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hosted by CT-EX along with the Forest Life Expo (Ontario’s Forestry Expo) drew thousands of delegates from around the globe and were an important part of the economic growth of Ontario and the communities in which the events were hosted.
A note from our publisher: Glenn Dredhart A bat flapped its wings somewhere in China in late 2019, and a few short months later, the global economy grounds to a near standstill. That disruption didn’t ignore the mining industry, including our enormously successful annual “Big Event” Canadian Mining Expo in Timmins or the Central Canada Resource Expo in Thunder Bay. We took that time to elevate an already amazing platform, Mining Life Online, a super-portal, built more than a decade ago, that includes more than 25,000 industry contacts and 100,000 products that serve Canada’s mining industry. We’ve assembled all of this from within the heart of Canada`s hottest mining jurisdictions. We are Northern Canada`s daily mining voice – MiningLifeOnline.net and Mining Life & Exploration News where we publish four quarterly issues every year along with souvenir mining issues as a service to the industry.
This magazine is the only printed mining publication out of Ontario and reflects the interest and a deep understanding of the mining industry and its impact on the communities it serves. Thanks to a boom in the industry, there is no lack of content that feeds these two operations. Mining in Central Canada is one of the hottest jurisdictions in the world and it is our job to get that news into the hands of stakeholders, whether it be the mines, juniors, indigenous communities, government, educational institutes, the miners or the investors, we are here to help link it all together. Canadian Trade-Ex (CT-EX), the sister company to Mining Life bore the brunt of the global pandemic. In May of 2020 we were told the Canadian Mining Expo and CEN CAN Resource Expos would have to be put on hold. These highly-valued mining events,
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Here’s the silver lining. CT-EX has been busy with the development of a software platform that will host the world’s largest virtual events. The new platform, Virtex, has been developed from the ground up to serve the clients of Ontario and Quebec on a platform that connects to Mining Life Online and connects exhibitors to an audience of stakeholders from our massive database. Other organizations just publish mining news – we bring companies together. We work hard at offering a solution to the industries needs. We offer companies an unparalleled investment by combining the integrated power of daily digital news, a world-class printed magazine, and an unrivaled virtual trade show platform. This issue of Mining Life, called The Golden Circle, is an example of just some of the activities that show how Central Canada is taking the mining industry by storm, and why we are leading from within.
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Mine Working Group
making an impact By Kevin Vincent
It has been nearly two years since the Ford government established a multi-stakeholder team to tackle Ontario’s diminishing mining reputation on the global stage. As one CEO told us privately, “We’re back!” What the CEO was referencing, was Ontario’s freefall from being one of the world’s top jurisdictions for mining, to one of the worst – a plummet that coincided with the Liberal government regimes of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne, enthusiastically supported by the NDP, who, simultaneously presided over the virtual collapse of Ontario’s forest sector during their 15-years of power at Queens Park. The recent reversal of fortunes that coincided with the election of the Doug Ford government, has impacted more than mining companies. The prices of commodities, coupled with the Ford government’s commitment to finding responsible pathways to production, are credited with a province-wide boom in mining. For example, that boom is funneling millions of dollars into First Nations communities who, for the first time, are sharing handsomely in the fruits of resource extraction on their traditional lands. The Mine Working Group, established by Ford and under the leadership of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Minister Greg Rickford of Kenora is rapidly restor-
ing Ontario’s mining reputation. In an exclusive interview with Mining Life, Rickford said Premier Ford has become Ontario’s top mining ambassador. “The Premier was thoroughly blown away by the dramatic impact that mining has in this province,” said Rickford. “When he saw the jobs created by the Harte Gold opening in October of 2018, it really made an impact.” “The opening of Harte Gold’s Sugar Zone Mine is a signal to the world that Ontario is Open for Business. It shows that this government is committed to improving the conditions for businesses, so they can thrive. It’s also one more example of why Ontario is a global leader in mineral exploration and production,” said Premier Ford at the opening. “We told the people of Ontario we would create and protect good, local jobs all over the province. We will continue to support businesses that are bringing more prosperity and economic growth to every corner of Ontario.” Since then, Rickford and Ford have jointly participated in two other major mine openings, the Newmont all-electric Borden Mine west of Timmins, and the IAMGOLD Cote Lake Mine near Gogama. While the openings, which averaged 8-10 years to achieve, are a symptom of higher enthusiasm for the province’s industry, the real heavy lifting is happening with the Working Group.
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What changes are being proposed to Ontario’s regulatory framework? Relief for claim holders 1) Allow the Minister to enact a blanket exclusion of time and/or extension of assessment work. “We are proposing the changes for relief for claim holders to improve efficiency, provide greater business certainty for claim holders and ensure the Ministry is in a position to quickly react in the event of another crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Ontario’s exploration industry,” explains the Group in a statement to Mining Life. 2) Allow for the Minister to annul the forfeiture of boundary claims in circumstances where Minister currently cannot. “We are proposing the changes to streamline the Act to reduce time and burden for claim holders and lessees, provide clear direction to clients, address stakeholder concerns around interest to rental payments, and remove references to subsections that have already been repealed from the Act.” Streamlining and Improving Consistency in the Mining Act 1) Give the Minister the authority to include those “gap lands” in a lease issued under the Act, without the burden and cost of getting a lease Cont’d on pg. 06
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Ontario to see share of
global mining industry jobs Cont’d from pg. 04
through an OIC. 2) Provide for the changing features in the Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) that allows lessees to apply for a renewal of their mining leases using the online platform. 3) Allow the Minister to waive interest on late payments for “exchange leases” issued under s. 83, in order to make the Minister’s ability to offer economic relief consistent across all types of leases administered under the Act. 4) Fix an erroneous cross-reference.
Registered Mail 1) Eliminate the legislative requirement that documentation be submitted to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and the Minister of Finance by certain prescribed means, including registered mail. 2) The definition of “Minister” be updated to “the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines”. “Legislatively prescribing the means to submit documentation is rigid and often impractical and does not allow Local Service Boards (LSBs) to utilize more practical and costefficient means of submitting documentation. Rather, it is proposed that the Ministry’s LSB handbook provide more specific direction to LSBs as to how documentation can be submitted to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and the Minister of Finance, including electronic mail, regular mail or personal delivery.”
Q. How would the proposed change benefit stakeholders? Relief for claim holders i. Most claim holders will welcome the change allowing them to apply for annulment of forfeiture. This provision has been limiting to claim holders’ management of their mining claims. Note, however, any third parties acquiring interests in the forfeited boundary claim would see those interests removed as a result of the annulment of the forfeiture. ii. During the recent pandemic, the mining industry was critical of the government for not reacting fast enough to provide relief to claim holders from filing assessment work. Stakeholders have asked for a provision to be added to the Mining Act for any future emergencies, to ensure the Minister has authority to provide “blanket relief”. Streamlining and Improving Consistency in the Mining Act i. These amendments will be positively received by stakeholders. Some stakeholders told the Ministry that they were facing economic hardship due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Minister wants to have express statutory authority to provide economic relief for interest on rental payments on all types of leases. ii. For both of these proposed changes, Indigenous organizations may express concerns that they would like similar considerations
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embedded in legislation in the event of a situation such as COVID, may express concerns that they have not been consulted on other elements of proposals, or may misconstrue these proposals.
Registered Mail i. Amending the legislation aligns with Ontario’s goal to reduce burden for the MUSH sector and also aligns with the province’s Digital First Strategy. ii. The proposed amendments are not expected to impact small businesses. The amendment will result in modernization of Local Services Boards (LSB) administration. iii. There has been no issues or concerns raised regarding this item. This is an internal proposal to align with the province’s Digital First Strategy. Local Services Boards were not consulted on this proposal. They will be advised that digital submissions are optional. They will be able to submit hard copy reports if they wish to do so. In the end, Rickford says the Ontario mining industry is well-positioned for growth and the province must take advantage of growing trends. Rickford told Mining Life that the Premier is “intensely involved” in contributing to the process of making certain that Ontario gets more than its share of the global mining industry jobs and the benefits that come with the opening of new mines.
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Northern city has Incredible untapped exploration / manufacturing potential By Kevin Vincent
The long-term economic picture for the Timmins economy is like a 3-D chess challenge. Issues like youth out-migration, skilled labour shortages, and of course location, are just a handful of the items that define our current set of challenges. Yet, when it comes to the city’s underlying economic propellant, mining, the city and region have plenty to celebrate, including massive potential to be a part of the growing global green economy. There are seven mines that feed the local economic engine including the Newmont Borden Mine near Chapleau, the Newmont Hollinger Pit, Pan American Silver’s Timmins West and Bell Creek Mines, Glencore’s Kidd Creek, Newmont’s Hoyle Pond, Steetley Talc’s Penhorwood Mine, and if you throw in Kirkland Lake Gold’s Detour Mine, which includes a large workforce and contractor supply from Timmins, you have a very robust picture. While gold, and to a lesser extent, zinc and copper are going to be a pillar of the city’s economic foundation for years to come, there are other metals and minerals that are likely to take center stage. In a recent podcast, Billionaire Canadian mining investor Robert Friedland outlined a remarkable
transformation occurring across the global mining industry. “There are a few elements in the periodic table that are absolutely critical to the electrification of the world economy, to the generation of electrical energy, to the transmission of that energy and the storage of that energy,” Friedland said.
A lot of those raw materials are available in the Timmins region. Resident Geologist Zeinab Azadbakht with the Ministry of Energy Northern Development and Mines (pictured above) told Mining Life that Timmins is still vastly underexplored. “Looking at the kind of ore deposits that we have in Timmins, and how rich they are regarding the ore itself, companies have started re-looking at their property. Now that the gold price keeps coming up, and also nickel and copper, property owners
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have started to look into their properties for lower grades,” she said. Azadbakht points out that back in the 1800’s, there use to be veins of golds. Then they went through alteration and formed placer gold which was the main thing people looked for when they went to Yukon. “And then when that was out, they started to look into lower and lower and lower, and now we extract gold from quartz veins. Azadbakht, who has a Ph.D. in economic geology, taught the subject and a few other subjects and labs at the University of Regina from 2016-2020 before relocating to Timmins to take on the Resident Geologist position for the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “That’s the basis of the economic development. The grade, which will be going down as we go forward as the price goes up. So, something that might not have been economic in value, let’s say 20 years ago, it might be of economic value now. So that’s why all the big companies are starting to reassess. They’re reassessing their ore body to see how the value has changed throughout time, that’s something that happens all around the world,” she adds. Azadbakht draws a fascinating picCont’d on pg. 10
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Companies look to reassess data as rare earth elements & base metal prices / demand climb
Cont’d from pg. 08
ture of Timmins. The historic abundance of gold meant that prospectors, geologists and junior mining companies could spend their energy and investment dollars chasing precious metals. That of course changed when the zinc-copper behemoth orebody of Kidd Creek was discovered in the 1960’s. Today, the exploration landscape has changed. “Regarding the Timmins mining camp, we have gold, we have copper, we have zinc, and so many other different elements. And now that the values are starting to kind of hike up, the industry has started to look into the grade. They’re looking to reassess data. “And regarding Timmins itself, the city of Timmins is a mining society. The majority of the income for the city is coming from the mines. Azadbakht says there are other opportunities, “Plus we have people that have started looking at other elements rather than gold like rare earth element (REE) and nickel. But there might be something else coming up that we don’t know as of now, that would be something that would add to the value of mining companies.” Elements like niobium are expected to play a big role in the green economy for electric vehicles, not
just cars. Aluminum will be a big winner. Specialty steels, lighter steels require higher quality iron ore specialty metallurgy to make a steel object lighter and stronger. If you add scandium to an aluminum ladder, you use a lot less aluminum and the ladder gets even lighter. Aluminum is just electrical energy in solid form. It takes a huge amount of electrical energy to make aluminum. The global light-weighting theme of making trucks, buses, trains, motorcycles out of scandium aluminum alloy is revolutionizing vehicle manufacturing. Timmins mayor George Pirie told Mining Life that the city needs to reassess its thinking when it comes to the potential for value-added economic opportunities around all of our base and precious metals and minerals. “For example, think of something like talc. We mine it here, ship it south, then it gets shipped into New Jersey where a few chemicals are added to it, then it gets shipped off to China, where the Chinese manufacture brake pads and ship them back to North America” “Why can’t we be doing that right here in Timmins?” Pirie adds. Robert Friedland says it doesn’t matter whether you’re making a skateboard or a motorcycle or a car or a bus or an SUV or a drone or an aircraft you want to make it stronger
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and lighter, if you want to reduce the generation of global warming gas. In that respect, niobium wins, copper wins, silver wins, nickel wins, cobalt wins, vanadium wins, scandium wins, aluminum wins. Those are the elements in the periodic table that are increasingly relevant and will become more valuable against the United States dollar, given that it is an absolute requirement to green the world economy. Mining Life asked Azadbakht whether there is still potential for another VMS (volcanic massive sulphide) deposit, similar to Kidd Creek. Yes. The rethinking of low grade mineralized bodies as potential economic mines will have an impact in the Porcupine division. The presence of Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization of the past (i.e. Alexo, Langmuir, Texmont, Montcalm) suggests there is still a potential. “Regarding the geology, I believe yes, there are chances for us to be able to find another VMS deposit in our district.” She goes further to say that the presence of nickel copper PGE mineralization of the past, Alexo, Langmuir, and Montcalm suggests there is still a potential.” Are there other minerals, explorers should be looking for in the Timmins area we wanted to know. “When I joined the RGP (Resident Geologists Program) in August, what I did first was to look into the commodities that we have in Timmins camp and in Sault Ste. Marie camp. And then, soon, I realized that the majority of the focus is on gold and everybody seems to be so wrapped up with gold. Every Cont’d on pg. 12
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GO for 2021 By Kevin Vincent
If there was a Nobel award for patience, you’d have to hand it to Greg Romain. The longtime president of Gowest Gold is now working to bring its 100%-owned Bradshaw Gold Deposit into production. In late October 2020, the company got the green light from Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to proceed with production. “We have just achieved two more critical milestones towards seeing the Bradshaw gold deposit as the newest gold mine in the Timmins camp,” Romain said at the time. “We appreciate the patience and support of our many stakeholders and look forward to providing further detail as we move towards production.”
Cont’d from pg. 10
year, we write a Recommendation for Exploration or RFE. “ Reading previous RFEs, the majority are associated with gold and VMS deposits or a mixture of the two” “My background is igneous rocks. I did extensive work on granites for my Ph.D., same thing for my masters. So, I started looking around in Timmins at the geological map to see what other types of rocks we have. There’s a very good amount of igneous and granite but no one has actually worked on it. I looked for tin to see how many MDI points we have for tin. There is just one registered MDI point for tin in the whole Timmins District, which is beyond belief, because we have the material that can be related to tin mineralization. Then I came across, an apatite mine and it kind
of clicked. Here is what I know: apatite is a REE-bearing mineral which is currently being extracted and used as a fertilizer. While the presence of it may indicate potential sources for REE-mineralization (i.e, it is one of the most common minerals associated with REE-bearing rocks). Mining Life aske are there other commodities of interest in the area? For the Porcupine Mining Division, there is the start of Rare Earth Elements mining exploration in northern areas. It is expected to grow in intensity in the future. The NioBay James Bay Lowlands Niobium project is a good example. As the global economy continues to shift priorities, one thing seems certain the local economies of Timmins and other northern communities appears endless.
Gowest also refers to the prospective mining area as the North Timmins Gold Project or NTGP. In addition to its focus on exploration and evaluation of its Bradshaw gold deposit, which represents approximately 50-hectares, the company is exploring additional gold targets on the remainder of its land package. That package generally surrounds, or is contiguous with, the Frankfield property and includes exploration interests along the largely undeveloped Pipestone Fault area of the Timmins Gold Camp, including a contiguous block of claims extending approximately 18-kilometres along the Pipestone Fault from the Bradshaw gold deposit southeast towards the Clavos deposit. The company is also evaluating the potential to increase its holdings in the vicinity of the Pipestone Fault, along with other acquisition opportunities. Gowest has two other properties known as the Tully and Whitney. Gowest’s North Timmins Gold Project (NTGP) currently covers one patented mining claim, 11 mining leases and 56 unpatented mining claims over a total of 11,185 hectares in Evelyn, Gowan, Little, Prosser, Tully, and Wark Townships in the Timmins gold camp. This includes 26 unpatented mining claims (3,302 Cont’d on pg. 14
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Critical milestone reached at Bradshaw Cont’d from pg. 12
hectares) held under joint venture with Transition Metals Corp. The project is comprised of three main properties: Frankfield, Tully and Pipestone. Mining Production Permit Gowest received official notice October 28th from the Ontario’s Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines that the Company’s Mine Production Closure Plan has received final review and filing in accordance with the Ontario Mining Act. Gowest has now received all environmental permits required to bring the mine into commercial production. Ore-Sorter Commissioned and First Processing Scheduled Gowest’s ore-sorter has also been commissioned in preparation for sorting the mixed development ore currently stockpiled on surface. This material will be trucked to Northern Sun’s nearby Redstone Mill. Gowest has been exploring the Frankfield Property since 1983. A number of diamond drilling campaigns have been carried out on the property and semi-continuous diamond drilling has been carried out since 2004. Following a reorganization and change of the company’s management team, Gowest has more than doubled the size of the original mineralized land package at the Bradshaw Gold Deposit (formerly known as Frankfield East) since 2010 when it contained an inferred mineral resource of 510,000 ounces of gold. In mid-2011, Gowest contracted
a HELITEM electromagnetic and the Timmins camp,” Greg Romain, magnetic airborne geophysical sur- Gowest President, said. vey covering what was then – be- Gowest is reporting that Northfore Gowest added more land to ern Sun’s Redstone Mill began the project area – to map the geol- processing the first gold-bearing ogy and structure of the area. mixed development ore from BradIn June, 2015 Gowest announced shaw on December 1, 2020. As the results of a Pre-Feasibility previously reported, this material is Study completed for the Bradshaw part of the gold-bearing mixed dedeposit, part of the larger North velopment ore that had been colTimmins Gold Project (NTGP). lected and stockpiled on-site from In preparing to reach this critical the company’s ongoing Advanced milestone, Gowest raised sufficient Exploration Bulk Sample program. capital to enable the company to Gowest Gold Ltd. is pleased to prosignificantly advance Bradshaw by vide a further update on its progexpanding the historical resource ress towards bringing the Compaby drilling and analysis in excess ny’s 100% owned Bradshaw Gold of 65,000 meters, developing a de- Deposit into production. tailed mine plan, and completing Financing Discussions the work required to obtain the vari- The company also notes that it is ous mining permits. working with interested parties and The PFS was conducted by Stan- reviewing both short- and longtec Mining. The PFS was focused term financing opportunities reon mining the upper 500 vertical quired to raise sufficient funds to meters. Previous drilling has inter- complete the bulk sample and adcepted mineralization at a vertical vance Bradshaw towards commerdepth of 1,350m, indicating the de- cial production, targeted for 2021. posit remains open for additional In addition to everything else, the development. company conducted extensive On December 10th, the company consultations with Indigenous announced the first Bradshaw Communities, the City of Timmins, and government officials related to Gold ore being processed. “Following on our recent receipt of its planned operations and the cloour mining production permit for sure plan. Based on the input from Bradshaw as well as commission- various groups, Gowest completed ing of the ore-sorter and other op- the final revisions to the closure whichnear provides details for The Wesdome Mines gold mine Val d’Or, Quebec. erational advancesGold at the site, Kiena this plan, how the mine will be operated and start of milling at Redstone represents another critical milestone to- closed, and how the site will evenwards seeing the Bradshaw gold tually be reclaimed once mining deposit as the newest gold mine in activities are completed.
