Argonaut says Magino mine nearing planned production of 150,000 oz. gold-equivalent

Improvements in mining and milling ore from the Magino gold mine have Argonaut thinking of expansion. Credit: Argonaut Gold

The engineers and technicians have been working hard to increase the production rate at the Magino gold mine near Dubreuilville, Ontario. Owner Argonaut Gold (TSX: AR) says the rate is nearing that shown in the latest 43-101 report, which is 150,000 oz. gold equivalent annually.

The open pit mine and conventional carbon-in-pulp (CIP) processing plant declared commercial production on Nov. 1, 2023. Mill throughput is nearing the 10,000-t/d designed capacity.

Argonaut has boosted the mill head grade since having improved mining practices in October. Improvements include greater ore selectivity and more effective dilution control.

In November, Argonaut tested the OrePro3D software from Orica. A test block was defined including grade and tonnage. The material mined from the test block was batched through the plant. It had an estimated grade of 1.53 g/t gold, including dilution. The actual head grade at the mill was 1.50 g/t, demonstrating the strong grade control practices work well.

The Magino orebody is not visually controlled, so the company invested in a GPS fleet management system to improve mining selectivity. Work is also being done to optimize the payload capacity of the current truck fleet which includes Komatsu 145-tonne haul trucks.

Argonaut has engaged Lycopodium, an international engineering firm, to do a plant optimization and expansion study next year. The objective is to increase mill throughput to between 17,500 and 20,000 t/d.

“The goal is to build Magino into a 200,000 to 250,000 oz. per year gold mine. Through the year, we have strengthened our team, processes, and technology, all of which are critical to building Magino into a large, low-cost, long-life gold mine,” stated Richard Young, president and CEO of Argonaut Gold.

The proven and probable reserves contain 2.4 million oz. of gold in 63.3 million tonnes of material grading 1.16 g/t gold. The measured and indicated resource contains 4.6 million oz. in 150.8 million tonnes grading 0.94 g/t gold. The inferred resource is 31.6 million tonnes grading 0.83 g/t gold and containing 8443,000 ounces.