Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

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Page 78 of 115 E&MJ • DECEMBER 2018 77 MINING IN ONTARIO west Territories. Initial engagement with the government and locals has begun, with the permitting and environmental baseline study phase to follow, which is expected to take two to three years to develop. Mid-tiers add Ontario assets to their international portfolios Over the past century, the Timmins area has produced more gold than any mining camp in Canada. McEwen Mining acquired the Black Fox project in Timmins in October 2017. Rob McEwen, chairman and CEO of McEwen Mining, expanded on the potential of the project, which sits on what is known as the 'Golden Highway': "Our 2018 Explo- ration budget at Black Fox is C$15 million. To date, the drill results have been most en- couraging. Not only have we identified nu- merous new zones of mineralization on the property, we are also seeing a continuation of the mineralization to depth in the mine. Our exploration program has increased our resource ounces and the grade." One of the major success stories of recent years in the Ontario mining community is Al- amos Gold, ranked in a recent BMO study as the second fastest growing gold producer in the world between 2014 and 2018. Former- ly a single-asset producer from its Mulatos mine in Mexico, Alamos merged with AuRico Gold in April 2015, and acquired Richmont Mines for US$630 million in November 2017, adding the Ontario mines Young-Da- vidson and Island Gold to its portfolio. John McCluskey, president and CEO of Alamos Gold, reflected on the enviable position the company has established: "We have a debt free balance sheet, a great pipeline of growth projects, and strong long-term production from our North American assets that has set us up to prosper when the cycle turns." 2018: the boom year for Palla- dium Palladium is a precious metal with industrial qualities, so that 80% of its consumption is from the automotive industry. With demand being driven up by the move from diesel to petrol and hybrid vehicles, and producers in South Africa scaling down operations and announcing cutbacks due to the decreasing price of platinum, of which palladium is of- ten a by-product, the price of palladium has more than doubled from its low of US$473/ oz in January 2016, to over US$1,140/oz in October 2018. North American Palladium (NAP) adver- tises itself as the only pure play palladium producer, after Stillwater Mining was bought out by Sibayne Gold. Re-capitalized in 2015 when Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) mined out, but now provides an economical- ly viable resource." Canada's newest gold mine One of the companies to have made the transition from explorer to producer is Harte Gold, whose Sugar Zone property in White River Ontario was officially opened on Octo- ber 24th 2018. Located between a number of other producing gold mines, including Bar- rick's Hemlo operation, the Sugar Zone asset is Ontario's first new high-grade gold mine in over ten years. Stephen Roman, chairman, president and CEO of Harte Gold, is in a confident mood: "When I took over, we had acquired 92% of the business, NAP is now focusing on its single producing asset, the Lac des Iles mine north of Thunder Bay, On- tario. The site is currently processing over 6,000 mt/d, with the intention to double capacity to 12,000 mt/d in 2019, and NAP has managed to reduce its underground min- ing costs to less than C$40/mt delivered to surface. Jim Gallagher, president and CEO of NAP, revealed that the move to a variation of sub-level cave mining called sublevel shrink- age mining ('SLS') has been a catalyst for NAP's change in fortune: "Due to this change in method, we are now able to go back to the upper part of the mine which was historically Rob McEwen, chairman and CEO, McEwen Mining. John McCluskey, president and CEO, Alamos Gold.

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