Growth golden at Brigus projects – by Kyle Gennings (Timmins Daily Press – January 9, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The coming year holds the promise of further expansion for Brigus Gold operations in the Black-River Matheson area. The Black Fox mine is slated to expand production while the Grey Fox mine will continue operational prep for full production in 2015.

For Brigus CEO Wade Dawe, 2013 will be yet another landmark year in growth for the mid-level operation, one that will see the residents of Timmins benefit.

“In 2012 we made great progress, we built the underground portion of the mine (Black Fox) and that is wrapping up very well,” he said. “We are on track to increase production in 2013 to between 90,000 and 100,000 ounces compared to the 77,347 ounces in 2012.”

This increase will continue to lay the ground work needed to allow Brigus to focus on further expansion of the Grey Fox operations. Dawe said that 2013 should be a stable year.

“Right now, we have approximately 377 employees at the Black Fox mine,” he said. “In 2013 our employment numbers will be reasonably stable. We may add up to 5% of additional personnel, although we are essentially stable in 2013.” Operations will ramp up even further in 2014.

“Going into 2014 and 2015 we will be doing a considerable amount of hiring as we build the Grey Fox Mine,” said Dawe. “Grey Fox is expected to come onto production in the first half of 2015, which means that we will be beginning construction in 2014.”

As for the long-term forecast for both operations, Black Fox is still on track for its 10-year mine life (as of 2009), while operational forecasts for the Grey Fox are still being tabulated.

“We are still holding to the 10-year life expectancy for the Black Fox and we aren’t currently expanding our reserves just yet,” said Dawe. “But we started drilling underground in June of 2012 with the purpose of expanding the ore body and so far we’ve been successful.

“The ore body remains open and we are quite confident that the Black Fox mine will be a long life asset, which will extend far beyond the original 10 years in the first feasibility study.”

For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: