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& North Mining Exploration

60

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Review

2020

Mining continues to spur growth in Northern Canada Goldcorp’s Coffee Mine Project exploring a bright future in the Yukon

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Table of Contents 8 Editor's message, Shayna Wiwierski 10

NWT mining sector continues to move forward

14

Nunavut mining and exploration report

20 Meeting the training needs of the mining industry now and into the future: Aurora College

22 2019 Yukon exploration, development and mining highlights 30 Exploring the Minto copper belt: Migmatites under the midnight sun 32 The Coffee Mine Project: Exploring a bright future in Yukon 34 Golden Predator plans to reactivate the Brewery Creek Gold Mine 36 Agnico Eagle celebrates Meliadine Mine opening with $1 million contribution to community legacy projects

38 Mining continues to spur growth in Canada's north 40 Reclaiming the north 42 Devolution and northern development 44 This gamma ray tomography unit is the first of its kind in the world for modelling slurries

48 Mission possible: How NEAS delivers the goods in the Canadian Arctic 52 The value of automation and combined technologies in mining 54 Canada's filter press manufacturing company: FFP Systems Inc.

Index to Advertisers

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Mining North of 60 | 2020

60

of

is published by DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3L 0G5 www.delcommunications.com President & CEO David Langstaff Managing Editor Shayna Wiwierski shayna@delcommunications.com Advertising Manager Dayna Oulion Toll Free: 1.866.424.6398

Advertising Account Executives Brent astrope | Brian gerow Nick miller | mic patterson | kari philippot Dan Roberts | Gary Seamans Production services provided by: S.G. Bennett Marketing Services www.sgbennett.com

46 Join Yukon's safety legacy

Aben Resources Ltd...............................................................................39 Arctic Co-Operatives Limited...........................................................17 Arkbro Industries.....................................................................................48 Association For Mineral Exploration..........................................IBC Aurora College..........................................................................................21 Aurora Manufacturing..........................................................................27 Avjet Holding Inc........................................................................................5 Bureau Veritas Commodities Canada Ltd.................................11 Calm Air............................................................................................................8 Can Dig Mini Excavators.........................................................................8 Capital Helicopters (1995) Inc..........................................................16 CasCom.........................................................................................................38 Claisse.............................................................................................................53 Desgagnes Transarctik Inc.....................................................................3 Dux Machinery Corporation.............................................................26 Emco Corporation...................................................................................51 Fednav...............................................................................................................9 Ffp Systems Inc........................................................................................54 Fire Prevention Services 2016 Ltd.................................................51 Fireweed Helicopters............................................................................45 Foundex Explorations Ltd..................................................................11 Goldcorp.......................................................................................................33 Government of The NWT...................................................................13

North

Gowling Wlg Llp...................................................................................43 Hayden Diamond Bit Industries Ltd.............................................25 Jill Pollack and Co....................................................................................18 Judy L Corley Consulting....................................................................39 Kbl Resources...........................................................................................28 Lynden Incorporated...............................................................................7 Maclean Engineering............................................................................41 Major Reclaim Corp................................................................................29 Napeg............................................................................................................29 Neas................................................................................................................49 Northern Food Services.......................................................................19 Northern Safety Network Yukon....................................................29 Northwest Territories Power Corporation................................39 Nuna Logistics Partnership................................................................15 Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal...................................................11 Pdac...............................................................................................................37 Poison Graphics........................................................................................45 Redpath Limited.........................................................................................4 Ron's Auto....................................................................................................24 Saskatchewan Research Council................................................. IFC Tundra Airborne Surveys Ltd............................................................35 Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board..............................................................................47

Art Director Kathy Cable Layout Dana Jensen Advertising Art Dave bamburak Contributing Writers: Paul Adair | Adam Chamberlain Richard Forbes | Nikolett Kovacs

© Copyright 2020, DEL Communications Inc. All rights reserved.The contents of this pub­lica­tion may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in and the reliability of the source, the publisher­in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers or employees. Publications mail agreement #40934510 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3L 0G5 Email: david@delcommunications.com

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Editor’s message

Lots has been happening in Canada’s northern territories. Starting in the Northwest Territories, the mining sector has been on a positive upswing thanks to a number of new kimberlite discoveries. One of the projects which was fortunate in this discovery was the Lac de Gras project, a joint-venture between Dominion Diamonds Mines and North Arrow Minerals Inc., which intersected a kimberlite on the first drill hole. That was only one of many projects who were fortunate to make such a discovery. Over in the Yukon, mineral exploration activity was constant, but dipped slightly in 2019. In the report by the Yukon Geological Survey, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Government of Yukon, the number of active exploration projects dropped from 154 in 2018 to 67 in 2019, and exploration expenditures were just over C$100 million compared to C$120 million in 2018. We take a look into a number of projects and issues happening in Canada’s northern territories in this issue of North of 60 magazine. Although mining activity varies by territory, the industry still continues to spur growth in Canada’s north, as is reported by the Conference Board of Canada (read article on page 38). There is definitely a lot happening and the north is the place to be when it comes to mineral exploration. I hope you enjoy this 2020 issue of North of 60 magazine and here’s to another decade of positive mining growth. Shayna Wiwierski shayna@delcommunications.com @DELCommInc

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NAVIGATING NORTH WITH RES P E CT AN D E XPERTIS E


NWT mining sector continues to move forward

During the first half of 2019, Diavik Diamond Mines, owned by Rio Tinto (60 per cent) and Dominion Diamonds (40 per cent), processed 1,291,000 tonnes of ore and recovered 3,663,000 carats. Photo copyright 2018 Rio Tinto. Amidst a period of global uncertainty, the Northwest Territories (NWT) mining sector continued to exhibit optimism with a series of new kimberlite discoveries. One of the indicators of notable gains in exploration activity – claims staked vs. lapsed – continued an upward trend that began in 2017. In the first three quarters of 2019, 120 claims covering 45,000 hectares were added, and there are 37 active Prospecting Permits this year. New staking included large areas in the Mackenzie Mountains, additional ground at Pine Point, re-staking of claims in the Lac de Gras region, and expansion of claims in the Yellowknife area.

New Kimberlite Discoveries The Lac de Gras project, a joint venture between Dominion Diamonds Mines (79 per cent) and North Arrow Minerals Inc. (21 per cent), conducted a spring ground geophysics program and follow-up drilling program, which intersected a kimberlite on the first drill hole. In June 2019, the De Beers Canada (51 per cent) and Mountain Provinces Diamonds (49 per cent) Gahcho Kué Mine JV an-

10 Mining North of 60 | 2020

nounced the discovery of the diamondiferous Wilson kimberlite pipe located roughly 200 metres east of the Tuzo kimberlite, within the current mine plan area. Exploration work in 2018 led to a new kimberlite discovery by North Arrow Minerals Inc. on the Loki project in the Lac de Gras region. Exploration in 2019 consisted of prospecting, till sampling, and ground geophysics to confirm and prioritize targets for follow up 2020 winter exploration drilling. Diagras property, a Margaret Lake Diamonds (60 per cent) and Arctic Star Exploration Corp. (40 per cent) joint venture at Lac de Gras completed ground gravity, magnetic and EM surveys around known kimberlites to identify new phases, as well as completely new targets for drill testing in spring 2020.

NWT Diamond Mine Production Gahcho Kué experienced better than forecast production with over 20 million total tonnes mined and a diamond production of over 3.3 million carats (an average grade of 1.89 carats/ tonne) for the first half of 2019.


ᓄᓇᕗᒥ ᑭᒃᑯᓕᒫᓄᑦ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᐅᑎᒧᑦ ᐱᖁᔭᖅ ᓴᐳᒻᒥᑦᑎᕗᖅ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᐅᑎᒋᔭᑦᑎᓐᓂᒃ ᐃᓱᒪᓱᕐᓗᑕ ᐃᓅᓇᓱᐊᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐊᔾᔨᒌᓐᖏᑎᑕᐅᖏᓪᓗᑕ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᓚᐃᓐᓈᕐᓂᖅ ᑐᓐᖓᓂᖃᕐᑐᖅ ᐃᒻᒥᒧᑦ ᖃᓄᐃᑦᑑᓂᕆᔭᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᓲᕐᓗ ᐃᓅᑉ ᓇᑭᓐᖔᕐᓯᒪᓂᖓ, ᑕᖅᓴᖓ, ᓯᕗᓕᖏᓐᓄᑦ, ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᓐᖔᕐᓯᒪᓂᖓᓄᑦ, ᓄᓇᖃᖅᑎᐅᓂᖓᓄᑦ, ᓇᑭᓐᖔᕐᓯᒪᓂᖓᓄᑦ, ᐅᒃᐱᕆᔭᖓᓄᑦ, ᐅᒃᐱᕐᓂᕆᔭᖓᓄᑦ, ᐊᕐᕌᒍᖓᓄᑦ, ᑎᒥᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᒐᒍᑎᖃᓂᖓᓄᑦ, ᐊᕐᓇᐅᓂᖓᓄᑦ/ ᐊᖑᑕᐅᓂᖓᓄᑦ, ᓄᓕᐊᖅᐸᖕᓂᕆᔭᖓᓄᑦ, ᑲᑎᑎᑕᐅᓯᒪᓂᖓᓄᑦ, ᓇᔾᔨᓂᖓᓄᑦ, ᑮᓇᐅᔾᔭᒃᓴᕐᓂᕆᔭᖓᓄᑦ, ᐱᕋᔭᒃᓯᒪᓂᖓ ᐊᑐᕈᓐᓃᕐᑎᑕᐅᓯᒪᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐱᖁᔭᑎᒍᑦ ᑮᓇᐅᔾᔭᒃᓴᕐᓂᖓᒍᑦ.

The Nunavut Human Rights Act protects our right to live free from discrimination and prejudice based on personal characteristics such as race, colour, ancestry, ethnic origin, citizenship, place of origin, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, income, pardoned conviction and lawful source of income.

ᑲᒪᒋᔭᐅᑦᑎᐊᖏᓐᓂᑰᒍᕕᑦ, ᑎᑎᖅᑲᓕᐅᕈᓐᓇᕐᐳᑎᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐅᖄᓚᕕᐅᓗᑕ ᐅᕗᖓ:

If you have been treated unfairly, you can file a notification by contacting us at:

Tapkuat Nunavunmi Inungnut Pitqutigiyauyunut Ihuaqhaiyiit Piquyat haputihimayai piyungnautivut inuuniqmik ihuinaqtauttailiniqmun aalagiyauniqmutlu piplugit inmigut qanugittunivut tahapkuatut humingaqnivut, taqhavut, hivuligaluavut, nunaligiyavut, huminganiviniqut, maligavut, ukpiqnivut, ukiuquqtunivut, pimmalutivut, aqnaunivut angutaunivut, aqnaqniaqnivut angutihiuqnivut, aipaqaqnivut qanugitni, hingainivut, maniktaqnivut, hugiyauhuiqni ihuinaqnivut maligaqniklu pihimanivut manikhauhiqnut. La Loi sur les droits de la personne du Nunavut protège notre droit de vivre sans faire l’objet de discrimation et de préjugés fondés sur des caractéristiques personnelles telles que la race, la couleur, l’origine ancestrale, l’origine ethnique, la citoyenneté, les croyances, la religion, l’âge, l’invalidité, le sexe, l’orientation sexuelle, la situation de famille, la grossesse, le revenu, l’état de personne réhabilitée et la source de revenus légitime.

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2020 | Mining North of 60

11


During the first half of 2019, Diavik Diamond Mines, owned by Rio Tinto (60 per cent) and Dominion Diamonds (40 per cent), processed 1,291,000 tonnes of ore and recovered 3,663,000 carats. At Diavik, carats recovered in the second quarter of 2019 were three per cent higher than the second quarter of 2018 due to higher grades and ore processing throughput. Dominion Diamond Mines ULC (a part of the Washington Companies) continues production from the Ekati diamond mine. There is no publicly available production data at this time.

Updated Resource Estimate Updated mineral resource details at Mountain Province Diamonds Inc.’s Kennady North project, located 10 kilometres from Gahcho Kué, bring the resource up to 5.45 million carats in 2.07 million tonnes of kimberlite, with an overall grade of 2.63 carats/ tonne. This represents a 49 per cent increase in tonnage and a 74 per cent increase in total carats.

Gold Advanced NWT gold projects benefited from high market gold prices. Nighthawk Resource Corp. increased its 2019 drill plans from $10 million to $13 million to drill 35,000 metres at Colomac and satellite targets at Indin Lake Gold Project. All 2019 drill holes reported thus far have intersected mineralization. Initial results from Zone 1.5 showed their best intersection to date, as it intersected 56 metres of 13.49 g/t Au, including 10 metres of 53.57 g/t Au. TerraX Minerals Inc. expanded its land holdings for its Yellowknife City Gold project to 783 square kilometres. Drilling results from Sam Otto extended gold mineralization by 600 metres of strike. These results, combined with 2018 results, show that the south zone extends for 1.2 kilometres with gold mineralization found over 2.5 kilometres along the Sam Otto structural corridor. Sixty North Gold Mining continues to advance its MON property north of Yellowknife with trenching of several semi-massive sulphide gold-silver-lead and zinc mineralization. Evrim Resources Corp. was active on its newly discovered Astro Project along the NWT-Yukon border with geophysics and RC drilling.

Zinc High zinc demand estimates have encouraged a rejuvenation of Pine Point lead-zinc project by Osisko Metals Inc. and Norzinc Ltd.’s efforts to bring Prairie Creek into production. Osisko Metals had a substantive exploration and drilling program at the Pine Point Project centred on airborne gravity gradiometry and a compilation of historical drill-hole data. This effort identified more than 100 drill holes with significant mineralization, indicative of near-surface mineralizing systems not previously pursued. This year, a total of 84 claims were staked which increased the project’s total surface area to 46,533 hectares, or 465 square-kilometres. NorZinc Ltd., formerly Canadian Zinc, continued the Prairie Creek Mine Site all-season road permitting process. The deposit has a proven and probable reserve of 8.1 million tonnes of 8.6 per cent zinc, 8.1 per cent lead, and 3.6 oz./tonne silver. Resource Capital Fund has agreed to purchase a one per cent royalty on Prairie Creek Mine for C$8 million to provide funding through the completion of permitting of the project.

High zinc demand estimates have encouraged a rejuvenation of Pine Point lead-zinc project by Osisko Metals Inc. and Norzinc Ltd.’s efforts to bring Prairie Creek into production. Photo credit: Northwest Territories Geological Survey.

Rare Earth Elements Market price improvements prompted Avalon Advanced Materials to reactivate the Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Property at Thor Lake. Fieldwork began in July, supported by a collaborative development agreement with Australia’s Cheetah Resources Pty. Ltd. and Vital Metals Ltd. Re-logging and sampling of historic drill core was accompanied by a shipment of a stockpiled T-Zone bulk sample for metallurgical process testing.

Photo copyright 2018 Rio Tinto.

Other metals

Advanced NWT gold projects benefited from high market gold prices. Photo credit: Northwest Territories Geological Survey.

12 Mining North of 60 | 2020

Fortune Minerals continued to refine economic parameters on its NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth–bismuth deposit, and has concluded that a 4,650 tonne/day milling rate optimally balances economies of scale and capital costs while focusing on a smaller open pit with higher cobalt and gold grades. n


NWT RESIDENTS WANT

NEW MINES

Results from a territory-wide survey conducted by a national research company show that NWT residents favour more mining activity.

86% believe a strong mining sector is vital to the long-term health of the NWT economy 83% say regulation of the mining sector works well • 82% would like to see more mining projects in the NWT 8 in 10 people have positive feeling about mining and mineral exploration companies operating in the NWT. To learn more about the NWT’s world-class resources visit: nwtmining.com • nwt petroleum.com • nwtgeoscience.ca THE SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED BY ABACUS DATA AND COMMISSIONED BY THE NWT AND NUNAVUT CHAMBER OF MINES AND THE MINING ASSOCIATION OF CANADA.


Nunavut mining and exploration report

Submitted by the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Economic Development and Transportation

Large quantities of exceptionally high-grade iron ore at Baffinland Iron Mine Corporation’s Mary River Mine in the north of Baffin Island, pictured, promise to keep mining operations running for several decades.

Nunavut is one-fifth of Canada’s land mass and remains relatively under-explored. Composed of diverse geological bedrock provinces hosting a number of rich deposits, it is attractive for grassroots exploration. Nunavut has a single settled land claim, the Nunavut Agreement, and an established land tenure and regulatory system. According to Natural Resources Canada, Nunavut attracted $155.6 million in private sector investment for mineral exploration and deposit appraisal work. About seven out of every eight exploration dollars spent in Nunavut are dedicated to gold discoveries. Diamonds, copper, zinc, and iron account for remaining expenditures in the search for new economic deposits. Total investment in exploration and deposit appraisals are estimated to rise slightly in 2019 to $166.5 million. Mineral wealth in Nunavut comes almost equally from iron and gold production, which reached a record $1.16 billion

14 Mining North of 60 | 2020

Gold-mining operations at Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank gold mine, pictured, was in its final year of production in 2019. However, the Meadowbank mill now processes ore from the mine’s satellite Amaruq deposit 65-kilometres away, which is connected by an allweather road.


ConstruCtion AnD Mining serviCes

2020 | Mining North of 60 15


Baffinland’s Mary River Mine in Nunavut includes employee-training equipment, such as these haul truck-driver simulators, to support and develop employee expertise. in 2018. This was an increase of 4.9 per cent over $1.11 billion from the previous year. Results from many earlier exploration programs has resulted in two new mines entering commercial production in 2019, both owned and operated by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.

Active mines Nunavut hosts four active mines, three gold mines in the Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions and one iron mine in the Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin) region.

Kivalliq region

Qikiqtaaluk region

Opened in 2010, Agnico Eagle operates the Meadowbank gold mine 75-kilometres north of Baker Lake. In 2018 the mine surpassed three-million ounces of total gold production since operations began. The deposit is in its final year of production, however since the summer of 2019, Meadowbank’s facilities have been processing ore from the Whale Tail open pit, a satellite deposit located within the Amaruq project area about 65 kilometres to the north of Meadowbank. Amaruq is ex-

The Mary River iron mine is 175-kilometres southwest of Pond Inlet on Baffin Island. Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation, jointly owned by Nunavut Iron Ore and ArcelorMittal, operates the mine. Located at 72-degrees north latitude, it is one of the most northern mines in the world. In 2018, between July 24 and October 17, the company exported 5.1 million tonnes of iron ore from its port and loading facilities at Milne Inlet to world markets. Seventy-one individual shipments were made over the period, averaging 71,750 tonnes each, making it the largest shipping program ever staged from the Canadian Arctic. Baffinland is permitted to export as much as six-million tonnes in 2019. The company’s plans to expand production were set back in the fall of 2019, when technical hearings for Baffinland’s Phase 2 Expansion project were suspended. Hearings are anticipated to resume in 2020, allowing more time to address outstanding questions on the expansion’s social and environmental impacts.

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pected to produce about 2.4 million ounces by 2024 from current mineral reserves and additional resources continuing to be added through exploration and resource conversion drilling. An underground exploration ramp has been completed which serves to assess the potential for underground mining at Amaruq. Agnico Eagle opened Meliadine, the second gold mine in the Kivalliq, in February 2019. It is located 20-kilometres north of Rankin Inlet. Meliadine is both an open pit and underground operation that is expected to yield 230,000 ounces in 2019 and reach 385,000 ounces of gold for the full year of operation in 2020. New zones of high-grade gold mineralization outside of the known reserves have been encountered through further drilling which is expected to expand available resources and potentially extend the life of the mine beyond 2035.

