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Test mining wraps up at Red Lake mine project

Underground exploration continues at Rubicon’s Phoenix Gold Project

Rubicon Minerals has completed test mining in its push to restart the Phoenix Gold Project, near Red Lake.

As part of a bulk sampling program, more than 35,000 tonnes of mineralized material was blasted, mucked and milled from three test stopes.

The test stopes are in the upper parts of the F2 gold deposit. That area had been developed by the previous management of the project.

The new bosses at Rubicon are out to restart the fledgling mine development that was shuttered in 2015.

Throughout this process, the company said data has been gathered to feed into an ore-grading technique it’s calling a block model reconciliation exercise. Those results will be reported in the fourth quarter.

During the test mining cycle, more than 8,000 assay results were taken from underground definition drilling and sampling.

The gold recovered during bulk sampling is being sold to offset mining, milling and exploration costs.

Rubicon is ensuring that no rock is left behind as it begins a clean-out of its processing mill to recover any mineralized bits trapped within the circuit.

With test mining done, underground activities will be scaled back and the mill is being placed on schedule care and maintenance, which involves a workforce reduction. Underground exploration will continue.

As of Sept.1, Rubicon has completed more than 19,000 metres of a planned 24,000-metre infill and step-out program. Assay results are pending.

Underground drilling is occurring at the mine’s 685-metre level with cut-outs being excavated on an exploration drift at the 610-metre level. The purpose of the exploration drift is to improve the classification and grow the mineral resources.

“The mill cleanout activities are underway and anticipate their completion by the end of this month,” said Rubicon president-CEO George Ogilivie in an Oct.10 news release.

"Exploration drilling continues at the Phoenix Gold Project. We expect to complete an additional 24,000 metres of orientated in-fill drilling by year-end, which could be utilized in a future updated NI 43-101 technical report. We plan to update the market on the results of our reconciliation exercise and exploration activities in due course."

Phoenix Gold is a fully built-out mine operation with more than $700 million sunk into a commissioned headframe, hoist, shaft, mill and nine kilometres of underground workings.

The company controls a 28,776-hectare package in the Red Lake mining district, including 510 hectares at Phoenix Gold, located just northeast of the town.