MANITOBA Development work has been suspended at the New Britannia gold mine near Snow Lake due to the thinning and flattening of the orebody in the active mining area. That factor has led to the recovery of fewer tonnes, a diluted grade, and increasing costs. Equal owners HIGH RIVER GOLD MINES and KINROSS GOLD, both of Toronto, expect the mine to close at the end of the third quarter of 2004.
In 2003, the New Britannia mine produced 70,002 oz of gold at a cash costs of US$329/oz. Costs have risen steeply and production fallen steadily since 2001, and closure is not a surprise. A concise chart of production and cost figures is available at www.hrg.com. Budgeted production for 2004 has been revised downward to 33,000 oz from 68,000 oz.
The New Britannia mine yielded 1.4 million oz of gold from 1947-57 and from 1995 to the present.