Kitikmeot region TMAC Resources Inc. (TMAC) started gold production at Hope Bay in February 2017. The mine lies about 125-kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay. Deposits contain an estimated reserve of 3.6 mil-


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lion ounces of gold with an additional 4.8 million ounces of measured and indicated resources. Underground mining is presently occurring at the Doris North deposit where recent drilling also identified new high-grade intersections “below the dyke”. The BTD zone promises to hold enough reserves to expand underground development at Doris. In the southern part of the property, the Boston, Madrid North and Madrid South deposits have been the focus of additional exploration and development work. In late 2019, construction began on the underground portal at Madrid North which will allow for production to start the following year in the Naartok West Zone. TMAC produced 110,970 ounces of gold in 2018 during its first full year of operations, and 114,860 ounces in the first nine months of 2019.

Mineral Exploration Diamonds De Beers Canada Inc. purchased the Chidliak diamond project from Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. in July 2018. The Chidliak property lies on southern Baffin Island approximately 120-kilometres northeast of Iqaluit. Eight of 74 discovered kimberlite occurrences appear to have economic potential for diamonds. A preliminary economic assessment describes a plan for open-pit mining at two deposits (CH6 and CH-7) over a 13-year life to produce

16.7 million carats of diamonds at an average grade of 1.8 carats per tonne. De Beers is evaluating various development plan scenarios, including the deployment of innovative mining technology with light environmental footprint options that minimize energy consumption and use of fossil fuels. North Arrow Minerals Inc. owns the Naujaat and Mel diamond projects. The Q1-4 kimberlite deposit at the Naujaat project is within the hamlet of Naujaat’s municipal boundaries. The deposit is one of the largest kimberlites known in Nunavut and has an inferred resource of 26.1 million carats contained in 48.8 million tonnes. If economic, the deposit could be mined by open-pit excavation methods. In 2014 and 2017, the company collected two bulk samples from the deposit. Results conclusively identified two distinct diamond populations, including Type 1b diamonds which consist of high-value yellow to orange coloured varieties. More analysis is required to evaluate the economic potential of the deposit. North Arrow plans to excavate a larger bulk sample and is investigating options with the hamlet. Situated eight- to 10-kilometres from the community, its proximity to tide water makes Naujaat diamonds an attractive prospect for development. Further north on the Melville Peninsula, 140-kilometres south of Hall Beach, North Arrow is investigating kimberlite occurrences on the Mel property. Two

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kimberlites, ML-8 and ML-345 have been discovered and results released to date show that ML-8 is diamond bearing. Arctic Star Exploration is examining the potential for diamonds at the Stein property on Boothia Peninsula, 85-kilometres northwest of Taloyoak. In south-central Kivalliq, Dunnedin Ventures Inc. has identified six highpriority target areas for exploration at its Kahuna diamond project in the area between Chesterfield Inlet and Rankin Inlet. In 2015, the company announced an inferred resource estimate of 4.02 million carats at the Kahuna kimberlite dyke with an average grade of 1.01 carats per tonne. Dunnedin holds exploration permits on the property, valid until 2023 for drilling and bulk sampling up to 1,500 tonnes. Gold Several gold exploration projects are being carried out across Nunavut. Back River in the Kitikmeot region is the most advanced of these projects being developed by Sabina Gold and Silver Corp. The Back River project consists of the Goose and George properties. Both are located south of Bathurst Inlet. An 80-kilometre winter road was completed to bring sealift supplies from the company’s marine lay down area at the Inlet to the Goose property where the mine site will be developed. About 5.3 million ounces of measured and indicated resources have been outlined at Goose. The smaller George property contains indicated resources of 1.1 million ounces of gold. With permits, including a Type B water licence, positive recommendation for a Type A licence, and long-term land tenure agreements with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, the company is on track to develop an open pit and underground mining operation that would produce up to 200,000 ounces per year with a mine life of 11 years. Auryn Resources has permits and mineral claims across the prospective 300-kilmetre-long Committee Bay greenstone belt, located 250-kilometres west of Naujaat and about 180-kilometres north of Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank mine. The geology of the area holds great potential for gold deposits. A resource assessment outlined more than 1.2 million ounces of gold in the indicated and


inferred category at the Three Bluffs deposit, one of five properties targeted for further exploration. In the western part of Kitimeot, Blue Star Gold Corp. is actively working on the Hood River property, reported promising gold assay results from drilling in 2019 at the Hood River property, and has also exercised an option to acquire the Ulu gold property with measured and indicated resources of 605,000 ounces from Mandalay Resources Corp. Over the past few years, Northquest Ltd. has continued exploration work of known targets at the Pistol Bay property located 50-kilometres north of the community of Whale Cove. The Vickers deposit is the most promising and hosts an inferred mineral resource of 739,000 ounces of gold at 2.94 grams per tonne. Silver Range Resources Ltd. is a junior exploration company with several mineral claims in the Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions. The company reported promising gold assay results from the Tree River and Hard Cash prospect sites in 2018, both considered to have district-scale potential for further discoveries. Cache Exploration Inc. received a land use permit, valid until 2024 for all its claims and leases in the southern part of the Kivalliq, including the Kiyuk gold project area. ValOre Metals Corp. owns the Baffin Gold property on central Baffin Island, which covers one of the largest undeveloped iron formation-greenstone belts in Nunavut. The company also holds the Angilak Property with multiple metals in the Kivalliq. Other exploration companies recently active in Nunavut include Solstice Gold Corp. The company completed till and prospect sampling for gold at their Kahuna project near Rankin Inlet in 2018 and concluded a limited drilling program in 2019 on select targets. Base metals Exploration work by Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. in recent years has expanded the understanding of copper and zinc mineralization over a 100-kilometre-long zone of historical mineral occurrences discovered on Somerset Island. The two most promising, Storm copper and Seal zinc mineral occurrences are located near tidewater. In 2017, the company released an initial inferred resource for the

Seal property of 1.01 million tonnes of ore at 10.24 per cent zinc and 46.5 grams of silver per tonne. Encouraging exploration results today will keep Nunavut’s mining industry growing as it has over the past decade. There were no operating mines at the end of 2009, and there are four today. The Government of Nunavut is working to ensure that Nunavummiut are in a position to benefit from emerging resource development opportunities. One initiative to address this goal is the development of a territory-wide mine training

program. Another is the Community Engagement and Support Program which provides funding to community organizations and industry during the project consultation process. Nunavut has tremendous resource potential as demonstrated by the remarkable successes exploration companies have achieved. With continued investment, Nunavut can look forward to new discoveries and ongoing development of mining projects. For more information, visit www.gov. nu.ca/edt, or call 1-888-975-5999. n

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2020 | Mining North of 60 19


Meeting the training needs of the mining industry now and into the future: Aurora College

In mid-2018, Aurora College opened the Centre for Mine and Industry Training (CMIT) in Fort Smith, which currently offers a variety of programs.

In 2017/18, Aurora College underwent an extensive review process to determine how to best position itself in the rapidly evolving landscape of adult and post-secondary education and training. The key recommendation from the review was that Aurora College transform into a polytechnic university that is responsive to the changes in local, regional, and national labour market demands. While the new polytechnic university will serve the needs of all territorial industry and stakeholder sectors, there are a number of ways the mining industry will benefit from the transformation. These include new mining-related programs, industry-driven applied research, and the provision of qualified employees with a variety of skills and training. Programs will be largely driven by the needs of the NWT labour market. Since mining continues to be an important segment of the NWT’s economy, it makes sense that a new polytechnic would offer programming addressing the industry’s needs – both mine development and mine remediation/reclamation.

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Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) programs train students on various pieces of heavy equipment pertinent to mining and other industries. In mid-2018, Aurora College opened the Centre for Mine and Industry Training (CMIT) in Fort Smith, which currently offers a variety of programs, including: Introduction to the Mining Industry (six weeks), Surface Miner and Underground Miner (both 14 weeks) and Mineral Process Operator training (12 weeks). Through partnerships with NWT’s diamond mines and the Mine Training Society, paid work experience components are

part of full mine training programs. Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) programs train students on various pieces of heavy equipment pertinent to mining and other industries. Aurora College also delivers the Northern Leadership Development Program in partnership with the mining industry and several NWT employers. Once the new strategic plan for 20202023 is completed, Aurora College will


work with industry experts to determine where, if, and how the polytechnic university can meet their needs. Mining programs at other Canadian institutions such as drilling, blasting, mine development, and reclamation can be adopted or adapted. One idea being explored is to make the NWT a centre of excellence in mine industry training. A polytechnic university will also afford industry the opportunity to engage in applied research. This applied research – in partnership with a program at the polytechnic university – would be undertaken to address an identified need the mining industry currently faces, either with respect to production, innovation, and/or efficiencies. Research partnerships allow a mining company (or industry organization) the opportunity to apply for federal grants. A polytechnic university in NWT will facilitate industry-driven research innovation and excellence. The most significant benefit of a polytechnic university to the mining industry will be the provision of highly-qualified individuals for a variety of roles. Leadership and innovation, business administra-

Students use simulators in various mining programs at Aurora College. tion, accounting, office administration, human resources, environmental/natural resources monitoring and management, skilled trades and apprenticeships, and technology programs related to the mining industry are just some of the graduates a polytechnic university will provide. Polytechnic universities across Canada – many of which have had their roots as community colleges – are all about providing training and research to meet the needs of industry and stakeholder groups. This includes local, regional, and to some extent, national industry and stakeholder groups. It is imperative that polytechnic universities work directly and in partnership with

industry. For 50 years, Aurora College has forged partnerships with industry and stakeholder groups (including the education and health sectors) to the great benefit of our students and employers. Moving forward, it will continue to be key to working closely with industry through program advisory committees (PACs) composed of representatives from throughout a particular industry or sector. PACs are one example of industry connection that will help Aurora College and the new polytechnic university ensure programs continue to be of high quality and meet the training needs of both industry and students. n

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www.auroracollege.nt.ca 2020 | Mining North of 60

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2019 Yukon exploration, development and mining highlights By Yukon Geological Survey, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Government of Yukon

Yukon mineral exploration activity dipped slightly in 2019. Exploration expenditures were just over C$100 million, compared to C$120 million in 2018. Development expenditures are estimated at C$240 million, primarily for the development of Victoria Gold Corp.’s Eagle Mine (C$183 million), and, to a lesser extent the advancement of Newmont Goldcorp’s Coffee gold project and the re-opening of the Minto gold-copper-silver mine by Pembridge Resources. The number of active exploration projects dropped significantly from 154 in 2018 to 67 in 2019. In part, this reflects the continuing tight equity markets. Eighteen of the 67 projects spent more than C$1 million, while 43 projects spent less than C$500,000. The majority of smaller projects received Yukon Mineral Exploration Program (YMEP) grant funding. YMEP funds were distributed to 32 hard rock and 18 placer exploration projects. In the Yukon, 68 per cent of all projects target gold. The remainder of projects

focused on exploring for lead-zinc, copper, silver, or nickel-PGEs, and to a lesser extent, tin, cobalt, or vanadium.

