NEW BRUNSWICK – Montreal-headquartered BLUE NOTE METALS says its plans are on schedule to reopen the Caribou mine near Bathurst. The company anticipates that concentrate production will begin in late June 2007. Caribou, acquired from BREAKWATER RESOURCES, is an underground zinc-lead-silver mine and 3,000-t/d concentrator.
Recent work at the Caribou project has focused on the mineral processing plant. In the concentrator structural steel work was executed, and the re-installation of refurbished flotation cells for both the lead and zinc circuits were completed. Piping and electrical installation were also undertaken and are anticipated to be finished by the middle of May.
Three IsaMills, for lead re-grinding, were installed in April. These mills will achieve a finer grind and better mineral liberation in a more energy-efficient and selective manner than would have been obtained using ball mills. Caribou will be the first mill in North America to use IsaMills.
Blue Note says there are over 500 people working on site. The company has hired over 80% of its staff for the mill and they are working their regular shifts.
Approximately 60% of the Caribou underground mine has been rehabilitated and access to initial stoping areas is now ready. Blue Note took delivery of its primary mobile fleet, which included drill jumbos, load-haul-dumpers and haulage trucks. Mine development began in early April as well as the cleaning of previously drilled production holes. Production drilling started in April and the first longhole blast is ready.
Dewatering of the Restigouche open pit has been hindered by inclement weather but is expected to be finished in time for production. Towards the end of the quarter, plans were being prepared for the commencement of ore definition and resource definition drilling.
Blue Note has decided to use contract miners during the initial phase of production. The company has extended its contract with J.S. REDPATH to fulfill this role. The latest images from the Caribou mine are displayed at www.BlueNoteMining.com.