Nunavut’s Hope Bay mine pours its first gold bar (CBC News North – February 14, 2017)

Commercial production at Kitikmeot gold mine expected to begin soon

TMAC Resources’ Hope Bay gold mine poured its first gold bar late last Thursday evening, on its way to commercial production. The mine is located 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay and about 700 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

Construction of the processing plant building at the Doris North deposit — the first of several deposits at Hope Bay expected to be mined — finished in September. A modular style of ore processor made by Australian company Gekko Systems called a “python” was shipped to the site and installed.

Ann Wilkinson, vice-president of investor relations for TMAC Resources, says the company is pleased with its performance. “A lot of the people who witnessed the first pour said that they’d never seen a first bar of gold look that clean,” she said.

“Typically when gold furnaces at gold mines pour their first gold, they’re kind of ugly looking things with a lot of other material in them, so the commissioning of our plant has gone extremely well.”

Next up is the expansion of the 190-person capacity camp and the arrival and installation of a second python unit for the processing plant to boost production.

Wilkinson said it’s an exciting time at Hope Bay, and compared the district to Red Lake in Ontario or Abitibi in Quebec — prolific greenstone belts that can contain tens of millions of ounces.

“[I think there’s] better than an even chance that there’s more gold there than we’ve identified in the current 20-year mine plan,” she said.

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