Mining and development In October 2018, Capstone Mining Corp. suspended mining activity at the Minto copper-gold-silver mine after a tentative deal with Pembridge Resources plc. fell through. However, negotiations through the winter and spring proved fruitful and the purchase was finalized in June 2019. Pembridge completed the first underground blast at Minto East in early October and milling operations were up and running by the end of the month. Victoria Gold Corp. completed development of the Eagle gold deposit on its Dublin Gulch property after 26 months of construction (Figure 1), and the first gold pour was held in September 2019. The company plans to produce 200,000 ounces of gold per year from the open pit/heap leach operation. The reserve is

Figure 1 - Victoria Gold Corp. completed development of the Eagle gold deposit on its Dublin Gulch property after 26 months of construction.

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2.7 million ounces of gold and the mine life is +10 years. The company continued to explore the property with trenching and diamond drilling (nine holes, 1,617 metres) in 2019. Newmont Goldcorp submitted its application for the Coffee gold mine to the Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Board (YESAB) in the spring of 2017. The 2.16-million-ounce (proven & probable reserve) gold deposit is envisioned as an open pit/heap leach operation. The company is working to update the feasibility study while they

await a mine permit. In 2019, the company spent C$30 million on exploration to upgrade the resource and define additional oxide resources. Drill results have not yet been released. Alexco Resources Ltd. released the results of a pre-feasibility study for its Bermingham and Flame & Moth deposits in a technical report in May 2019. The report was based on the development of four deposits in the Keno Hill silver district: Bermingham, Flame & Moth, Bellekeno, and Lucky Queen, and envisioned an eight-year mine life producing 1.18

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million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 805 g/t Ag, 2.98 per cent Pb, 4.13 per cent Zn, and 0.34 g/t Au. A new resource for the district, calculated in March 2019, identified 98.3 million ounces of contained silver. Alexco continued exploration in the district with 5,100 metres of diamond drilling at Bermingham targeting the Footwall Vein and the Bear Vein. BMC Minerals Ltd., a private company, submitted an application to YESAB to develop the ABM deposit in March 2017. The project was moved to the screening stage of the process in January 2018 and draft screening report stage in July 2019. Also in July, BMC released a positive feasibility report for the project with a probable mineral reserve of 15.7 Mt grading 5.8 per cent Zn, 1.7 per cent Pb, 0.9 per cent Cu, 138 g/t Ag and 1.3 g/t Au. The operation will be a majority open pit (89 per cent) with minor underground (11 per cent) mine, processing two-million tonnes per year with a nine-year mine life. Pre-production capital costs are estimated at C$381 million. Western Copper and Gold Corporation continues to advance its Casino porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum project in western Yukon. Drilling in 2019 (72 diamond drill holes, 13,592 metres) intersected one of the highest-grade intercepts on the deposit to date: 55.1 g/t Au over 2.97 metres in hole DH19-21. The mine was originally submitted for environmental assessment in January 2014 and was bumped up to the panel review process, the highest level of environmental and socio-economic assessment under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act, in February 2018. The company is preparing the necessary documentation to initiate the panel review process. Golden Predator Mining Corp. was assigned the historic quartz mining license and water license for the Brewery Creek gold mine in July. With these licenses, the company is authorized to restart mining activities that follow the previously assessed mine plans without further assessment and review. There is slightly more than two years remaining on each of the licenses. In advance of an anticipated development season in 2020, the company carried out a large exploration and development program involving drilling, infrastructure assessment, camp


expansion, review of the previous mine plan, and assessment of reprocessing of the historic heap leach pad.

Significant exploration projects – precious metals Atac Resources Ltd. received a positive recommendation from YESAB for a 65-kilometre access road to advance its Tiger gold deposit toward development (Figure 2). However, as part of the approval process, the Yukon Government and First Nation of the Na-cho Nyäk Dun agreed to a planning process for the Beaver River watershed within which the road would be constructed. The planning commission is hoping to complete the land use plan by November 2020. The 490,000-ounce, highgrade Tiger Deposit lies at the western end of Atac’s extensive Rackla Gold Belt claim block within an area called the Rau Trend. Atac continued to explore in 2019 with sampling, mapping, drilling and ground IP, and magnetic geophysical surveys. White Gold Corp. filed a new mineral resource estimate for the Golden Saddle and Arc deposits on the White Gold property in 2019: 14.33 million tonnes grading 2.26 g/t Au (indicated) and 10.696 million tonnes grading 1.48 g/t Au (inferred). The company’s exploration program was designed to expand Golden Saddle and Arc’s known resources, follow up on the 2018 discovery of the Vertigo zone at the JP Ross property, and to prove up further resources at the VG Deposit. In addition to a planned 17,000-metre diamond drilling program, the company performed soil sampling, prospecting, GT Probe sampling, trenching, and RAB/RC drilling on a number of their other properties in the region (Figure 3). Several new highgrade gold trends were identified within 10 kilometres of the Vertigo discovery. Drill highlights of this year’s program include 3.59 g/t Au over 68.0 metres at Golden Saddle and 2.10 g/t Au over 31.73 metres at the newly discovered Ryan’s Surprise zone, two kilometres west of Golden Saddle. Rockhaven Resources Ltd. carried out a late season diamond drilling program at its epithermal gold-silver Klaza property, including definition drilling and drilling adjacent to the area of the current mineral resource estimate (5,750 metres in 33 holes). Results from this program are pending.

Figure 2- Atac Resources Ltd. received a positive recommendation from YESAB for a 65-kilometre access road to advance its Tiger gold deposit toward development.

Figure 3- White Gold Corp. performed soil sampling, prospecting, GT Probe sampling, trenching, and RAB/RC drilling on a number of their other properties in the region.

2020 | Mining North of 60 25


Klondike Gold Corp. explored its Klondike Gold property south of Dawson City with 94 drill holes testing various targets. Seven drill holes (595 metres) were completed at Gay Gulch; results include 29.80 metre grading 0.40 g/t Au; 0.50 metre grading 6.07 g/t Au; and 0.50 metre grading 9.66 g/t Au. Gay Gulch is one of several occurrences of gold in quartz veins hosted in brittle felsic rock occurring near the northwest-trending Eldorado fault. Aben Resources completed a drill program at its Justin gold property in southeastern Yukon. Four diamond drill holes

(963 metres) tested the intrusion-related POW zone, while 20 rotary air-blast (RAB) holes targeted the recently discovered Lost Ace zone. Results include 1.5 g/t Au over 15.4 metres in hole JN19020 and 0.9 g/t Au over 1.5 metres in hole JN19026. In 2019, Triumph Gold Corp. focused its exploration efforts on deep targets at the WAu Breccia and Blue Sky zones, as well as testing an IP anomaly at the Big Red zone on its Freegold Mountain property. The strategy proved successful with an intercept of 601.80 metre averaging 1.1 g/t gold-equivalent at the WAu Breccia and

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304.39 metre grading 0.638 g/t Au, 5.9 g/t Ag and 0.23 per cent Cu at Blue Sky. Results for drilling at the Big Red have not yet been reported. Alianza Minerals explored its Mt. Haldane property, a high-grade silver target, with four diamond drill holes (963 metre). Drill hole HLD19-15 intersected silver-bearing veins assaying 125.7 g/t Ag and 4.4 per cent Pb over 2.35 metre. Drilling at the Ross target returned only anomalous lead and silver. Strategic Metals Ltd. completed small drill programs at the Hartless Joe, Meloy, and Sixty Mile projects. Results from this work are pending. The company also explored the Mount Hinton gold-silver property with soil sampling, prospecting, and mapping. Spectacular results were received from prospecting, where a grab sample of talus returned 2340 g/t Au and 497 g/t Ag. The source of the sample was traced back to outcrop, where a sample assayed 33.3 g/t Au and 654 g/t Ag. Rock samples from the main soil anomaly area assayed up to 15.9 g/t Au and 9.6 g/t Ag. Due to positive results on its first phase of exploration on the Aurex-McQuesten project (e.g., hole MQ-19-44 – 71.4 metres of 0.94 g/t Au, including 8.8 metres of 3.1 g/t Au), Banyan Gold Corp. conducted a Phase 2 drilling program consisting of 3,500 metres. Results from the second phase of drilling are pending. Lucky Strike Resources drilled four holes (1,105.82 metres) on the Monte Carlo zone of the Lucky Strike property to test a 1.8-kilometre IP chargeability anomaly. Several narrow intercepts returned assays between 0.45 g/t Au and 2.68 g/t Au. Stratabound Minerals Corp. carried out road construction and trenching at the Golden Culvert gold project in southeastern Yukon. Twenty-three trenches were excavated and resulted in the extension of the Main Discovery vein structure. The best result came from trench TR1923-B which assayed 24.41 g/t Au over 6.0 metres and included the highest gold assay on the property to date: 95.0 g/t Au over 1.5 metres. Reconnaissance work seven kilometres north of the Main Discovery zone identified a new goldbearing vein which assayed 1.02 g/t Au over 1.0 metres. Metallic Minerals Corp. completed soil sampling and prospecting on its main Keno Silver property, as well as at McKay