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Photo: Certarus “TN drop point with trailer”: Timmins area mine using CNG for mine air heating
Certarus helping mines reach ESG targets With Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) becoming a primary driver in the mining sector, operators are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate their sustainable practices. Certarus believes that its compressed natural gas (CNG) offering can contribute to meeting these ESG targets. Certarus is the North American market leader in bulk compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery, with over 460 CNG trailers in its fleet. It supports industrial operations such as mines, pulp mills, asphalt plants and grain dryers as they reduce their environmental footprint while also decreasing their heating, drying, processing and power generation costs. According to Stéphane Gallant, Certarus’ Manager of Business Development, “Replacing propane and diesel with natural gas helps to significantly reduce carbon emissions.” The company currently supplies CNG to many mines in Northern Ontario and Northwestern Québec including the Kirkland Lake Gold and Lake Shore Gold operations, primarily for seasonal mine air heating and onsite power generation.
Certarus takes natural gas from the pipeline and compresses it into containerized tank trailers. The trailers are connected to a pressure reduction system at the client site which depressurizes and warms the gas to the client’s specifications. Instead of off-loading into storage tanks, the trailers are left onsite until the gas is consumed. The company’s remote monitoring and dispatch system ensures the timely switching of trailers, without the client having to get involved. As Certarus sources gas closer to clients, it lessens transportation risks associated with sourcing fuel by truck in Southern Ontario or by rail in Western Canada. In addition to lowering both emissions and operating costs, natural gas also has practical advantages.
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It does not gel or freeze at -40 degrees Celsius the way other fuels do, which reduces fuel management costs for clients. As it remains in gaseous state, there is no risk of liquid spills or soil contamination. It is lighter than air, which means it dissipates in the event of a leak. Gallant added that “Certarus supplies natural gas to US and Canadian industrial clients from its 15 fixed compression hubs and 15 mobile compressors. Specifically, for Northern Ontario, we’ve built facilities in Red Rock and Timmins, allowing us to serve the northwest and northeast parts of the province as well as Northwestern Québec.” In September 2020, the company commissioned its Southern Ontario compression hub, its third in Ontario.
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The Gold industry’s most talked-about company Exploration drilling at Crawford Project, north of Timmins.
By Kevin Vincent
As a new year begins, industry watchers are wondering what, as-yet-to-be-declared announcements Kirkland Lake Gold has up its sleeve for 2021. That’s understandable as KL Gold has made significant strides forward in the past 14 months. The company acquired the Detour Lake gold mine a year ago as its third producing asset, invested in several junior mining companies including Wallbridge Mining, Melkior Resources, and more. Add to that, the Newmont exploration agreement for the Timmins region, and you have a lot of spinning plates. The company is also establishing its Canadian Operations Centre in Timmins moving some 120-170 jobs to the city, many of which will be relocations from downtown Toronto. “We want to take a lot of the jobs that were done in Toronto and move them closer to site,” President Tony Makuch told a Timmins Chamber of Commerce audience in November. “There are a lot of jobs that were happening at the site that we see we don’t always need them at site. They’d actually
be better, more comfortable, at a central location.” Timmins mayor George Pirie was instrumental in the decision. Pirie told Mining Life that he began conversations with Makuch shortly after he was elected. The two explored the possibility that Timmins would be a perfect location for establishing Kirkland Lake’s Canadian Operations Centre. Makuch added, “Timmins fits for us for a number of reasons. It is the regional centre. You have a lot of services, especially air services in Timmins, so the logistics of bringing people in and out helps. We’re looking at it from that perspective.” Timmins has long been one of Detour Lake’s central supplier hubs. That factored into the company’s decision as well. “We’re trying to recruit from Northeastern Ontario, from the region, as much as possible, as opposed to across Canada. We want to start flying people in and out to the mine site, as opposed to busing. Combined travel time to the workplace currently sits around 3½ hours. By the time people show up at the Cochrane bus terminal and get bused up to site, it’s a significant amount
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of time. We’re trying to improve the logistics on that. Trying to be more centralized,” Makuch added. “People come to work at Detour; they’re already going to be 14 days away from home. Then I’m asking you to take a half a day, or a day, to get to work, and then a half a day, or a day, to get home. I think that’s not really proper,” added Makuch. As for 2021, in early December, KL Gold issued a news release that suggested 2021 was going to be a great year for the company. “Our business plan for 2021 positions Kirkland Lake Gold for another year of strong operating and financial results and continued industry-leading financial strength,” said Makuch, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The plan also includes higher levels of investment, reflecting the significant growth potential and exploration upside at all three of our cornerstone assets, as well as the payment of over $200 million in dividends to shareholders. We have made significant progress returning capital to shareholders in 2020, and plan to continue this trend in the coming year at the same time Cont’d on pg. 20
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Super Pit Concept Detour Lake Mine (Kirkland Lake Gold Photo)
Cont’d from pg. 18
as we build our cash position.” Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. announced the company’s full-year guidance for 2021, including production of 1,300,000 – 1,400,000 ounces, driven by strong growth at Detour Lake, with all-in sustaining costs per ounce on track to remain unchanged from 2020 levels. Guidance for 2021 includes increased capital spending largely in support of future production growth at Detour Lake, and a greater commitment to exploration to follow up on recent drilling success at all three of the company’s cornerstone assets. The company also announced three-year production guidance, which demonstrates the sustainability of solid operating performance and includes growth to 1,405,000 – 1,545,000 ounces in 2023. During this period, the KL Gold will continue to work toward achieving a number of significant, and potentially transformational, milestones. Among these milestones is completing the current $50 million dollar drilling program at Detour Lake and releasing a new mine plan in 2022. The company says drilling to date at Detour Lake provides increasing evidence that the Main, West and North pit locations involve one
large, continuous deposit that can support the transition to a “super pit” concept and can lead to substantially higher levels of production. At Macassa, the #4 shaft project is continuing and remains on track for completion in late 2022, when production is expected to increase to 400,000 ounces at improved unit costs in 2023.
Highlights of 2021 guidance include: · Production of 1,300,0001,400,000 ounces (2020 guidance: 1,350,000 – 1,400,000 ounces including 29,391 ounces from Holt Complex) · Operating cash costs per ounce sold of $450 – $475 (2020 guidance: $410 – $430) · AISC per ounce sold of $790 – $810 (2020 guidance: $790 – $810) · Sustaining capital expenditures of $280 – $310 million (2020 guidance: $390 – $400 million) · Growth capital expenditures of $250 – $275 million (2020 guidance: $95 – $105 million) · Exploration expenditures of $170 – $190 million (2020 guidance: $130 – $150 million).
Page22 20 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
In Australia, the company is planning its largest exploration program at Fosterville since acquiring the mine in 2016, including $85 – $95 million of drilling and development. The primary objective of the program is to identify additional highgrades zones to provide future high-grade production. The 2021 exploration plan will largely follow up on existing drill results that included the intersection of quartz with visible gold, found in large concentrations and at exceptional grades in the Swan Zone, in multiple other locations. Three months prior to the Timmins announcement, KL Gold announced a Strategic Alliance with Newmont Canada that raised a lot of eyebrows. The two companies announced that KL Gold and its wholly-owned, indirectly-held subsidiary St Andrew Goldfields Ltd., had entered into a strategic alliance agreement with Newmont Canada FN Holdings ULC in connection with exploration and development opportunities around the KLG’s Holt Complex and Newmont’s properties in Timmins. Under terms of the agreement, Newmont paid Kirkland Lake Gold US$75 million to acquire an option on certain mining and mineral rights related to the Holt Mine property. Cont’d on pg. 22
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Macassa Production expected to ramp up over next three years Cont’d from pg. 20
The agreement also includes a commitment by the two companies to work together to identify additional regional exploration opportunities around their respective land positions in the region where they may be able to cooperate in the future to advance projects and create value for both companies. Under terms of the Agreement, the Option may be terminated by the Company upon the assumption of certain liabilities related to the Holt Mine property. Kirkland Lake Gold will act as manager of Strategic Alliance activities. Ownership of all infrastructure on the Holt Mine property, including the Holt Mill, is retained by Kirkland Lake Gold, and the Option does not involve the other Holt Complex assets, including the Holloway and Taylor mines. The Holt Advanced was acquired by Kirkland Lake in January 2016, and consists of three underground mines – Holt, Holloway and Taylor – in addition to the Holt processing mill. The Newmont agreement solely applies to the Holt mine. Built in the late 1980s by Barrick, Holt produced 113,952 oz. gold in its final year at a grade of four grams per tonne. At the time, Newmont stated that the “formation of the strategic alliance supplies Kirkland Lake Gold with capital to gauge strategic op-
tions for the way forward for the Holt mining complex, discover on its present properties, and consider different regional alternatives the place Kirkland and Newmont might cooperate sooner or later.” The announcement of the KL Gold / Newmont alliance put a spring in the step of a number of the area’s juniors, including Melkior, Moneta Porcupine, and others who have their fingerprints on a number of exploration properties in the Timmins and Kirkland Lake mining regions. The news has also meant good things for the Timmins real estate market. With few new homes being built, existing owners are getting handsome offers for their properties, some before the listing is even made public – a rarity in Timmins. Timmins Mayor George Pirie welcomes the news. “Tony (Makuch) knows Timmins well,” he told Mining Life. “I’m not surprised that KL Gold would take such an interest in the city as we continue to have enormous development potential. They already make substantial investments in the city and a number of our local suppliers are benefiting from their relationship with Kirkland Lake Gold as well, both in Kirkland Lake and at Detour Lake,” he added. As for the three-year guidance, Kirkland has more good news for investors. “Looking at our cornerstone assets, Detour Lake is set to significantly grow in 2021, with production for the
Page24 22 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
year targeted at 680,000 – 720,000 ounces at AISC per ounce better than $900 per ounce. We regard the 2021 production level as a benchmark to be sustained and ultimately increased going forward. Under current assumptions, including receiving required permits and approvals, we expect production to grow to approximately 800,000 ounces in 2025 within the current mine plan. Having said that, we plan to present a new mine plan in 2022, following completion of the current drilling program, which we believe could transform and significantly improve the longer-term outlook for Detour Lake, with the establishment of a “super pit” concept based on the potential existence of a much larger, continuous deposit around the existing pit locations and Mineral Reserves. “Production at Macassa is expected to ramp up over the next three years, reaching 400,000 ounces in 2023 following completion of the #4 Shaft. Production in 2021 is targeted at 220,000 – 255,000 ounces at AISC per ounce sold averaging below $750. With completion of the #4 Shaft on track for late 2022 and production commencing from near surface zones using a surface ramp, we anticipate production rising to 295,000 – 325,000 ounces in 2022 before increasing to 400,000 – 425,000 ounces in 2023. “Production at Fosterville in 2021 will be lowered from the levels achieved in 2019 and 2020. We have a large orebody at Fosterville, but the high-grade components of the existing Mineral Reserve involve a short production life. When you consider that we have identified a number of large mineralized systems, all including intersections containing quartz with visible gold, we remain optimistic that additional high-grade zones can be identified. Our challenge is to maintain a sustainable and economic operaCont’d on pg. 24
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Timmins Mayor George Pirie highly optimistic about mining’s future
Timmins Mayor George Pirie thanks Tony Makuch for the 2020 Pre-Christmas announcement that Kirkland Lake Gold is locating their Canadian Operations Centre to Timmins. (Photo by Kevin Vincent) By Kevin Vincent
Ask the mayor of Timmins about the state and future of mining in Timmins and you are in for a lesson on global economics. Timmins is undergoing a huge boost to its mining sector and George Pirie couldn’t be happier for the entire region. Pirie, the former President and CEO of Placer Dome Canada, played a pivotal role in early talks with Kirkland Lake Gold on their decision to move its Canadian Operations Centre and more than 120 jobs to Timmins, a Cont’d from pg. 22
tion while we continue to drill to identify the next high-grade area for future mining. The result of our work is a production profile that includes 400,000 – 425,000 ounces in 2021, moving to a range of 325,000 – 400,000 ounces in 2022 and 2023. Longer term, we will work to sustain operations at that level of production for a number of years, subject to continued drilling success. Our budget for exploration at Fosterville in 2021 is $85 – $95 million, by far our largest commitment since we acquired the mine in November 2016.”
Three-year production guidance · Consolidated: Production targeted at 1,300,000 – 1,400,000 ounces in 2021, 1,300,000 – 1,445,000 ounces in 2022 and 1,405,000 – 1,545,000 ounces in 2023. · Detour Lake: Production targeted at 680,000 – 720,000 ounces in 2021, 2022 and 2023. · Macassa: Production to total 220,000 – 255,000 ounces in 2021, 295,000 – 325,000 ounces in 2022 and 400,000 – 425,000 ounces in 2023 · Fosterville: Production targeted at 400,000 – 425,000 ounces in 2021 and 325,000 – 400,000 ounces in both 2022 and 2023. Page26 24 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
project Pirie quietly initiated when he was first elected in 2018. Add to that, the announcement of IAMGOLD’s billion-dollar Cote Lake Mine south of Timmins, and a massive uptick in exploration in the Timmins camp, and you have an extremely robust picture that any mayor would welcome. With the rising price of gold and other commodities, Pirie sees Timmins and the surrounding region benefiting greatly on several fronts. “I’m very, very happy in relation to what we see with the mining space here in Timmins. Obviously, we’ve had very, very robust gold prices. They’ve softened a wee bit in the last month or so, but still $1850US is still a very, very, very good price. And in the markets, they say onrisk or off-risk. When we’re talking about trillions and trillions of debt out there, gold has got nothing but a good future.” Pirie points out that the American economy has been hurt by the fact that oil prices have softened, and they may be softened permanently. “For a period of time, the US was the largest producer of crude in the world. And they had achieved independence from the Saudis, the Middle East sources of oil and they’ve lost that advantage. The fracking sources are highly dependent on price and that industry has a very rapid depletion rate.” Then there’s trade wars that are brewing with the Chinese. The Chinese are aggressively moving off of fossil fuels and coal. They’re expanding energy sources just to include oil, and coal. “Their whole objective is to be energy independent. The Chinese economy this last year, has achieved double Cont’d on pg. 26
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Cont’d from pg. 24
TIMMINS SEEING ITS SHARE OF MINING ACTIVITY AS PRICES FOR PRECIOUS AND BASE METALS CLIMB
digit growth. And they hold more gold than anybody else.” While junior miners and majors are making dozens of moves in and around the Timmins camp, Pirie says global geo-politics are clearly going to have a major impact on precious, base, and rare earth metals. “In 1956, that’s exactly what the US did with Britain and France, where they just started to sell the British and France financial instruments, and that was to force the French and the British to release the Suez Canal.” Pirie says the Chinese are very close today to wielding the same type of influence that the US had 1956 with the Suez Canal crisis. “The Chinese, obviously, are buying gold for a reason. I think it’s inevitable that a Suez-like event is going to happen, you’ll be looking at $5,000 to $10,000 per ounce for gold,” he adds. Why? “Because the world as we’ve just seen, evidenced by COVID-19, is not comfortable with just the US financial instruments that all the debts be denominated in US currencies. And that’s the ultimate strength for gold.” And where there’s strength for gold, that spells strength for northern Ontario and northwestern Quebec where gold and other commodities are in abundance. “That’s why I stress all the time, that especially in Northern Ontario, we need the same types of incentives that Quebec has. All of these territories have to be drilled. So, the drills are turning, companies are thriving, because if you drill, you’re going to find something. We’re so well-endowed. That’s from a precious metal point of view.” Pirie says it’s the same for base metals. “What we’re seeing with the base metals, with copper and zinc and nickel, especially, nickel’s back over seven bucks an ounce, copper’s about a little bit over three bucks, I didn’t check the price of zinc today, but it was about a buck 25 last week. That’s a pretty good price. And so, again, with the drills testing, churning, you will find the materials here in the Canadian Archaean. So, from a micro point of view, yes, that’s
Page28 26 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
a very, very good time to be looking for minerals, notwithstanding, the boom in battery minerals which people are looking for.” BATTERY METALS Then there’s the shift to battery metals and rare earths. The Timmins mayor is quick to point out that again, geo-politics and shifting global appetites for a greener economy are big wins for the north, and Timmins in particular. “Let’s turn back to China. China controls the rare earth in Congo. And I was just talking with a group of Japanese investors just last week, and they’re very, very aware of the fact that how the world could be held to ransom, because of the Chinese stranglehold on these battery minerals, to the point that sanctions were threatened. And so, there’s this switch to where the real power comes from. The power and currencies have always been associated with fossil fuels. And now of course, you can see that that is changing to battery minerals.” Pirie says there’s a requirement for everyone else to find these minerals. “A few months ago, maybe back in the summer, there was reports scoffing at, of course, President Trump wanting to buy Greenland, and they didn’t understand. Well, it wasn’t an idle wish. Greenland has rare earth. And it’s the same rock, of course, that was attached to Baffin Island and the Canadian Archaean, it’s the same rock. These are strategic metals.” The former mining executive turned politician, says the shift is very real, and it will be lasting. “This isn’t something that’s fleeting, this is something that’s going to be there for long term. We’re just starting to look for those. There hasn’t been a serious thrust for those metals.” And it won’t be by accident he suggests. Niobium deposits for example (see article about NioBay on Cont’d on pg. 28
Value-added manufacturing at the source!
