Engineering & Mining Journal

JAN 2019

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REGIONAL NEWS - U.S. & CANADA JANUARY 2019 • E&MJ 7 the silver produced from the Moss mine. Once Maverix has purchased 3.5 million ounces (oz) of silver, it will have the right to purchase 50% of the life of mine sil- ver produced from the Moss mine. Mav- erix will make ongoing cash payments to Golden Vertex equal to 20% of the aver- age price of silver for the five consecutive trading days prior to delivery. The silver stream is effective from October 1, and it applies to all current and future phases of operations at the Moss mine. Monarques Advancing Wasamac Gold Project Monarques Gold has reported positive re- sults from a feasibility study of its Wasa- mac gold project 15 kilometers (km) west of Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. The study describes an economically viable project, provides the basis for making a produc- tion decision, and serves to fully support the permitting and financing processes. Under the study's base case assess- ment, Wasamac would be a 6,000-metric- ton-per-day (mt/d) underground mine, inte- grating Rail-Veyor technologies and a paste backfill system to a top-down mining ap- proach, feeding a process plant 2 km from the mine site, with neutral dry-stacked tail- ings disposal some 5 km further on so as to minimize the project footprint locally. Wasamac gold production would aver- age 142,000 ounces per year (oz/y) over a mine life of 11 years. Preproduction capital expenditures are estimated at C$464 million. All-in sustaining costs of production are estimated at US$630/oz. Monarques President and CEO Jean- Marc Lacoste said, "The feasibility study is based on a top-down mining approach and the use of the Rail-Veyor system through a twin-ramp access and haulage facility, which eliminates the hefty initial capital expenditures associated with building a shaft, increases flexibility in mine plan- ning, shortens the timeline to production, and allows us to significantly decrease the overall cost of the project. We also believe that we will be able to extend the Wasamac mine life, as the deposit remains largely under-explored at depth and along strike. The company created a confidential virtual data room to provide access for those who have expressed an interest in reviewing the data and participating in development of the project. "The feasibility study also leaves the door open to a potential custom milling option," he said. "Eliminating the cost of building a mill and a tailings facility would reduce the initial capex by about C$230 million, which could potentially increase the project's internal rate of re- turn and decrease the payback period." Mine infrastructure will be located on the company's newly acquired land next to the Trans-Canada highway and 200 m from the railway leading to all the main regional custom milling facilities. Proven and probable mineral reserves for the Wasamac project currently stand at 21.4 million mt at a grade of 2.56 grams/ mt gold, for 1.8 million oz of contained gold. Pending completion of all studies and receipt of the required permits and financ- ing, construction of the Wasamac process plant is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020, with full capacity produc- tion achieved by the fourth quarter of 2022. Pretium Receives Permits to Expand Brucejack Mine Pretium Resources has received amend- ed permits from British Columbia's Min- istry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy that allow it to increase production at its Brucejack underground mine to 3,800 metric tons per day (mt/d) from 2,700 mt/d. Minor mill upgrades estimated to cost less than C$25 million will support the production increase and will be completed during regularly scheduled mill shutdowns. A specific timeline for ramp-up to the 3,800-mt/d production rate and an up- dated mine plan are scheduled for release during the first quarter of 2019. The Brucejack mine produced 339,500 ounces (oz) of gold in its first full year of op- erations, July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. The mine is located in northwest British Columbia, approximately 65 kilometers (km) north of the town of Stewart. Mine op- erations and camps are fully grid-powered, with diesel backup available. Proven and probable reserves total 8.7 million oz of gold and 31.9 million oz of silver in 18.5 million mt at grades of 14.6 g/mt gold and 53.5 g/mt silver. Phase 1 Development Progresses at South Arturo Development programs are under way at Premier Gold Mines' South Arturo proper- ty located in the Carlin Trend of Nevada, USA, are progressing well with the con- struction of the Phase 1 open pit and the El Nino underground mine. Mineralized material is also being stockpiled for fu- ture processing, the company said. The South Arturo property is a joint venture between Premier (40%) and Bar- rick Gold Exploration. Barrick is the oper- ator and processes ore from South Arturo primarily at their Goldstrike facility located approximately 5 kilometers to the south. Construction of the Phase 1 open pit and the El Nino underground mine has started with initial gold production from operations planned in late 2019. Mining production from the El Nino mine is ex- pected to ramp up in the fourth quarter of 2019. Heap-leach material from the Phase 1 open pit is now being stockpiled for po- tential future processing. The prefeasibility level engineering design for the heap-leach option is planned to start in early 2019. "Multiple new mine developments are being advanced, including detailed engineering work aimed at moving the heap-leach project into the South Arturo mine plan," said Ewan Downie, president and CEO of Premier. "Additional oppor- tunities continue to be advanced that are expected to add to future reserves and/ or resources in an effort to extend mining operations well into the future." More than 1.5 million tons of materi- al has been stripped at the Phase 1 open pit. Run-of-mine heap-leach material from Phase 1 is being stockpiled for potential processing at a facility that will be located on the joint venture property. If the heap- leach option is approved, construction of the facility is anticipated to begin in 2020. Drilling in 2018 has been focused on expanding near-pit mineralization and testing the nearby East Dee target that has the potential to represent an addi- tional mining opportunity on the property. Initial assays from this program are ex- pected to be released prior to year-end. The El Nino underground deposit is the down-plunge extension of the Phase 2 pit that was mined in 2016-2017. Both portals are now collared and some high- grade material located proximal to the pit highwall has now been mined and stock- piled. Mining continues to be advanced such that gold production is expected in late 2019. Following development of the upper ore zones, underground explora- tion will be initiated to identify additional mineralization, which remains open at depth and locally along strike.

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