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Figure 4 - Cantex Mine Development Corp. conducted the second largest exploration program in Yukon in 2019 at its North Rackla lead-zinc-silver project. Hill and the Carpenter Creek area. Results are pending.

halative lead-zinc project (Tom and Jason deposits) through diamond drilling (16 holes; 2,357 metres), ground geophys-

Significant exploration projects – base metals Fireweed Zinc Ltd. continued to advance its MacMillan Pass sedimentary ex-

ics, soil sampling, and mapping. Drilling highlights include 6.13 per cent Zn and 0.95 per cent Pb over 22.54 metres at Tom North. At the Boundary zone, previously

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thought to be a large tonnage low-grade occurrence, the company drilled significant high grade intervals within wider, lower grade intervals; NB19-001 intersected 250 metres of 3.44 per cent Zn, 0.10 per cent Pb and 5.6 g/t Ag, but included 23.31 metres of 16.35 per cent Zn and 27.9 g/t Ag and 5.70 metres of 12.16 per cent Zn, 7.09 per cent Pb and 109.3 g/t Ag. Cantex Mine Development Corp. conducted the second largest exploration program in Yukon in 2019 at its North Rackla lead-zinc-silver project (Figure 4). The company proposed a 78-hole, 18,000-metre drill program targeting the massive sulphide zone identified in 2018. Geophysical surveys were undertaken to help define the massive sulphide horizon between the discovery and extension zones that lies under a cover of glacial till. Highlights of the 2019 drill campaign from the first few holes reported are 14.25 metre grading 114 g/t silver, 9.34 per cent lead, and 12.37 per cent zinc. Many of the drill results remain to be reported. Go Cobalt explored its Monster property (IOCG target) for copper and cobalt with geophysical surveys, mapping, drone photogrammetry, and rock sampling. Assay results for the 90 grab samples collected ranged up to 22.3 per cent Cu and 1.5 per cent Co. Other strategic metals being sought include vanadium in northern Yukon and tin in southern Yukon. n


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Exploring the Minto Copper Belt

Migmatites under the midnight sun By Nikolett Kovacs Located in west-central Yukon, approximately 270 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse within the traditional territory of the Selkirk First Nation, the Minto mine is a well-established copper-gold frontier of the Yukon. There is a long history of prospecting around the Minto area, which began around the same time as the famous Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 1800s. The first copper-gold mineralization at Minto was found by G. M. Dawson in 1887 at the Hoocheekoo bluffs along the Yukon River. The Minto property, as it is known today, was discovered in 1971 from anomalous copper mineralization found in stream sediments by Silver Standard Mines Limited and ASARCO. Since then, exploration continued until the Minto mine was built in 2007. The mine operated for 11 years, until it was placed on temporary care and maintenance in October 2018. With plenty of exploration potential remaining both on and adjacent to the existing claims, Pembridge Resources plc purchased the property in June 2019 and restarted operations in October 2019.

The Minto Copper Belt The Minto mine sits within the upper quartile of the Minto Copper Belt, which is a 42-kilometre-long northwest trending corridor of copper-gold-silver mineralization in central Yukon. As well as the Minto mine, the Minto Copper Belt includes the Carmacks Copper deposit, the Stu prospect, and several other Cu-Au-Ag showings. The fact that these deposits are analogous (Kovacs, 2018), representing a belt was key to Pembridge’s acquisition and subsequent exploration plans. In addition to the acquisition, Pembridge also acquired the HUN claims, located to the south and north of the Minto mine to advance its exploration regionally within the belt.

Typical appearance of migmatite in drill core from the Minto East deposit showing chalcopyrite and bornite ore minerals. Bn-Bornite, Cpy-chalcopyrite

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A Migmatite Story Recent studies on the Minto Copper Belt proved that coppergold mineralization within the belt is hosted within Late Triassic migmatized lenses (Kovacs, 2018). Migmatites are unique, metamorphic rocks that have undergone high degrees of partial melting. Copper mineralization is associated with magnetite and can form semi-massive sulphide lenses up to several metres thick. Only a few examples exist worldwide that host high-grade copper mineralization associated with migmatite similar to that of Minto. These concepts are new to Minto and has numerous benefits, not only for exploration, but also mining such as grade control, ore deposit modelling, and testing new geophysical signatures. This new geological knowledge is an exciting opportunity to explore for new deposits, as well as advance currently known deposits with new ideas and technology.

New beginnings The primary objective of Pembridge is to extend the mine life by upgrading existing mineral resources to reserves and exploring for new ore deposits. A nine-month long, approximate 14,000-metre infill-diamond drill program started in November 2019 with the aim of securing more ore reserves. The program targets the Minto East 2 and the Copper Keel South, North, and West deposits. The program will also include a series of step-out holes to test continuity between the deposits, utilizing the results of a recently completed geophysical UAV Drone MAGTM survey, conducted by Pioneer Aerial Ltd. The airborne magnetic data will also be used in conjunction with the already existing Titan 24 DCIP geophysical survey to enhance exploration targeting for newly mineralized lenses.

Massive high-grade copper mineralization from the Minto North deposit. Bn-Bornite (copper mineral) Pl-Plagioclase (gangue mineral).


Regional exploration was conducted in late August this year on the HUN claims south of Minto, and included a helicopter supported, tight-grid soil sampling program targeting magnetic and copper-gold soil anomalies. During the course of the program, over 2,200 soil samples were collected and the results will be

Minto Copper Belt.

used to identify drill-ready targets for the upcoming exploration season. In addition, prospecting on the HUN claims successfully resulted in the discovery of surface copper oxide mineralization confirming the continuity of the Minto Copper Belt south of the Minto mine. n


The Coffee Mine Project – exploring a bright future in Yukon

The Coffee Mine Project, owned by Newmont Goldcorp, is a proposed open-pit heap leach gold mine 130 kilometres south of Dawson City, Yukon. The Yukon is special. You can ask anyone who has experienced it first-hand and they will tell you the same, it has a magical quality that only Northern Lights, midnight sun, and abundant wilderness can bring. The Yukon’s history is rich with First Nations cultures, exploration and adventure, and as such, most Canadians would likely associate the Yukon with the Gold Rush in some way. Back then, it was a treacherous journey through unmapped land with nothing but a pan and a pickaxe. Today, gold mining has evolved to a state-of-the-art industry that includes a social, economic, and environmental focus above and beyond the act of exploring for gold. Newmont Goldcorp’s Coffee Mine Project is a prime example of what responsible mining can and will look like, even in the early stages of the mine life cycle.

About the Coffee Mine Project The Coffee Mine Project, owned by Newmont Goldcorp, is a proposed open-

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pit heap leach gold mine 130 kilometres south of Dawson City, Yukon. It is currently in the environmental and socioeconomic assessment process, followed by permitting and approval for construction. Coffee would be a premier hardrock gold mine built to leading standards and bring new opportunities for jobs and economic growth to the Klondike.

What’s in store for Coffee? In the short-term, we will continue to operate a seasonal, advanced exploration program focused on near mine and greenfield exploration at the Coffee Mine Project with the approval of an extended drill season for 2019-2020 at site. The permitting process for the proposed mine is progressing through the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board Executive Committee review screening stage, and, given the long lead time, we anticipate to receive a decision document and understand the conditions included, then we will continue to

advance engineering and the required studies to support this work.

Our approach in the Yukon We want to leave a positive, lasting impression in the Yukon. We’ll do that by hiring qualified Yukoners and First Nations members wherever possible, and by providing training, education, and career development opportunities for our employees. For example, we’re partnering with Yukon College to support local training and career development opportunities.

Partnering with First Nations Our Whitehorse-based project team is working closely with First Nations and community partners to design a socially and environmentally responsible project. A Collaboration Agreement between the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Newmont Goldcorp represents an important milestone towards building


a long-term relationship with local First Nations and delivering economic opportunities at each stage of the project.

Treating the environment with care The land of the Yukon is unique and requires special care by those working on it – at every stage of the mining life cycle. Our project will be designed in accordance with Newmont Goldcorp’s environmental standards, which are designed to protect the environment and prevent – or otherwise minimize, mitigate, and remediate – any impacts. A wildlife monitoring program is being developed to ensure our activities don’t harm wildlife such as bears, moose, and caribou, and our project will adhere to the International Cyanide Management Code. We recognize that the Yukon is more than a place; it is an experience made up of the people, cultures, and landscapes that make it special. The Coffee Mine Project aims to create sustainable value for local communities and the government, take care of precious water ways, work with our First Nations partners, and offer opportunities for Yukoners to build their careers with a responsible mining company. n

Old camp at Goldcorp's Coffee Mine Project.

Newmont Goldcorp is an industry leader in value creation and the only gold producer listed in the S&P 500 index. Our purpose – to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining – is guided by five core values: safety, integrity, sustainability, inclusion and responsibility. We are proud to have been named the mining industry leader in overall sustainability by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

newmontgoldcorp.com 2020 | Mining North of 60 33


Golden Predator plans to reactivate the Brewery Creek Gold Mine

The Brewery Creek gold mine is a 180-square-kilometre property located 55 kilometres east of Dawson City, Yukon and 30 kilometres from the Dawson City Airport.

