Dome Mine is saved and Lauzier back as GM of PGM

By Gregory Reynolds

Goldcorp Inc. plays a significant economic role in the City of Timmins through its Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM) Group. Porcupine is 100%-owned and consists of four mining operations: Hoyle Pond, Dome, Stockpile, and Hollinger, all of which feed the Dome processing facility.

A familiar face has returned to Timmins. Marc Lauzier has been appointed mine general manager at Porcupine.  Marc has held roles with increasing responsibility including manager of mining at Red Lake and mine general manager of Porcupine.  His most recent role at Goldcorp was vice president, operational support, Canada & US.

Goldcorp is a leading gold producer focused on responsible mining practices with safe, low-cost production throughout the Americas. A portfolio of long-lived, high-quality assets positions the company to deliver long-term value. It has 13 mines producing gold, silver, copper, zinc and lead and five major projects. It has 40 million proven and probable ounces of gold and 704.6 million ounces of silver in its proven and probable reserves. Company-wide in the second quarter, gold production was 613,400 ounces at all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of $1,067 per ounce, compared to 908,000 ounces at AISC of $853 per ounce in 2015.

Lower gold production was expected in the second quarter mainly due to planned lower ore grades, a 10-day mill shutdown for planned maintenance at the Peñasquito Mine and the exhaustion of surface stockpiles at the Cerro Negro Mine which contributed significantly to mill feed in 2015.

2016 guidance was reconfirmed for gold production of between 2.8 and 3.1 million ounces, at AISC of between $850 and $925 per ounce. The company is undertaking decentralization and optimization targeted to deliver $250 million in sustainable annual efficiencies by 2018.

The company says “PGM controls an extensive land package within the Porcupine Camp which has produced in excess of 66 million ounces of gold. The package contains most of the significant past-producing mines and the most highly prospective areas of the Porcupine Camp, including all ten of the deposits that have produced over one million ounces of gold. With our talented people, this large land package, including the exciting exploration projects and excellent infrastructure, it says.”

PGM well positioned to lead the Porcupine Camp well into its second century of successful gold mining!

It adds “while the majority of PGM properties are located within the city limits of Timmins, the area of influence for PGM is a 100 km radius from the Dome Mill. The total PGM property area is approximately 38,000 hectares of mining claims.” The company is a major employer and taxpayer in Timmins.

In Timmins during 2016, the Hollinger open pit ramped up after commencing twenty-four hour per day production in the fourth quarter of 2015. One significant source of ore will be exhausted in 2016, the Stockpile.

Good news came in July as the closure of the Dome underground operation was postponed indefinitely. It had been slated to close at the end of October but instead it required more miners. During the first quarter of 2016, the Hoyle Pond Deep Project costing $194 million focused on commissioning the new underground shaft (Winze), hoist and material handling systems. Full commissioning and hand over to the operations team was completed on April 12, 2016.

The Winze was completed to a depth of 1700 metres but will allow access well below 2000 metres. The completion of the Winze will allow more efficient movement of personnel and material to the lower levels of the mine. The new Winze will also increase the hoisting capacity of ore and waste to number one shaft.

Since completion, travel time has been reduced by two hours per shift, and together with increased production levels in 2016 has resulted in an additional 100 metres of development per month.

Further production increases beyond the current 1,000 tonnes of ore per day are expected as development expands and efficiencies from the new infrastructure are leveraged.

Second quarter gold production totaled 73,000 ounces at an all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of $844 per ounce  Production increased compared to the second quarter of 2015 as a result of higher grades and recoveries, offset by lower tonnes processed. Grades were positively impacted by increased Hollinger pit material displacing lower grade Stockpile material and higher grades from Dome underground.  Lower milled tonnes were due to the longer grinding time required for Hollinger material to optimize recovery as well as lower tonnes from Dome underground.

The Dome underground has deferred closure activities indefinitely.  With the recent increase in gold prices and operating cost reductions that have resulted in higher margins, the site is determining options to extend mine life.

In 2016, $6 million was budgeted for exploration with 57,000 metres of underground exploration drilling at Hoyle Pond and 10,500 metres of regional exploration drilling. During the first quarter of 2016, exploration focused on expanding current ore zones at Hoyle Pond, including expanding reserves and resources on down dip extensions of known veins.

A total of 18,000 metres were drilled compared to a budget of 14,500 metres. Exploration expenditures incurred during the first quarter of 2016 were $1 million. In the second quarter of 2016, exploration focused on expanding reserves and resources at Hoyle Pond as well as commencing a surface exploration program.

In the second quarter of 2016 a total of 13,000 metres of underground exploration drilling and 2,600 metres of surface exploration drilling was planned with a budget of $1 million.