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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.