U.S. & Canada - April 2017

Newest Canadian Diamond Mine Reaches Commercial Production

Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, officially began commercial production on March 2. The mine, a joint venture with De Beers Group (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%), is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime.

Production ramp up began on August 1 and the official opening ceremony took place on September 20.

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Strike Continues at Lucky Friday Silver Mine

As this edition goes to press, miners remained on strike at Hecla Mining’s Lucky Friday mine located in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District in northern Idaho. The United Steelworkers (USW) Union Local 5114 voted to initially go on strike on March 12.

The previous six-year contract between Hecla Mining Co. and the United Steel Workers expired in April 2016. Previously, both sides were negotiating with the help of a federal mediator, but they reached an impasse during February. Hecla has reportedly proposed changes to miners’ healthcare, scheduling and bonus pay.

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AuRico Recieves Approval for Kemess Underground

AuRico Metals reported that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has issued a positive decision statement and that the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has granted an Environmental Assessment Certificate for its Kemess underground project. The project still requires a number of additional licenses and permits, which are expected to be granted in early 2018.

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IDM Expands Underground Drilling at Red Mountain

IDM Mining Ltd. has mobilized crews to its Red Mountain project near Stewart, British Columbia, to initiate its spring 2017 Phase I underground drilling program.
The objective of the Phase I program is to expand mineralization to the north of the JW zone, following up on wide and high-grade historic intercepts. Additionally, drilling will step-out both up-dip and down-dip from the AV and JW zones, where mineralization can be traced for hundreds of meters from 2016 and historic drill intercepts, often with stacked, gently dipping mineralized zones. Phase I will consist of 8,000 meters (m) of core drilling in approximately 35 holes, using two underground diamond drills, collared from the production-sized underground decline.

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Newmont Secures Rights to Explore New Yukon District

Newmont Mining announced an agreement to access and explore a highly prospective gold district in Canada’s Yukon Territory through a private placement with Goldstrike Resources. The agreement entitles Newmont to earn up to 80% equity in the Plateau property through exploration investment. The Plateau property is a newly discovered gold system consisting of more than 2,000 claims covering 350 km2. Initial drill results are promising and high-grade gold mineralization has been identified over a 50-km strike length.

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IOC Developing Wabush 3 Open Pit

Iron Ore Co. of Canada (IOC) is proceeding with the development of the Wabush 3 pit at its mining operations near Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador. IOC is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (58.7%), Mitsubishi (26.2%) and Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Income Corp. (15.1%). Rio Tinto is the manager. Investment in the Wabush 3 project is budgeted at C$79 million.

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U.S & Canada - March 2017

Trevali Buying New Mining Fleet for its Caribou Mine

Trevali Mining is transitioning to an owner-operation at its underground Caribou zinc mine in northeastern New Brunswick, Canada, and is supporting the transition by purchasing a new underground mining fleet. The company has committed to an approximately C$20 million investment through a partnership with Sandvik Mining for supply and maintenance of a full fleet of mining equipment for the mine. Trevali will operate and manage all aspects of the underground mining operation, while Sandvik will be responsible for fleet maintenance.


Trevali will rely on Sandvik Mining to maintain underground mining equipment.

During 2017, equipment that will be procured and commissioned on-site include two model DD 321 two-boom drill jumbos; five model LH 514 8-yd LHDs; seven model TH 540 40-metric-ton (mt) haul trucks; one model DL 421 long-hole production drill; and one model DS 421 cable bolter/backup long-hole drill.

Additional equipment being sourced for the mine includes a grader, a new underground light-vehicle fleet, and a combination of new and used underground ancillary equipment.

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Iamgold Eying Major New Mine in Northern Ontario

Iamgold has reported positive results from a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its Côté open-pit gold project in the Sudbury district of Ontario, while at the same time reporting that the project has received federal and provincial approvals for the project’s environmental assessments.

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Seabridge to Acquire Snowstorm Project

Seabridge Gold has agreed to purchase a 100% interest in the Snowstorm project from Paulson Gold Holdings LP. The Snowstorm project consists of 31 square miles of land holdings strategically located at the projected intersection of three gold trends in northern Nevada: the Carlin Trend, the Getchell Trend and the Northern Nevada Rift Zone. 

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Suncor Offers Update on Fort Hills

The Fort Hills project was more than 76% complete at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, Suncor reported, with the remaining work to be based at the site. Activity included completion of the secondary extraction module program. Construction in secondary extraction and utilities has achieved peak activity and continues to focus on productivity and achieving critical milestones. Early-works sustaining activities that will support the execution of the mine and tailings plan following the commencement of production also continued in the fourth quarter.

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Zinc One to Acquire Forrester Metals

Zinc One Resources Inc. and Forrester Metals Inc. announced they have entered into an agreement where Zinc One will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Forrester and complete a private placement financing of $10 million.

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Highland Launches Drilling Program at Copperwood

Highland Copper Co. initiated a drilling program at its Copperwood project in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, U.S. This program is designed to upgrade the current inferred resources at the eastern section of the Copperwood copper-silver deposit, obtain metallurgical samples and carry out further geotechnical studies to refine a mining plan.

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Copper North Re-engineers its Carmacks Project • Canadian Zinc and Buchans Consider Centralized Concentrator

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