QUEBEC — Vancouver-based Aurizon Mines has received a positive pre-feasibility study and is going ahead with the final feasibility study for its Joanna project near Rouyn-Noranda. The company, which operates the Casa Berardi gold mine and mill near Val d'Or, says that when the Joanna mine goes into production, its total annual gold output will increase by 60% to 260,000 oz/year.
The pre-feasibility study was prepared by BBA Inc. of Montreal. In it estimates include a pre-production capital cost of $187 million to develop an open pit, $5 million for initial site restoration and $31 million for sustaining capital and closure. Cost per tonne milled would be $16.23, or in terms of total cash costs per ounce, US$455.
The study is based on a production rate of 8,500 t/d to produce 110,000 oz of gold per year over a life of 8.3 years. Payback from the start of production is estimated to be 3.9 years with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 14.4%.
Aurizon noted that the study considers only the Hosco deposit and not the Heva deposit, which may figure in future production. Together the two deposits had total measured and indicated resources of 33.8 million tonnes averaging 1.4 g/t Au as of December 2008.
More information about the Joanna project is available at www.Aurizon.com.