Golden Predator Mining Corp. (TSX-V: GPY) is advancing the past-producing Brewery Creek Mine towards a timely resumption of mining activities in Canada’s Yukon. With established resources grading more than 1.0 g/t gold and low capex to production in a safe first-world jurisdiction, the turnkey Brewery Creek Mine has a clear path to production as an economically and environmentally proven project. The Brewery Creek Project is a pastproducing heap leach gold mining operation, operated by Viceroy Resource Corporation from 1996 to 2002, that was temporarily closed due to low gold prices. The 180-square-kilometre property is located 55 kilometres east of Dawson City, Yukon and 30 kilometres from the Daw-

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For Phase 1, Golden Predator is working on a feasibility study for reprocessing the heap leach pad which should be completed by March 2020.


son City Airport. In addition to ongoing development activities, drilling continues to expand the numerous open-ended resources and untested targets with over 15,000-metres drilled in the fall of 2019. On July 2nd, 2019, Golden Predator received formal notification from the Yukon Government that both the approved Quartz Mining License and Water License provide for the immediate restart of the Brewery Creek Mine. Additionally, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation passed a formal council resolution in support of resumed mining and at the Brewery Creek Mine. The Brewery Creek Project has a Socio-Economic Accord with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Subsequently, the company has been aggressively moving towards a resumption of mining activities and has appointed a leading technical team to commence the restart planning. Heavy equipment and engineering consultants mobilized to site to assess the site and its infrastructure in advance of mine development. A three-phase production plan has been outlined that includes reprocessing the existing heap leach pad (Phase 1), completing the current mine plan (Phase 2), and an expansion of the mine plan (Phase 3). The 2014 Preliminary Economic Assessment outlined attractive economics at a gold price well below recently quoted prices with up to a 45 per cent Internal Rate of Return at a gold price of CAD $1,635. The Brewery Creek Project has NI 43-101 Indicated mineral resources of 577,000 oxide gold ounces contained in 14.15 million tonnes of material with an average grade of 1.27 g/t, and Inferred mineral resources of 279,000 oxide gold ounces contained in 9.3 million tonnes with an average grade of 0.93 g/t. Historical production records indicates approximately 240,000 ounces remain on the heap leach pad contained within approximately 10M tonnes of material averaging 0.7 g/t gold. For Phase 1, Golden Predator is working on a feasibility study for reprocessing the heap leach pad which should be completed by March 2020. Golden Predator is positioned to restart operations at the Brewery Creek Mine as early as mid-2020. For more information on Golden Predator or the Brewery Creek Mine, please visit www.goldenpredator.com or call 604-260-0289. n

Golden Predator and the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in work together to create economic benefits for the local community.

2020 | Mining North of 60 35


Agnico Eagle celebrates Meliadine Mine opening with $1 million contribution to community legacy projects Enriching the lives of its neighbours

Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine Mine is located 25 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet. During the Meliadine Community Celebration on June 19, 2019, Agnico Eagle announced a $1 million donation toward three legacy projects that seek to improve the quality of life in the community.

Through the Nunavut Social Investment Program, Agnico Eagle focuses on being an active member of its communities and contributing to programs and organizations that enrich the lives of its neighbours.

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This past summer, Agnico Eagle opened its newest and largest gold deposit – the Meliadine Mine, located 25 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet. While it took years to find and develop Meliadine, extensive community and government support made all the difference in successfully bringing the mine into production ahead of schedule in 2019. In tribute to the strong relationship Agnico Eagle has built with its host community and mine employees, Agnico Eagle held two official mine opening ceremonies – one in the community and one at the mine site. On June 19th, nearly 1,000 people attended the Meliadine Community Celebration in Rankin Inlet. During the ceremony, Agnico Eagle announced a $1 million donation toward three legacy projects that seek to improve the quality of life in the community: • $250,000 to the Rankin Inlet Fire Department’s New Regional Fire Training Centre, allowing firefighters to train for real-life fire and rescue situations and making every community safer and better prepared to deal with emergency incidents; • $250,000 toward the Ilitaqsiniq - Nunavut Literacy Council’s purchase of a building in Rankin Inlet to serve as its permanent headquarters for Kivalliq, allowing it to regularly offer literacy training programs to adults, youth, and community members; and, • $500,000 over the next five years to help the Ilitaqsiniq - Nunavut Literacy Council promote and advance adult and youth literacy skills across the territory. The next day, June 20th, marked the official on-site Meliadine Mine opening ceremony. In the opening ceremony, Martin Plante, general manager at the time, highlighted the great success of opening a mine of this size in the north. He also insisted on the fact that Meliadine is the result of a collective vision, work, and determination. He thanked the local dedicated contractors and suppliers and also the people from the community. Through the Nunavut Social Investment Program, Agnico Eagle focuses on being an active member of its communities and contributing to programs and organizations that enrich the lives of its neighbours. The long-term goal is to advance the social and economic development of sustainable communities in the Kivalliq. Agnico Eagle believes Nunavut has enormous geological potential and expects to be operating in the region for decades to come. n


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Mining continues to spur growth in Canada’s north By Richard Forbes, Economist, Provincial and Territorial Forecast Mining is an integral part of the economy in Canada’s north. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that mining in Canada’s territories directly supported 2,600 jobs and generated $2.8 billion in real GDP in 2018. The impact of the mining sector reaches beyond the direct impact; it also supports construction and investment activity in these regions. In addition, much of the labour income from the sector is subsequently spent elsewhere in Canada’s economy. Looking ahead to next year, mining in the three territories will continue to be a central driver for the economy in each region. While the overall mining outlook for Canada is positive, each region is facing unique challenges and opportunities.

The mining outlook in Nunavut is bright. Existing mines at Meadowbank and Hope Bay produced a combined 408,000 ounces of gold in 2018, with strong production expected to continue in the near term. That is a positive sign considering the price of gold has generally been recovering since slumping in February. The territory also received good news when Agnico Eagle Mines began gold production at its Meliadine mine and Amaruq satellite deposit this year. In addition to gold, iron ore production from Mary River is also supporting the region’s outlook. Last October, federal Northern Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc approved Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation’s application to increase its annual allowable shipment volumes at the mine from 4.2 million tonnes to

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6.0 million tonnes per year, which may lead to stronger iron ore production in Nunavut going forward. Unlike Nunavut, the story in the Northwest Territories is subdued. The territory is home to three diamond mines—Gahcho Kué, Diavik, and Ekati; each mine has indicated that their diamond production has already peaked and will slow next year. In addition to slowing production, the value of diamond output may take a hit in the near term. A more temperate global economy combined with rising quality of synthetic diamonds (a key alternative to mined diamonds) are posing a major risk to the traditional diamond market and likely weighing on the value of mined diamonds. Although the short-term outlook is bleak, it is important to note that metal mining in the territory is expected to ramp up after 2021. This is when Canadian Zinc’s Prairie Creek and Fortune Minerals’ NICO mines may bring a mix of different metals online, including zinc and cobalt. After a difficult 2018 and 2019 when Capstone’s Minto mine suspended operations due to a failed sale to Pembridge Resources, the mining outlook in the Yukon is improving in the near term. Placer mining, which involves recovering gold from gravel and dirt that lies on the surface, will continue operations and produce about 72,000 ounces of gold next year. However, Placer mining will be a small contributor compared to Victoria Gold Corp.’s Eagle mine, which poured its first gold this September and plans to produce roughly 150,000 ounces of gold next year, leading to strong gains in the territory’s mining sector. Beyond next year, Newmont Goldcorp’s Coffee mine is expected to begin producing gold in 2021, and the Casino mine is expected to being construction in the early 2020s, though gold production remains far away. n


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2020 | Mining North of 60 39


Reclaiming the North As part of the Federal Budget 2019, funding has been directed towards the Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation program, a new initiative that will address the remediation needs of eight of the largest abandoned mine projects in Canadian history By Paul Adair

Viewing the footprint left by Yukon’s Faro Mine.

As part of the federal government’s Budget 2019, $2.18 billion over the next 15 years has been earmarked for the Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation program, a new initiative dedicated to addressing the remediation needs of eight of the largest abandoned mine projects in Canada’s Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory. Five of these mines reside within Yukon Territory (United Keno Hill, Clinton Creek, Ketza River, Mount Nansen, and Faro), while the remaining three are in the Northwest Territories (Giant Mine, Great Bear Lake, and Cantung). It is not entirely fair to say, however, that the Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation program is a starting point towards reclamation at these eight projects. A considerable amount of work and planning has already been achieved to date, beginning at the time they were abandoned by their former operators and were subsequently entered into the Government of Canada’s inventory, funded under the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP). These abandoned mines are all required to comply with regulatory processes in order to continue on to engineering and be ready to enter the longterm closure planning phases.

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“The idea is that the Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation program will be wholly dedicated to addressing the risks associated with these larger abandoned mines, and to manage them in a way where we can really begin to focus on the remediation of the eight projects,” says Jeff Mackey, acting program management director for the Northern Contaminated Sites Program at Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. “These are eight of the largest abandoned mines in Canada’s inventory and this program recognizes that they need to be treated differently than other projects funded by FCSAP, which has shorter funding cycles. This new program is an acknowledgment of the complexity of these eight mine closure projects and an acceptance that it will take time to do them properly.”

Facing the challenge together There are a number of challenges that face abandoned mine reclamation in the north, particularly as it relates to securing a dedicated long-term source of funding that addresses the myriad of issues concerning contamination and meeting the stringent closure requirements of the abandoned mines. The Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation program, which will be in effect from 2020 to 2035, will help to overcome these challenges by providing for the effective management of those sites over the entire lifecycle of active closure. This will allow the Government of Canada to tender long-term, stable contracts and to work with its Indigenous partners and communities in accessing a number of benefits throughout the life of the project.