The other facet of the mining industry that Pirie wants to tackle is value-added manufacturing. “There’s a type of metals that we
can use right through to the finished product. I mean, the valueadded industry can be located right here as well. And that’s what we’ll be shooting for.” Mining Life put Pirie’s assertion to the test, we asked: “To put you on the spot about that, it’s been talked about in Timmins as you know, probably for 50 years. And for whatever reason, we’ve not taken it seriously, or the time and effort just wasn’t really put into it that there is this extraordinary opportunity to do value-added manufacturing right here in Timmins where the source of the raw material is – how would your approach be different?” “Let’s just focus on Imerys Talc just for instance. There’s an industrial metal, from my point of view, this should be huge for Timmins. Imerys had some problems a couple of years ago in relation to lawsuits associated with talcum powder. So, the Canadian division of talcum producers, we’ve got one over at Horwood Lake, the facilities
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Page 78), were discovered in the Chapleau area back in the 1950’s and 1960’s and now there’s a huge deposit waiting to be finalized south of Moosonee. The global attention-shift has led to a measurable spike in the number of companies coming to Timmins. “Yeah, it’s very, very interesting, as I said, I was just talking to the Japanese investors. They want to know (what Timmins has to offer). It’s very appropriate that our new resident geologist here in Timmins is focused on rare earth. And I’m hoping what we’ll do is promote the interest for the exploration of those rare earths here in the Porcupine area.” MANUFACTURING
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here in Timmins had filed Chapter 13 which is to protect themselves.” “So, the Canadian arm of that business which produced the talc was sold, and it was bought by a corporation that’s owned by Aaron Regent. Aaron Regent is president CEO of Niobec in St. Johns. Aaron is an accomplished businessman. He’s chairman of the Bank of Nova Scotia. He is an ex-president and CEO of Barrick. So, what we’re talking about here, is now a Canadian champion, Aaron Regent who is now running a corporation that owns one of the best TALC facilities in the world really, here in Canada.” When Pirie campaigned for mayor in 2018, he toured the Imerys facility in Timmins. “In talking to the Imerys Talc people, they were shipping 21-ton totes to Toronto, and those totes were shipped to Germany, where there was some additives mixed, and then, they were shipped to China. They were making ceramic brake pads. I don’t know why you would have to make them any place other than here in Timmins. If you can make them in China and ship them all over the world, I don’t know why you can’t make them in Timmins and ship them all over the world.” “So, I think we are limited only by our vision on this, where we’ve got a huge push to diversify the economy and that’s what we must do here in Timmins. So that’s what has to happen here. “Half of the product out of Foleyet gets shipped to Chapleau, and it gets down into New York and it gets transformed, and on to the Corning Glass facilities. We have to look further down that value chain and say, well, why can’t they be here? Because we’ve got everything that would be required to ensure that that production happens here.”
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Newmont Porcupine has a strong productive 2020 The year that everyone has finally put in their rearview mirror was an encouraging mixed bag of news for Newmont, the world’s #1 gold miner. The company’s latest filings (available at press time) for the 9 months ending September 30, 2020 indicate that Newmont’s Canadian operations contributed well to the company’s overall bottom line. In the Porcupine Division, the company’s Borden, Hoyle Pond and Hollinger Open Pit operations combined for 244,000 ounces, up significantly over 2019 where the three mines produced 130,000 ounces. “Capitalizing on the strength of our portfolio and higher gold prices, we delivered a record third quarter adjusted EBITDA of $1.7 billion and free cash flow of $1.3 billion. This was the best quarterly financial performance in Newmont’s history,” said Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We also remain focused above all else on protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce and neighboring communities as the pandemic continues,” “As demonstrated Page32 30 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
by our second dividend increase this year, with a 79 percent increase in January and a further 60 percent increase in October, I am confident that our worldclass portfolio is best positioned to generate industryleading value and returns for our shareholders.” At Musselwhite, the company was able to produce 63,000 ounces through the first nine months, a welcome outcome, given the Musselwhite was shut down for a portion of 2019 due to the loss of the company’s underground conveyor system. Due to the impact of the conveyor fire in March 2019, Musselwhite had no gold production or sales in the third quarter of 2019. Gold production increased 4% in the Porcupine Division, primarily driven by higher ore grade mined from Borden, which achieved commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2019, a higher draw down of in-circuit inventory as compared to the prior year and higher mill recovery from the lead nitrate circuit. The Porcupine Division was acquired during the second quarter of 2019 as part of the Newmont Goldcorp transaction. Gold production increased 88% primarily Cont’d on pg. 32
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Newmont Porcupine shows strong support for Covid-hit communities Cont’d from pg. 28
driven by nine months of operations in 2020 as compared to six months in 2019, in addition to Borden achieving commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2019. In April, Newmont made a massive US$20 million commitment to help host communities, governments and employees combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Newmont Global Community Support Fund was over and above other local contributions and efforts the company implemented prior to the pandemic. Newmont partnered with local governments, medical institutions, charities and non-governmental organizations to target funds towards addressing the greatest needs with a view to serving as a catalyst for long-term resiliency and future community development.
“Around the globe, we have implemented controls at our operations and offices to put the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of our people and communities above all else,” said Chief Executive Officer Tom Palmer. “Our employees, local contractors and their families live in the communities that host our operations and the health of our business is inextricably linked to the health of those communities. We not only want to protect our people and host communities from this pandemic, we want to build lasting resiliency so that our host communities thrive after the worst of this pandemic passes. As a global business with operations in eight countries, we are committed to doing our part to combat this disease and protect people and their livelihoods.”
Brian Neeley Newmont Porcupine manager of sustainability and external relations presents a check to Timmins Youth Wellness Hub Chairman Brian Marks. The $50,000 donation was one of dozens that Newmont made throughout 2020 to support community groups and businesses from Chapleau to Timmins. Page34 32 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
Page 33 35 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
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Canada Nickel, Crawford Project
The real deal!
On Route to being Canada’s Largest Base Metal Mine
By Kevin Vincent
Not long ago, the mere suggestion that Timmins might be host to a world-class nickel deposit would be dismissed out of hand. That’s the polite version. Laughed out of the room would be more accurate. After all, nickel is Sudbury and Thompson, Manitoba’s world and Timmins is mostly known for gold. But wait a minute, there’s that other Timmins mine, the copperzinc one, Kidd Creek, not far from, Crawford Township. Enter Canada Nickel Company. The junior miner didn’t start trading on the TSX Venture Exchange until late February 2020. From there, it’s been a whirlwind of activity with company CEO Mark Selby leading an aggressive exploration and financing effort that investors are keen to oblige. “The whole thing with the (Crawford) project is that my past experience, and our team’s past experience, is with the process of taking Dumont (Quebec nickel deposit) to a shovel-ready project. There
are a lot of similarities between Crawford and Dumont and we have been able to advance Crawford very aggressively because of that past experience. First discovery holes were drilled in the end of 2018, results came out in the spring of 2019. And again, because it was a joint venture with a messy structure that drove those holes, they really didn’t get much traction in the market.” Selby is referring to Noble Mineral Exploration Inc. and Spruce Ridge Resources who were working the Crawford Township property just a stone’s throw down the road from the world-famous Kidd Creek Mine in north Timmins. In the fall of 2019, Noble, Canada Nickel, Spruce Ridge Resources Ltd. and a group of private investors entered into a binding letter of intent and a subsequent Implementation Agreement to facilitate Canada Nickel’s consolidation and 100% ownership of the Crawford Project. The Crawford Ultramafic Complex, an 8-kilometre long body of peridotite, dunite and their serpentinized
Page38 36 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
equivalents, entirely under cover, was defined by a helicopter-borne magnetic and electromagnetic survey and an airborne gravity survey, both conducted over of the entire project area of 100 sq. km. An Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) review of data, provided by Albert Mining Inc. also identified the area as being prospective for nickel. “I was approached in July 2019 and I said it was pretty clear that this new project had a number of key strengths in terms of a highergrade core and more sulphides. From there, we started Canada Nickel Company, and since then, we’ve been going flat out to advance it towards development,” Selby told Mining Life. In an exclusive interview with Mining Life (the video of which is also available on our website MiningLifeOnline.net) Selby said mining investors have a deep grasp of gold exploration but not so much for other metals like nickel. Selby says most investors are unCont’d on pg. 38
Page 37 39 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
INVESTORS LIKE WHAT THEY SEE Crawford Project
Cont’d from pg. 36
derstandably, focused on gold today. “There are so many gold plays out there. People know if you’ve got a one-and-a-half-gram open pit hole close to surface, that’s good. If you get an eight-gram-per-tonne underground hole across 10 meters, that’s good. But for nickel deposits like ours, many don’t have that shorthand to say, oh, okay, well, how does 0.3% nickel work, right? I don’t understand.” When Selby and his team took over, they started a systematic and broad exploration program to determine how wide the Crawford nickelcobalt deposit might extend. The Company is also defining a PGM Zone which runs parallel to the nickel structures in the Main and East Zones at the northern contact between the peridotite and pyroxenite layer just north of the nickel structure. Investors like what they see. “Most of what’s been discovered and developed in the nickel space over the last little while has tended to be smaller, higher grade deposits,” said Selby. “And again, it’s great, because you get nice, big, splashy, shiny core, that if you can hand it to an investor, it feels nice and heavy. But the reality with
those projects is they don’t get very big, for the most part. Voisey’s Bay was an exception, rather than the rule. There’s a slide in our investor deck that’s a Vale slide, showing that, if you look at the dots in the bottom right-hand corner of the graph, they’re kind of half the size of the sulphide discoveries of the prior generation. So, our deposit’s the largest discovery since the mid1970s.” Selby says the problem with the smaller higher-grade deposits is you still have to invest all the capital involved with building the mine. “And again, you follow the mining industry, so it’s one thing to start with a big open pit that you’ve got 30 years’ worth of resource, and you just keep mining, and you don’t have to go and find it and develop. Whereas, if you’re underground, that’s great, you get started, and then you just have to keep exploring and developing to continue to find the resource.” “So, yes, it is high grade, it might be lower cash cost. But when you have to factor in that you’re spending a lot of capital to develop not really that many nickel tons, and then you have to keep exploring and developing every year to get to the nickel resource, it can get pretty
Page40 38 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
expensive.” Crawford’s maiden resource was defined with higher grade core of measured and indicated resource of approximately 263 million tonnes at 0.31% nickel, 0.013% cobalt, and 0.038 g/t Pd + Pt within an overall measured and indicated resource of approximately 600 million tonnes at 0.25% nickel, and 0.013% cobalt, and an additional higher grade inferred resource of approximately 66 million tonnes at 0.29% nickel and 0.013% cobalt within an overall inferred resource of approximately 310 million tonnes at 0.23% nickel and 0.013% cobalt. The company filed an updated NI 43-101 in early December, available on SEDAR. As for a pre-feasibility study, Selby says Canada Nickel will skip that step because of the consistency between Dumont and this project. “We did two pre-feasibility studies and two feasibility studies on Dumont so we can leverage all that work that was done there on this particular project.” Despite his high degree of optimism, Selby says there are plenty of challenges. “Some of the nickel is tied up in silicate minerals that you can’t recover by conventional floatation. So, it’s a
Looks at possibility of a processing facility in Timmins question of, how much of the nickel can you recover? So, Dumont life of mine was 43% with the best kind of years in the high 40s, low 50s percent recovery.” Another step that Canada Nickel has taken is setting up NetZero Metals to look at the possibility of a processing facility in Timmins. We asked Selby if that’s putting the cart before the horse? “No, again, we’re pretty confident that we’ve got a mine. And so, the opportunity here really is we’re the fortunate coincidence of three things. One is the host rock that makes up 90% of this deposit, and there’s some other deposits in BC and it is the same thing for Dumont, it is made up of minerals that when they’re exposed to air, spontaneously absorb CO2. In today’s world, that’s a very valuable property to be able to take advantage of.” “The second thing is because Northeastern Ontario is all hydroelectric power, we can have zero carbon electricity to use in the plant. And then Timmins, a lot of places don’t like mining period, and even fewer places like downstream processing. But since the closure of the copper and the zinc refining processing plants, Timmins is pretty hungry to see some of that come back.” “Because those three pieces are already there, it gives us the opportunity to look at putting some processing plants nearby. So, we will provide them feed, and then take their off-gases and effectively scrub them using our tailings to ensure the CO2 doesn’t come out. And with the additional CO2 that the tailings will soak up, we have the potential able to have a NetZero nickel cobalt product and iron product which we
can also produce because we have magnetite in the orebody as well.” Selby isn’t shy about his bullish outlook. “We expect to see similar kinds of performance from our deposit given the similarities between the two. And then we will roll right into the feasibility study. We’re looking at Crawford being something of a similar scale to Detour and IAMGOLD’s operations in the Timmins area,
so starting at around 35,00040,000 tonnes a day. Dumont starts at 52,000 and ramps up to 105,000 tonnes, and we’ll probably do something slightly different at Crawford - sort of 35,000 to 70,000 and then ramp up to 100,000. Something like that. So, it’ll be one of the largest base metal mines in Canada by the time we’re done.”
Charging ahead: Charging ahead nickel with net nickel with netzero zero carbon emissions carbon emissions CanadaCanada NickelNickel is rapidly advancing itsits is rapidly advancing Crawford nickel-cobalt project targeting Crawford nickel-cobalt project — -targeting TM TM production of NetZero Nickel production of NetZero Nickel
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scouring the Golden Highway By Stephane Villeneuve
With six promising properties on its asset ledger, the oldest continuously-listed mining company on the Toronto Stock Exchange is expecting a breakthrough year in 2021. Moneta Porcupine bills itself as having the gold, scale, and location. Who can argue with that? And with 50% joint venture (JV) partner Kirkland Lake Gold, Moneta Porcupine may be looking at a breakthrough year. Moneta Porcupine Mines Inc. is a gold exploration company which holds a 100% interest in six core
gold projects and a 50% JV with Kirkland Lake Gold strategically located on or along the Destor Porcupine Fault Zone corridor, one of the key mineralized structures in the Abitibi Greenstone belt, with excellent infrastructure including access to roads, water, electricity, and mills. The company points out that most gold mineralization in the region is associated with the Destor, including significant resources and producing mines now operated by Porcupine Gold Mines (Newmont-
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Goldcorp) and several others such as McEwen Mining, Pan American Silver, Osisko Mining and Kirkland Lake Gold. The Golden Highway Camp has experienced rapid advancement of gold resources by Moneta and others including Osisko Mining reflecting the strong regional gold potential. In early December, the company reported its most ambitious results yet. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are extremely pleased with the significant increase in the size of the Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d on pg. 42
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Moneta has identified
several adjacent targets
Cont’d from pg. 40
updated Golden Highway mineral resource estimate increasing our indicated resource base by 217% to 2,144,200 oz and our inferred resources by 141% to 3,335,300 oz, adding a maiden resource at Westaway and open pit resources at Windjammer South and 55. Based on the latest drill program completed in Q2, 2020 on the newly discovered Westaway/West Block deposit, we have developed a new maiden underground resource of 661,900 oz inferred at a grade of 4.71 g/t Au,” said Gary O’Connor, CEO. Moneta provided an updated mineral resource estimate and highlights of Updated Golden Highway Mineral Resource Estimate: · 217% increase in total contained gold (Au) to 2,144,200 ounces (oz) (combined underground and open pit) in the indicated category on the Golden Highway Project · 141% increase in total contained Au to 3,335,300 oz (combined underground and open pit) in the inferred category at Golden Highway · A maiden inferred underground resource of 661,900 oz at a grade of 4.71 grams per tonne (g/t) Au at
the new Westaway/West Block discovery at a 3.00 g/t Au cut-off · Total indicated underground resource of 632,300 oz at a grade of 4.05 g/t Au on the Golden Highway Project · Total inferred underground resource of 2,128,100 oz at a grade of 4.21 g/t Au on the Golden Highway Project · Includes a new open pit resource of 1,511,900 oz indicated at 0.93 g/t Au and 1,207,200 oz inferred at 1.10 g/t Au at Windjammer South and 55 at a 0.30 g/t Au cut-off The updated mineral resource was independently prepared by Micon International Limited in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“NI43-101”), with an effective date of December 08, 2020 and using a database current as of October 06, 2020. The Golden Highway project has shown a significant improvement in size over the September 2020 resource estimate and remains open. The majority of the new resources are attributed to the new Westaway high grade discovery and the definition of near surface gold mineralization in open pits. Moneta has identified several adjacent targets displaying the same
Page44 42 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
style and tenor of gold mineralization within the Golden Highway Project which were not included in this mineral resource update and are the focus of the current drill program. Moneta will also be drill testing the extensions of the current gold deposits within the Golden Highway Project in the winter 2020/2021 drill program. “We have also identified and confirmed near surface mineralized structures at Windjammer South and 55 based on the re-logging of historical core and confirmed in step out drill holes completed in the 2019/2020 winter drill program resulting in new open pit resources of 1,099,300 oz indicated and 1,027,700 oz inferred at Windjammer South and 412,600 oz indicated and 179,500 oz inferred at 55. We also increased the size of the Discovery and Windjammer North underground deposits to 39,100 oz indicated and 191,200 oz inferred combined. We are confident of the ability to continue to increase the size of the deposits and targets located within the project. We have mobilized drill rigs to test regional targets as well as test the extensions of the current resources in our winter 2020/2021 drill program,” said O’Connor.
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GALLEON GOLD Right place? Right time?
By Kevin Vincent
With the price of gold poised to hit new all-time highs, junior miners like Galleon Gold have high hopes for properties that sit in the heart of gold country. In this case, Galleon is staring at a perfect set of circumstances. They have a major shareholder, billionaire preciousmetals advocate Eric Sprott; a gold-producing neighbour – Pan American Silver’s Lakeshore Mine in Timmins; an all-star team of geologists; solid investment support; and of course, the price of gold. It all adds up to a recipe that suggests Galleon’s West Cache property, on the western fringe of goldrich Timmins, Ontario – may very well be the area’s next open pit operation. “We are fortunate to be fully funded for the addition of a second drill, we are looking forward to accelerating the program, and fleshing out the potential of Zone #9,” said R. David Russell, President and CEO of Galleon Gold. “To date, we have been able to predict the orientation and location of the structure and continue to be impressed by its continuity of grade and widths.” In October, Galleon went to market and raised an additional $8 million, including a buy from Eric Sprott. In November, the company added
another drill to the property and by early December they were already releasing results. In an online webinar with Timmins Chamber of Commerce members in October of last year, Russell made a comment that caught the attention of Timmins Mayor George Pirie. Russell said he was curious that the property’s previous owners had drilled down to and below the 800-metre level. Pirie, the former President of Placer Dome Canada, and a lifelong Timmins resident, pointed out that the world-famous McIntyre Mine in Schumacher didn’t fully blossom into a big mine until they hit gold at the 1600 level. If that turns out to be the case for Galleon, it might very well be a double win for the company. Galleon is exploring the property on the basis it will be an economic open pit mine on the south side of highway 101 and a potential underground mine on the north side. In the interim, the second drill rig is completing infill drilling of the contemplated East Pit area and related deeper extensions discussed in Galleon’s earlier news releases. “The latest results continue to confirm the continuity and grade of the mineralized shear zones from the bedrock interface to vertical depths of several hundred meters,” said the company.
