New shaft key to transforming Kirkland Lake into 1Moz/y producer – by Mariaan Webb ( – January 18, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Gold miner Kirkland Lake has set its sights on producing one-million ounces a year in the next five to seven years, a target which is built on transforming the Fosterville and Macassa mines into 400 000 oz/y producers.

At Fosterville, in Australia’s state of Victoria, Kirkland Lake is aiming to achieve the 400 000 oz/y target by 2020, as it moves to full production at the Swan zone and starts production from additional mining fronts.

The path to 400 000 oz/y at the Macassa mine, in Ontario, Canada, will take longer and will involve sinking a new $320-million shaft in two phases.

The new 21.5-ft-diameter, concrete-lined shaft would benefit Macassa in many ways. “It will derisk the operation, support more effective underground exploration, and improve working conditions, in addition to increasing production and lowering costs,” president and CEO Tony Makuch said in a news release on Wednesday.

The new four-compartment shaft will have a total hoisting capacity of 4 000 t/d of ore and waste. Construction will be completed in two phases, the first of which will be to a depth of 5 450 ft and includes a mid-shaft loading pocket. Completion of the first phase, at a capital cost of $240-million, is targeted for the second quarter of 2022.

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