QUEBEC - Gold grades and mill recoveries were "significantly" higher in January than planned at the Casa Berardi mine and mill, reported owner AURIZON MINES of Vancouver. The property produced 13,000 oz from material with a head grade of 12.7 g/t Au, 39% higher than the planned grade of 9.1 g/t Au. Mill recovery was 95% rather than the forecast 90%.
The Casa Berardi mine and mill were reopened in November 2006, and they have produced more than 30,000 oz of gold since that time. Commercial production will probably be achieved in Q2 2007.
Aurizon had to cease mining on Jan. 24 for about a week due to excessive ore sloughing in stopes. Additional ground support in the overcut of the production stopes has been performed. The walls and backs of the drawpoints have also been shotcreted.
A new gold-bearing zone has been drilled 350 m south and 900 m east of the existing West mine infrastructure. Two holes cut the material for 13.8 m and 11.6 m, approximately 650 m below surface. They returned grades of 32.7 g/t and 13.1 g/t Au, respectively.
The photo gallery at www.Aurizon.com contains several shots of the Casa Berardi project during development.