Tag Archives: Yukon

BQE Water to help Yukon Government with water management at the Minto mine

BQE Water, a leader in the treatment and management of mine impacted waters, has entered into a contract with the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources of the Yukon Government to provide expertise and support with water management at Minto mine, in central Yukon and on settlement land of the Selkirk First Nation.

Under the contract, BQE Water will provide two types of services. First is operations services, which focuses on the seasonal operation of the existing water treatment plant at Minto mine and managing the environmental discharge in accordance with the current Water Use Licence. Second is technical advisory and engineering services, which entails assisting the government with assessing water management changes, including to the existing treatment system, to support site closure and remediation for the long-term.

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, said: “We understand how important safe, transparent and cost-effective clean water production at Minto mine is for the Yukon and for all project stakeholders. Since we re-engaged with the project, Minto Metals, the Selkirk First Nation and the Yukon Government have had our commitment to deliver first rate service no matter the site circumstances. We are also appreciative of the opportunity to work directly with the Yukon Government to continue to deliver on this commitment.”

BQE Water designed the water treatment plant at Minto mine and operated it until 2013 when treated water discharge from the site ceased and mine contact water was directed into an exhausted open pit. In August 2022, BQE Water became involved in the operation of the same water treatment plant once again. Following the stoppage of mine production in May 2023, BQE Water worked collaboratively with the Yukon Government, Selkirk First Nation and JDS Mining in support of environmental protection and to ensure treated water is discharged into the environment in accordance with the Water Use License. The contract with Yukon Government represents a continuation of this effort.

The Minto mine has been in operation since 2007 with underground mining commencing in 2014. The current mine operations are based on underground mining, a process plant to produce high-grade copper, gold and silver concentrate and all supporting infrastructure associated with a remote location in Yukon.

BQE Water to provide plant operations services for Minto Mine water treatment plant

BQE Water has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with Minto Metals Corp to provide plant operations services for an existing water treatment plant at Minto Mine, some 240 km northwest of Whitehorse, Yukon, through to 2024.

Under the agreement, BQE Water will be responsible for clean water production at the Canadian mine where the final effluent must meet stringent requirements not only for metals but ammonia, nitrite and nitrate to protect the aquatic life in the receiving environment. Included in the operations services provided by BQE Water will be on-site technical supervision, coordination with Minto’s environmental and metallurgical team to maximise the volume of water discharged into the environment, operator training, and on-site and off-site engineering support.

BQE Water’s compensation will be composed of a base monthly fee and a supplemental fee for the volume of water treated that meets discharge specifications. It is estimated the plant will treat and discharge 400,000 cu.m of mine water for the remainder of the year and approximately 750,000-1,000,000 cu.m of mine water in each subsequent year of the current contract.

“We are highly appreciative of the responsiveness and technical proficiency provided by BQE Water to address the concerns we had with our water treatment plant,” Loralee Johnstone, the VP of Environment and Social Governance for the mine, said. “The transition to their operations has been systematic and transparent, with the resulting operational work surpassing our expectations.”

David Kratochvil, BQE Water’s President & CEO added: “We value the opportunity to help Minto achieve its environmental and social governance goals. We also look forward to collaborating with the Selkirk First Nation to achieve sustainable and transparent water management at the mine.”

As part of its role at Minto, BQE Water has engaged in discussions with the mine and the Selkirk First Nation about creating an active role for the local community to participate in clean water production at the site to ensure the continued protection of land and water for countless generations in the future.

The Minto mine has been in operation since 2007 with underground mining commencing in 2014. The current mine operations are based on underground mining, a process plant to produce high-grade copper, gold and silver concentrate and all supporting infrastructure associated with a remote location in Yukon.

Snowline Gold brings in solar generation system to power Yukon exploration camp

Snowline Gold says it has entered into a five-year lease agreement with the Indigenous-owned Nacho Nyak Dun Development Corporation (NNDDC) that has seen it install a 27 kW solar generation system at the Rogue project in the Yukon of Canada able to reduce CO2 emissions from the Forks exploration camp.

Designed and built by Yukon-based Solvest Inc, the solar generator will dramatically reduce diesel consumption at Snowline’s 45-person camp on its Rogue project, located within the Traditional Territory of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun (FNNND).

Estimates provided by Solvest based on data collected from Snowline’s 2021 field program predict the new solar generator could save up to 12,572 litres of diesel per season, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the camp generator by 90%.

This reduces not only fuel costs, but also the total number of flights required to support the project, resulting in a net positive impact both financially and environmentally, Snowline says. Additional benefits include the associated reduction in diesel generator operating time, which lessens camp noise to create better living standards for crew, while also lowering the potential for disturbance of local wildlife.

