The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Hope Bay gold mine on track for early '17 start

TMAC Resources Inc. Nov. 3 said its Hope Bay gold mine in Nunavut remains on schedule to begin production early in 2017.

"We remain on track and essentially on budget with our progress to advance the Hope Bay Project towards commercial production in early 2017," TMAC CEO Catharine Farrow said.

"As of this week, we are approximately 89 percent complete with construction and assembly and have spent 88 percent of the amount estimated in the 'path to production' plan." By the end of the year, TMAC plans to have 110,700 metric tons of ore containing 52,300 ounces of recoverable gold stockpiled.

The company said this stockpile will provide the processing plan with significant feed for start-up and help facilitate a smooth ramp-up to 1,000 metric tons per day of production in 2017.

Following the delivery and installation of a second ore grinding circuit to site in 2017, production at Hope Bay is expected to increase to 2,000 metric tons per day in early 2018.

As of Sept. 30, TMAC had C$92 million in cash and cash equivalents.

This does not included a C$10 million minimum cash balance in a segregated account in accordance with loan requirements and C$19 million invested in guaranteed investment certificates set aside as collateral for environmental rehabilitation bonding and security for compliance under various agreements with Inuit organizations.

The existing cash on hand, together with the US$20 million remaining to be drawn on a loan, provide TMAC a roughly C$40 million cushion to achieve commercial production at Hope Bay, slated for the first quarter of 2017.

Additionally, TMAC announced that the Nunavut Water Board has issued an amended water license for an expanded tailings facility for the Doris Mine at Hope Bay to Caroline Bennett, minister for indigenous and northern affairs Canada. The minister has 45 days to review and sign the license but can request a 45-day extension. Upon receipt of the minister's signature, the amended license supports an expanded tailing impoundment area at Doris that will extend the life of the mine from roughly 1.5 years to the current reserve life of six years.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.


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