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Galleon says data from both Zone #9 and the infill pit areas will be included in the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”), targeted to be published by early April 2021. Upon completion of the infill drill program, the second drill will shift to Zone #9 for additional exploration along strike and dip. Galleon is an ex-nickel company, led by Russell, who approached Eric Sprott for backing to merge with Xplor Resources to become a gold company. That merger happened in January of 2020. At the moment, Galleon’s data suggests the property has just over a million ounces of indicated and inferred gold. The company has already initiated permitting applications to conduct a large bulk sample, and they are expecting their maiden PEA (Preliminary Economic Assessment) by the end of the first quarter of 2021. The property is not underexplored by any means. Close to 350 drill holes have been dipped into the property totalling more than 160,000 metres of core. “We could double or triple the grade with the right drilling program,” Russell told the Chamber of Commerce. When all the initial work is completed, Russell says the plan at the moment is making a decision by 2023 and building the mine between 2024 and 2025. Russell speculated that the mine could create 150-200 jobs. With Kirkland Lake Gold announcing in late 2020 that the company is moving its Canadian Operations Centre to Timmins, it raised the natural question of whether Galleon is in talks with KL Gold. “Nope, not yet,” said Russell. “I think highly of Tony. Tony did one great job developing Lake Shore. Cont’d on pg. 46
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HIGHGOLD quietly assembling large Timmins land package By Kevin Vincent
It takes years to navigate a prospective gold property through drilling, impact benefit agreements and a mountain of regulatory hurdles to production - but that doesn’t seem to bother plenty of junior exploration companies like HighGold which has been busy in east Timmins. In mid-December the Vancouverbased company announced the acquisition of three mineral properties surrounding the company’s Munro-Croesus Gold Project. The new property acquisitions increased the size of the project by more than 40%, creating a single contiguous property with an area of 28 km2. The company says the project is adjacent to Highway 101 in the heart of the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Canada’s premier gold mining address with +200moz of gold production. “Consolidation of Munro-Croesus has created a single large property package in a highly prospective region of the greater Timmins gold camp; this strategic land position has received almost no contemporary exploration due to the historically fractured land ownership,” said President and CEO Darwin Green. “This represents a rare opportunity in a mature and productive gold jurisdiction and we are excited to initiate the first modern, systematic exploration of the greater Project area. Central to our exploration the-
sis is a high conviction that the exceptional tenor of gold grades produced from the Croesus mine near the turn of the last century does not occur in isolation and is indicative of a highly fertile gold environment.” The company has commenced a detailed airborne magnetic-EM geophysical survey of the Project area with plans to have drills turning again in February. In the past 12 months, HighGold has completed seven separate transactions to consolidate a patchwork of mining claims held by many different landowners. Most are patented mining claims that were originally established in the early to mid-1900s and have seen no modern exploration work. HighGold’s historic Croesus mine property, renowned for its high-grade gold mineralization has been the nucleus to the land consolidation effort and HighGold is the first company to assemble the surrounding claims under single ownership. The company isn’t shy about pointing out that the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) holds five Croesus ore specimen samples that collectively weigh 85 pounds and contain 480.7 ounces of gold or 11,310 oz. gold per short ton (387,727 g/tonne). When the drills start turning in February, perhaps HighGold will find something similar. The next 12 months for HighGold will certainly be worth watching.
Committed to advancing West Cache to production Cont’d from pg. 44
“I’d rank him in the top ten of underground mining people, open pits too, but he understands underground mining a lot differently than a lot of people do and can make something very economic and that’s what he did at the Lakeshore Mine.” Russell says he has high respect for Makuch. “I haven’t talked to him in a while, but don’t read anything into us and Kirkland Lake yet. But what I like to do is, I like to build projects.” On Dec. 9th Galleon Gold provided an overview of the baseline studies and permitting plans that have
been initiated at its 100% owned West Cache Gold Project, Timmins, Ontario “West Cache”. Story Environmental Inc. (Story) in collaboration with Blue Heron Environmental have been engaged by the Company to conduct environmental baseline studies and assist with the permitting process. Commencing the process at this early stage will ensure that all critical path items required for the submission of a mine closure plan will be completed by the time the Company is ready to proceed with a bulk sample. Story has initiated the baseline water sampling program and established groundwater and hydrogeology monitoring sites. Ad-
Page48 46 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
ditionally, geochemistry and initial archeological studies are also underway. “Permitting a mining project is a multi-faceted process that requires a significant amount of time for planning, data collection and consultation. We are committed to advancing West Cache to production in a timely manner and are pleased with the progress and plans in place to ready the property for mining. We look forward to continuing to work with local First Nations, government agencies and all stakeholders to ensure a successful path to production” commented R. David Russell, President and CEO of Galleon Gold.
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Côté Lake Full steam ahead Federal & provincial government endorses huge northern project
(L to R) Natural Resources Minister John Yakabuski looks on as IAMGOLD’s Gordon Stothart explains to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how the mine will operate. Photo taken by Mining Life`s Kevin Vincent By Kevin Vincent
Gold mines can provide incredible returns for shareholders. At the same time, they can transform, and even give birth to entire communities. The area in and around the town of Gogama is undergoing an economic renaissance. IAMGOLD is poised to spend more than a billion dollars during the development phase of the Côté Mine and a major portion of that is going into supporting the area’s two indigenous communities – Flying Post and Mattagami First Nations. The project received the green light in mid-2020 after the Ontario government implemented a “SWAT Team” of bureaucrats tasked by Premier Doug Ford and Energy Northern Development and Mines Minister Greg Rickford. Since the summer announcement the company has been running an around-the-clock construction pro-
gram and fielding a massive roster of enquiries from contractors and suppliers looking for an opportunity to cash in on some of that billiondollar spend. With the addition of Côté Lake, IAMGOLD is targeting an ambitious goal of one million ounces per year by 2024. The company’s current guidance for investors is just under 700,000 ounces per year. Construction began in September of last year, and commercial production is slated for the third to 4th quarter of 2023 with full production in 2024. Add to that, an impressive list of exploration projects including the Nelligan and Monster Lake projects in Quebec and the Gosselin and Young Shannon Projects in Ontario. It’s all great news for Premier Ford and Rickford who are promising Ontarians haven’t seen the last
Page50 48 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
of new mine openings under their watch. “The Premier knows we need to fan this flame,” Rickford told Mining Life. The previous Liberal governments deliberately roadblocked a number of promising mines that would have created thousands of jobs in the north and channeled hundreds of millions of dollars into First Nations communities. The Cote Mine is expected to 450 full-time, well-paid employees and generate an estimated $5 billion in direct and indirect payroll. Between the mine itself and the exploration deals, IAMGOLD is looking at close to 540 squares kilometers of fertile gold-hunting ground. “I can tell you that the Premier is intensely involved in everything to do with mining right now,” said Rickford. “He sees the benefits to local communities, he sees it as a major Cont’d on pg. 50
Mining half page 7.5 x 4.78 live area.pdf 1 9/18/2019 10:17:25 AM
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IAMGOLD is committed to principles of Zero Harm
Ford Government thank IAMGOLD for making a significant investment in Northern Ontario Cont’d from pg. 48
job creator, he sees it as a major contributor to Ontario’s economy, and he knows that Ontario’s vast mineral wealth is going to play a central role in the production of electric vehicles – and he wants Ontario to be a global leader on that front.” During the official Côté Lake ground-breaking ceremony, Ford had high praise for IAMGOLD. “The opening of this mine is a prime example of how the Ontario government can help businesses grow and create jobs by cutting red tape and removing regulatory roadblocks, without cost to taxpayers,” said Premier Ford. “I want to thank IAMGOLD for making this significant investment in Northern Ontario, which will create good-paying jobs for the local community and support the longterm prosperity of both the region and Ontario as a whole.” To support the project, the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry,
sure plan for the mine, and move the permitting process forward. The Ontario Mining Association recently released a graphic (below) that illustrates the vast array of permits and regulations that mining and exploration companies
and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks worked together through the One-Window Multi-Ministry Team (casually referred to as a SWAT Team) to help coordinate on the environmental assessment process, review the clo-
Ontario Mine Permitting Landscape
Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (ENDM) Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI) Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Transport Canada (TC)
36 6 24 36 12
18 12 6 6
Tailings management facility
Technology or Capacity Changes potential
Water Taking Tailings Dam
6 6 6
Permit to Take Water (required for drawing more than 50,000L/day)
Environmental Compliance Approvals (required for modifications to air or water releases) Proponent
Class Environmental Assessment (required when specific triggers met)
Waste Rock Pile New / Expansion
Fresh Water Taking
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Closure Plan Amendment (required for any material changes to site)
Changes to Water Discharge
*DFO and ECCC involved when natural bodies of water may be affected
Proponent Preparation Time vs. Regulator Review Time
MECP ENDM MNRF DFO* ECCC* MHSTCI MTO
Open Pit Expansion
Permitting for Ongoing Operations by Ministry
(Closure plan update)
Recurring renewal required
18 12 12 24
# of months for regulatory review of permit
Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations Schedule 2 (required for placing mine waste in water)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 3637 37 38 Months
This information is valid as of June 2020 and subject to change. Refer to government agency websites for current permitting requirements. Intended for general illustrative purposes. Permitting for each mining project varies based on potential impacts.
Côté project has gold reserves of more than seven million ounces have to abide by, in order to get an ultimate production permit. The government continues to work collaboratively with IAMGOLD, First Nation and Métis communities, the federal government, interest groups and forest industry to reduce delays and remove regulatory barriers for permitting and approvals to help support construction of the project. “Mining is a key driver of our provincial economy and our government is proud to support Ontario’s world-class mining industry,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines; Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “The opening of Côté Gold Mine will propel economic recovery forward in the region, once again signalling to the world that Northern Ontario is open for business, jobs and investment.” The Côté Gold Mine project has gold reserves of more than seven million ounces. During the construction phase alone, the project will create more than 1,000 jobs and generate business for hundreds of local mining supply and services companies. Once construction is complete, the mine is expected to reach full production by 2023. “Northern Ontario is a resourcerich area with considerable economic development potential, and our goal is to encourage economic growth and create good-paying jobs in these communities,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “Our government supports development that is beneficial to our communities while maintaining our commitment to conservation.” The Côté Gold Mine project is expected to have an 18-year mine life, making it a Tier One asset. Tier One mining assets are typically
identified as a 10-year mine life with annual production of at least half a million ounces. At Westwood, the company is actively engaged an exploration plan they call the “Hub and Spoke” Model. With Westwood as the hub, the
company is exploring the Fayolle property 35km northeast of RouynNoranda, just 29km northwest of Westwood, as well as the Rouyn Gold Project 4km south of RouynNoranda and 40km west of Westwood.
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Page 51 53 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
Mining in Unique Times SOLUTIONS HELPING MINES STAY COMPETITIVE Today, a successful tire management program on a mine site is about more than changing tires: it’s about using insights, highly skilled technicians and an eye on uptime at every touchpoint—from inspections and repairs to maintenance planning and inventory management—to reach targets. Until now, tire management reporting focused on looking back, to indicators such as performance, repairs and inventory. At a time when productivity and cost are most important to the success of a mine, many mine operators are considering how a data-driven approach could help their sites work more efficiently and achieve critical fleet uptime and tire investment targets. In 2019, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group rolled out TOMS, a proprietary Tire Operations Management System designed to help mines improve machine availability and maximize tire investment. Two years later, teams are using TOMS’ insights in new and increasingly important ways in these times. Page54 52 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
“Total tire management is imperative to our customers’ operations, and TOMS is a productivity tool that allows us to focus on planned work because fleet availability is critical,” says Dave Allan, vice president, Mining Tire Group Canada. “Mines also can’t have capital tied up in inventory, and using TOMS provides the ability to plan for inventory and make decisions that keep equipment running.” For example, Kal Tire has been using TOMS data for a customer in northern Ontario to plan a site-specific rotation strategy that will improve spare tire availability and productivity. Sending equipment out with the best tire for the application is also an important first step in extending tire life. Using top tier tires also means customers can take advantage of solutions, such as custom retreading, to keep tires in production and benefit from like-new performance and cost savings. Kal Tire’s Oshawa retread and repair facility has been producing the highest quality retreaded tires for Ontario customers for more than 40 years. Repairs are a mining tire management solution that is seeing innovation and provides significant value. Kal Tire recently opened a repair shop for a northern Ontario customer so injured tires could be repaired locally instead of being shipped to a distant facility. In addition to keeping equipment running, repair and retread solutions save tires from scrap piles and help companies reduce their carbon footprint. With a comprehensive tire management program that aligns with goals at every stage of tire life, both open pit Cont’d on pg. 54 and underground sites see greater efficiency and value.
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Pan American weathers COVID storm By Kevin Vincent
2020 was a mixed bag of results for Pan American Silver which operates the Timmins West Lakeshore and Bell Creek Mines in Timmins. Due to the uncertainties of COVID-19 on operations, in May of last year, the company withdrew its production, cash costs, AISC and capital expenditure forecasts for 2020. On the plus side, while the Covid pandemic impacted virtually all of the company’s global properties, they were still able to increase their Third Quarter dividend to seven cents a share U.S., a 40% increase, and in Timmins they’ve determined wider ore zones at the Bell Creek complex. Consolidated gold production, largely driven by the company’s Timmins operations, for Q3 2020 (the latest available quarter as of our publishing date) of 116.9 thousand ounces was 22% lower than the 150.2 thousand ounces produced in 2019, primarily reflecting a replenishment of in-process inventories at the heap leach operations. The company says that was expected, following the drawdown of inventories that occurred during the COVID-19 related suspensions earlier in 2020.
COVID-19 also forced the company to reduce operating capacities on account of COVID-19 protocols and adjustments being made to the mining methods at the Timmins Bell Creek mine, reduced gold production. The Timmins mines operated throughout 2020 at reduced capacity to enhance physical distancing throughout the operations, offices, and personnel transport systems. Health and safety protocols consistent with those recommended by the local and provincial health authorities, best management practices and the World Health Organization were adopted in March 2020 and continue to be refined as new recommendations are adopted. The Timmins mines were acquired on February 22, 2019. Year over year, gold production saw a 14% decrease, primarily from lower grades due a lower cut-off grade and lower throughput than expected, as the Bell Creek deposit has progressed to depths where the weak characteristics of the surrounding rock units are impacting targeted mining rates. Pan American has reduced the mining rates in the deeper zones of the Bell Creek deposit to per-
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mit installation of additional ground support. Meanwhile the company is evaluating alternative mining methods, ground support designs and mine sequencing to address the ground conditions at depth, particularly considering the substantially increased width of the ore zones being discovered in the deeper extents of the Bell Creek deposit. “We have generated strong operating cash flow year-to-date of approximately $292 million,” said Michael Steinmann, President and Chief Executive Officer in a recent news release. “In line with our capital allocation priorities, we have substantially reduced debt, with only $60 million drawn on our Credit Facility. We are also increasing the dividend for the second time this year, raising the quarterly dividend by 40% to $0.07 per common share.” At Timmins, the Bell Creek mine succeeded in replacing 100% of production, primarily through tightly spaced definition drilling, while Timmins West replaced 70% of production. Exploration drilling laterally and to depth at Bell Creek extended known veins and increased inferred mineral resources by an estimated 104 thousand ounces of gold.
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investment to avoid the consequences of slip and fall injuries in the workplace. Winter traction technology has improved rapidly over the last five years leading to advances in effectiveness, functionality, and employee compliance. There are three types of ice cleats on the market today: the mid-sole, the heel-stop and the traditional fullsole. In recent years, the mid-sole ice cleat has become the industry standard for winter traction. The K1 Mid-Sole ice cleat from Geroline Industrial Safety Products is the grip that changed the traction game. With the K1 Mid-Sole, Geroline has pushed the boundaries of winter traction, offering a smarter, safer ice cleat. Most importantly, the K1 Mid-Sole is the only certified intrinsically safe ice cleat in North America, a feature that is increasingly required on sites where electrical and thermal energy can pose a threat of sparking. The K1 Series ice cleats are made different and made smart.The adjustable strap makes it easy to outfit the whole team with K1 Series Mid-Sole Ice Cleats without wor-
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Completes 12,000 meter drill program for 2020
Discovers new high grade gold targets By Kevin Vincent
GFG Resources closed out 2020 by releasing results from nine holes from its 8,900 metre, Phase 2 drill program at its 100% owned Pen Gold Project near Timmins and company officials couldn’t be happier. “In 2020, we set out to drill 12,000 m and complete a significant regional surface program; we executed the plan successfully and we are below budget,” said Brian Skanderbeg, President and CEO. The project is located approximately 40 kilometres (“km”) west of Timmins. The contiguous land package, one of the largest in the region, consists of approximately 475 square km and is situated between Newmont’s Borden Gold Mine and Pan American Silver’s Timmins West Mine. A significant exploration program is being planned for 2021 to further follow-up on recent discoveries and test newly generated targets such as the R66 Prospect. The company expects to begin the 2021 program in late-January with approximately 5,000 m of drilling to be completed in Q1. “This year (2020) our team performed exceptionally well by devel-
oping new high-grade gold targets such as R66, testing 12 different targets, yielding new discoveries, expanding several known zones and engaging Alamos Gold as a strategic partner. We accomplished this during a time that brought unique challenges to us all.” “We are encouraged by these initial results as we discovered a new gold zone at Sewell North, successfully expanded the HGM system up-dip and along strike and confirmed mineralization at depth at the Nib Prospect. With the drill program now complete, our focus will be on analyzing the significant amount of data that we have accumulated in 2020. We look forward to receiving the remaining assays from 21 holes and to starting the new year with an aggressive 5,000 m drill program.” During the Phase 2 drill program, the company completed a total of 30 holes testing multiple targets at the Sewell, HGM, Crawford, Nib, Boundary, Broadway and Broadsword regional targets. The remaining 21 holes are being processed and the company says it will release the results as they become available. The Project covers an approxi-
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mately 55-kilometre-long section of Archean greenstone that contains the interpreted western extension of the Porcupine-Destor Fault Zone within the same geological setting that hosts many of the gold deposits found in the Timmins Gold Camp.
2020 Phase 2 Initial Drill Program Results
The company completed a total of 30 holes (8,900 m) testing numerous targets in the eastern portion of the Project. The Phase 2 drill program was designed to follow-up on the high-grade gold discovery at the Nib Prospect (PEN-20-47: 71.27 grams of gold per tonne (“g/t Au”) over 8.5 m, including 511.00 g/t Au over 1.15 m), conduct stepout holes at the HGM and Sewell prospects and to test earlier stage targets at Sewell North, Boundary, Broadway and Broadsword. These initial drill results are from the Sewell North, HGM, Nib and the Boundary prospects.
Sewell North Prospect
Reconnaissance drilling with three holes at the Sewell North Prospect intercepted a new gold discovery along a parallel structure approximately one km north of the Sewell Cont’d on pg. 60
Nib Prospect returns 71.27 g/t Au over 8.5 m Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d from pg. 58
Prospect. Prior to GFG, the target area had seen no drill testing. Hole PEN-20-054 returned 4.56 g/t Au over 0.7 m at 15.7 m downhole. Gold mineralization is hosted in a quartz-pyrite-tourmaline vein system associated with strongly-sheared, albite-silica altered diorite, a geological setting is similar to the Timmins West Mine, which is located 20 km to the northeast. Based on these encouraging results, two follow-up holes have been completed with assays pending. The company plans to drill test this prospective zone further in early 2021.
