Mining Explorers 2016: Coeur Mining Inc.
Last updated 2/3/2018 at 8:31pm
Coeur Mining Inc. continues to improve operation performance at Kensington while seeking out and developing higher grade deposits at the Southeast Alaska mine.
The 12,400-acre Kensington property is divided into two blocks - Kensington and Jualin - that trace their roots to two historical mines discovered at the turn of the 20th Century.
The Main and Raven deposits, located in the Kensington block, hosted 560,000 ounces of gold in 2.83 million short tons of proven and probable reserves averaging 0.198 oz./ton gold at the end of 2015. Recent exploration, however, has focused on building reserves in a deposit on the Jualin side of the property that bests the historic average and is set to change the production profile of the Kensington Mine.
According to a 2015 technical report, the Vein 4 deposit at Jualin contains 289,000 tons of inferred resource averaging 0.619 oz./t (179,000 oz.) gold, roughly triple the grades currently being mined at Kensington.
Coeur began the roughly 7,000 feet of underground development needed to reach the Jualin deposit in 2015 and by July of this year, the company reported the development was about 50 percent complete.
Coeur is carrying out a 12,000-meter or so underground drill program aimed at upgrading and expanding the Jualin resource. This work will primarily focus on the No. 4 vein but also will include drilling of No. 5, a deeper vein that Coeur has cut with drilling but for which it has not yet developed a resource.
An inaugural reserve estimate for Jualin is expected by the end of 2016 and first ore is anticipated to reach the mill at Kensington in mid-2017.
"We're investing about US$40 million at Kensington to drill and develop significantly higher grade gold ounces there. But that's not expected to start impacting Kensington's production, cost and cash flow until late next year," said Coeur Mining President and CEO Mitchell Krebs.
In 2018, gold production at Kensington is expected to reach 149,000 oz. Underground exploration this year also targeted the four zones within the Kensington Main deposit and the Raven vein.