineering and environmental consulting firm to undertake well stimulation modelling on a selection of wells within the current wellfield. The model showed that well stimulation successfully inflated pre-existing fractures over significant volumes around the central well within the five-spot pattern.
Based on the results, Excelsior will proceed to field trials in 2023 subject to EPA approval. The EPA is currently processing Excelsior’s permit amendment to allow well stimulation, which is expected to be approved in the first quarter of next year with field trials to follow.
“This could have a material positive effect on Excelsior’s operations. Successful field trials could lead to rapid commercialization of the technique to the point where it becomes part of our regular well maintenance plan,” said Senior Vice President and General Manager Robert Winton.
Excelsior owns and operates the Gunnison copper project.