The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry.
Goldcorp (TSX:G; NYSE: GG) highights the potential at its Éléonore gold mine in northern Quebec, despite recently lowering the project’s 2015 production forecast, partly due to higher-than-expected mining dilution.
“Looking forward, I’m not worried about Éléonore. It is a great plant; it’s a great orebody,” Chuck Jeannes, the company’s president and CEO, said in a Sept. 22 webcast presentation at the Denver Gold Forum.
The underground mine reached commercial production on April 1, 2015, after pouring first gold last October. The slower-than-anticipated startup resulted from commissioning issues in the first half of 2015, relating to the tailings filter press and primary crusher feeder. However, those issues have been resolved, Jeannes says.
In August, the Éléonore mill achieved nameplate capacity of 7,000 tonnes per day, with roughly 2,000 tonnes of the feed coming from low-grade stockpiles.
While those stockpiles should diminish by year-end, Goldcorp remains confident mining rates will reach 7,000 tonnes per day by the first half of 2018, despite the recent hiccup, where it uncovered some unexpected dilution in the initial stopes at the Horizon 4 level. As a result, Goldcorp reduced Éléonore’s annual production guidance by 15% on Sept. 8.
That horizon is in the “deepest part of the mine, and when we got there and opened it up, there was folding and faulting that wasn’t expected based on what we saw higher in the mine,” Jeannes explains, adding this condition affects about 10% of the orebody.
Consequently, the estimated mining dilution has increased from 10% to 25%, leading to lower grades and lower production.
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