Newmont (NYSE: NEM, TSX: NGT) is ramping up towards full operations at its Musselwhite mine in Ontario following successful commissioning of the mine’s conveyor system and the material handling system. Commercial production has now been restored at the Musselwhite conveyor.
Musselwhite is a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) operation located approximately 500 km north of Thunder Bay, Canada. The property covers an area of 17,548 hectares, all on First Nations land.
Ore is mined from two main zones below Lake Opapimiskan, then processed onsite using a circuit that includes crushing, grinding, leaching by cyanidation, carbon in pulp recovery and electrowinning. Gold recoveries are estimated at 96%.
A $90 million materials handling project was initiated by the company in 2016 to improve the movement of ore to the mill.
“I am extremely proud of the work that has been completed by the team at Musselwhite to safely deliver these two critical projects, whilst managing through the unprecedented challenges caused by covid-19,” Newmont president and CEO Tom Palmer said in a press release.
Musselwhite was one of four mines that Newmont had previously chosen to suspend in March due to the covid-19 outbreak. At that time, the materials handling project was nearly complete.
The new conveyor and material handling systems will work in association to efficiently move material from deeper mine levels to the surface.
According to the company, haul distances can be reduced as the ore crushed at depth will be hoisted from the underground crushers to the conveyor system and brought to the surface for processing.
In the most recent quarter, Musselwhite produced 45,000 oz gold at AISC of $1,260/oz. The mine had no gold production in the prior-year quarter due to fire damage to the conveyor back in March 2019.
Since its first commercial production in April 1997, the mine has produced more than 4 million ounces of gold.