Lake Shore Gold plans $80-million expansion – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – September 21, 2011)

Ron Grech is a reporter for The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at

Lake Shore Gold is spending $80 million over the next 14 months to expand the processing mill at its Bell Creek complex near Timmins. Production for the mine has reached a level where it is exceeding the mill’s capacity.

“We need to expand the mill,” said Dan Gagnon, vice-president and general manager of Timmins operations for Lake Shore Gold.

Gagnon along with Brian Buss, Lake Shore’s director of project development and technical services, made a presentation to Timmins council Monday night, detailing expansion plans and targets for production growth.

Lake Shore has three key mining complexes — Bell Creek, Timmins West and Thunder Creek — west of the city plus some other properties just east of Timmins.

Timmins West complex went into commercial production in January and Gagnon said the goal is to have Thunder Creek in full commercial production by late next year or early 2013.

Gagnon came to council because he wanted to make the city aware of the positive developments taking place and to silence “sceptics who question whether this is mine is going to fly at all.”

“We want to share that Lake Shore is a new company that is basically transitioning from an exploration to mining company,” said Gagnon. “We have 27 diamond drills out there basically looking to expand our current capacity or gold production and also to find the next mine.”

He said the company is committed to the community for long-term and “it’s shown in the fact we’re basically investing $80 million in the next 14 months to expand the mill so that will provide opportunities for work during the construction period and some jobs also after the construction period.”

The mine currently employs 500 full-time staffers with more than 200 contractors working on site on top of that.

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