Previous drilling at the HGM Prospect has outlined several distinct zones of gold mineralization with high-grade intervals that include 21.59 g/t Au over 3.9 m and 7.53 g/t Au over 2.2 m. As part of the 2020 drill program, two holes were drilled to test for the western and depth extensions to these zones. The program was successful in confirming the stacked nature of the mineralization and the continuity of the system both down-plunge and up-dip to the west. The system
remains open at depth and down-plunge.
Previous drilling by GFG outlined three distinct northeast-trending mineralized zones within sheared and altered diorite at the Nib Prospect. Phase 2 drilling included four holes that focused on the uppermost zone where hole PEN-20-47 encountered 71.27 g/t Au over 8.5 m at 50 m below surface and on the strike and depth extensions of several footwall vein systems. The system remains open at depth and assays are pending on two holes that tested the strike continuity of the system on 50 m step-outs.
The Boundary Prospect was identified in 2019 through systematic till sampling and follow-up prospecting that outlined six new gold showings along a three km trend within the eastern portion of the Project. Surface rock grab and channel sampling returned up to 11 g/t Au associated with quartz veined, carbonate-sericite altered mafic volcanic rocks. During the 2020 Phase 2 drill program, GFG completed six holes testing a number of targets along the trend. To date, results have been received for 2 holes that returned no significant intercepts while results from the remaining four holes are pending.
Following a significant 2020 exploration program, the company will now focus on reviewing and analyzing the received and pending drill results and prepare for its up-coming drill program of approximately 5,000 m that is scheduled to begin in late January. The up-coming program is fully funded as the company maintains a strong cash position of approximately C$4.3 million. The company continues to see significant delays in assay lab turnaround, in some instances over seven weeks, and anticipates receiving the remaining assay results in the new year. Once received, the company looks forward to providing an update. Page62 60 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
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Carlson Announces Worldwide Trade-In Offer for any Boretrak System towards a Boretrak®2 Purchase Carlson has announced a trade-in and trade-up promotion towards a Boretrak2 basic (±60°) bundle with a free license of CarlsonOPS software for blast pattern and layout design. The offer discounts the price of the Boretrak2 basic bundle to $11,995 following a trade-in of any borehole measurement system with a serial number. The ready-to-deploy basic Boretrak2 bundle includes a Boretrak2 (±60° deployment) system with a 50 meter marked steel deployment cable, a CP3 Android mobile device for operation, and the Carlson Boretrak field data software. The Boretrak field software can combine GNSS measurements with Boretrak2 data for georeferenced results. Also included in this promotion is a license of CarlsonOPS. CarlsonOPS is a software module used for blast pattern layout design, ensuring proper burden and borehole pacing prior to blasts. Users can design blast patterns using standard parameters and compare blast designs to as-drilled hole surveys. Carlson’s Boretrak2 borehole de-
viation measurement system is the successor to the Rodded Boretrak and Cabled Boretrak systems used in the field for over 35-years. The Boretrak2 measures hole deviation in boreholes drilled in underground mines, quarries, and open-pit mines for blasting. The system is used to support drill and blast activity by preventing safety risks such as flyrock. The Boretrak2 features a miniature inertial measurement unit (IMU), containing a triaxial accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyro. The incorporation of a gyro means the probe is not reliant on a magnetic compass or physical rod alignment for orientation within the borehole – making deployment faster and easier. Operators capture measurements using the included Boretrak software which runs on Android mobile devices and Windowsbased tablets. “We wanted to further optimize a successful system by making deployment faster, simplified, and capable with a single operator,” says Nuno Fernandes, Carlson EMEA and LMD Sales Director. “The
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trade-in, trade-up offer is the perfect opportunity for those looking to upgrade or upscale their current borehole measurement system.” Those interested in the 360° deployment capabilities within the Boretrak2 have the option to upgrade at the point of purchase for an additional cost. The trade-in, trade-up offer is only valid until 31 January 2021. For more information on pricing in your region and trade-in eligibility, contact your local Carlson sales representative or visit https://account.carlsonsw.com/contactsales now to get started. Founded in 1983, Carlson Software Inc. specializes in CAD design software, field data collection, laser measurement, and machine control products for the civil engineering, surveying, GIS, construction, and mining industries worldwide, providing one-source technology solutions for the entire project cycle. Carlson Software is headquartered in Maysville, Ky., U.S.A., with branch offices in Boston, The Netherlands, Brisbane, Australia; Ottawa, Canada; and York, England.
190 Sackville Road, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada P6A 4T6 • Office: 705.256.6221 • www.rectormachineworks.com Page 63 65 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
Alamos’s Island Gold Mine
doubles mine life By Kevin Vincent
Alamos Gold ended 2020 on a high note. The company released its first Economic Benefits Assessment of the Island Gold Mine Report, which provides an overview of the
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mine’s economic value and community benefits in the region. And it’s great news. Results show that the growing number of fulltime jobs and training opportunities has positioned the mine to become an economic engine for the future of the region, including positively impacting the closest town of Dubreuilville. The company says the trend will continue as a result of Alamos’ recent $684 million investment to expand operations at the Island Gold underground mine, including constructing a new shaft, which is expected to be completed in 2025. This expansion will double the mine life and allow it to continue operating until at least 2035. “Good mines and good people are the foundation of our growth in Northern Ontario. When we took root in the region three years ago, we set out to hire locally, train great talent, and create tremendous value in the community, which we continue today,” said John A. McCluskey, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our next phase of growth at Island Gold will result in new jobs and opportunities in the region, create a lasting legacy that benefits all Alamos stakeholders, and reflect our core values of safety, teamwork, environmental sustainability, commitment and integrity.” In response to COVID-19, Alamos extended its support to the local community by providing supplies locally and funding a meal service program in Dubreuilville for persons in need, at high risk and facing economic challenges. In late March, Alamos made the decision to temporarily suspend operations at Island Gold given the unique set-up of the operation with both a large local as well as a fly-in, fly-out workforce. Alamos began safely ramping up operations at the beginning of May and returned to normal operating levels in June.
HIGHLIGHTS · As of early 2020, Island Gold’s employees account for nearly 22% of total mining employment in the Algoma region, sustaining 379 jobs and 560 construction jobs annually over the past 3 years · With the planned expansion of Island Gold between 2020 and 2035, activities are expected to sustain over 400 jobs annually, as well as over 3,100 construction jobs overall · Among Island Gold employees, approximately Page66 64 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
Acknowledging Indigenous community as key partner
6% belong to Indigenous communities, which is more than twice the Ontario mining industry average of 2.4% · Island Gold’s practice of local hiring has increased economic stability in the communities of Dubreuilville, Wawa, and White River, offering allowances and incentives to employees to move near the mine in Dubreuilville, indirectly helping to increase rural population as well as local resources and infrastructure · The Island Gold mine also helps contribute towards the formation of a highly skilled mining workforce and the accumulation of human capital in the local communities: it employs a wide range of tradespersons, such as welders, truckers, surveyors, scoop operators, electricians, mechanics, bolters, millwrights, construction miners, geologists, blasters, conventional miners, engineers, and drillers · Alamos provides employees with opportunities to further develop their skills, expand their trades and attend training programs · Alamos offers training and education to community members to maintain a local qualified workforce and help residents acquire the qualifications for long-term employment in the mining industry
· Island Gold’s employees help augment the local economy, through a host of related activities by supporting local businesses while residing in Dubreuilville.
FIRST NATIONS PARTNERSHIPS Alamos acknowledges that Indigenous communities constitute some of their most important partners, fully respects their protected rights, and continually looks for opportunities to generate wealth and socio-economic growth generated from mining operations within their traditional territories including through partnerships, employment, skills development, business and spin-off opportunities. At the Island Gold mine, Alamos has a Community Benefits Agreement (“CBA”) with the Missanabie Cree First Nation. Such agreements help ensure a mutually beneficial relationship and outline a series of benefits including employment, business opportunities and financial participation from the mine. Alamos aims to maintain strong relationships with local communities Cont’d on pg. 66
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Lower cost and stronger production for Alamos in 2021 Cont’d from pg. 65
to understand local challenges and priorities and continues to make contributions to education, community festivals, healthcare, and other cultural activities in the region.
2021 AND BEYOND 2021 Guidance Overview · Strong production growth with guidance of 470,000 to 510,000 ounces of gold: a 17% increase from 2020 guidance (based on the mid-point), driven by significantly higher production at Young-Davidson with the completion of the lower mine expansion in July 2020 · Lower costs with total cash cost guidance of $710 to $760 per ounce: an 8% decrease from 2020 guidance (based on the mid-point) reflecting lower costs at Young-Davidson as mining rates continue to ramp up from the new lower mine infrastructure. This includes approximately $25 per ounce of COVID-19 testing and other related health and safety costs across all operations
· All-in sustaining cost (“AISC”) guidance of $1,025 to $1,075 per ounce: consistent with 2020 guidance with lower total cash costs offset by higher sustaining capital at Mulatos, which includes $50 per ounce globally related to El Salto pre-stripping activities · Total capital guidance, excluding capitalized exploration, of $320 to $350 million: an increase from 2020 guidance of $185 to $215 million primarily reflecting higher capital spending on internal growth initiatives including La Yaqui Grande and the Phase III Expansion at Island Gold. This total capital budget includes: · Sustaining capital guidance of $110 to $125 million: a temporary increase from guidance of $80 to $95 million in 2020 to complete $25 million of stripping activities at the El Salto portion of the Mulatos pit · Growth capital guidance of $210 to $225 million: an increase from the 2020 guidance of $105 to $120 million in 2020 reflecting the ramp up of construction of La Yaqui Grande and the Phase III Expan-
At press time, this just in:
Alamos Acquires Trillium Mining Alamos Gold announced it has recently acquired Trillium Mining Corp. for a cash consideration of 25 million Canadian. The purchase includes a large land package covering 5,418 Ha directly adjacent and along strike form the Island Gold Deposit. The consolidated land package now covers several historic high grade gold showings as well as two past producing mines. The acquisition Doubles previous land holdings along the Michipicoten Greenstone Belt, with recent drill holes suggesting the Island Gold deposit extends toward the Trillium property. Intercepts of 28.97 G/t over 21.76 M and 25.38 g/t over 15.02 m extended high grade gold mineralization over significantly greater widths up to 100 m down plunge from the nearest inferred Mineral resource block in Island east. “The acquisition of Trillium is consistent with our stratPage68 66 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
sion at Island Gold. This is partly offset by lower growth capital at Young-Davidson with the completion of the lower mine expansion in 2020 · Exploration budget increased to $50 million: up from the initial 2020 exploration budget of $36 million, reflecting increased spending at Island Gold, Mulatos, and Lynn Lake, as well as Young-Davidson, with improved access for underground drilling from the lower mine · Strong ongoing free cash flow: La Yaqui Grande and the Phase III Expansion at Island Gold are expected to be self-funded by their respective operations at current gold prices with Young-Davidson providing strong ongoing free cash flow generation · Increased dividend of US$0.02 per share (US$0.08 annually) to be paid out later this month, representing a 33% increase from the previous quarter: with the higher dividend rate supported by the Company’s strong free cash flow outlook at current gold prices.
egy of consolidating prospective land in proximity to our Island Gold mine where we have had tremendous exploration success over the last several years. Island Gold’s Mineral Reserve and Resource base has more than doubled since 2017. We see excellent potential for this growth to continue given ongoing exploration success. The acquisition of these claims ensure we maintain full ownership over future growth of the existing deposit and regionally where there have been a number of high-grade gold occurrences including two past producing mines,” said John A. McCluskey, President and Chief Executive Officer. Going forward the company plans on taking a systemic approach to exploring the new land package. The new land package also hosts a significant regional exploration potential, with 10 km of strike extent of the Goudreau Lake Deformation Zone as well as options to acquire the highland property at the end of its 5-year option agreement.
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Gowganda / Shining Tree
emerging exploration hotbed By Kevin Vincent
Overshadowed by perennial mining giants Kirkland Lake and Timmins, there’s another region that is attracting a lot of money, attention, and exploration in northeastern Ontario. That area is the Gowganda and Shining Tree region. It’s south of Timmins, west of Kirkland Lake and north of Cobalt, three of Ontario’s most historic mine-producing land masses. The bellwether project in the region was last year’s approval by IAMGOLD to green light the Cote Lake Mine just south of Gogama, off highway 144 that runs between Sudbury and Timmins. If you consider that Alamos Gold’s Young-Davidson Mine is also in the region, it makes for a very robust picture. Companies exploring in the central part of Northeastern Ontario include: CALDAS GOLD Caldas owns 100% of the Juby project, an advanced exploration stage gold project in the Shining Tree area in the southern part of the Abitibi greenstone belt about 100 km south-southeast of the Timmins. Over 14,000 acres are controlled through the patented claims of the Juby Project covering 10 km
strike length of the west-northwest trending Tyrrell Structural Zone in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt with IAMGOLD’s Cote Gold project and Alamos Gold’s Young-Davidson mine, both within 70 km of the project. The company points out that the project has excellent access to infrastructure including a major highway, a power transmission line that passes through the property, and an abundance of water in the region. The regional geological setting at Juby is similar to that of the Kirkland Lake and Timmins gold camps and is largely underexplored. Caldas Gold sees potential to infill along the strike of the TSZ to extend the existing Golden Lake and Juby zones, testing the highergrade prospects associated with Big Dome and Hydro-Creek, and to follow up on other targets and trends identified in historical work programs. BRIXTON METALS The Langis Mine (past producer of high-grade silver) Project is located near Cobalt, 15 km north of Temiskaming Shores. Highway 65 runs through the property and many established secondary roads provide year-round access. Power, railways, mills, a permitted refin-
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ery, and assay lab are located at or near the site. The Langis Project represents a unique opportunity in a silver district that is underexplored using modern techniques. The company says new discovery potential is high, and a strong possibility exists to generate mineral resources from extensions to historical workings and new exploration. In 2018 drilling hit new high-grade silver-cobalt. Historically, the Langis Mine produced over 10.4 Moz Ag with a recovered grade of approximately 25 oz/t from shallow depths, and 358,340 lbs of cobalt. Historically, the Hudson Bay Mine produced 6.4 Moz Ag at 123 oz/t, and 185,570 lbs of cobalt from 58,000 tons. Brixton says the Langis and the Hudson Bay Projects do not currently contain any mineral resources or mineral reserves. In December, the company announced it had drilled 3m of 647gpt silver at the Langis Project. CANADA SILVER COBALT WORKS Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc. announced in May 2020, the results of its first NI 43-101 Mineral Resource estimate for the early stage Castle East Robinson Zone discovery in the heart of the past
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producing Gowganda Silver Camp, 75 kilometers southwest of Kirkland Lake. Castle East is part of Canada Silver Cobalt’s 100%-owned, 78 sq. km Castle Property also featuring the Castle mine. In late 2019, the company initiated a follow-up program to a 2011 discovery hole approximately two km southeast of the mine, and within two km of two other past producers, that returned a high-grade intercept of 40,944 g/t silver (1,194 oz/ton) over a core length of 0.45 meters. CCW’s program aimed to delineate the extent of the high-grade mineralization within the Robinson Zone that shows very high grades in the form of native silver. The mineral resource estimate used four wedge holes and the four holes drilled from surface and one historical drill hole. The resource estimate was independently prepared by GoldMinds Geoservices Inc. in accordance with National Instrument 43-101
(“NI 43-101”) and is dated May 28, 2020. The report outlines a combined 27,400 tonnes of material for a total of 7,560,200 Inferred ounces using a cut-off grade of 258 g/t AgEq. The company is quick to point out however that mineral resources which are not mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. GRAN COLUMBIA GOLD Gran Columbia’s interest in the Shining Tree region stems from a $14 million investment in Caldas Gold, specifically to finance the Juby Project. Gran Columbia announced the investment in mid2020, giving the Columbia-focused miner 75% (approx.) ownership of Caldas. Gran Colombia is a Canadian-based mid-tier gold producer with its primary focus in Colombia where it is currently the largest underground gold and silver producer with several mines in operation at its high-grade Segovia Operations.
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RJK EXPLORATIONS Glenn Kasner is one of northern Ontario’s most determined miners. The President of RJK Explorations continues to hunt for a central Ontario diamond deposit. The company has uncovered a number of promising kimberlite pipes in the central northeastern Ontario region including the announcement of four new kimberlites in late 2020. “The discovery of a fourth kimberlite on the Bishop property, in addition to the Kon kimberlite discovered earlier in the year, is remarkable,” said Kasner. “All members of our team had a geology professor some 45 years ago named Dan Atchinson, who first told us about the Nipissing Diamond. It was his hope that a graduate would find the source kimberlite pipe. RJK’s management are all graduates of the Haileybury School of Mines (HSM), and so we have named this new discovery the HSM Kimberlite.”