Installation of the solar generator system is complete, and the system is now fully operational, providing a majority of the camp’s power, according to Snowline.

“Investments such as this are examples of how Indigenous businesses are leading the way in accelerating the green economy, and innovations such as this provide opportunities for such entities to become increasingly engaged in the mineral resource sector,” Jani Djokic, CEO of NNDDC, says. “We see this investment as just the first of many of its kind and we are working towards building a fleet that can be deployed throughout the Traditional Territory.”

Steve Rennalls, Operations Manager for Snowline, said: “This project is a tangible example of how Snowline is realising our corporate vision. It increases efficiency while creating financial and environmental value. It improves our employees’ work environment, it is yet another collaborative project with the NNDDC, and it is provided by Solvest, one of the Yukon’s most innovative companies.”

Scott Berdahl, CEO and Director of Snowline, added: “We are grateful to the NNDDC and to Solvest for presenting Snowline with this opportunity to innovate. The initiative puts Snowline into another ‘first mover’ category as we look for ways to eliminate the negative and enhance the positive impacts of our exploration activities. We trust the data collected will be instrumental in allowing additional resource companies to effectively assess potential renewable energy solutions.”

Cooperation with NNDDC owned and affiliated companies has been instrumental to Snowline’s discovery successes, it says. These companies have provided substantial support to the company’s 2021 and 2022 field programs, providing general exploration services, vegetative reclamation, drilling, fixed and rotary wing air support, and other services.

Snowline is exploring its flagship >85,000 ha Einarson and Rogue gold projects in the highly prospective yet underexplored Selwyn Basin.

First gold poured at Victoria’s Eagle mine in Yukon

Victoria Gold Corp has achieved its first gold pour at the Eagle mine in the Yukon, Canada.

The inaugural gold bar was poured by Sandy Silver, Yukon’s Premier, and weighed in at 1,001 oz, the company said.

John McConnell, President & CEO of Victoria Gold, said: “After all the blood, sweat and tears required to explore, develop, permit, finance and build a gold mine in Canada’s north, it is extremely gratifying to pour the first gold bar at Eagle.

“With this key milestone behind us, we are focused on building ore on the heap leach pad and exceeding expectations for all our stakeholders.”

Ramp-up of operations at site continues to proceed and the company said it was exceeding the ramp up schedule for ore mined and ore tonnes placed on the heap leach pad.

Eagle was expected to cost C$487 million ($367 million) to build and has the potential to produce around 200,000 oz/y from a mine operating at 33,700 t/d. The operation will produce doré from a conventional open-pit with a three-stage crushing plant, in-valley heap leach and CIL adsorption-desorption gold recovery plant.

XRF ore sorting shows potential at Yukon zinc project

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) ore sorting technology has found another fan after Fireweed Zinc reported positive results from preconcentration test work at its Macmillan Pass zinc project in the Yukon of Canada.

Samples from Macmillan Pass’ Boundary Zone, a discrete bulk-tonnage, exploration target 15 km northwest of the Jason zinc-lead-silver deposit, were put through XRF, X-ray transmission, electromagnetic and dense media separation sorting tests by Canada’s Sacré-Davey Engineering at the University of British Columbia, with XRF showing the most promising results, Fireweed said.

The principal results of the 436 rock samples tested in the XRF trials included the potential to upgrade the feed grade from 2.5% Zn to 5% Zn and a rejection rate of 70-50%, with zinc recoveries ranging from 80-85%.

Fireweed pointed out that the analysis in the study assumed that 25% of the feed had fines (-12 mm) which cannot be processed in the ore sorter. As a result of this, the fines would bypass the sorter and combine with the ore sorter product, with the final grade of 5% Zn achieved after combining the ore sorter product with the fines assumed to have a grade of 2.5% Zn.

XRF sorting is currently used at over 50 operations across the world, including Hecla Mining’s San Sebastian mine, in Mexico, and Anglo American’s Mogalakwena mine, in South Africa, according to Fireweed.

Typically, it uses an XRF sensor to distinguish and measure surface metal abundances on rock pieces moving on an enclosed conveyor belt unit. The XRF readings for each individual rock are then analysed by high speed software to distinguish and flag rocks with metal values above and below a set threshold.

At the end of the conveyor belt, focused high pressure air jets or mechanical levers then separate the designated higher-grade rock pieces for processing and reject low grade and waste pieces. The amenability to ore sorting depends on the material characteristics of a deposit.

