Argonaut Gold Inc. reported that wet commissioning activities at its Magino mine in northern Ontario are well underway, with the introduction of ore into the crushing circuit on May 13 and ore into the grinding circuit on May 19. The company thinks it may pour first gold by mid-June as it works closely with Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc., to systematically progress through the anticipated challenges of the commissioning phase.

“The initial 48-hour run of the mills was completed on May 30, and the requisite re-torquing of the grinding mills, mechanical inspections and some minor repairs and modifications have begun,” said Chuck Hennessy, vice president for Argonaut’s Canadian operations. “Milling is scheduled to resume on June 4. Initial results during commissioning indicate that throughput targets in the crushing and grinding circuits should be easily achieved.

“The team is now working on achieving design availabilities as we work through instrumentation, electrical, and communications issues that are common in the startup of a process plant of this size,” Hennessey said. “Furthermore, the tailings commissioning is complete, and all operating permits have been received to operate the plant and tailings management facilities. Overall, the ramp-up to commercial production remains on schedule.”

The Magino mine is expected to achieve commercial production in the third quarter of 2023 and become Argonaut’s largest and lowest-cost mine. The commissioning of the Magino mine will be the first step in transforming the company as it enters a pivotal growth stage of becoming a low-cost mid-tier gold producer.