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whole Battery The world is Boom! going electric By Kevin Vincent
The search for minerals that feed the growing green economy holds massive economic potential for both Ontario and Quebec. The good news is that multinational mining companies are extremely sensitive to market sentiment when it comes to sustainability, environmental protection, global warming, and electric vehicles (EV). In mid-December, the Government of Canada announced it “recognizes the importance of investing in affordable and sustainable public transit that helps Canadians and their families travel to and from their destinations safely and efficiently.” And so, the federal government is beginning to invest in battery-operated transit buses. “Investing in cleaner transit options not only helps us meet our climate targets, it ensures cleaner air and a brighter future for our children and grandchildren,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. That’s why the Government of Canada announced funding provided through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, to the City of Ottawa to purchase more buses, including battery-electric buses.” In total, the City of Ottawa is investing $9.3 million, including the purchase of four long-range 40-foot battery-electric buses, along with the necessary supporting infrastructure. That kind of news means the government is sending a signal, which means a massive win for Canada’s mining sector – electric, battery-powered vehicles require minerals that Canada has in abundance, especially northern Ontario and Quebec. “I was listening to Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, and he mentioned that because of the type of batteries they are using in their cars, there would be a huge need for nickel and lithium, because the type of the battery they are using is based on nickel and lithium, and there would be a surge in the need to provide those metals,” said Zeinab Azadbakht, the Timmins ResiPage72 70 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
dent Geologist. “Because he’s forecasting that, people are more willing to buy a green car rather than a normal fuel-consuming car. And if that happens, there would be a huge need, a large surge in the need for producing more of these elements.” Azadbakht says that’s one of the reasons that companies have started looking at nickel in places like Timmins now, because nickel is one of the key elements in producing those types of batteries. “That’s something that we (in northern Ontario) actually have good potential. So, when we are talking about nickel, or PGEs, they are the minerals and the mineralization that are mostly related to mafic and ultramafic rocks, the type of rocks that we have in our districts,” she adds. The world has been addicted to hydrocarbon for over a century since the birth of the automobile. Once Henry Ford figured out how to mass produce a car in 93 minutes, there were hundreds of car companies that followed. Canadian billionaire Robert Friedland points out that the big winners were not the car manufacturers, but the oil companies. “John D. Rockefeller, who was producing crude oil. Because he didn’t have to figure out which car company would succeed or fail. Crude oil became the biggest business in the world,” said Friedland in a recent podcast. He adds that the oil industry is being disrupted. “We have through mass telecommunications, the internet broadband, wireless, everybody knows that this is going to be a strident and considered effort to get the world off of the burning of coal and off the burning of hydrocarbon. It’s inevitable, and the fundamental decision has been taken sort of by our Jungian mass consciousness. There are red States and there are blue States in the United States, but the automobile industry cannot build cars just for the red States. Once California mandates electric cars and New York follows, it’s just much more efficient to start making electric cars and making the
transition.” Industry watchers predict that we are going to see Which is ideal for northern Ontario because we have the electrification of everything - cars, buses, trains, the raw materials according to Azadbakht. “When skateboards, hoverboards, motorcycles, aircraft, you go out and you see these dark-wing rocks everyhovercraft, and drones. where, they are mafic volcanics, which is the type of “You put a little rectifier on your back porch, the size rock that we need to produce some of this mineralizaof a dime, and you call up Amazon and then, you tion. So, we are sitting at the right time, right location want to order a pizza,” said Friedland. “Well, that to produce some of the elements that they might be drone that brings it to you will have a hydrogen fuel interested in.” cell and an electric motor, and then they’ll have to Regarding Timmins, Azadbakht says there are locaengineer it to make it as quiet as possible. Otherwise, tions that geological-wise, have the potential for all it’d be too many honeybees running around and it’ll types of battery mineralization. “But in geology, one deliver your pizza to your back door.” of the first things that you’re taught is that just beFriedland said the whole system is going to have to cause you have a good environment for something, be revolutionized and people underestimate the role doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to have of the miners. “I would call this the, the revenge of the the mineralization.” miners. You don’t like crude oil. You don’t like coal. Azadbakht is conducting serious research into the You want the world to be green. Well, then we’re goregion’s potential for rare earth metals. “I was doing ing to, you know, we’re going to see the revenge of some research on tin, and then I came across, an the miners. We’re going to need much higher metapatite mine and it kind of clicked. Because, as a part als prices to stimulate the exploration and producof my Ph.D., I published a paper on apatite geochemtion process. And if you want that process to be truly istry. green and truly sustainable, you really want to build She says knowing we have an apatite mine within schools and hospitals around the people that live our district, it could also have rare earths. “It instantly where the mines are. Then we’re going to have to attracts my mind to various minerals. And I started pay for it. You know, there’s no free lunch.” looking out and I realized that we actually, speaking as a district, have a very good potential for rare earth mineralization. That’s email@example.com | +1 (905) 564 0440 something that I’m actively working on 839 Westport Crescent, Mississauga as of now.” ON L5T 1E7 Canada While he isn’t referring specifically to the northern Ontario or northwestern Quebec regions, Friedland is on the MEETS HEALTH, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT REGULATION STANDARDS same page as Azadbakht, but he’s blunt about the evolving impact of the green economy. SHORT LEAD TIMES & EASY TO ERECT “The whole supply chain is going to be AND MAINTAIN dramatically disrupted and we only have one periodic table of elements to work FIT FOR PURPOSE & DURABLE with, and it’s not great for hydrocarbon. The transformation or the reduction in the use of hydrocarbon and coal in the way we generate and transmit energy will be the largest transition in our evolution of our species that’s happened in recorded modern history.” It won’t happen overnight. Various jurisdictions won’t get rid of all hydrocarbon or coal in one fell swoop. However, president Xi Jinping just announced that China is going to be carbon neutral by 2060. Which Friedland says is “really tomorrow morning, when you think about www.thorglobal.ca SIMPLE | SMART | SAFE it.”
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Harte Gold hiring and
increasing production by 50% By Kevin Vincent
According to an old saying, there’s a silver lining in every cloud. In the case of Harte Gold’s Sugar Zone Mine near White River, you might tweak that a little to say there’s a gold lining in a pandemic cloud. The global coronavirus outbreak forced the mine to shut down for three months in 2020, giving the company time to focus on long-term planning, including a huge production increase from 800 to 1200 tonnes per day.
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“We shut the mine down for protection at the beginning and we kept it a little bit longer and that gave us the opportunity to think about the business and get into everything that we’re getting into right now, raising money and doing a feasibility and so on,” Mine Manager and Vice President of Operations Dan Gagnon told Mining Life. “So, it was actually a good time for us to close shop. Then we moved to owner mining where we basically took on all of our employees. We have all Harte personnel and we’ve added over 80 guys on our payroll, and we’re still growing. We added a fourth shift because I decided to make it a two in two out, versus a 20 and 10, more work-life balance and better for attraction and retention of people.” Gagnon says the payroll at Harte has grown from 175 to 230 employees which has a big impact on a small community where available housing is scarce. The mine is growing, and they’ve brought back the diamond drills on surface and underground and the company is ramping up production. “We’re looking at expanding our mine life, and I think the people are feeling better about the future there. We have over 10 years of reserves.” “Now, my main job is to retain people. So, we have a lot of strategies, competitive wages. We have a modest camp that we are going to be upgrading next year to a new camp that people will have their own individual washrooms and more modern facilities. So that’ll help us with the attraction and retention of people. And we have good benefits, competitive benefits and so on. Plus, the fact that we now have moved from contract mining to owner-mining is also I believe, helping us to attract people because they know now that they’ll be there for the long term.” With a 50% production boost, the future looks bright Cont’d on pg. 74
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WESDOME Building Canada’s Next Intermediate Gold Producer
Drill results? Check. Mill working? Check. Obligatory pre-feasibility study underway? Check. Government permits in motion? Check.
By Kevin Vincent
When you talk to Wesdome President and CEO Duncan Middlemiss about the company’s plan to add a third producer to its fleet, you get the sense that the mining gods have been making
sure nothing gets in the way of the Kiena restart. Mostly nothing. “As we all recognize, it’s been challenging times with COVID,” said Middlemiss in an exclusive interview with Mining Life. “The operating mine, producing mine, Eagle River located just outside of Wawa has been able to continue on with their production. We’ve been very fortunate with our effectiveness of our COVID protocols. We haven’t had any interruption whatsoever, in terms of, where we stand.” “What we do see though is a little bit of a cost-creep on the cash costs. The all-in sustaining should be at around $1,350 Canadian per ounce, which is the high end of our guidance, but it’s at the top end, so we are still within guidance. And we
Huge plans ahead for Harte Gold Cont’d from pg. 72
for Harte. “And now, we also trigger the feasibility study, where we’re going to share the results later in January about the potential of growing from 800 to 1200 tons per day,” said Gagnon. At the moment, the Sugar Zone Mine has a life expectancy of just over a decade and Gagnon says they expect to increase that. “We’ve got a little over 10 years of work and actually, it’s about 13 years. And after the COVID break, we brought in one diamond drill underground, which in 2021 we’ll probably be bringing in a second one. We’re also doing surface exploration. We did geophysics. We did sampling in the summer. We did find a new showing which includes some high-grade veins. And this (past) December actually, we started drilling again and we will continue in the New Year drilling on surface. That regional exploration is to find the new mine.” Gagnon says the company continues to explore underground and regionally. “We have 36 kilometers of pretty well unexplored frontier prolific Archaean deposit type geology and we will continue to explore it.” The company has budgeted between $7 and $8 million for 2021 exploration, including underground and across their property. Page76 74 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page
The entire area near White River through to Hemlo and Marathon is a hotbed of activity so the competition to attract talent is considerable. “And in our case, for example, we have a camp that’s located in White River with basically 150 people. And then the East West Tie hydroelectric upgrade, they just put up a camp with 176 people. So that’s definitely good for the economy”. As for ongoing Covid-19 protocols, until there are widespread vaccinations, the company is utilizing a rapid-testing program through the Ontario Mining Association (OMA). “We volunteered for a pilot project with the OMA, where we do antigen testing, which is testing over an eight-week period, a population of your workforce that are asymptomatic. So, we’re testing random parts of our population, part of our group and we are focused on individuals that may come from red zones, for people that talk to a lot of people that spend a lot of time with people like myself.” The company raised $41 million (CDN) in 2020 to prepare for the major expansion in 2021 said Gagnon. “It will mean increased manpower, increase camp capacity, probably expanding the mill, expanding the tailings area, and so on. It’s going to be a pretty major endeavor.”
really do attribute that to COVID right now.” “The inefficiencies that you start getting and I’ll give you an example. Like over at Kiena, it’s shaft access to the mine and we normally have 12 guys on the cage going down, now we have four. And the same thing applies at Eagle River where you’ve got man carriers going down, it’s ramp access. You know, we don’t have 8, or a 10-man carrier, it’s 4. So, it just takes a little bit longer and things like that, there starts to become some inefficiencies.” Like everyone else, Middlemiss says Wesdome is waiting for Ottawa to approve vaccines. “We’re obviously waiting anxiously for the vaccine like everybody else. But no, I’d have to say we’ve been successful in terms of keeping our people safe, number one, most importantly. And number two for everybody involved with the company and the shareholders, obviously, that we’ve been
able to maintain your production. Of course, pretty fantastic price of gold so far in 2020, right. So, we’ve almost averaged $2,500 in terms of our gold sales. So, it’s been a great time. We’ve added a lot of money to the bank as a matter of fact.” Middlemiss says Wesdome started 2020 with about $35 million in the bank and the last quarter (2020 Q3), they reported 73 million. “And we’re spending a lot of money at Kiena in order to bring that asset on. So things are a little more restricted at Eagle, I’ll just stay with that one for the time being. It’s a camp situation, so we’d have to reduce the numbers in the camp in order to allow for social distancing.” Middlemiss says the biggest hit that came about was the diamond drill program. “When the March pandemic hit, we had to cease all diamond drilling. There’s a lot of people associated with that, all contractors. We kept the focus on our development and our produc-
tion abilities and how to lessen that. So, at that point, we had five underground drills and two surface drills. And we’re just at that point now where we’re layering back in, and we’ve got about four underground drills and one on surface, so we’re five out of seven. We do have aggressive exploration programs again for 2021. And so, depending on what you see, in terms of the pandemic, as to when the vaccines actually going to take place or whatever, I would imagine we’d have probably one quarter for sure, maybe two quarters that would be very impacted by the pandemic.” In the meantime, Wesdome fully expects to have a pre-feasibility study on their 100%-owned Kiena Mine near Val D’or finalized by the end of June. The company announced initial results in late November from underground development on the “A” Zone. In addition to the ongoing definiCont’d on pg. 76
Building Canada’s Next Intermediate Gold Producer EAGLE RIVER MINE
Steadily increasing production profile (2020 – 90,000 – 100,000 ounces)
New discovery in permitted, constructed former producing mine
High grade operations
Low risk mine restart opportunity
(14.0 g/t reserve grade)
Stable jurisdictions – Ontario and Quebec, Canada
Excellent exploration potential – property size 65 square kilometres
Excellent exploration potential
PEA demonstrated 102% IRR
(416) 360-3743 INFO@WESDOME.COM
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Wesdome progresses A Zone development ramp for drilling & future production Cont’d from pg. 75
tion drilling, sill development is currently being completed on the Kiena Deep A Zone on 111 Level. The development will provide an opportunity to confirm the geologic interpretation of the deposit, test for spatial and grade continuity of the mineralized structures, validate key assumptions of the mineral resource estimate, and assess the rock quality characteristics. This information will assist the ongoing Prefeasibility Study, expected to be completed by H1 2021, which will determine timing and details of the restart of the mine. To date (end of 2020), approximately 123 metres of 3.7 m x 4.0 m lateral development have been completed on the A and A1 zones. The initial development has confirmed the continuity of the “A” Zone high grade gold mineralization along strike. On the technical side, the company says visible gold is associated with folded quartz veins which are located within an overall zone of strong amphibole alteration. The amphibolite is located at the contact between basalt/feldspar porphyry dyke and ultramafic rocks. The Kiena mill has been restarted and is currently processing waste rock and low grade mineralization in preparation to process the Kiena Deep “A” Zone development material. The development material will come from two zones, namely the A and A1 Zones. “At this time we expect to process the estimated 6,000 tonnes of the combined zones. The milling results will be used to reconcile gold production with development muck and chip samples, as well as reconcile the production with grade estimated by
three-dimensional block modelling and the forecast ounces of gold, thus validating key parameters of the resource estimate,” said the company in a late 2020 statement. Mr. Duncan Middlemiss, President and CEO, commented, “We are very pleased with the initial development, which has thus far confirmed the high-grade nature and continuity of the A Zone. Everything learned from this development will be used in support of the prefeasibility study currently underway.” “We are also very encouraged with the recommissioning of the Kiena mill, that is now processing waste rock and low-grade material in advance of the A Zone development material. It confirms the readiness of the mill for future production. Initial results from the uncapped muck and chip samples indicate the grades compare with the uncapped grades in the block model, which are higher than the reported capped mineral resource and which could be very positive.” “In addition, we remain focused on continued drilling underground with 7 drills in the Kiena Deep and VC zones. This drilling has continued to confirm the overall continuity of the geometry and the high-grade gold mineralization of the A Zone that now extends down plunge in excess of 880 m. We have also commenced our surface exploration program with 2 drill rigs to test targets adjacent to the Kiena Mine Complex. In 2021, we expect to continue our aggressive exploration program both underground and on surface to test the numerous targets that remain underexplored, and also, to progress the A Zone development ramp for drilling and future production.”
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Middlemiss says the company’s “best guess” right now as to what’s happening at Kiena is that the picture is changing. “And there’s a zone of transition and above the sort of this thousand-meter level, it’s sort of sulphide, rich mineralization, but lower grade. And I mean, Kiena miners, repeating it again, it was a 4.5 gram mine. So now all of a sudden, what we’re seeing is totally different style of mineralization down below that transition zone, where it’s gone to more of the quartz vein and the visible nuggety gold within that. “We’ve got about 65 square kilometers, and we’ve got resources and past producers all around. But we knew that in order to support the mine restart decision, let’s have a look within a one to 1.5 kilometre radius in and around the headframe, where we have the existing infrastructure. As far as the big picture goes, Wesdome’s investors are counting on Middlemiss and his team to bump the numbers. “So really, as it is right now, as the PEA suggested, there’s about a seven year mine life, getting up to that sort of hundred thousand ounces, I think that that can be conservative. So, coupled with what we see at Eagle right now, Eagle’s sort of doing about 100,000 ounces - you layer in Kiena and all of a sudden, we’re sort of 200,000 ounces just with those two assets. And I believe there’s optimization available for Eagle, which brings that up to maybe 125, and I think Kiena is a little bit conservative, so I could say 125, forward looking, of course. But so, it’s all of a sudden, Wesdome doing 250,000 ounces, up from the 50,000 ounce kind of run of late, we had pre-2017.”
TROJAN TIRE INC.
WISHING YOU A HEALTHLY & PROSPEROUS 2021
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NioBay looking to develop 400 jobs at niobium deposit south of Moosonee
By Kevin Vincent
A billion-dollar project. That’s no small undertaking. But what the heck is niobium you might ask? While it doesn’t command many mining headlines, the chemical element has been used for over 200 years and is poised to play a growing role in the continuation of the greening of the global economy and northern Ontario is equally poised to play a big part, thanks to NioBay Metals which closed an $11 million fundraising effort
in early December. The company filed a Preliminary Economic Assessment in November for a deposit just south of Moosonee, suggesting it delivers an after-tax NPV (8%) on $1.0 billion and IRR of 27.5%. They are also looking to conduct a feasibility study soon. The short version is this: Niobium was first discovered in the area in the 1960’s. Since then, several companies have had their fingerprints on the property but noone has taken it this far until NioBay. The company has signed agreements with the region’s First Nations authority, Moose Cree First Nation (MCFN) and the next step is more drilling and the march toward a feasibility study. NioBay’s James Bay property is located east of the Township of Carroll in the district of Cochrane, on the Moose Cree First Nation Traditional Territory, 45 km south of Moosonee, in the James Bay Lowlands. The property comprises the Crown Mining Lease (# CLM11) and covers a total of 2,530 hectares. The James Bay property was discovered in 1966 by Consolidated Morrison Explorations. Major exploration work carried out in 1968 and 1969, including about 14,600 meters of drilling in 85 holes established a deposit extending to 275 meters in depth and 500 meters longitudinally. Lakefield Research (now SGS Lakefield) carried out metallurgical tests in 1969, allowing for the development of a flow sheet for the niobium ore, to produce a niobium concentrate grading of about 65% pyrochlore (Nb2O5). The overall niobium recovery was 78% during the pilot tests which is by far the higher niobium recovery for this type of niobium deposit. A historical feasibility study was completed by the firm Canadian Bechtel Ltd. in 1969, and updated by the same firm in 1979. Several studies dealing with specific aspects of the project were carried out between 1969 and 1979 by independent firms or companies for evaluation purposes, with a view to possible partnerships or acquisitions. At that time niobium price was a fraction of where it is today. In June 2016, Niobay Metals Inc. acquired 100% of the property from Barrick Gold Inc., James Bay Columbium Ltd., and Goldcorp Inc. According to documents filed with the market regulators, proposed infrastructure access to the mine site will be via a 38km all-season road from Moose River east bank south of Moosonee. A 4.0km one lane tunnel is planned to cross Moose River and a final 2.6km road Cont’d on pg. 80
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Cont’d from pg. 78
segment will connect to the existing road to Moosonee near the Hydro One Renison substation. From Moosonee, the Ontario Northland Railway connects to Cochrane and from there onto the Ontario Highway 11. Power will be provided from the Hydro One grid with a connection from the Renison substation. The mining activities and processing facility will be supported by ancillaries located at site including a maintenance shop, warehouse, mine dry, explosives storage, fuel storage, administration building, and an operations camp. Other infrastructure is planned to be in Moosonee such as a material transit terminal, laboratory, and administrative building for support functions such as accounting, human resources and other. NioBay has also filed an Environment and Closure Plan. It is anticipated that the Project will require a review under the Federal Impact Assessment Act coordinated along with provincial Class Environmental Assessment. It is anticipated that with the active participation of identified impacted First Nation communities, the closure plan will be integrated into the mine design and initial environmental approvals. NioBay is collaborating with the First Nation community to design a plan of engagement to ensure that the environmental approvals are fully aligned with their values. As
future exploration and/or baseline environmental work proceeds, the Moose Cree First Nation (MCFN) may want another longer-term agreement that speaks to both their environmental and business involvement with the Project. NioBay was hosted by MCFN to provide a community update on March 5, 2020 to discuss the Drilling Program and presented opportunities for future collaborations. NioBay also presented the results of the Project’s PEA on October 15, 2020. The company completed its analysis of the drill results from the Drilling Program in May 2020, announced the results of the 2020 MRE on the James Bay Project in July 2020 and announced the results of its PEA on the James Bay Project in October 2020. Based on the results of the PEA, the company is planning next steps in the development of the James Bay Project which may include a drilling campaign in 2021, on-going metallurgical testing, and the implementation of certain environmental and cultural baseline studies to be included in an eventual pre-feasibility study. The project has potential for a huge economic impact on the region. The company has already costed out three scenarios, an open pit operation, underground, and a hybrid model of the two methods. In presentations to existing and potential investors, NioBay estimates construction costs at $500 million,
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$3.8 billion in operating expenses (jobs and contractors inc.), provincial taxes of $479 million, mining taxes of $226 million, federal taxes of $718 million, a $7 Billion contribution to Canada’s GDP, 400 jobs and a 23-30 year mine life with the possibility it will last even longer. The company cautions, however that “the PEA is preliminary in nature, includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.” In December 2019, the Company signed a Protection Agreement (PA) with Moose Cree First Nation. The PA supports the Company’s early exploration and reflects the shared commitment to environmental protection. The PA acknowledges that the exploration is undertaken on MCFN homeland and that the work will not impact MCFN members. A 7 holes/3,450 m drill program began early February with the objective to test the high-grade extension laterally and at depth. The program will also provide fresh rock for further laboratory metallurgical tests, and also to provide geotechnical information. The drill results will be published as they become available. A new 43101 Mineral Resource Estimate will be performed following the completion of the drill program. Followed by a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) to be completed by the end of 2020. NioBay’s major investors include Osisko Gold Royalties, the management group, and Caisse Depot Placement. The company is led by President and CEO Claude Dufresne, who helmed Niobec, which has been selling niobium worldwide for 20 years.
