Canadian Mining Journal


GOLD: TMAC takes steps to improve milling at Hope Bay

An aerial view of the surface facilities at the Hope Bay mine in Nunavut. (Image: TMAC Resources)

NUNAVUT – The first quarter report did not reflect the full scope of the work being done, but TMAC Resources of Toronto continues to improve mineral processing results at its Hope Bay gold mine 65 km east of Bathurst Inlet.

Jason Neal, president and CEO, outlined the changes: “We remain focused on improving performance in the processing plant. We achieved our throughput target consistently in February and March, although with modest improvement in recovery. This was expected as several key initiatives only came online after quarter end. We are encouraged by an increase in recovery in April to 76%, and with a Falcon SB400 coming online for the beginning of May to improve gravity recovery, we expect further improvement.”

In Q1 2018, TMAC mined 82,600 tonnes of ore averaging 8.5 g/t gold and containing 22,600 oz. The mill processed 83,600 tonnes grading 10.9 g/t and containing 29,330 oz. With an average recovery of 71%, the company poured 18,832 oz. of gold during the period.

Optimization of the crushing circuit resulted in kore consistent throughput in downstream circuits, with the plant reaching 93% of nameplate capacity during the quarter. Recovery in the new gravity circuit continue to increase, but the company plans to add more gravity units to further enhance it.

The Hope Bay project achieved a positive cash flow from operating activities – $10.9 million – for the first time in the quarter. There remained, however, a loss of $2.6 million from mining operations. Cash costs were US$1,049  per oz. and all-in sustaining costs US$1,332 per oz. during the three months ended March 31, 2018.

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