NUNAVUT – The results of a feasibility study have been announced for the Meadowbank gold project, 100% owned by CUMBERLAND RESOURCES LTD. of Vancouver. The study incorporates improvements to the mine model as a result of a redesign completed in 2004 by the company and the study manager, AMEC Americas Ltd.
The most significant improvements are increased annual production, changes to open pit scheduling and the addition of a conventional access road. The 2005 mine design has increased mill throughput by 36% (to 7,500 tonnes per day) while maintaining high gold recoveries. The high grade ores from the Portage and Goose Island open pits are scheduled to be mined in the first four to five years. A 102-km-long conventional access road, to connect the project to the community of Baker Lake, is included in the new mine design. This road access has reduced on-site infrastructure requirements, improved efficiencies in construction scheduling and reduced overall operating costs. Major mining equipment will be leased, with an option to purchase. The associated costs are included in pre-production capital and sustaining capital cost estimates.
Based on a long-term gold price of US$400/oz. and an exchange rate of US$0.75 per Cdn$1.00, the project has open pit mineral reserves of 2,768,000 oz Au (proven and probable). The metallurgical recovery is 93.5%. The annual mine throughput would be 2.73 million tonnes to produce 376,000 oz/y Au (years 1-4), or 316,000 oz/y over the life of the mine. The total cash cost is estimated as US$199/oz (years 1-4) or US$224/oz (over the mine life). Internal rate of return is 14.3% pre-tax, or 10.7% after-tax, with a payback period of 4.0 years The pre-production capital estimate is Cdn$300 million.
Construction scheduling and capital cost estimation has been prepared by Merit International Consultants Inc. Metallurgical and process test work was completed by SGS Lakefield Research Ltd., while process design was completed by International Metallurgical and Environmental Inc. and AMEC. Supporting geotechnical engineering, hydrogeological and geochemical studies were completed by Golder Associates Ltd.
For more information about the project visit www.cumberlandresources.com.