“This new program is an acknowledgment of the complexity of these eight mine closure projects and an acceptance that it will take time to do them properly.” – Jeff Mackey


“Getting these sites closed in a manner that respects the risks to human health, as well as environmental health and safety is of utmost importance for us.” – Jeff Mackey “Ultimately, the objective of the Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation program is to manage these eight projects in such a way that remediation will not only reduce the risk to human and environmental health and safety, but also to provide the socio-economic opportunities for affected Indigenous communities and northern businesses,” says Mackey. “Getting these sites closed in a manner that respects the risks to human health, as well as environmental health and safety is of utmost importance for us.” Development and implementation of the Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation program will demand a high level of collaboration between stakeholders, such as the Government of Canada, the territorial governments of Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and with Indigenous partners and private stakeholders. Each of the eight projects covered by this program is fundamentally unique and has different priorities, as do the communities that are affected by them. In spite of this, all those involved share a common goal, which is to see these mines closed in a responsible manner. “The response to the program has thus far been positive among the various community partners that we have been working alongside,” says Mackey. “The full and final details of the program, as well as the program roll out, will be taking place over the next several months. And while the funding itself won’t kick in until April 1, 2020, we fully expect to be in a great position by then to hit the ground running.” n

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Devolution and northern development By Adam Chamberlain, Partner, called to the Nunavut, NWT, Yukon and Ontario bar. Certified Specialist – Environmental Law and Indigenous Legal Issues (Corporate and Commercial). August saw a significant event in Iqaluit with the signing of a “Devolution” Agreement in Principle between Canada, the Government of Nunavut, and Nunavut Tunngavik. “Devolution” may be a term unfamiliar to many Canadian ears. Northerners, however, especially those active in the natural resource sector, will know about it and its importance. Canadian provinces have constitutional powers to control and benefit from the development of natural resources within their borders. The territories have no such power. Any ability the three territories might have to regulate and benefit financially from mining or other natural resource activity comes through agreements with the Canadian Government or federal legislation transferring jurisdiction to the territorial governments. “Devolution” is the transfer of additional jurisdiction from federal to territorial authorities. Understandably, devolution has long been a goal of the northern territorial governments and has been a long-standing policy objective of the Government of Canada as a path toward political development of the Canadian north. That said, Canada maintained (until the last 20 years) almost complete control over the management of lands and natural resources within the territories. Any ability the three territories might have to regulate and benefit financially from mining or other natural resource activity comes through agreements with the Canadian Government or federal legislation transferring jurisdiction to the territorial governments.

This has taken a significant change in course over the last two decades. The Yukon Government became the first territorial government in Canada to achieve jurisdiction over territorial lands and resources in 2003, and a similar Devolution Agreement in Northwest Territories took effect in 2014. So when, on August 15, 2019, Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq, Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett, and NTI President Aluki Kotierk signed an Agreement-in-Principle, a significant milestone was achieved. While not legally binding, the AIP establishes many major elements of devolution and will serve as a guide for the negotiation of a final devolution agreement.

The Agreement-in-Principle The AIP contains the funding and framework for the transfer of the responsibilities for public land, water, and natural resource management from Canada to the GN. Notable among the terms of the AIP are those that will result in a territorial minister (for several types of approvals) being the final decision-maker for decisions related to natural resource projects (including many related to mining). Further, the GN will have increased powers to appoint members of the Nunavut Planning Commission, Nunavut Impact Review Board, and the Nunavut Water Board. The AIP also outlines the framework for developing transitional and post-devolution human resources development strategies. These strategies will be consistent with Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement, with the objective of ensuring that Inuit employment levels are maximized within all three levels of government in Nunavut in the positions that will be created as a result of devolution. Finally, the AIP acknowledges that the Government of Canada will continue to consult with Indigenous groups (aside from NTI) following the signing of the AIP. This may result in the Government of Canada proposing amendments to the final devolution agreement in order to accommodate the concerns raised by these Indigenous groups.

Next steps for Nunavut devolution With the signing of the AIP, a five-year timeline was triggered for the negotiation of a final agreement on devolution and the official transfer of the responsibilities from Canada to the GN. There is lots of work yet to do to achieve devolution in Nunavut. When it is complete, however, the political and regulatory landscape of the Canadian north will have changed significantly in all three territories over a mere two or three decades. It remains to be seen exactly how devolution will impact natural resource development in the north. Will it encourage additional development in a manner in keeping with northern priorities? Will it result in the desired benefits for northern residents and businesses? Time will tell. n

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This Gamma Ray Tomography unit is the first of its kind in the world for modelling slurries By SRC Communications Understanding what goes on inside a slurry pipeline — an elaborate system involving fluid dynamics, hydraulic pressure and various solids, liquids and gases in suspension — is a complex matter. Research in a laboratory setting helps develop pipe flow models which are used to design and operate pipelines reliably, safely, and efficiently. A key challenge of this type of research is obtaining information about the contents moving through the pipe without disturbing the flow. In mining operations, ore or waste rock is often crushed and mixed with water at some point in the extraction process. Frequently, this mixture, known as a slurry, is transported by pipelines over long distances as part of mining operations. These slurries contain particles of sand, rock, and clay that may accumulate inside or erode the pipeline, affecting its overall efficiency and lifespan. Getting a clear picture of the solids concentration distribution in the pipe is crucial to building models to predict flow behaviour. At SRC’s Pipe Flow Technology Centre™, diving into the physics and technical matters of fluid mechanics is second nature. And now, they’ve acquired a tool that stands to make their job much easier and more interesting: the Gamma Ray Tomography (GRT) unit. One of the only units of its kind in the world, SRC’s GRT unit uses multiple gammaray sources and sensors to produce realtime images of the density of the pipeline contents at data acquisition speeds of up to 100 frames per second. The new unit is used to reconstruct a high-resolution image of the solids concentration distribution across the pipe cross-section. The high frame rates allow engineers and scientists to visualize the concentrations of materials flowing through the pipe, almost like watching a movie. What makes the GRT unit especially unique is that it’s the first of its kind to be used for studying slurry pipeline flows.

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At SRC’s Pipe Flow Technology Centre™, diving into the physics and technical matters of fluid mechanics is second nature. Knowing how materials are dispersed within the pipeline is critical to properly modelling slurries. With the clarity the GRT unit provides, SRC’s experts get a better picture of how particles are positioned in the slurry, flowing through the pipe both laterally and vertically. The information generated helps build more accurate predictive models, which helps engineers to size pipelines and determine the energy requirements to pump materials safely and efficiently. Improving the accuracy of these design decisions has the potential to save industry millions in operating and capital costs, as well as reduce environmental risks. The GRT unit is not just for slurries, however. Other multiphase flows – mixtures of gas and liquid or froth – which vary rapidly and dynamically in pipeline flows can be observed and characterized. The GRT unit also opens new avenues for testing these turbulent flow regimes which have complex flow patterns in the pipe and are not very well understood,

although they’re common in processes within the mining, mineral processing, and oil and gas industries. Another application involves thickened tailings settling slurry pipelines, which can sometimes operate in ‘laminar flow’. This is an area of slurry pipeline research that is not very well understood. SRC is leveraging the GRT technology to study laminar flow and develop flow models to assist engineers designing slurry pipelines for laminar flow operation. Thickened tailings operations where laminar flow may be present are becoming more common as industry strives to improve dewatering to reduce tailings storage volumes, enhance water recycling, and reduce the environmental footprint of mining operations. SRC is excited to apply the GRT’s capabilities to new challenges to help the mining and oil and gas industries enhance their operations and improve their environmental performance. n


2020 | Mining North of 60 45


Join Yukon's safety legacy

The Yukon is known for its rich mining history. Exploration and mining continue to be a cornerstone of not only our economy here in the territory, but our sense of identity and place. The industries are heating up. In 2018, exploration was estimated to have increased over 10 per cent to over $186 million, the highest it’s been since 2012. The Eagle mine north of Mayo poured its first gold last September. In October, the Minto mine returned to production after a year hiatus and change of ownership. The Coffee Gold Project near Dawson City is targeting a late 2021 production. When both the Eagle and Coffee gold projects are in production, the value of mineral production is expected to climb from an estimated $200 million in 2018 to about $900 million by 2023. With the growth of any industry comes the responsibility of focusing on safety culture. Of course, society’s awareness around safety risks and best practices has expanded since those famous gold rush years over a century ago. Still, hazards in these industries are unique — as are the challenges of working in the Yukon. Workers, especially in exploration, face the reality of staying safe in some of the most remote areas of the world. For the Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB), our philosophy is simple: every single worker

46 Mining North of 60 | 2020

deserves to come home at the end of the day in the same condition they went to work. As well as providing compensation, service, and support to workers injured on the job, our role at YWCHSB is to promote workplace safety through youth-based learning, training, inspections, compliance, and investigations. We’re dedicated to moving towards our goal of target zero. That means zero broken bodies, minds, homes, and communities as result of workplace incidents. It may seem like a lofty goal, but from our perspective, how can we accept anything else? The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) branch — responsible for much of the prevention side of the equation — is integral to the success of this goal. OHS’ role is to promote and enforce health and safety in the workplace. Alongside collaborating with Yukon communities and national organizations, officers visit workplaces throughout the Yukon to help employers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations. The branch also launches investigations into specific workplace situations that warrant a deeper level of analysis than an inspection. The OHS branch is available to meet with any new company setting up in the Yukon. The branch encourages collaborating with safety officers to go over manda-

tory first steps and timelines, like filing notice of projects, obtaining blaster’s permits and First Line Supervisor’s Certificates, and complying with mine rescue standards. These steps are fundamental in setting up a safety culture from day one. A First Line Supervisor’s Certificate, for example — mandatory for supervisors at any mining or exploration project with more than 12 employees — shows that a supervisor understands the health and safety legislations and can act as a leader in the workplace when it comes to safe work practices. In an ongoing effort to make it easier for employers to access safety training, the OHS branch also collaborates with the Yukon College to offer a four-day crane operator course. The course is an intensive introduction to heavy lifting and proper safe procedures for crane operations. It’s supplemented with the 7 Steps to Electrical Safety Training Program, which teaches participants how to identify and avoid power line hazards on the worksite. The OHS branch has an open door policy. The branch encourages any company to contact them to set up a meeting. It’s all about our shared commitment to health and safety so at the end of the day, everyone comes home in the same condition they went to work in. To learn more contact us at 867-6675450 or worksafe@gov.yk.ca. You can also visit our website at wcb.yk.ca. n


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Mission possible: How NEAS delivers the goods in the Canadian Arctic For NEAS, the moment the Arctic waters open up each sailing season in late June, the pressure is on. All cargo is precious. The timelines are tight. Arctic conditions including weather, climate, and ice are unpredictable and extreme. The countdown is on until the ice closes in again. "NEAS sealift services are an essential lifeline for local communities and businesses across Canada’s Eastern and Western Arctic," says Suzanne Paquin, president and CEO of NEAS. "Our crews and employees are dedicated to safely delivering on time." Contractors can't start building badly needed new housing and infrastructure in Canada's Arctic until heavy equipment and materials arrive. Schools need books and supplies. Store shelves and warehouses in every community need new inventory and stock. Mining companies are waiting to develop new sites. The military needs to resupply installations critical to Canadian sov-

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Vessel crew discharging prefabricated house in the arctic.