Gambier expands on Detour West Project
By Stephane Villeneuve
Gambier Gold Corp recently completed a review of historical airborne geophysical surveys along their Detour West project and in response they have expanded the land holdings at Detour West by 4917 Ha to a total of 23,849 Ha, with plans to expand airborne geophysical surveys and identify key targets for further drilling potential. The Detour West Project directly abuts Kirkland Lake Gold’s Detour Mine property and is located only 20 km west from the mine itself. Aerial Surveys were conducted over the property in 1996 and 2016 with recent interpretations indicating several inferred geological structures bearing similar conductive response
to the other known deposits along the previously identified Sunday Lake Deformation Zone (SLDZ) and Lower Detour Deformation Zone (LDDZ). CEO of Gambier Gold Mr. Michael Schuss stated, “The identification of multiple highly conductive geophysical anomalies along the SLDZ and LDDZ have added significant value and further guidance to our exploration efforts at Detour West. The planned high-resolution drone-magnetic surveys, which have been successfully applied in the district before, will further refine the structure and aid in future drill targeting.” Gambier has engaged Pioneer Exploration to conduct a series of high resolution surveys to further refine inferred structures and aid in future drill targets.
HIGHGOLD MINING JOHNSON TRACT
PUREGOLD MINING MADSEN
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on brink of becoming serious Lithium
producer of lithium-ion battery materials, including cobalt, nickel, graphite and manganese, and Thunder Bay is an ideal central location to serve as a hub for establishing these supply chains,” said Avalon’s President and CEO, Don Bubar. “Once established, they can be the catalyst for the creation of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing business in Ontario.” Stakeholders in the process note that the city of Thunder Bay offers the infrastructure and power requirements, while also having access to both rail and sea for ease of export. Located along Lake Superior, the city is already host to a multitude of exploration and mining services and the addition of a Lithium concentrator would be seen as a big windfall for the city. “It could be huge for Thunder Bay,” stated John Mason, project manager for mining services at the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission in a recent interview. Mason says a processing plant could create about 100 jobs and potentially create spinoff manufacturing within the city. However, a fully operational lithium production plant is still a long way off. “You’re looking at a two to fouryear window before they’re ready to go (on construction),” said Mason, “and that doesn’t include permitting, the aforementioned economic studies as well as fund-raising the capital to begin construction.” A recent PEA created by RockTech lithium highlighted the potential of a full lithium production facility in the area and with excess capacity to process material coming from other sources. Page84 82 ML&EN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Page By Stephane Villeneuve
Thunder Bay might soon become a driving force in green energy, as Avalon Advanced Materials and RockTech Lithium Inc. sign a letter of intent to collaborate on a potential Lithium Sulphate (Li2SO4) production facility in the city. A centralized production hub in the area offers the community not only increased economic prosperity, but also a step toward a brighter and cleaner future for all. Demand for green technologies continues to rise as the world begins to ditch fossil fuels for renewable energy. In response, the demand for lithium, nickel, cobalt and other metals that power the green economy also grows. Realizing this impending demand, Avalon Advanced Metals and Rocktech Lithium are exploring Thunder Bay as a possible site for a Li2SO4 concentrator. The project looks to create a process flow sheet for the extraction of Li2SO4 from petalite, spodumene and potentially other lithium concentrates, as well as conduct a pilot campaign to test scalability of the process to an industrial scale. The lithium sulfate concentrate can then be further refined or exported to international markets. Both companies are exploring alternative methods for further refinement into the more useable lithium hydroxide (LiOH). Additionally, one of the beneficial byproducts of the process is high quality aluminum silicates with potential applications in the cement and ceramics industries. “Northern Ontario has the potential to become a major producer
Simon Bodensteiner, Rocktech’s Chief Executive Officer stated “In our recently published PEA for a fully integrated lithium hydroxide producer we have shown that we can greatly improve economics by scaling up the size of the lithium converter to its technical limits. Last week we announced a capital raise to fund a pre-feasibility study with exactly that aim – building a converter with an annual output of 24,000 tonnes. As Georgia Lake may not provide sufficient feedstock for a converter with such a large nameplate capacity, we are assessing third party concentrate sources. Avalon’s Separation Rapids Lithium Project may qualify as one of them providing we can successfully develop a flow sheet that allows us to treat the petalite ore together with our spodumene ore from Georgia Lake and other sources. We are very happy to join forces with Avalon to assess this potential value-add opportunity,” The area is also being explored by other companies looking to cash in on the green wave including Frontier Lithium exploring the PAK deposit located north of Red Lake, and Infinite Ore exploring their jackpot lithium property, NNE of Thunder Bay. Ardiden Ltd. is also exploring the area along their Seymour Lake Deposit. PEAs created by several companies exploring the area have identified potential deposits and a localized concentrator has the potential to offer smaller operations more options towards creating mineable economic lithium deposits, with less startup costs.
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12/14/2020 11:33:46 AM
PureGold Mining Ontario’s newest bullion producer
By Kevin Vincent
“This is one of the world’s highestgrade gold mines – it’s higher than 95% of gold mines, anywhere on this planet. With the pouring of first gold, PureGold will join an elite group of gold producers who own multi-million-ounce deposits located in tier-one mining jurisdictions.” When it comes to writing an autobiography, no junior miner has done it better than Pure Gold Mining. And the story, is just getting started. The company poured its first gold bar in December, much to the delight of company directors and investors. “It’s a really exciting time for us. It’s a culmination of many years of hard work, and I’m super proud of the team and where we’re at today. To build a mine in a pandemic is, I think, quite an achievement and to do so on schedule and on budget.” Labrenz gives full credit for the company’s success to teamwork. “I think we’ve built one of, if not the preeminent team with respect to understanding of Red Lake and a particular understanding of Red Lake geology. I worked for Placer Dome for about half of my 30-year career and got an opportunity to work in the Red Lake area at the
Capital mine.” Labrenz was chief geologist when he left there, and it gave him a good understanding of the geology and importantly, the opportunity in Red Lake itself. Co-founder Mark O’Dea got his start in Red Lake as well. “He was in fact, second place finisher in Rob McEwen Goldcorp challenge back in the day, and that kick-started his career. And so, we put together a team that includes six individuals that really cut their teeth in Red Lake. Once we acquired Madsen, it allowed us to apply that understanding, we had a bit of a breakthrough geologically, in terms of understanding the deposit, and with 300,000 meters of drilling, we’re able to build up a pretty significant resource and disclose our first reserves, which we’re just starting to work on now.” With ore delivered and first gold production now completed, commissioning activities will transition into full scale ramp up of the mining and milling operations over the coming quarter. “The introduction of ore to the milling facility reflects the successful culmination of our project build,
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and signals the commencement of the next chapter in our Company’s evolution as Canada’s newest gold mine. Just last year, we announced our intention to become a producer and we are delivering on that promise. We have taken the PureGold Mine from our first drill hole to production in less than six years. Bringing a mine on-stream in 2020 is a firm testament to our incredible team, the support we have received from our First Nations partners; Wabauskang First Nation and Lac Seul First Nation, the Province of Ontario, Municipality of Red Lake, and the entire Red Lake community.” We look forward to the transition to commercial production and continuing to build and expand the PureGold Mine into an iconic Canadian producer in the heart of Red Lake.” “We are very pleased with the development and the ongoing progress we continue to make in our relationship with PureGold,” said Chief Doug Riffel of Wabauskang First Nation. “Chief Clifford Bull of Lac Seul First Nation added: “Built on the principles of Environmental Stewardship, Resource Sharing and Mutual Respect, we look forward to a long, mutually beneficial
relationship.” As the second operating mine in Red Lake, the PureGold mine is a major contributor to the economy of the region. The mine currently employs over 200 people and the workforce is expected to average 350 individuals during the 12-year phase one mine operation with approximately $470 million in life of mine salaries projected over that period. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, Labrenz sees the company growing. “We see the project just having a really strong organic growth opportunity. We’ve got a 2.1 million ounce resource in the indicated category at 9 grams, there’s a half million ounces inferred. We carved a portion of that out in a feasibly studying and generated a million ounce reserves and 9 grams per ton. But we’ve made several discoveries over the last few years, things that we call fork zone, wedge zone, Russet South Zone, these are at surface, they’re part of the same mineral system, but they weren’t considered in the feasibility study.” Labrenz says PureGold has always looked at the project as a scalable asset, and the Cont’d on pg. 86
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PureGold Project scalable with
opportunity for expansion & organic growth Cont’d from pg. 85
company is working to continue to grow those resources and study opportunities for expansion and organic growth. “So, we’ll be looking to improve the confidence of the resources. And ultimately, at the end of the day, what we’re looking to do here is extend the mine life and build on the production profile. And I think there’s a real strong opportunity to do that.” Hiring isn’t over yet either. The Red Lake region has seen a boom in the past 24 months and PureGold is in the heart of it. “We will be hiring more people. We’ve got about 200 employees now at site, and that will grow to about 250 towards the end of Q1 this year. So, we are looking at people, we’re looking at particular the trades. They are getting a little bit more difficult to source. We do benefit being in Red Lake in Northwestern Ontario, such as rich history in the mining sector. There is a lot of capacity for labour in the area. But as we see gold push up again towards $19,100 an ounce and exploration is growing, it’s going to get more competitive for sure to attract skilled people.” Even though vaccines have been rolling out across the globe since mid-December, the company is still
taking COVID-19 precautions. “Obviously, that’s number one. I mean, safety of your workforce, safety in the communities that we work in, and live in is the most important thing. And so, it’s something that we’ve taken, obviously, extremely seriously right, from the beginning of the year. And so, we benefit, again, from being in Red Lake. Most of our staff live in Red Lake. They work in Red Lake. And while it has fantastic infrastructure, it’s somewhat insulated from the impacts of COVID-19 to date, which is fantastic.” On site, the company isn’t taking any chances. “If they feel sick at all, we demand that they don’t show up at work, and that’s been working pretty well. Safety protocols, when you arrive at site include questionnaires in terms of whether you’re feeling any symptoms, where you’ve been, have you traveled. We do temperature checks at the gate. We keep our physical distance and work from home where we can, you know, masks in areas where we can’t maintain that distancing. So, all of these things are in place. And again, we benefit from having a hospital 10 kilometers down the road from our site, where we can rapidly test people if the need arises.”
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Growth Exploration activities continue at the Company’s 100%-owned, 47-km2 property. Within a robust, open seven - kilometre gold system, and strong potential to expand at depth, exploration drilling is designed to expedite the growth of mineral resources and aggressively expand new high-grade discoveries. Exploration drilling outside of the existing mine plan continues, with two surface drill rigs and results will be released during the course of activities. Additionally, underground drilling designed to infill and expand mineral resources continues, with the goal of optimizing and expanding the near term mine plan. Results from underground will be released on a quarterly basis. The company continues to revise the mine plan and timing of staff hires and equipment purchases as the development unfolds. From the announcement of a construction decision in August 2019 through September 30, 2020, the company has spent a total of $102 million on the Mine Project and as of September 30, 2020, forecasts a further $37 million to be spent on the Project.
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Noront Resources announces Major New Cornerstone Investor
Noront’s Esker Site, which is located in the James Bay Lowlands, closed in April because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Noront photo) By Frank Giorno
Noront Resources solidified its financial picture in December 2020 by announcing Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd. of Australia as a new cornerstone investor its Ring of Fire exploration projects, starting with the Eagle’s Nest nickel deposit. Wyloo Metals is the mining division of Tattarang, one of Australia’s largest private investment groups. A long-term and collaborative investor supporting the discovery and development of the next generation of mines, Wyloo Metals is led by a multidisciplinary team of geologists, engineers, and financial professionals. “We are delighted that Wyloo Metals has chosen to acquire a cornerstone interest in Noront,” said Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts. “It’s exciting to partner with a company whose values parallel our own company principles.” “Wyloo makes long-term strategic investments in companies that mine responsibly, and that’s a philosophy that aligns very well with the approach Noront is taking as we develop the Ring of Fire in an
environmentally responsible manner in collaboration with our First Nation partners,” Coutts added. Coutts further explained, Wyloo will work closely with all stakeholders to accelerate projects through the development cycle while meeting the highest international environmental, social and governance standards. Wyloo became part of Noront’s financial cornerstones when the company entered into an agreement to acquire the equity and debt interests in Noront previously held by Resource Capital Fund V L.P. “This investment reflects a longterm and collaborative strategy to support the discovery and development of the next generation of mines required to meet the growing demand of critical materials needed to power the decarbonization of the global economy,” said Luca Giacovazzi, President and CEO of Wyloo Metals. Nickel and copper supplies from sources like the Eagle’s Nest deposit are the backbone of green technologies like long life batteries for electric vehicles and other
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non-carbon operations that are in high demand as the world faces the challenges of reducing carbon emissions. Noront is focused on development of its high-grade Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit and its world class chromite deposits including Blackbird, Black Thor, and Big Daddy, all of which are located in the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario in an emerging metals camp known as the Ring of Fire. Giacovazzi, said the partnership with Noront presents a unique opportunity to join forces with a proven management team in the development of the Eagle’s Nest deposit. The purchase agreement between Wyloo Metals and Resource Capital Fund will see Wyloo purchase all of RCF’s interests in Noront. This includes its equity interest, representing approximately 22.5% of Noront’s issued and outstanding common shares, a US$15 million convertible debenture and its 1.0% NSR on Noront’s Eagle’s Nest deposit. As a result, Wyloo Metals will become a control person of Noront and will have the right to nominate two members to Noront’s Board of Directors, one of which must be independent of Wyloo Metals. Noront progressed on the exploration front with the announcement of metallurgical and test drill assays early December for Eagle’s Nest for nickel and copper. Noront plans to open its nickel and copper site first and then follow by developing its chromite holdings. The infrastructure built for Eagle’s Nest will be then connected to its chromite site only a km away. The metallurgical tests from the 2020 drilling program were con-
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ducted by Expert Process Solutions (XPS), a GLENCORE company. The results demonstrated exceptionally good overall metallurgical performance of the Eagle’s Nest ore with strong indications of the production of high-quality marketable copper and nickel concentrates, low in magnesium oxide (MgO) at high metal recoveries. Locked cycle tests on a representative sample produced a bulk concentrate followed by separate nickel and copper concentrates with result. Noront also filed requests for environmental permitting approval by the Ontario government for further exploration in its Ring of Fire holdings with several requests listed on the Ontario Environmental Registry for a 30-day public comment period. In total seven permits were listed from mid-October for public com-
ment period ending by mid-November.
The Sault Ste. Marie Ferrochrome Refinery The game plan for Noront is to develop the nickel and copper resources at the Eagle’s Nest site and using existing nickel and copper refining capacities in Sudbury to process the nickel and copper. The next stage is to embark on extracting chromite from the nearby chromite source one kilometre from Eagle’s Nest. Since there are no ferrochrome smelting facilities Noront will construct one at its preferred location in Sault Ste. Marie. The company held open houses and public consultations during the fall of 2019. Prior to constructing the ferrochrome production facility, Noront
needs to get environmental assessment approval from the Ontario and Federal governments. The timeline for Noront’s development of the ferrochrome smelter is as follows: • 2020 Preliminary economic assessment takes place on the FPF site and Blackbird chromite deposit in the Ring of Fire. • 2022 Prefeasibility study and updated tenancy agreement commence on the FPF site and Blackbird chromite deposit. • 2024 Feasibility study and environmental assessment takes place on the FPF site and Blackbird chromite deposit. • 2025 Project permits, approvals and funding are secured, and construction on the FPF is initiated. • 2028 The FPF project is commissioned.
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Quebec, “The Miner’s Mucker’s Dozen”
in Quebec to watch in 2021
Follow these companies and more from Central Canada’s Daily Mining News Website. mininglifeonline.net
It’s considered one of the best jurisdictions on the planet with a long history of mining success. Quebec produces 1/3 of Canada’s annual gold output. If you’re looking for precious or base metals in Quebec, your chances of attracting investors is “kicked up a notch” as the famous chef Emeril Lagasse is fond of saying thanks to favourable government tax incentives and an abundance of suppliers and experienced miners. Northern Quebec has been mined for more than a century and there are plenty of companies and investors who believe there’s another hundred years of discoveries in motion. Here, in alphabetical order are Mining Life’s top 12 picks of companies with a brief description on each one of them. These along with others are the ones to watch in Quebec, we call it “The Miner’s Mucker’s Dozen”. (1) Amex Exploration Inc.
The company is focused on its 100%-owned Perron gold project 110 kilometres north of Rouyn Noranda. With nearly $12 million in the bank thanks to a fresh round of financing in the fall of 2020, the company is planning 300,000 metres of drilling throughout 2021. East Perron sits in the Chicobi Deformation Zone, which historically was largely regarded as a base metals area. Amex proved them wrong. The company has made several high-grade discoveries on their 4500-hectare property. Amex hit the exploration sweet-spots in several holes, including 56.75 g/t gold over 8.50 metres with higher grade sections,16.48 g/t gold over 14.60 metres with higher grade sections, and 23.95 g/t gold over 2.70 metres.
