Engineering & Mining Journal

NOV 2017

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 83

REGIONAL NEWS - U.S. & CANADA 8 E&MJ • NOVEMBER 2017 Rainy River Pours First Gold New Gold has completed its first gold pour at its Rainy River mine, and the company's commissioning plans remain on schedule. The first pour yielded approximately 500 ounces (oz) of gold and 600 oz of silver. "Our team is proud to have delivered on all of the key project milestones since the beginning of 2017, however, the first gold pour is a particularly special one for New Gold and its stakeholders," said Hannes Portmann, president and CEO, Rainy Riv- er. "This achievement is reflective of a true team effort as it would not have been possible without the commitment and resilience of our workforce as well as the strong support of our local communities and Indigenous partners — thank you." As previously announced, the Rainy River mine began processing ore on sched- ule on September 14. Since that date, the company has successfully processed approximately 290,000 metric tons (mt) of ore. Including four days of intentional downtime as part of the commissioning plan, this translates to an average process- ing rate of almost 14,000 mt/d, or 67% of the 21,000-mt/d nameplate capacity. At the same time, the mining rate through September has continued to track on plan, which has enabled the mine to deliver the scheduled quantities of ore to the mill. Sibanye-Stillwater Begins Processing Blitz Ore Sibanye-Stillwater began processing pal- ladium-platinum ore from its Blitz pro- ject adjacent to its underground Stillwater mine in south-central Montana on Sep- tember 29. Completion of a secondary escape-way system at the Blitz 10 stope block concluded the final infrastructure required for production to begin. Approximately 1,360 mt of ore ex- cavated during Blitz development and stockpiled on the surface is now being processed. Based on muck sampling along the entire 115 ft of ore width in- tersected within the stope block, the ini- tial cut delivered ore with an estimated average palladium-platinum grade of 39 grams (g) per metric ton (mt). Blitz is expected to reach full produc- tion of approximately 300,000 oz per year (oz/y) of combined palladium and plati- num by late 2021 or early 2022, increas- ing total production from Sibanye-Stillwa- ter's U.S. operations by more than 50% to approximately 850,000 oz/y. The in- creased production from Blitz is expected to further reduce unit operating costs of the U.S. operations. Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Frone- man commented, "The integration of the U.S. operations since the acquisition in May 2017 has been pleasing. The oper- ations continue to deliver as anticipated, and first production from Blitz is more than three months ahead of schedule. Ini- tial ore intersected and excavated from the Blitz project is significantly higher grade than the average Stillwater mine combined proven and probable palladium-platinum reserve grade of 19.55 g/mt and is an in- dication of the quality of the Blitz project. "Delivery of low-cost production growth into a robust price environment, supported by long-term palladium fundamentals in our view, is what underpinned our decision to acquire Stillwater. The early commis- sioning of Blitz has confirmed our view that the U.S. operations will deliver significant value to Sibanye-Stillwater in the future." Sibanye Gold acquired Stillwater Mining in a transaction that closed in May. The company changed its name to Sibanye-Stillwater at the end of August. Cliffs Acquires the Remaining Interest in Tilden Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. has acquired U.S. Steel Corp.'s 15% equity interest in the Tilden Mining Co. for $105 million in cash. Cliffs previously owned an 85% in- terest in the joint venture and now has 100% ownership of the mine. The trans- action closed on September 29. With the closing of this transaction, Cliffs has added 1.2 million long tons of annual pellet production capacity and 55 million long tons of proven and probable crude ore reserves. With the additional capacity, Cliffs U.S. Iron Ore business seg- ment's expected pellet sales volume will in- crease to 20 million long tons in 2018 from an expected 19 million long tons in 2017. "With the current strength in the Great Lakes iron ore pellet market and anticipat- ed future demand from our HBI facility, acquiring additional pellet capacity be- came a top priority for Cliffs," said Lou- renco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs. "We have man- aged Tilden since 1974 and acquiring the remaining interest of the mine became the most logical path to accomplishing this through a risk free transaction." The Tilden mine is an iron ore mining, concentrating, pelletizing and railroad operation located in Ishpeming, Michi- gan, that employs a workforce of approxi - mately 900 employees. Feasibility Study Supports eCobalt's Idaho Project eCobalt Solutions has reported positive economics from a feasibility study of its Idaho Cobalt Project (ICP), which includes an underground mine and mill near the town of Salmon in east-central Idaho and The fi rst pour amounts to roughly 500 oz of gold and 600 oz of silver.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Engineering & Mining Journal - NOV 2017