Tag Archives: Newfoundland and Labrador

Ausenco to run with Marathon at Valentine gold project

Marathon Gold has appointed Ausenco Engineering Canada as the lead consultant for the prefeasibility study (PFS) on the Valentine gold project in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

As lead consultant in the PFS, Ausenco will undertake a tradeoff study designed to assess the optimum scope, value, and execution strategy for the project, and will incorporate an updated production schedule, facilities design, operating and capital cost estimates, and process design based on ongoing metallurgical studies.

Ausenco will be assisted by Moose Mountain Technical Services in the areas of mineral reserve estimation and mine design. The PFS will also incorporate the results of work currently being conducted at the Valentine project by Terrane Geoscience Inc in the area of geotechnical drilling and pit slope design, by Gemtec for hydrogeology, by Stantec for environmental assessment, and John T Boyd Company for an updated mineral resource estimate.

An October 2018 preliminary economic assessment on Marathon showed the project to be amenable to open pit mining and conventional milling over a 12-year mine life. Average annual production was pegged at 225,100 oz at an all-in sustaining cost of $666/oz. Total mineral resources currently comprise 16.6 Mt of material at a grade of 2.18 g/t containing 1.17 Moz gold in the measured category, 28.5 Mt at 1.66 g/t containing 1.52 Moz of gold in the indicated category, and 26.9 Mt at 1.77 g/t containing 1.53 Moz of gold in the inferred category.

Matt Manson, Marathon President and CEO, said of the news: “Ausenco’s Canadian based engineering team has a broad range of mine development expertise well suited to the Valentine gold project. In particular, they bring the most recent direct experience in the development of a large open-pit gold project in the Maritimes as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor at the successful Moose River gold mine (pictured) developed by Atlantic Gold Corp (now St Barbara Ltd).

“They will join an existing team of specialised sub-contractors already working with Marathon’s owner’s team to develop the best overall project configuration for subsequent feasibility study, permitting and financing.”

The PFS is expected to take around six months to complete, with results expected early in the June quarter of 2020.

Tacora hoping for Scully iron ore mine restart in 2019

The Scully iron ore mine in Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, looks like restarting after owner Tacora Resources secured up to $276 million of funding to turn the lights back on.

Just this week, the company announced it had closed on $212 million in private equity and senior secured debt financing which, together with existing commitments for up to US$64 million in mining equipment debt financing, will fully fund the restart.

Tacora purchased substantially all the assets associated with the Scully mine on July 17, 2017. In the subsequent months, it completed a feasibility study that confirmed the viability of Tacora’s restart plans for the mine, secured life of mine access to rail transportation services and ship loading infrastructure, including access to a deep water port with Société ferroviaire et portuaire de Ponte-Noire and the Port of Sept-Iles, and concluded various regulatory matters with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, including consultations with local indigenous peoples.

The company is now hoping mining will recommence in June 2019.

Larry Lehtinen, Executive Chairman and CEO of Tacora, said: “We are extremely pleased to have the Scully mine restart fully financed and to move forward with hiring the workforce and implementing the various commercial contracts and capital projects to bring the Scully mine back to life.”

As part of the financing, trading company Cargill has made an equity investment and extended its long-term offtake agreement for Scully.

Lee Kirk, Managing Director of Cargill’s Metals business, said by extending this agreement through 2033, the company was “better positioned to provide our customers around the world with greater access to high quality iron ore”.

The previous owners, Cliffs Natural Resources, shut down Scully in 2014 as global prices for iron ore plummeted.

It is expected to produce some 6 Mt/y of high-grade concentrate when fully ramped up.

Works on the project include the installation of a manganese reduction line, concentrator upgrades, the construction of an additional load-out bin and improved material handling equipment at Pointe Noire.