Accelerating plans for Brewery Creek Mine
Golden Predator plans to mine new ore at an earlier stage North of 60 Mining News – July 17, 2020
Last updated 9/26/2020 at 3:02pm
With the price of an ounce of gold topping US$1,800, Golden Predator Mining Corp. is accelerating its plans to re-establish a gold mine at its Brewery Creek project in Canada's Yukon Territory.
Located about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Dawson City, Brewery Creek is the home to a mine that produced 280,000 ounces of gold over seven years of mining that began in 1996. This operation used seasonal heap leaching – a method of gold recovery that involves stacking ore in a lined facility and using cyanide to separate the gold from the rock – to recover gold mined from seven open pits on the property.
With gold prices averaging around US$310/oz in 2002, Viceroy Resource Corp. opted to wind down operations and put Brewery Creek on care and maintenance.
It is estimated that roughly 248,000 oz of unrecovered gold remains in about 9.5 million metric tons of material Viceroy stacked on the heap-leach pad.
Golden Predator acquired Brewery about a decade ago and over the last couple of years the company has been advancing plans to scale up mining there in three phases.
The initial phase involved reprocessing the material on the heap leach pad. During the second phase, the company planned to begin processing new oxide ore from areas of the Brewery Creek property already permitted for mining. The third phase involves expanding the operation to include mining gold mineralization the company has identified outside of the currently permitted area.
The company now sees the combination of phases 1 and 2 would result in the best returns on the initial capital expenditures to establish the processing facilities and other infrastructure required to reprocess the heap leach material, especially when considering the current price of gold.
"As phase 1 restart work has progressed, it has become evident that phase 1 and 2 should proceed together to take advantage of emerging synergies and higher gold prices to generate enhanced cash flow," said Golden Predator CEO Janet Lee-Sheriff. "Since most of the project's CAPEX is required for startup in phase 1, combining the added potential of higher-grade new material should produce significantly more ounces and a better economic return."
According to a calculation completed in January, Brewery Creek hosts 21.14 million metric tons of indicated oxide resource averaging 1.13 g/t (765,000 oz) gold; and 14.12 million metric tons of inferred oxide resource averaging 0.97 g/t (440,000 oz) gold.
An updated resource that will include 177 holes Golden Predator drilled during 2019 is being calculated. This new resource will be incorporated into a feasibility study for combined phases 1 and 2 of Golden Predator's Brewery Creek Mine restart plan.
"Both reprocessing and newly mined material will use the same crushing circuit, heap leach pad, ADR (absorption, desorption, regeneration) plant, power supply equipment, assay lab, machine shop, warehouse, office, camp facilities and other assets." said Lee-Sheriff. "Key to this evolved strategy is the phase 1 assessment that the original heap leach pad is in excellent condition for early reuse."
The comprehensive feasibility study for reprocessing material stacked on the heap leach pad and mining new oxide gold mineralization is expected by the end of 2020.