ONTARIO – Northgate Minerals of Vancouver says that construction of its Young-Davidson gold mine 60 km west of Kirkland Lake is on time and on budget. Start-up is planned in late Q1 2012, with annual production 180,000 oz of gold in each of the first 15 years of the mine.
At the end of March 2011, the company said it had invested $130 million towards the project. Approximately $170-million-worth (80%) of the contracts have been awarded, 90% of the equipment purchase orders have been placed, and two-thirds of the engineering is completed.
Northgate has made significant progress on all facets of the project. Major earthworks are being prepared at the site, and the company is in receipt of the process water discharge permit, and construction of the power line to the site is underway. Dewatering of the historic Young-Davidson open pit has also begun.
The concrete foundations for the mill building and major equipment is completed, and work is proceeding on the formwork and reinforcements for the foundation of the autogenous grinding mill. Erection of the mill building is in progress and expected to be complete in June. One of the Kemess South ball mills has been dismantled and shipped to the manufacturer to be refurbished before it is installed at Young-Davidson. Meanwhile, other major equipment is arriving on site.
The underground development rate is now averaging almost 14 m/day, said Northgate, and the ramp has reached a length of 4,200 metres and to a depth of 680 metres, eventually to reach 1,500 metres below surface. The new hoist has been commissioned and shaft deepening, to 1,500 metres, has begun. Also complete is the 446-metre raise bored pilot hole for the first leg of the production shaft. Approximately 220 metres has been reamed to 5.5-metre diameter in the production shaft.
At the tailings impoundment area (TIA) the dewatering system has been commissioned to facilitate construction of the west dam. Quarrying of the rock with which to build the dam will be completed in the next two months, and the first two stages of the dam are to be finished by year-end. Construction of the bridge for the haulage road is scheduled in the next few months.
Northgate has much more to do before the first gold pour in A1 2012. The electrical-mechanical equipment installation has yet to be awarded, and the open pit mining contract will be tendered this month. Commissioning is to begin in Q4 this year.
The construction of the Young-Davison project is being captured in photographs that can be viewed at www.NorthgateMinerals.com.