BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Kemess North project will has a capital cost of US$190 million, according to the feasibility study recently completed by 100% owner NORTHGATE MINERALS. The project will produce 2.6 million oz of gold and 1.3 billion lb of copper, extending the life of the existing Kemess South mill to 2019. Annual production will average 252,000 oz of gold and 113 million lb of copper.
The study forecasts ore production from the Kemess North pit commencing in late 2006. Kemess North ore will be streamed with Kemess South ore until reserves at Kemess South are exhausted in 2012. Kemess North ore will be transported from a primary crusher located adjacent to the pit, to the ore stockpile at the mill via an 8.8-km conveyer that will pass through a 2.8-km tunnel. The Kemess South mill will be expanded to handle 96,000 tonnes/day beginning in 2007.
The average cash cost of production during the 2007-19 period is US$180/oz of gold and the cost of production after mining at Kemess South ceases drops to US$110/oz when higher grade ore at the core of the Kemess North deposit is mined.
Northgate is examining two potential opportunities to further enhance the economics of the project. The first is to increase the gold recovery during the first 10 years of operation at Kemess North from the feasibility study estimate of 61% to a higher figure. Each additional 1% recovery is worth US$15 million over the life of the project. The other is to delineate additional reserves in the region surrounding Kemess North and Kemess South. Northgate’s exploration team is pursuing this option.
Northgate recently posted record net income of US$10 million for the third quarter of this year. The Kemess mine produced 79,311 oz of gold and 18.7 million lb of copper during the period. Net cash costs were US$129/oz of gold.
In other news, Northgate and its project partner RIMFIRE MINERALS say they have encountered native silver at their RDN project 40 km north of the Eskay Creek gold mine. The silver was drilled at a volcanic-sediment contact along the Blind Fault.
Read the details of this latest discovery and other news at www.NorthgateMinerals.com.