QUEBEC – Richmont Mines of Montreal has released the preliminary economic assessment for the Wasamac gold project near Rouyn-Noranda. The company is optimistic that an underground 6,000-t/d bulk mining operation can be developed. Annual production would be 140,000 oz of gold.
Total measured and indicated resources are 6.7 million tonnes grading 2.56 g/t Au, and the inferred resource is 28.7 million tonnes grading 2.58 g/t. The minable portion of the resource is estimated to be 27.1 million tonnes, and with a recovery rate of 90.2%, the mine would produce 1.76 million oz over a 14-year life.
Richmont estimates that pre-production capital costs will be $503 million. Of that amount, mine development will cost $126.1 million and a carbon-in-pulp processing plant will cost $108.9 million. Sustaining capital, mine closure and reclamation costs required over life of the operation are estimated at approximately $177.5 million. The preliminary mine design includes a 6-metre-diameter concrete shaft, two main service ramps, two underground crushers and a pair of automated loading pockets. The mobile fleet will include 6-m3 and 8.5-m3 loaders and 50-tonne trucks. There would also be 3 km of underground conveyors to move broken ore to the crushing stations.
Martin Rivard, Richmont president and CEO, said, “This study has outlined several areas in which the project economics may be improved, and as a result Richmont has decided to conduct further surface and underground exploration work and technical studies on the property over the rest of 2012, for a total additional investment of approximately $15 million.”
Richmont’s Facebook page is at Facebook.com/pages/Richmont-Mines-Inc/209124819124919?sk=app_154272794636138.