MANITOBA – HudBay Minerals of Toronto has completed the optimization study for its Lalor gold-copper-zinc project and decided to build a new concentrator and paste fill plant at the mine site near Snow Lake. Results of the study indicate that building a $144-million concentrator at the mine is more economical than refurbishing the old Snow Lake mill.
Total preproduction costs of the Lalor project will be $704 million, including the $120 million spent to date. A new mill will decrease operating costs per tonne by 35% to $52/tonne. The lower operating costs will be made possible because a new 4,500-t/d million plant will treat 29% more ore than the old mill.
HudBay said that while metallurgical test are on-going, concentrator recoveries are currently expected to be 95% Zn, 86% Cu, 66% Au, and 60% Ag. Construction of a gold plant, which could significantly enhance precious metal recoveries, is still under consideration.
Mine development and site construction at the Lalor project are proceeding on schedule. Initial production from the 3,200-meter access ramp is scheduled in Q2 2012 and full production from the 985-meter production shaft is anticipated in late 2014.
The company continues to make significant progress on the access ramp, having advanced approximately 2,300 meters from the Chisel North mine to date. The ramp is planned to intersect the base of the ventilation shaft that is currently under construction by the first quarter of 2012. Once completed, the ramp will enable HudBay to establish an underground drill platform to better define the gold and copper-gold zones.
Additional information is available at www.HudBayMinerals.com.