QUEBEC – Montreal’s Richmont Mines has dewatered the former Francoeur gold mine 25 km west of Rouyn-Noranda and is ready to begin development. The first step is to drive a drift to the West zone. The underground electrical system will also be upgraded to support commercial development.
Based on the property’s current probable reserves of 615,664 tonnes grading 6.91 g/t Au (136,749 oz), the Francoeur mine is expected to produce approximately 35,000 oz of gold on an annual basis over an initial four-year mine life. The property also has indicated resources of 76,449 tonnes grading 7.54 g/t Au (18,541 oz) and inferred resources of 202,250 tonnes grading 5.95 g/t (38,706 oz).
Richmont says the possibility of increasing current resources is favourable considering that several mineralized zones located in the footwall and hanging wall of the West zone have already been drill-identified. However, additional definition drilling from underground is needed to fully evaluate their size and grade before adding them to the mineral inventory. To this end, Richmont plans to initiate an underground exploration and definition drilling program once sufficient development work to access the targeted West Zone has been completed.
From 1991 to 2001, Richmont produced more than 345,000 oz of gold from the No.3 deposit, one of the main ore bodies located in the Francoeur-Wasa shear zone. Despite the discovery of the West zone at that time, Francoeur ceased commercial production in 2001.
Gold production from the West zone should begin in early 2011. More information is available at www.Richmont-Mines.com.