Eldorado Gold is commencing construction of a 3 km decline at its Lamaque underground gold mine in Quebec, Canada.
The fully permitted decline will go from the Sigma mill to the 405 m level of the Triangle mine, where resources and reserves reside.
Eldorado said the $24 million investment was expected to provide multiple near-term and long-term benefits as the company continues to grow production at Lamaque. Earlier this year, it was granted Certificate of Authorization from the Quebec Ministry of Environment to expand underground production from Triangle from 1,800 t/d to 2,650 t/d.
“Detailed engineering and site preparations for the decline will commence this month and surface construction on the portal will begin in Q3 (September quarter) 2020,” the company said.
The decline is expected to be completed by the first half of 2021, but Eldorado is also evaluating the possible addition of an underground crushing and conveying system as well as a potential mill expansion, it said.
Late last year, then-COO, Paul Skayman, told IM the company was considering the use of battery-electric vehicles, or vertical haulage with conveyors, as part of its mine expansion plans.
And, since then, the company has started trialling the SAMS™, or the shallow angle mining system, from Minrail, a system that could allow the company to further enhance Lamaque’s economics, improve safety and develop technical expertise that could potentially be leveraged at some of Eldorado’s other mines.
While an update outlining the path forward at Lamaque is expected in the December quarter of this year, the company said the benefits of the construction of this decline include:
- Eliminating surface re-handling and haulage (around 26 km round trip) of the ore from the Triangle mine to the Sigma mill, reducing carbon emissions, costs, and removing haulage traffic from the public road network;
- Reducing the energy requirements for mine ventilation;
- Supplying a means of secondary egress and ventilation to the Triangle mine, increasing safety underground;
- Providing underground access for lower cost exploration in the prospective area between the Triangle mine and the historic Sigma and Lamaque mines – including further drilling of the Plug 4 and Parallel deposit and the Ormaque zone; and
- Facilitating increased future production from the Triangle mine (contingent on continued reserve expansion) and allowing for mining of the Parallel deposit.
George Burns, Eldorado President and CEO, said: “We are pleased to begin construction of the decline at Lamaque this summer. This is a project that we have been advancing for nearly a year and is another step towards further production growth and continued value creation at Lamaque.”