AURIZON MINES LTD. of Vancouver says that engineering studies are in progress in anticipation of constructing the shaft collar at the West Mine, Casa Berardi project, in northwest Quebec. In addition, underground development to access the future shaft location at the 280-metre and 600-metre levels will begin next week.
David Hall, Aurizon's CEO, said: "It is our objective to significantly reduce the lead time required to reach production, after delivery of the updated feasibility study." The feasibility study is anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2004.
Aurizon recently reported that initial results from definition holes drilled in Zone 113 have confirmed the continuity of the zone. The company and its consulting engineers, MET-CHEM CANADA INC., have agreed to initiate studies and work programs that should reduce the pre-production schedule. Geotechnical testwork, site preparation and engineering studies have begun, to confirm and optimize the future shaft location. Construction of the shaft collar is estimated to begin during the third quarter of 2004.
Scoping studies have indicated that raising (i.e., constructing the shaft from underground access points, up to surface), rather than conventional shaft-sinking, should significantly reduce the shaft construction schedule. Raising will be conducted from the 600-metre level up to the rehabilitated 280-metre level, and then to surface. Access to the 600-metre level will be provided by deepening the recently completed ramp at the 550-metre level. For more information go to www.aurizon.com.