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Monarch to restart Beaufor gold mine, Beacon mill in Quebec

Beaufor includes two leases, a mining concession and 23 mining claims covering an area of 6.91 km². (Image courtesy of Monarch Mining.)

Monarch Mining (TSX: GBAR) plans to restart mining at the Beaufor gold mine and Beacon mill 20 km northeast of Val d’Or, Quebec. The mine produced over 1.1 million oz. of gold since it first opened in the 1930s.

Preparation is underway by about 30 employees and more than 120 regular and part-time contractor personnel. Production is scheduled to resume in June 2022.

At the underground Beaufor mine, 900 metres of rail track has been rehabilitated as has the main ramp to support development and production. Four load-haul-dumpers, three 30-tonne trucks, and two 15-tonne trucks have been recommissioned.

The ventilation system at the Pascalis shaft is being moved to the Beaufor #4 shaft to improve ventilation in the Q, W and 350 zones. A new 25-kV electrical system will be installed to power ventilation for the future development of the W zone. The safety of the surface ore bins has also be improved.

The 750-t/d Beacon mill, 7 km from the mine, the offices, dry, warehouses and electrical room have been renovated. The electrical system and internal piping in the mill have been replaced,  and the pumping system has been upgraded. Major repairs have been made to the major mill conveyor under the grizzly and outside rock breaker.

Cost of the work to restart production will be about C$12.6 million ($10m), the company estimates.

“We will now be able to extract gold from two sources, the shaft and the ramp, instead of just one,” said Monarch president and CEO Jean-Marc Lacoste in a media statement. “In terms of our production schedule, we expect to complete the mine and mill preparation at the end of the fourth quarter.”

Underground exploration is underway, and the 42,500-metre drill program is about 85% complete.

The Beaufor mine has measured and indicated resources of 1.3 million tonnes grading 5.3 g/t gold or 219,500 contained oz. The inferred resource is 818,900 tonnes at 4.7 g/t gold for about 122,500 contained oz.

Monarch acquired a 100% interest in the Beacon mill in 2016 and the Beaufor mine in 2017. The Beaurfor mine was operational for about 18 months from 2017 to 2019. The company also owns the nearby McKenzie Break and Swanson gold properties, which have indicated and inferred resources recoverable both by open pit and underground methods.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)