NUNAVUT — Comaplex Minerals of Calgary has filed the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Meliadine gold project near Rankin Inlet, and it looks promising. At a gold price of US$700/oz and a US-to-Canadian exchange rate of $0.85:$1.00, the after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) would be 21.6%. A C$382-million investment would be recovered in only 2.7 years at an estimated cash operating cost of C$379/ oz of gold.
The proposed operation at Meliadine would be a combination of open pits (Tiriganiaq, Discovery and F zone) and underground mining. The pits will be conventionally mined at a rate of 500,000 t/y. The underground mine proposed for the Tiriganiaq deposit would be a ramp-access operation with mining by blasthole and cut-and-fill methods.
The 3,000-t/d mill to be built will include conventional crushing and grinding with a gravity-flotation-cyanidation circuit with a 92.6% gold recovery. It will treat 985,000 t/y of diluted mineralized material over a mine life of 9.5 years for the production of 2.29 million oz of gold. Feed would consist of 1,700 t/d of underground ore and the balance from the pits.
All tailings would pass through a cyanide destruction circuit. The study reviews two alternative tailings deposition sites: a land based option and a sub-aqueous (shallow lake) option.
A total of 430 jobs will be created, with a total workforce on-site at any time of 230 to 240 people. These people would be employed partially from local Inuit communities, with the balance on a fly-in-fly-out rotation. Recruitment would maximize employment opportunities for inhabitants of Rankin Inlet and other Arctic communities.
The 43-101-compliant PEA may be read in its entirety at www.Sedar.com.