Victoria Gold Corp. is targeting average production of 192,000 oz/y of gold over a nine-year mine life from its Eagle gold project, located 80 km by road from the town of Mayo in central Yukon Territory, Canada. A definitive feasibility study prepared under the direction of Tetra Tech describes a 29,500-mt/d open-pit mining operation, including three-stage crushing, in-valley heap leach, and adsorption-desorption gold recovery (ADR).
Initial capital costs to develop the Eagle project are estimated at C$382.8 million, including contingency but excluding working capital of C$31.2 million and pre-stripping of C$16.9 million. Life-of-mine gold production costs are estimated at $615/oz.
Probable mineral reserves at the project total 91.6 million mt grading 0.78 g/mt gold for 2.3 million oz of contained gold. Life-of-mine payable gold production is estimated at 1.7 million oz. First production is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2014, following a two-year construction period beginning during the second half of 2012.
Mined grades will be significantly higher in the initial three years of operation, including 21.6 million mt of ore grading 0.94 g/mt, which will significantly accelerate cash flows in the first few years of operations. The waste-to-ore ratio is 1.45:1.
Ore will be hauled from the open-pit to a primary crusher at a nominal rate of 29,500 mt/d. Following primary crushing, the ore will be reduced to a final crush size of 6.3 mm through secondary and tertiary crushing and conveyed to an in-valley heap leach pad. Ore will be stacked in 10-m lifts using grasshopper conveyors and leached for 150 days. The pregnant solution will be pumped to the ADR plant, where gold will be stripped from the solution and poured into doré bars.
Life of mine recovery is estimated at 72.6%, with significantly higher recovery in the initial three years as a result of greater oxidation of ore in the upper portion of the pit.
“Completion of this definitive feasibility study is a significant milestone for development of the Eagle gold project,” said Victoria President and CEO John McConnell. “The project is economically robust, and with several years of 200,000 oz/y of gold production at an operating cost of less than $600/oz, we are well on our way to creating a mid-tier gold company.”