Company News (February 01, 2000)
Echo Bay Mines Ltd. has announced its decision to reopen the Lupin gold mine, located in the Nunavut Territory. Given a five-month start-up and restaffing period, the first gold production is expected in April 2000. Lupin was first mined in 1982, but placed on care and maintenance in early 1998 due to falling gold prices and a high cost structure. A re-engineering study completed late in 1998 identified savings that helped to lower costs. The new life of mine average cash operating costs are now anticipated to be no more than US$245 per ounce of gold.
Lupin is expected to add 150,000 ounces of gold to the company annually, with a cash investment of around US$12 million primarily for working capital requirements. Based on current reserves, the mine plan projects production through 2004. Lupin is owned 100% by Echo Bay of Englewood, Colo.
Circle Reply Card No. 17
North American Palladium Ltd. received a positive detailed feasibility study early this year on the proposed major expansion of its Lac des Iles open pit palladium mine. The study, prepared by AGRA Simons Ltd., supports an expansion of the operation to 15,000 tonnes per day from the current 2,400 tonnes per day. The expanded operation is expected to produce an annual average of 248,900 ounces Pd, 24,200 ounces Pt, 19,100 ounces Au, plus copper, nickel and cobalt over an 11-year mine life.
The study follows a successful core drilling program during 1999 that significantly increased the geological resource at Lac des Iles to more than 5.0 million ounces Pd. Subject to the availability of financing and environmental permits, the company anticipates construction start-up in March 2000, with concentrator commissioning in the second quarter of 2001, at a capital cost of US$126.5 million. These costs are expected to be repaid within 2.5 years following commissioning of the mill.
The mine, 85 km north of Thunder Bay, Ont., is Canada’s only primary producer of platinum group metals and is one of the largest platinum group metals producers in the world. The company has a 100% leasehold interest in the mine.
Circle Reply Card No. 18