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Rubicon Minerals adding ounces at Red Lake

More drilling and new economic assessment queued up for mine project
Rubicon Minerals' Phoenix Gold Project in Red Lake.

The new owners of a shuttered Red Lake gold mine expect to release a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the development later this year.

Rubicon Minerals announced the amount of estimated gold at its Phoenix Gold property has ballooned.

The measured and indicated jumped 110 per cent to 589,000 ounces compared to 281,000 ounces posted last year.

The grades decreased two per cent to 6.26 grams per tonne (g/t) compared last year’s grades to 6.37 g/t. The results will be folded into the PEA.

Toward the end of last year, the company conducted a 35,000-tonne test trial mining and bulk sample program at the northwestern Ontario mine site.

Phoenix Gold is basically a turn-key development with all the surface buildings constructed and 14,000 metres of underground workings ready to go.

Construction of the controversial mine project was halted in late 2015 after the company encountered a “challenging” geological environment at the site.

It forced Rubicon to lay off hundreds of miners and contractors. The senior managers were replaced and a new team was brought in to tabulate a more accurate resource calculation and rebuild investor confidence.

The property has a working hoist, a 730-metre shaft, a 1,800-tonne per day processing mill, earthworks, water treatment plant, and an electrical substation.

For 2019, the company plans to do a combination of infill and step-out drilling in areas of inferred resources and its outlying exploration targets with the intention of converting their resource into the higher measured and indicated category.

They believe the deposit is open at depth.

Rubicon is aiming for a threshold of 650,000 ounces, at which point they feel confident to advance the project to the feasibility study stage.

The company said over the past two years, gold estimates in the measured and indicated category have jumped 456 per cent.

Rubicon president-CEO George Ogilvie is a true believer in Phoenix Gold’s upside.

"Over the last two years, our management, our site operating and geology teams have delivered on all the major goals towards turning around and bringing confidence back to the project.”

With 28,000 hectares of group at their disposal, Rubicon claims it is the second largest property holder in the Red Lake gold district.

"I look forward to updating our shareholders when the new PEA is completed as it will provide us with a first glimpse at a conceptual long-term life of mine plan for the Phoenix Gold Project,” added Ogilvie.