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Goldcorp continues the plunge into mine development

Gold miner expects Borden Lake mine to be operating by mid-2019
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Goldcorp is steadily working on development at its Borden Gold project, near Chapleau (Goldcorp photo)

Goldcorp reports it’s made major strides in reaching various milestones with its mine construction projects in Chapleau and Timmins.

The Vancouver gold miner issued a Sept.4 news release outlining its progress ahead of a Sept.6 conference call.

"We continue to be impressed with our team's execution as we advance projects on time and on budget through the permitting and development process," said David Garofalo, Goldcorp president-CEO in a statement.

The company maintains it has a strong pipeline of mine projects coming on stream to build up its gold reserves and boost production over the next decade while cutting costs at its existing operations.

At its Borden Lake mine project near Chapleau, the company reports the mine infrastructure is in place to support production.

Commercial production is on track for mid-2019. All the operating permits should in place by the end of this year.

Ramp development has reached 1.6 kilometres in length and down to a depth of 300 metres. Everything remains on schedule, the company said.

Bulk sampling began in August – two months ahead of schedule – and continues into this month. Besides wanting to get a better handle on the structure and geology of the ore body, Goldcorp expects to recover 4,000 ounces of gold from the sample.

As is widely known in the industry, Borden stands to be a technological marvel as an all-electric underground mine serviced by a fleet of battery-powered jumbos, bolters, and underground loaders.

Goldcorp is counting on receiving $5 million promised by the previous provincial government, through a greenhouse gas program, which was earmarked for its vehicle fleet.

Going electric, should cut operating costs by more than $9 million a year with the elimination of two million litres of diesel fuel, reduced mine ventilation needs, a decrease of 32,000 megawatts of electricity, and a similar decrease in propane to heat the ventilation.

The overall reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions is estimated at more than 7,000 tons, or a 70 per cent reduction over a conventional mine.

The company expects to receive provincial government acceptance of its mine closure plan within 45 days after its Aug.23 filing.

For area First Nations, the Borden project represents an economic turning point. Brunswick House First Nation, Chapleau Cree First Nation and Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation all signed off on an impact-benefit agreement with Goldcorp in early June on the mine’s development and operation. The company said it’s the first time these communities have ever been involved in a mining project.

In Timmins, Goldcorp expects to release a prefeasibility study of its Century Project by this year’s fourth quarter before plunging into a feasibility study, due out in early 2020.

Century is a proposed large-scale open pit mine and processing facility. The company expects it will double the depth and diameter of the existing open pit above the Dome Underground mine, build up reserves and increase production.

The project description paperwork has been filed with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and is now undergoing a 20-day public comment period. Baseline field studies and modelling are underway to support the permitting process.




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