"Every day, every hour is critical,” says Olivier Bolduc, assistant manager of the NEAS terminal in Valleyfield. “Our logistics and planning must be meticulous." NEAS is a business built on listening to local customers, continuous improvements, and refinements supported with strategic investments in modern Inuitowned vessels, and new technologies to adapt, overcome, and succeed in the harsh realities of Canada's Arctic. "For NEAS customers, we log and analyze every detail, beach, community, environment, and sailing," says Paquin. "We use what we learn to feed our continuous efforts to improve efficiency and reliably deliver a superior NEAS sealift customer experience year after year." Planning for the annual sealift begins long before the Arctic waters open up. Booking reservations from the NEAS. ca website, an industry-leading online sealift reservation system, starts rolling in months in advance. The NEAS Cargo Service Centre in Valleyfield starts processing, packaging, and loading containers as cargo, which is dropped off by appointment. "Lading of each vessel is a sophisticated balancing act based on several critical factors such as the navigational route, the distribution of weight, the dimensions of the cargo, and the space available," says Bolduc. "Our goal is to green light vessels every sailing that maximize volumes and loads for safe and efficient discharge." Every customer has unique require-

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ments. Every customer's cargo is precious. "This year we delivered prefabricated steel modules for a new hotel and conference centre. The entire 94 rooms, 12 suites, gym, dining room, and bar. All prefab units were transported and locally discharged by NEAS," says Paquin. "We also deliver school supplies in other communities, including all the provisions for their nutrition programs. It's all important and all cargo is precious."

This focus on providing best-in-class sealift service for every customer is why NEAS gets glowing customer reviews. "The support and service we have received on the front lines and with upper management have been impeccable," says a senior project manager with a major REIT. NEAS' support is key to completing "very challenging work, in very remote areas of the North," says a service director with a leading Quebec-based remediation company. The construction manager for "an extremely challenging undertaking" in Cambridge Bay, describes NEAS sealift services for a major federal project as "impeccable”. And, as they say, the customer is always right. Established in 1998, NEAS is equipped to accommodate and service every community and any site in all regions of the Eastern and Western Arctic, with standardized procedures and equipment to adapt to extreme Arctic conditions and lack of marine infrastructure. NEAS is the packager of choice for governments, retailers, major building contractors, construction suppliers, and military contractors. Contact us at 1-877-225-6327 or sales@neas.ca. n

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The value of automation and combined technologies in mining

Yara’s Siilinjärviautomated mining central lab.

Lower commodity prices, weaker demand, environmental regulations, lower ore grades and higher running costs are the main challenges in the mining industry. Adopting sustainable cost control measures and generating quality materials analysis data can improve efficiency and process stability.(1) Optimization of the mining processing plant is mostly driven by the need to reduce energy consumption and increase margins. Reducing cash costs and increasing revenues can be accomplished with the extensive use of automation and robots in the field and the laboratory, to gain in productivity and remain competitive.(2) Today, almost all major mining companies are benefiting from automation and saving costs thanks to fast data generation/monitoring, as well as improved accuracy. In 2015, for example, Rio Tinto

52 Mining North of 60 | 2020

Yara’s mine in Siilinjärvi (Finland) is the only apatite mine in Western Europe and approximately three-kilometres long, one-kilometre wide, and with a deepest point of 240 metres.


announced they could save $200 million a year using robots and Big Data.(3) Automation, and/or the use of automated machines, can collect samples then send ore or concentrate to the laboratory much faster than manually. This means that incoming ore or final product can be monitored more frequently.(1) Collected data is transferred to an intelligent system for systematic analysis and generation of relevant statistics. This data can then be used to identify and manage operation problems, improvements (desired or needed), productivity, and costs. To increase the efficiency of a process mining operation, combining technologies of robust and reliable systems can support all steps of the mining process, from exploration to the analysis of final products. One such example of combining automation with additional technologies is Yara’s Siilinjärvi mine in Finland. Yara, which has been in continuous operation since 1979, is continuously investing in guaranteeing that their operations are safe, reliable, and profitable. The Siilinjärvi mine is the only apatite mine in Western Europe, and its main product is apatite concentrate. Carbonatite deposit is mined in two large open pits and sub-

sequently processed on-site to extract apatite from the host rock with tailings stored in a tailings pond. When they noticed that production recovery and quality of the apatite concentrate were falling below their target values, Yara consulted Malvern Panalytical for a solution. It was important for Yara to receive accurate feedback on mined material so that inefficient mining of less useful rock was avoided. Additionally, to achieve an increased recovery rate and enhance their product quality, Yara had the need to precisely control their beneficiation process of apatite. This can be realized by frequent analyses of the concentrates and tailings, delivering fast results. The solution involved combining technologies of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), which can be automated and deliver quantitative elemental and mineralogical information in a relatively short time. At the Yara mine, incoming samples from five control points in the production process are split into several portions for XRD, XRF, LOI (loss on ignition), and combustion analyses. Robots take care of the sample transport between various sample preparation stations (i.e. mill, press and bead maker) and the analytical

instruments, allowing laboratory technicians to concentrate on other tasks. In this completely automated solution, samples are delivered in continuous batches and processed automatically 24 hours per day, excluding periodic maintenance. The analysis time is one hour and 15 minutes, excluding LOI; with LOI, the typical analysis time is one hour and 50 minutes, including the sample taking. As used in all processes throughout a mining operation, solutions involving automation and combined technologies can improve productivity and efficiency as compared to traditional methods. Robots and automation are fast, accurate, systematic, and financially predictable; they can reduce costs and manage capital, while solving many challenges.

References: Tusseau, Eric. “2016 Mining Automation." White paper. PANalytical B.V. November 2016. (2) “Uranium miner joins Big Data revolution.” Richard Roberts, 04 March 2015. Mining Journal. (3) “Rio saves $200m a year using robots, big data.” Frik Els | Sep. 10, 2015. Mining.com. n (1)

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We offer a wide range of analytical solutions to: • Optimize sorting, blending and processing of ores by on-line elemental and mineralogical monitoring. • Improve recovery rates and ore characterization with tailored automation solutions. • Increase mill lifetime with real-time particle size control.

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2020 | Mining North of 60 53


Canada’s filter press manufacturing company

FFP Systems Incorporated

When we started FFP in 1996, we worked out of a small machine shop in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. We spent our efforts on innovation and improvement of dewatering technologies, creating an improved vision for future industries. Today, we have grown into a large manufacturing facility, with a second plant for assemblies and testing to incorporate our customer demands for increased slurry flows and automation. Our vision remains to improve dewatering technologies for industries as these industries themselves evolve to better their processes for a more efficient and cleaner environment. FFP offers clients engineering support to assist with sizing and costing of the equipment, as well as on-site support for fine tuning and evaluation of operations. For unique applications, our design team will innovate the filter and technology to best suit our clients’ requirements. Filter plate sizes up to 2.5 metres-by-2.5 metres are common, and filter plates up to four-by-four metres are available. As many new markets emerge with increased slurry volumes for tailings, lithium, and others, so do our design parameters. FFP

Systems is Canada’s filter press manufacturing company. Let FFP assist you with the correct solution for your dewatering requirements. For more information, contact us at www.ffpsystems.com, or by phone, 905-270-9872. n

FFP offers clients engineering support to assist with sizing and costing of the equipment, as well as on-site support for fine tuning and evaluation of operations.

FFP Systems Incorporated is a Canadian manufacturer that designs and manufactures dewatering equipment internationally, committed to quality, we provide reliable products for the most rugged applications. Our staff provides service and support for our customers and their dewatering requirements around the world. The products we design and manufacture include filter presses, pre-coat systems, membrane squeeze filters, steam application filters, hydrometallurgy applications, Tailings dewatering, SAGD applications, mining, petrochemical, municipal and others. We offer complete turnkey solutions to include the dewatering equipment, tanks, feed pumps, engineering and on site startup and support. Whether the need is for leaching or concentrates, fully automatic or manual applications, our design team will work with our customers engineering to ensure the products meet the needs of the operations. Contact us for a free estimate of your requirements. Our staff will be eager to assist you.

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+1-905-270-9872 +1-905-270-9475 sales@ffpsystems.ca

www.ffpsystems.ca 54 Mining North of 60 | 2020


Only pay for the speed you need... Dynamic Routing! SM

At Lynden, we understand that plans change but deadlines don’t. That’s why we proudly offer our exclusive Dynamic Routing system. Designed to work around your unique requirements, Dynamic Routing allows you to choose the mode of transportation — air, sea or land — to control the speed of your deliveries so they arrive just as they are needed. With Lynden you only pay for the speed you need!

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North of 60 2020  

The 2020 issue of North of 60 magazine features stories on Goldcorp's Coffee Mine Project, Agnico Eagle's Meliadine Mine, and more.

North of 60 2020  

The 2020 issue of North of 60 magazine features stories on Goldcorp's Coffee Mine Project, Agnico Eagle's Meliadine Mine, and more.