At Goldcorp’s in-development and 100% owned Borden operation near Chapleau in Ontario, Canada, all mine infrastructure to support production is in place. Ramp development has now reached approximately 1.6 km in length with a depth of 300 m, and is on schedule. The bulk sample extraction began in August 2018, two months ahead of schedule, with a first zone of extraction on levels 225 and 240.
The continuation of the exploration ramp is leading toward level 420 m, which will be the final phase of the bulk sample program. In 2018, the bulk sample extraction will de-risk the project and allow for recovery of 4,000 oz of gold, as well as learning and confirming the main characteristics of the ore body such as rock stability, geology and recoveries.
All operating permits are expected to be obtained by the fourth quarter of 2018, allowing an increased pace of development along with construction of the remaining critical mine infrastructure including ventilation raise and secondary egress for the operation. Permit applications for industrial sewage, air and water have been through the 30-day Environmental Registry phase and are currently being finalised. The next milestone will be receiving acceptance of the mine closure plan, expected 45 days after the August 22, 2018 submission.
The mine is expected to begin commercial production, as planned, in the second half of 2019. Borden is focused on using new technologies, including mine electrification and full connectivity, with the goal of increasing efficiency and enhancing safety. Currently, the exploration ramp is using mainly electric vehicles. The fleet is composed of state of the art mining equipment, including Sandvik DD422IE automated battery/electric jumbos and MacLean Engineering 975 Omnia Bolter battery bolters as well as Sandvik LH514E electric LHDs. All services vehicles are electrified, including a conventional Caterpillar 12M3 grader which was converted into a battery-operated unit by MEDATECH.
“As a leader in mining innovation and adopter of clean technology, Goldcorp has sought partnerships with suppliers, Government, First Nations, associations and other mining companies. For example, the Government of Ontario has agreed to invest C$5 million into the deployment of the all-electric fleet through its target greenhouse gas program.”
“With all-electric underground mine operations, Goldcorp estimates that operating costs will be reduced by over C$9 million per year due to the elimination of approximately two million litres of diesel fuel, and with reduced ventilation needs, a decrease of approximately 32,000 MWh of electricity and a corresponding decrease in propane required to heat the ventilation. Importantly, we expect a reduction in annual green house gas emissions of more than 7,000 t, or a 70% reduction over a baseline mine.”
On June 6, 2018, Goldcorp announced the signing of an Impacts and Benefits Agreement with three First Nation communities with respect to the development and operation of the Borden project. The formal signing of the agreement follows successful negotiations with Brunswick House First Nation, Chapleau Cree First Nation and Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation, and is a milestone marking the first time these three First Nation communities are involved with a mining project.