ONTARIO – North American Palladium (NAP) of Toronto has begun hoisting material through the new shaft at its Lac des Iles palladium mine 85 km northwest of Thunder Bay. The new shaft is 6 metres in diameter, concrete lined and 825 metres deep. A conventional back leg headframe was built, and the shaft boasts production, service and auxiliary hoists.
The commissioning of the shaft ore handling system, including the crusher and loading pocket, is to be completed by month end. As the mine transitions from hauling ore by the truckload up the ramp to shaft hoisting, a major bottleneck in the operation will be relieved. NAP is increasing underground mining to over 3,000 t/d from the Offset zone during the fourth quarter, and further increases are planned for 2014.
The target is to boost annual output up to 250,000 oz Pd by 2015.
The completion of the shaft marks the end of phase one expansion at Lac des Iles. Phase two, deepening the shaft, has been deferred to conserve capital.
CMJ readers can enjoy a photo gallery from the mine site at NAP.com.