(2) Falco Resources
A computer-generated concept of Falco Resources’ planned Horne 5 gold mine in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. Falco Resources is looking for copper and they hope to start up the Horne 5 project below the past-producing Horne deposit in Rouyn-Noranda - and they have some big backers, including Osisko Gold Royalties and Glencore Canada. A feasibility study in 2017 on development at Horne 5 outlined a 15-year, 16,000-tonne-per-day bulk operation, producing an annual average of 219,000oz. gold over the life-of-mine. That study says the underground operation would produce 229 million pounds of copper, a billion pounds zinc and 26.3 million oz. of silver over 15 years. Enter Glencore which put $10 million into the project through a senior secured convertible debenture bridge, along with lifeof-mine copper and zinc concentrate offtake agreements. Falco also entered into a binding term sheet on a silver stream with Osisko Gold Royalties.
(3) Globex Mining
Globex Mining Enterprises is busy grabbing as much property in Quebec as they can. Globex is a project generator and mineral property bank whose strategy includes property acquisition and exploration, and preparing projects for option, joint venture or sale, in exchange for longterm royalty arrangements. In September, one of Globex’s stable of properties Radisson Mining, hit high grades on the Kewagama Gold Mine portion of the O’Brien project. Globex holds a 2% net smelter royalty on that part of the O’Brien property. The intercepts included 2.1 metres of 45.86 grams gold per tonne and 2.2 metres of 17.9 grams gold. In July, Globex sold 91 claims, totalling 49.6 sq. km, 80 km north of Chibougamau, to Troilus Gold. These claims allowed Troilus to continue assembling a land package south and southeast of the pastproducing Troilus mine. In exchange, Troilus paid Globex 350,000 Troilus shares and granted the company a 2% gross metal royalty.
Iamgold is quickly becoming a hot topic for investment advisors and institutional investors – to put it mildly, they like what they see. The company has three mines including Westwood in Quebec, Rosebel in Suriname, Essakane in Burkina Faso and of course, Cote Lake south of Timmins. Westwood production was interrupted in late October 2020 after the mine experienced a seismic event. The company temporarily layed off 70% of its workforce in November, or about 440 employees. IAMGOLD has been busy exploring other projects in Quebec, looking to feed the Westwood processing site with material from satellite prospects and custom feed. The company is targeting commercial production at Cote by second half of 2023.
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(5) Midland Exploration
Midland Exploration is exploring several projects in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region of northern Quebec and it refuses to do most of them alone. The company has several gold prospects along the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Quebec, including the Larder Lake Cadillac, the Porcupine-Destor Faults, the Casa-Berardi and the Detour Trend. Midland likes the joint venture model and has agreements with BHP Canada, Agnico Eagle Mines, Wallbridge Mining Company, Probe Metals, Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd., Abcourt Mines, SOQUEM and Nunavik Mineral Exploration Fund. Midland has no debt and $13.5 million in cash. A significant part of exploration costs are underwritten by joint venture partners.
(6) Monarch Gold
Monarch Gold’s Beaufor Mine, northeast of Val-d’Or, Québec. By the time Mining Life readers pick up this magazine, Monarch Gold is likely to be part of Yamana Gold Inc. Yamana made a $200 million offer in late 2020 that would see the producer take over all of Monarch’s assets including the company’s flagship asset, Wasamac, which is currently in the permitting stage. Wasamac’s 21.8 sq. km lies 15 km west of Rouyn-Noranda. A 2018 feasibility study concluded Wasamac is a 6,000 tonneper-day, 11-year underground mine and produce 142,000 gold oz. annually. More interestingly, in May of 2020, Monarch entered into a memorandum of understanding with Glencore, on the potential use of Glencore’s Kidd concentrator in Timmins, to treat Wasamac ore. Monarch also has a 100% stake in the past-producing Beaufor Mine, 20 km north of Val-d’Or. The site was placed on care maintenance in June 2019. Monarch is looking to re-start this operation in the next 12 to 18 months.
Quebec, “The Miner’s Mucker’s Dozen”
in Quebec to watch in 2021
Follow these companies and more from Central Canada’s Daily Mining News Website. mininglifeonline.net (7) Northern Superior Resources Inc.
Northern Superior is busy next to the big producers. The company is testing the extension of IAMGOLD’s Vanstar Nelligan deposit (3.2 million inferred ounces of gold grading 1.02 g/t gold) and whether it spills into the Northern Superior ground known as the Chapais-Chibougamau gold-copper mining camp. In its first hole, drilling intersected a new discovery that returned 1.07 g/t gold equivalent (AuEq) over 35.5 metres, including a high-grade interval of 8.22 g/t AuEq over 2.6 metres, only 1.4 km from the westernmost step-out drill hole at Nelligan. Northern Superior’s 100%-owned Croteau Est gold project has a NI 43-101 resource of 11.6 million tonnes, grading 1.7 g/t gold, for 640,000 ounces of gold. Intersections at this deposit include 11.06 g/t gold over 9.10 metres, 43.75 g/t gold over 2.00 metres as well as 61.24 g/t gold over 5.95 metres, including 705 g/t gold over 0.5 metres. Northern’s 100%-owned TPK property near the Musselwhite Mine in Ontario hosts two district-scale mineral systems. Highlights there include discovery holes (such as TPK-10-004: 25.87g/t Au over 13.45m) and the discovery of several high-grade gold-bearing boulders assaying up to 727 g/t Au, 111g/t Ag and 4.05% Cu.
(8) Probe Metals, Cadillac Break East Project
With one of the largest land packages in the Val D’or area, Probe Metals is focused on making a discovery in the prolific Quebec region. The company is targeting its Val-d’Or East project. Val D’or East covers 435 sq. km. The property includes three past-producers (Monique, Beliveau, and the Bussiere) and falls along the famous Cadillac Break. In 2019, Probe produced an updated resource estimate, with measured and indicated resources of 14.6 million tonnes, grading 1.85 gpt, and an estimate of 866,300 ounces. Additional inferred resources stand at 37.9 million tonnes, at 1.96 grams gold, for a further 2.4 million
oz. of gold. In October Probe announced they hit near-surface gold mineralization around existing resources, as well as two new gold zones around the Pascalis trend. Just prior to that, Probe announced highgrade gold intercepts from expansion drilling at the wholly owned Monique property. A month earlier, the company released results from the Courvan area at Val-d’Or East – intercepts included 7 metres of 8.8 grams gold and 4.4 metres of 10.3 grams gold.
(9) Troilus Gold
Troilus Gold’s flagship gold project in Quebec, with land holdings totalling over 1,000 sq. km, Troilus Gold is the largest mineral claims holder in the underexplored Frotet-Evans greenstone belt in Quebec. Troilus is hoping to re-start the Troilus gold project. Troilus released a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) in the fall of 2020 for the project. The PEA outlined a 22-year, 35,000 tonne-per-day open pit and underground operation, with an average of 220,000 gold oz. annually over its first five years. Troilus plans to deliver a pre-feasibility study this year. In October, Troilus reported regional exploration results including samples from a new target, Testard, 10 km south of the main resource area. Those results included 203 grams gold, 2,440 grams silver and 4.37% copper; 54.2 grams gold; and 31.5 grams gold and 13.4 grams silver. At the time, Troilus said the results included “the highest in-situ gold grades recovered to date within the Frôtet-Evans Greenstone belt.”
(10) Vanstar Mining
After prospecting and sampling at its Quebec property in 2020 – which led to the discovery of four new gold showings, Vanstar Mining plans to start mapping, stripping and drilling this year at the Nelligan, Felix and Amanda projects. Nelligan, the most advanced holding, covers 58 sq. km, and is under an earnin option to joint venture agreement with IAMGOLD. The site, 60 km west of Chibougamau, includes a mineral deposit
with 96.9 million inferred tonnes, at 1.02 grams gold, approximately 3.2 million ounces. IAMGOLD holds a 75% interest in Nelligan, and Vanstar holds the remaining 25% stake. IAMGOLD can acquire an additional 5% interest, by completing a feasibility study. In June of 2020 IAMGOLD announced exploration results from Nelligan, which suggested potential for a western extension of the resource. Drill highlights included 27 metres of 2.86 grams gold; 25.1 metres of 1.87 grams gold; and 10.5 metres of 10.5 grams gold.
(11) Wesdome Gold Mines, Kiena Mine Complex
The 65-sq/km Kiena complex has been on care and maintenance since 2013 but Wesdome hopes to restart soon and when they do, the mine is expected to operate at least eight years. Kiena contains a permitted, 2,000 tonne per day mill, a 930-metre shaft, and a ramp system that extends down to 1,050 metres. In early 2020, Wesdome released the results of a preliminary economic assessment on a restart of Kiena. The study outlined an eight-year operation, producing an average of 86,000 oz. annually. The initial capital cost estimate is $35 million, the after-tax net present value estimate of the development is $416 million. Wesdome is a producer that operates the Eagle River mine 50 km east of Wawa, as well as the Kiena complex in Quebec, near Val-d’Or. This year, the company expects to generate 90,000-100,000 oz. gold.
(12) Wallbridge Mining
With a massive exploration budget for 2021, Wallbridge Mining is poised to eclipse its impressive run in 2020 that included spectacular drill intercepts from its playfully-named Tabasco and Cayenne zones in the Fenelon exploration project. Wallbridge has the backing of Kirkland Lake Gold and financier Eric Sprott thanks largely to Fenelon’s proximity to the massive Detour Gold Mine that KL Gold purchased in late 2019. The theory is that Fenelon is an easterly extension of the Detour complex.
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Wallbridge and Fenelon Quebec’s Discovery of 2020
Picture (Wallbridge Mining): One of the surface drill rigs at Fenelon, drilling off new discoveries on the company’s extensive, underexplored land package along the Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend. By Kevin Vincent
Quebec’s Discovery of the Year is on track to become that province’s next big mining camp. Not just big, real big. Wallbridge Mining’s Fenelon exploration project is not quite a camp, but that isn’t stopping investors like the enigmatic Eric Sprott from calling it one. The junior miner still has a lot of drilling to do and according to company President Marz Kord, Wallbridge is on track to release a maiden resource estimate by the third quarter of this year. “That’s still there, unless we get some surprises like another COVID wave that is not bearable, and we have to react to it. But otherwise, we’re still on for Q3 of this year for the maiden resource, mainly from Tabasco and Cayenne zones, and also a continuous focus of ours, but also Area 51. We think that the Area 51 is going to be a good, substantial addition to the Tabasco and Cayenne resource as well.” It has been a whirlwind year for Wallbridge. The company’s stock took a hit during the March 2020 stock market blip, but it has rebounded nicely. As for the ongoing multi-milliondollar drill results themselves, in
an exclusive interview with Mining Life, Kord says the Wallbridge exploration and management teams couldn’t be happier. “Well, I think (Nov. 19/2020)’s press release was indicative of the type of a deposit you might have. And I’ll give you a good example. Typically, in terms of underground, a lot of people consider themselves high grade, or ultra-high grade, based on certain circumstances. Kirkland Lake’s Macassa, is what I call an ultra-high grade, because the veins may be 10 to 30 centimeters, but they chase these veins that could potentially have 30 centimeters of 1,000 grams a ton, and then overall, they still mine half an ounce to an ounce per year.” Kord points out the Alamos YoungDavidson Mine has veins that are 20 to 30 meters wide, and they are mining under three grams a ton. “Tabasco-Cayenne, could be a Young-Davidson in terms of size of the veins, 20, 30, 40 meters or even sometimes 100 meters. But it is great, with grades twice as much as what Young-Davidson is mining and those kinds of grades are still very viable operations at these gold prices. We see Fenelon, Tabasco, Cayenne being a high-grade un-
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derground bulk mine as opposed to what say Young-Davidson does. Or in terms of even Area 51 we see the potential for again, large underground bulk mining.” Kord and his team are plotting the Fenelon results methodically – determining as much gold content as possible so they avoid a short-term, high-grade life of mine. “In terms of going back to what I was talking about Macassa, so they mine very little tonnage but good ounces. But if those tonnages were on a lower grade following vein, it would be very costly. You know, you’re going after the 10 or 30 centimeter vein chasing that, it takes a lot more resources, dollars, time to follow that vein, whereas in terms of a large bulk mining, you put this drift and then you create these, what we call stopes or cavities. You can be mining that for months from the same draw point.” Kord says the cost component could be as much as 20-25% of what it would take if they were to mine by following veins. “If you have a meter wide, 5 grams a ton, it’s not a high grade, it’s a mediocre type of grade or maybe even lower grade. But if you have 30 meters and this to be mining at
the same grade, now all of a sudden, it’s high grade, because you’re certain your margins are going to be very good compared to follow-
be in the area 5, 6, or 7 grams a ton. But it would be high grade in terms of what I just compared to say, the Young-Davidson’s project.”
Abel Ouedraogo, Wallbridge Geologist logging drill core from the Company’s ongoing 100,000-meters 2020 drill program
ing a narrow vein. So, we really see this Tabasco-Cayenne as being a large underground bulk mine, or what we call high grade, could still
When it comes to specifics, Kord is able to rattle off impressive results (see the video version of this interview on our website www.miningli-
feonline.net). “We’re extremely optimistic about the fact that when you get 100 meters of 5 grams, 75 meters below we have another hole that is 56 meters of 4.84. Below that, you have 51 meters or five something grams. And then above that, you see these other holes that have 48 meters of 22 grams but surrounding that might be lower grade.” “But overall, it still makes sense to have 10, 20, 30 meters of these higher-grade cores. So, when you look at it, 500-600 meters strike to this, 500-600 meter vertical, thicknesses of 30 to 50 meters, that’s quite a number of tonnes. It could be 8-10 million tonnes. So, 8-10 million tonnes being able to be mined much more effectively, rather than following veins, even at 5 grams, it still fetches quite a number of ounces that you can produce.” Kord says another thing in mining is that you can have a high grade
Cont’d on pg. 94
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Massive exploration program in store for Wallbridge in 2021
Kassandra Sofonio & Marc-André Pelletier, Wallbridge Geologists doing a drill inspection & reviewing drill core at Fenelon underground drill rig. Cont’d from pg. 93
mine, but if you’re going to mine it over 30 years, as opposed to someone who can mine their deposit with the same number of ounces, over 10 years, “there’s a lot more value in being able to extract that in 10 years rather than 30.” The next 12 months are going to be watershed moments for Wallbridge as the company has a massive exploration program in store for 2021. “We’re planning 150,000 meters of drilling. But more importantly, we’re also starting an underground development. Reason for those activities is to create these underground drilling platforms to be able to drill from underground. There are two primary focuses.” “Number one is that some of these intersections that we get are high grade. And we don’t want to have the experience of some failures in the past. And I won’t mention names that companies that come up with the resources and they went underground, put $600-700 million worth of capital expenditures and when they realized that wow, we got the geology wrong.” “So, the last thing we want to do is do that, so it’s best to go and actually get into these veins and un-
derstand them. Because it’s not like Timmins or Val-d’Or, where you can kick them off the moss, that’s how they found those mines. Here, it’s 20-30 meters of overburden. So, you really need to get underground to see these veins to see how they behave, the structures and everything else. So that’s the primary focus for us to be able to get into these areas, such as the highgrade Tabasco zones.” Kord says when companies drill down to 1,500 meters it’s not accurate, it’s costly, and it’s less efficient. “But if you drill it from underground, you can get better accuracy, you can get closer to the zone. So that’s the second focus or second function of this underground drilling platform developing that we’re doing. In fact, to be able to extend the Tabasco Cayenne zones to deeper
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depths, perhaps 1,500 meters or even down to 2,000. Because in Abitibi, we all know that the mines don’t stop at 1,000, and so far, we’ve been drilling only down to 1,000 meters.” Kord continues, “So the focus is for us to say, okay, maiden resource is going to come up with say X million ounces, then how do we know that? You know, let’s not measure that based on the original results, whatever that number comes, because that’s only down to 1,000 meters. Geologically, gold comes from underground, not above. So, we know that it’s still going, unless we have good reasons not to because there’s a fault or whatnot, which we’ve not seen so far.” As for the company’s stock performance, with Kirkland Lake Gold as a partner on the Detour East property, and Eric Sprott who has said publicly many times he has never sold any shares in Wallbridge, patience is the key. “Today, we’re in a different stage. We’re a bit more advanced with respect to our Fenelon,” said Kord. “We’re near the resources, and that sort of, I call it the sexiness of the stock may have for the long termers, it’s the same, because the long termers understand where they’re going to get. But in terms of retail short term investments, it is difficult. But my answer to that is the patience will be rewarded.”
High-grade gold mineralization from the Gabbro zones (Naga Viper zone) at Fenelon in drill hole 18-5175-002, assaying 125.44 g/t Au over 1.82 metres
Provix rugged video systems for all aspects of mining operations With recent regulation changes in some jurisdictions that sensibly limit personnel access to the face, we have seen an uptick in interest in being able to inspect the face from afar. In 2013 Provix introduced its Remote Bolting Camera system at Diavik Diamond Mines in NWT. This camera system was required as the bolter operator was positioned approximately 200 feet back from the face, working in a seacan container, with the bolter between his seating position and the face. With almost no visibility to the face, the bolting operation was, tedious, to say the least. Provix implemented two rugged PTZ cameras that were mounted on either side of the bolter as well as a fixed camera that resided on the bolter roof. These three cameras provided a full frontal view of the face to the bolter operator who was able to control the pan tilt and zoom cameras from the safety of the sea can. It took the operator a few hours to get accustomed to the operation of the cameras while running the bolter, however after the familiarisation process, the bolting rate increased dramatically. Perhaps the best testimonial came from one of the mining engineers who commented that it was a better view of the face on the camera monitors than if you were in the cab of the bolter. Better yet is 8 years after the deployment, this system with some replacement parts is still in use at Diavik! News of the success of this system spread through the mining community and a similar system was developed for the former Goldcorp Red Lake mine a few years later. This system was further expanded for portability by building a Monitor and Control stations that fit nicely in the back of a Kubota RTV. The premise was the same, dual PTZ cameras to enable close up views of the face, without having to approach it. Enhanced safety
and increased productivity followed. Both the Goldcorp and the Diavik PTZ camera systems were designed for remote operation. The bolter was controlled by the operator from a safe operator station that did not have a clear view of the face, until the cameras were implemented. With the regulations concerning approaching the face tightening up we were approached to implement a PTZ camera system on two jumbos operating at Valeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Creighton mine. Provix designed a dual PTZ system with an incab monitor that the operator could use for close up drill positioning. We worked with an experienced operator who was at first somewhat skeptical about what advantage could be gained from having the magnified view of the face in the cab of the jumbo in which he was seated. After a few trial runs, the operator advised that this was definitely going to make life easier for him, and more productive for the mine. Safer operations were a given as there was no longer any reason to approach the face. Sandvik also turned to Provix to develop a triple drill positioning system that offered local viewing to the driller and the choice of three camera views each controlled by the operator. With repeat orders for this system, it has proved its usefulness in International mining. Any of the Provix bolter, jumbo or drill positioning video camera systems can also be fully enabled for network viewing on surface. Having local viewing available to the operator as well as informed situational awareness for those on surface is the best of both worlds.
Provix camera systems are mine ready, rugged, dependable and configurable to the operation or application required. Consult with our technical sales team to get to increased productivity and enhanced safety quickly. See our ad on page 09
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