Midway Gold Corp. provided an update on the construction of the Pan project, the company’s first open-pit, heap leach project in White Pine County, Nevada, USA. Pan is currently under construction with first gold pour targeted for late Q4 2014.
Construction-related milestones include: The leach pad is complete and ready for ore; pregnant solution pond is complete and undergoing final integrity tests; haul roads to leach pad and waste piles are complete; and ore stacking onto the leach pad began this week.
Ledcor, Midway’s contract miner, mobilized to the site on July 21. Access ramps are completed and ore faces are now open for mining and placement of mined ore to leach pad. Contracts for major consumables are in place and receipt of goods under the contracts has commenced. Staffing of Ledcor to full strength of four crews for two shifts, seven days per week is expected to be completed at the end of the month.
“Overall, the project is proceeding on a schedule that should allow for gold production to begin late this year,” said Midway President and CEO Ken Brunk. “Unfortunately, the schedule for completion has slipped by approximately one month due to extraordinary summer rainfall, especially impacted by a major storm event at a critical construction time in late July. The severe rainfall referred to has resulted in excess of $2.5 million in damage and attendant re-work of the leach pad liner, pond ditching, as well as site accessibility and other damage. Builders-risk insurance is in place for the project and we have already received a significant partial payment for the repairs from the underwriter. We have been able to recover some of the storm-related delay by hiring additional crews to repair the damaged areas. Our contractors, VT Construction, Golder, SRK, and Jacobs, and their suppliers have been invaluable in cooperating in this process. Midway has initiated some double shifting of the construction work force to make up some of the schedule to maintain a late fourth quarter first gold pour.
“We experienced a second source of project delay due to complexities associated with more rigorous enforcement of the state of Nevada Fire Code than we had expected,” Brunk said. We have put this learning curve behind us, and are once again proceeding with construction.”
The Pan project is a low-cost, oxidized, Carlin-style gold deposit mineable by shallow open-pit methods.