Canadian Mining Journal


GOLD: Hope Bay gives TMAC better quarter

Adjustments to the Hope Bay mill continue to boost throughput and recovery. (Image: TMAC Resources)

NUNAVUT: Toronto-based TMAC Resources experienced less red ink in the second quarter of this year than it did in the first. The comprehensive loss for Q2 was $10.3 million, compared to $15.0 million in Q1. Better yet, the Hope Bay gold mine 65 km east of Bathurst Inlet showed a modest profit of $1.0 million instead of a loss, which for Q1 was $2.6 million.

Hope Bay has not been an easy mine to commission. TMAC struggled to bring mill throughput up, but it has now demonstrated that 2,000 t/d is possible with the commissioning of a second line. During Q2, 25,970 oz. of gold was poured, 38% more than the first quarter. To boost gold recovery to 90% by the end of the year, the company plans to install six gravity concentrators.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board has also recommended that the proposed Madrid-Boston project be permitted. Mining is currently under way on only the Doris deposit, and the okay to mine additional pits is welcome for the project’s mid-term viability. Eventually a fourth mine could be developed at Hope Bay.

TMAC plans to mine between 420,000 and 470,000 tonnes for the entire year. Adjustments to mine sequencing  have forced the company to lower the targeted grade to 10-11 g/t gold rather than 11-14 g/t. The company declined to provide production and cost guidance because of the uncertainty of how quickly the target throughput and recovery will be reached.

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