Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2013

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 17 of 171

REGIONAL NEWS - U.S. & CANADA Impacted employees are eligible for severance in accordance with Rio Tinto's policy and will also receive employee assistance and access to services with its Department of Workforce Services. Kennecott is working to reduce the impacts to its workforce by offering employee preference options, including vacation time, unpaid leave, and a onetime, $20,000 resignation incentive for retirement-eligible employees covered by the mine's collective bargaining agreement. The company anticipates that additional adjustments to reduce operating costs will be required in the coming months as operating plans are finalized. Cameco Begins Production at North Butte Cameco began production at its new North Butte in situ uranium mine in Campbell County, Wyoming, on May 13. North Butte is a satellite facility to the company's Smith Ranch-Highland in situ operations in Converse County, Wyoming. Uranium-bearing resin from North Butte is being transported to an existing central processing plant at Smith Ranch-Highland for production of uranium concentrate. North Butte is expected to contribute about 300,000 lb (136,000 kg) of uranium concentrate in 2013 and ramp up to a targeted annual production rate of more than 700,000 lb/y by 2015. Cameco operates Smith Ranch and Highland as a combined operation. Each has its own processing facility, but the Smith Ranch central plant currently processes all the uranium, and the Highland mill is idle. Together, they form the largest uranium production facility in the United States, with licensed production capacity of 5 million lb/y of U3O8. Production during 2012 totaled about 1.1 million lb (500,000 kg) of U3O8. Smith Ranch has proven and probable reserves of 6.3 million lb (2.9 million kg) of U3O8 at an average grade of 0.09%. North Butte-Brown Ranch has proven and probable reserves of 3.3 million lb U3O8 at an average grade of 0.08%. In addition to North Butte and Smith Ranch-Highland, Cameco owns the Crow Butte in situ uranium mine and central processing plant near Crawford, Nebraska. It has five other satellite sites in various stages of development and regulatory approval in Wyoming and Nebraska. Plant personnel monitor the performance of the reverse osmosis water treatment unit in the central processing facility at Cameco's Smith Ranch-Highland combined operation, where uranium is extracted from solution. The facility will process resin from Cameco's new North Butte mine. (Photo courtesy of Cameco) 16 E&MJ • JUNE 2013 Maudore Pours its First Gold at Sleeping Giant Maudore Minerals announced on April 22 the pouring of its first two gold bars, totaling approximately 945 oz of gold, at its Sleeping Giant processing facility in Quebec. Maudore acquired the facility when it acquired North American Palladium's gold division, NAP Quebec Mines Ltd., in March. The purchase included the Sleeping Giant mine and mill complex, the Vezza mine, and a nearby portfolio of exploration properties. With the pouring of its first gold at Sleeping Giant, Maudore transitioned from an exploration company into a gold producer. The company also reported that it has renamed the former NAP Quebec Mines operations as Aurbec Mines Inc. Maudore Chairman and CEO Kevin Tomlinson said, "Our transformation from a junior exploration company to a well-capitalized gold producer was accomplished in an astonishingly quick timeframe in one of the most difficult financing environments that the gold sector has experienced in recent memory. We are quite encouraged by the potential cash flow from our newly acquired assets and with the excellent platform we now have to grow the company." Maudore has more than 23 exploration projects that span some 120 km and cover an area of 1,440 km2 of the Northern Volcanic Zone of the Abitibi greenstone belt. The Sleeping Giant processing facility is located within trucking distance of some of the key projects. Subsequent to pouring its first gold at Sleeping Giant, on May 6, Maudore reported completion of an updated mineral resources estimate for the Vezza gold deposit. Measured and indicated resources in the deposit's Contact Zone are now estimated at 1.24 million mt grading 6.5 g/mt gold for a total of 261,110 oz of gold. Vezza trial mining and trucking of rock to the Sleeping Giant processing facility is ongoing. Alimak longhole mining with horizontal drilling has been replaced by sublevel narrow-vein longhole methods, which have reduced wallrock dilution. Mine staff is updating the mine plan to incorporate the current resources estimate.

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