QUEBEC – Vancouver-based AURIZON MINES has awarded the shaft contract for the West mine of the Casa Berardi project to ROSS FINLAY 2000. To shorten the shaft construction schedule, shaft raising, rather than conventional sinking, has been chosen.
Alimak raising of the shaft, from the 550-m level up to the rehabilitated 280-m level, and from the 280-m level to surface, was completed in early January. The 42-m-deep shaft collar was constructed concurrently. The Alimak raise will be slashed to a 5.5-m diameter from the surface down to the 550-m level. Conventional sinking will then be performed down to the shaft bottom at 810 metres. In addition, related underground infrastructure such as shaft stations, loading pockets and drift access will be completed.
Aurizon has created a continuous development program to bring Casa Berardi back into commercial production as quickly as possible, perhaps within 18 months. The company initiated some pre-production work in 2004, which is anticipated to have a positive impact on the cost and the timeline of the project. On surface, the shaft collar and surface foundations have been completed. The hoist installation is currently in progress. Underground, the ventilation network has been modified to support pre-production work. A ventilation raise, which will connect the 550-m level ramp access with the 280-m level tracked drift, is in progress and will be completed in the first quarter of 2005.
Information about Aurizon’s growth strategy is available at www.Aurizon.com.