The last few days have been full of announced mine openings, and that is a good thing for our industry.
North American Tungsten of Vancouver is restarting its CanTung underground mine that was idled a year ago by low prices. The price of tungsten has recently risen to over US$250/t compared to the US$160/t it was selling for at the end of 2009. The company has renewed and increased its credit facilities to secure working capital and to purchase equipment. NATungsten has also amended the reclamation security agreement for the mine. www.NorthAmericanTungsten.com)
Vancouver-based Teck Resources announced its Carmen de Andacollo open pit copper mine in Chile has achieved commercial production. The plant is averaging 97% of the design capacity of 55,000 t/d. The final project cost was approximately US$440 million. The mine life is estimated to be 20 years, with anticipated average annual production of 80,000 tonnes of copper and 55,000 oz of gold in concentrate over the first 10 years of operation. The mine is located approximately 350 km north of Santiago. (www.Teck.com)
From Toronto IamGold announced the official opening of its Essakane open pit gold mine in Burkina Faso. The ceremonial gold pour was attended by government officials including Prime Minister Tertius Zongo, company management and other stakeholders from across the region. Commercial production was achieved in July 2010, ahead of schedule and under budget. The project is expected to produce more than 500,000 oz of gold from startup through the end of next year. (www.Iamgold.com)