The historic Con mine now abandoned, located in the City of Yellowknife, has great geothermal potential, yet the Con geothermal project is stalled.
During its long history 1938 to 2003, the Con gold mine produced 5 million ounces of gold. It is believed the water temperature down the Con shaft is around 30 degrees C and it is located only 1 km. from downtown Yellowknife.
The Con geothermal project envisions pumping up the hot water from below, heating it a bit more and distributing it to key users in the downtown core.
The first phase of the project would cost $60M and a private sector investor Corix. Corix is a private company whose primary owners are BC Investment Management Corporation and CAI Capital Management Inc.
The City of Yellowknife held a referendum in Mar-11 on the question of borrowing $49 M to pay for the bulk of the costs. The voters rejected the notion of borrowing $49 M.
Corix is prepared to fund the project, yet it requires an agreement with the City.
The project still may proceed. The unknowns would include:
The project is very interesting in that it is the only large geothermal project in Canada’s North, right in NWT’s capital city. Corix has extensive experience with water and utility projects. But the devil is in the details, and in project execution. It could turn out well, or it could turn out to be a black hole for investors and ratepayers.