Detour Gold's open pit gold mine project north of Cochrane was 95 per cent completed the end of October. The first gold pour is expected in January, 2013.
The Detour Lake project has an operational team of close to 400 employees and is ahead of schedule.
“We are now confident we will see the first ore in the mill circuit before year-end, almost two months ahead of the original schedule,” said Gerald Panneton, president and CEO of Detour Gold. “The first gold pour . . . will mark a new chapter in Detour Gold's successful history as it transitions from a developer to producer and becomes the next mid-tier gold producer in Canada.”
At the processing plant, the mechanical work is 98 per cent complete, which has permitted commissioning activities to commence. Mechanical alignment of the SAG and ball mill for the first grinding line is complete. Contractor manpower has begun to ramp-down and efforts are now focused on finishing the electrical and instrumentation work.
The first cell of the tailings management area (TMA) has reached the dam level required for the 2013 operation. Dewatering of the historic Campbell pit to the TMA is progressing as planned and will reach the targeted water level well in advance of operations. The water recovery system, the tailing lines and secondary containment systems are essentially complete.
Pre-production capital costs are expected to finish within three per cent of the project cost estimate of $1.45 billion, which dates from November, 2011. The increase is mainly associated with the acceleration of the schedule to process ore by year-end.
As of September 30, 2012, the company had spent $1.19 billion and had approximately $348 million in cash and short-term investments, sufficient to fully finance the remaining project expenditures ($270 to $310 million).
The Detour Lake open pit mine is expected to produce an average of 657,000 ounces of gold annually over a period of 21.5 years.