A few years of strong commodity prices is bolstering not only the exploration industry but also the ranks of mine developers. Looking back over the last week, we saw four developments on the horizon.
ABACUS MINING & EXPLORATION (www.AMEMining.com) of Vancouver has updated the development schedule for its Afton copper-gold properties in south-central British Columbia. The company wants to have a 40,000- to 60,000-t/d Ajax open pit mine in production by early 2010. A new NI43-101 report is due in February 2008, and construction may begin in March 2009.
Vancouver-based HILLSBOROUGH RESOURCES is making plans to develop a new open pit coal mine on the 7 South block at its Quinsam coal property near Campbell River, B.C. The 7 South block is 3 km by road from the Quinsam wash plant. The company has applied for permits to take a bulk sample this year in preparation for a 500,000- to 700,000-t/d production rate.
Toronto's ROXMARK MINES (www.Roxmark.com) is going to reopen the Northern Empire gold mine near Beardmore, Ont. The mine was operated by Newmont from 1934 to 1941, and during that time it produced close to 150,000 oz of gold from ore that averaged 12.0 g/t Au. It has an 805-metre-deep shaft and a 180-t/d mill that could be expanded to 455 t/d. The nearby Nortoba-Tyson deposit will be drilled as a potential gold-molybdenum ore source for the mill. The Northern Empire reopening is planned for late 2008.
OSISKO EXPLORATION (www.Osisko.com) of Montreal has closed a $125-million financing with which to fund exploration and development of its Canadian Malartic gold project, 20 km west of Val d'Or, Que. The property produced a million ounces of gold from 1935 to 1965. The deposit is believed to contain 8.4 million oz in situ. In the past month, Osisko has secured separate financings of $75 million and $50 million, as well as a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.