Eagle Gold stays on pace through winter
Tremendous team keeps mine project on track for 2019 gold North of 60 Mining News – February 8, 2019
Last updated 9/25/2020 at 1:58pm
Victoria Gold Corp. is well on its way to reaching its ultimate goal, pouring the first bar of gold at its Eagle Mine project this year.
Located in the heart of the Yukon, about 85 kilometers (53 miles) north of the community of Mayo, Victoria's Eagle Gold Mine is expected to produce 200,000 ounces of gold annually over a 10-year mine life.
Victoria broke ground on pre-development activities at Eagle in 2017 and ramped up development of the open-pit, heap-leach pad and recovery facilities at the gold mine project in 2018.
While temperatures at Eagle Gold average a bone chilling -24 degrees Celsius (-10.3 degrees Fahrenheit) in December and an even colder -27 degrees Celsius (-16.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in January, Victoria Gold President and CEO John McConnell told Mining News that development remains on schedule for the next large-scale gold mine in the Yukon to deliver its first gold in the second half of this year.
He credits the roughly 450 men and women working at the site, more than half from the Yukon, for this success.
"There is a tremendous team of people on site with over 25 contractors fully engaged to transform the Eagle Gold Project into the Eagle Gold Mine," McConnell said at the time. "The progress to date is impressive and we have the construction and operations teams in place to deliver Canada's next gold mine."
While it is hard to quantify northerner's contributions to the winter success at Eagle Gold, there is no doubt they bring experience working in cold climates to the project.
"Yukoners are definitely tough!" McConnell told Mining News, when asked about the advantage of having people from the North working at Eagle Gold.
He also said than a milder than normal Yukon winter has helped forego issues that crop up in extremely cold temperatures.
Growing gold resource
The roughly 2 million ounces of gold expected to be produced from Eagle over the next decade is based on 123 million metric tons of reserves averaging 0.67 grams per metric ton (2.66 million oz) gold, according to a feasibility study completed in 2016.
These reserves are found at Eagle Gold, the original deposit, and Olive, a satellite deposit about 3,000 meters to the northeast.
At the time of the feasibility study these deposits hosted 180.72 million metric tons of measured and indicated resource averaging 0.63 g/t (3.63 million oz) gold.
The 2016 reserves are the portion of these measured and indicated resources that are included in the Eagle Gold mine plan. Future mine plans could elevate more resources to reserve status, which would add years of production to Eagle.
With drilling since the completion of the feasibility study growing the resources, such mine extensions seem likely.
According to resource calculation completed in December, Eagle now hosts 198.72 million metric tons of measured and indicated resources averaging 0.64 g/t (4.08 million oz) gold.
"The additional drilling at Eagle has converted inferred oz to indicated oz, increased overall measured and indicated oz and maintained grade, which resulted in an additional 450,000 oz gold before mining has begun," McConnell said.
The updated resource is for the immediate Eagle Mine area only and does not include the 9.5 million metric tons of measured and indicated resource averaging 1.08 g/t (329,000 oz) gold in the Olive-Shamrock area. This Olive-Shamrock resource, which is included in the 2016 mine-plan, remains unchanged.
Victoria Gold intends to prepare an updated resource for the Olive-Shamrock deposit once all 2018 drill results have been received.
First gold slated for September
In the meantime, crews continue to build largest gold mine in Yukon's history.
Going into February, this work was nearly 70 percent complete and Victoria Gold expects to surpass several milestones as the Yukon days get longer and the sub-arctic weather warms.
These milestones include: plugging into Yukon grid electricity in May; and feeding the first gold-bearing ore into the crusher and then stacked on the heap leach pad by early July.
Giving the cyanide a bit of time to leach the gold from the rock, the first gold pour from the newly commissioned Eagle Gold Mine is currently slated for September.