Fireweed said: “The Boundary Zone samples responded positively to XRF testing because zinc values on the surfaces of individual rock pieces correlate closely with the overall zinc assays of those rocks.”

Fireweed Zinc CEO, Brandon Macdonald, said the ore sorting results imply there is potential to improve the economics of the Macmillan Pass project.

He continued: “These results suggest that we may be able to reject 50% to 70% of low-grade and waste rock at low cost near a potential open-pit operation at Boundary with less than 15% loss of zinc mineralisation before material is transported to a central processing plant at Tom.”

Macdonald said the company has now moved the drill to Boundary to both confirm and step out from historic holes, as well as obtain a 2 t sample to confirm these ore sorting results may be obtained on a larger scale.

“If the larger test is successful, we can then incorporate the benefits of an XRF ore sorting system at Boundary into a revised preliminary economic assessment economic study along with upgraded information from recent drilling at Tom, Jason and End Zones.”

A 2018 preliminary economic assessment at Macmillan Pass showed that a 4,900 t/d operation could be constructed for an initial capital C$404 million ($305.9 million) using starter-pits on the Tom West and Jason Main zones.

This plan would result in average yearly contained-metal production of 85,000 t of zinc, 48,000 t of lead and 2 Moz of silver over an 18-year life, with an after-tax net present value (8% discount) of C$448 million generated.

Crushing equipment en route to Victoria Gold’s Eagle project in Yukon

Toronto-listed Victoria Gold has provided a construction update for its Eagle gold project in the Yukon of Canada, and confirmed it is on schedule for first pour in the second half of 2019.

Overall engineering is now around 89% complete, with the remainder “not critical” to meet the operation’s schedule, the company said.

Eagle is expected to cost C$369 million ($288 million) to build and has the potential to produce around 200,000 oz/y from a mine operating at 33,700 t/d. The operation will produce doré from a conventional open-pit with a three-stage crushing plant, in-valley heap leach and CIL adsorption-desorption gold recovery plant.

Victoria Gold said total project commitments through the end of August 2017 were C$304 million with C$178 million of incurred cost. All major procurement packages were complete and large long lead items have been procured, materially reducing the risk of schedule delays for construction completion and first gold pour.

“Primary mobile mining equipment has been delivered to site. Both CAT 6040 front shovels and six of 11 CAT 785 haul trucks have been assembled and commissioned. The balance of the haul truck fleet is in active assembly with the remaining truck boxes currently on route to site,” the company said.

Major crushing equipment for the primary, secondary and tertiary crushers are all in transit with the majority of equipment now in country and continually being delivered to site, the company noted.

The overland conveyor and mobile conveying equipment for the coarse ore stockpile and heap leach facility are currently in manufacturing as are major components of the gold recovery plant.

The heap leach facility earthworks (including the embankment, pad area and event pond) are advancing well and currently slightly ahead of schedule. This has enabled an early start to liner placement on the heap leach pad, which began in early September with nearly 10,000 m² of the heap leach pad now covered, Victoria Gold said.

SGS joins Yukon exploration rush with new sample preparation lab

SGS has opened a new sample preparation facility in Yukon’s capital, Whitehorse, looking to serve what is becoming a growing customer base in the territory.

The opening marks the expansion of SGS’s commercial geochemistry lab network in Canada, and the network’s first sample preparation lab in the Yukon.

Vice President of Minerals for SGS Canada Lawrence Ng said: “SGS is constantly reviewing opportunities to expand services and is committed to servicing the minerals industry globally. Our new Whitehorse laboratory has been strategically located to service the growing needs of the minerals exploration industry throughout the entire value chain in the Yukon.”

SGS’ entry into one of Canada’s most northern territories comes on the back of strong exploration interest from both gold and base metal-focused companies. Major gold miners Goldcorp, Agnico Eagle Mines, Newmont Mining and Barrick all have stakes in junior explorers working in the Yukon, with Goldcorp looking to solely develop the Coffee gold project into one of the most northern heap leach operations in the world.

The Whitehorse facility is equipped to provide drying, grinding, crushing, pulverising and soil screening capabilities. Sample preparation can be completed on the following sample types:
• Core samples
• RC chips
• Rock samples
• Trench samples
• Soil samples.

The new lab will integrate with SGS’ commercial geochemistry laboratory network in Canada with four locations in Ontario, one in Quebec and another in British Columbia.

SGS offers a wide range of services to the minerals sector including geochemical analysis, resource calculation, mineralogy, metallurgy, engineering, process design and engineering, process control, water treatment and trade services.