Monarch Gold has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ontario Northland Railway for the transportation of ore from its Wasamac gold project to the Kidd concentrator in Timmins, Ontario, pursuant to a separate MoU with Glencore Canada.
The first phase of the agreement consists of an economic study on the infrastructure for the transportation of ore by train from Wasamac to Kidd, to be completed no later than December 31, 2020, Monarch said.
“This is another important step in the development of our Wasamac gold project with respect to the custom milling option, the objective of which will be to negotiate a favourable rate for the transportation of Wasamac ore to the Kidd concentrator,” Jean-Marc Lacoste, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monarch, said. “Ontario Northland has the necessary capacity, a solid reputation and has been providing this transportation service to mining companies for more than a century.
“It is important to remember that if we choose the custom milling option, we will be able to significantly reduce the construction costs of the Wasamac mine compared to the initial option of building the mill and tailings facility directly on site, in addition to reducing the impact on the environment and neighbouring communities. The other important aspect will be to ensure that our operating costs are as low as possible, including transportation costs, which will allow us to increase the profitability of the project.”
Last month, Monarch said it had retained Ausenco Engineering Canada to conduct an upgrading study on the Glencore-owned Kidd concentrator in connection with its potential use to treat ore mined from its Wasamac gold project. The study constitutes “Phase 1” of the MoU recently signed with Glencore Canada, Monarch said.
Located in Timmins, Ontario, the Kidd concentrator was built in 1966 with numerous upgrades over the years. It currently processes metal ore to produce copper and zinc concentrates, with the facility having a design rated capacity of 12,500 t/d. The site has incoming and outgoing rail service via Ontario Northland.
In addition to northern Ontario, Ontario Northland serves northern Quebec to Rouyn-Noranda, where the railway connects and interchanges traffic with CN, which then serves other major Abitibi region mills, including Canadian Malartic (Yamana Gold/Agnico Eagle), Westwood (IAMGold) and Lamaque (Eldorado Gold), as well as Monarch’s Camflo and Beacon mills.
The December 2018 feasibility study on Wasamac forecast average annual production of 142,000 oz of gold for 11 years at a cash cost of $550/oz.