Osisko Mining has poured the first gold bar at its flagship Canadian Malartic mine, located in the heart of Quebec’s Abitibi gold belt, immediately south of the town of Malartic and approximately 20 km west of Val d’Or. The open-pit operation will produce 600,000 oz/y of gold over a 12.2-year mine life (milling rate of 55,000 mt/d), at estimated operating costs of $319/oz. As of March 31, 2011, proven and probable reserves at Canadian Malartic totaled 10.71 million oz at a fully diluted average grade of 0.97 g/mt.

Northgate Minerals has reported construction activities at its 100%-owned Young-Davidson project, located beside the town of Matachewan, Ontario, remain on schedule for a targeted start of production late in the first quarter of 2012. The mine is expected to generate an average of 180,000 oz/y of gold over an initial 15-year mine life. At the end of March 2011, 80% of the contracts had been awarded (valued at approximately $170 million), 90% of equipment purchase orders had been placed, and 66% of the engineering had been completed.

Western Copper has released the results of an updated pre-feasibility study on its wholly-owned Casino copper-gold-molybdenum deposit in the Yukon. The study recommends the project be built as an open-pit mine and a mill processing 120,000 mt/d and producing annual averages of 435,000 oz of gold, 234 million lb of copper, 13 million lb of molybdenum, and 1.6 million oz of silver over the first four years of production. Initial capital investment is estimated at $2.13 billion. Initial development will focus on the deposit’s oxide cap as a heap leach operation to recover gold and silver in doré form. The main sulphide deposit will be processed using a conventional concentrator to produce copper-gold and molybdenum concentrates.

NovaGold announced the results of a preliminary economic assessment for its 100%-owned copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver Ambler project in northwest Alaska. The study contemplates an underground mining operation with a 25-year life processing up to 4,000 mt/d through a conventional flotation circuit to produce three concentrates. Average annual payable metal production is estimated at 67 million lb of copper, 80 million lb of zinc, 12 million lb of lead, 11,000 oz of gold, and 866,000 oz of silver.

Capstone Mining and Far West Mining have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Capstone will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Far West by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement. The transaction is valued at C$725 million. Far West’s 100%-owned Santo Domingo project is a large-scale copper-iron-gold development project located in Region III, Chile, that has the potential to be a long-lived, significant copper and iron ore producer.