Bonterra scales back Bachelor mill expansion

Bonterra Resources (TSXV: BTR), has announced several updates with regards to its Bachelor mill in northern Quebec. The expansion of the Bachelor […]
The expansion of the Bachelor mill has been trimmed to 1,800 t/d rather than 2,400 t/d as originally intended. Credit: Bonterra Resources

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Bonterra Resources (TSXV: BTR), has announced several updates with regards to its Bachelor mill in northern Quebec. The expansion of the Bachelor mill now considers a daily throughput of 1,800 t/d, compared to 2,400 t/d in the original expansion request. The same capacity for the tailings management facility of an additional 8.0 million tonnes. 

At the revised throughput of 1,800 t/d, the company may be eligible to permit the expansion through a more streamlined process. The company says it intends to continue to work in close collaboration with the regulatory authorities and local stakeholders throughout the permitting process.

Bonterra is preparing a pre-feasibility study on the Barry open pit gold project following the release of a positive preliminary economic assessment earlier this year. Several technical milestones have been achieved since the commencement of the study, including 25,000 metres of infill drilling at the open pit deposit and geochemistry, hydrogeology and geotechnical analysis at both the Barry and Bachelor mill complex.

The company says the inability to receive timely and reasonable quotes from mining contractors, suppliers and other service providers has created a challenging environment to adequately assess the economics of the Barry open pit project. This is in addition to significant cost escalation throughout the mining sector. For these reasons, the company is re-evaluating the development plan at Barry. 

Specifically, Bonterra is planning to complete an infill drilling program on the upper half (above 300-metres) of the underground portion of the Barry deposit to determine whether the higher-grade mineralization from the underground, combined with a likely larger scale operation, generates a more economically robust development.

Two drill rigs are presently turning at Barry at a rate of 6,000 metres per month. The drilling is focused on the upper half of the underground deposit at Barry. To date, 15,900 metres of infill drilling has been completed.

Marc André Pelletier, president and CEO said, in the face of several challenges, rather than join the ranks of mining companies that are developing assets, Bonterra has decided to re-evaluate the development plan at Barry. Importantly, all the technical work carried out to date is expected to form a solid foundation for future mine development and especially for advancing the permitting.

Bonterra also announced the completion of the process of putting the underground infrastructure at the Bachelor-Moroy deposit under long-term care and maintenance. All usable equipment, spare parts and consumables have been relocated to the surface safely. Flooding of the underground infrastructure is in progress and the site remains in compliance with all applicable governmental regulations.

“With the Bachelor-Moroy deposit underground infrastructure under long-term care and maintenance, the company is on track to reduce its maintenance costs and expects to reallocate those financial resources towards advancing the development of the Barry project. Other cost saving initiatives are also being considered to further reduce costs,'' Pelletier said.

For more information, visit www.BTRgold.com.

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