TIMMINS – A major “good news” announcement from Goldcorp this week could potentially lead to the re-opening of the Dome open pit mine in Porcupine.
In a presentation of its third quarter results, the company announced a finding at the century-old mining operation which could “dramatically increase the gold production,” from the Porcupine camp, according to the company’s president David Garofalo.
The company announced it has discovered an indicated mineral resource of 4.5 million ounces and a gold inferred mineral resource of 0.9 million ounces (for a total of 5.4 million ounces) at what is now being called the Dome Century Project.
“We announced today, an inaugural gold mineral resource of 5.4 million ounces at Porcupine’s new dome century project,” Garofalo said in a conference call on Thursday. “A concept study for a potential new, large-scale, open pit operation is underway which could dramatically increase the gold production … from this camp. We liken this in scale, grade and prospectivity to Canadian Malartic and Detour, but in a camp that has been well-established for over 100 years.”
Following a complete review of the Porcupine operation as the mine approached closure, a new geological model was developed which led to the resource discovery.
“At the time, we didn’t consider that there was a lot of depth below the existing ore body so when we did the initial pit, we only had a surface model,” Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines mine manager Marc Lozier told The Daily Press. “What we’ve basically done is stitched together all the models from the underground and the surface and re-ran a new pit shell.
“What that determined, when we ran a new pit shell, was that we had the potential for a deeper open put than the initial open pit that was there.”
The findings have formed the basis to begin a conceptual study that will test the potential of a new, large-scale open pit mine in Porcupine.
“It’s good news. What it means is that we can now embark on an official pre-feasibility study and run the economics on the potential of going back into the Dome open pit,” said Lozier. “Currently, we’re just finishing up the conceptual study, but by the end of this year, we’re going to present to our executive with where we are at and we’re going to ask for money to go to the next phase of the project.”
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