Northgate Minerals provides update on construction and exploration activities at Young-Davidson
Underground Mine Optimization to Proceed
Northgate Minerals Corporation is pleased to provide an update on the progress of building its 100% owned Young-Davidson mine located near the town of Matachewan, in northern Ontario.
|»||The project remains on schedule and on budget:|
|–||at the end of May 2011, 95% of the construction contracts have been awarded (approximately $245 million), 97% of the equipment purchase orders have been placed and 85% of the engineering has been completed.|
|»||The project remains on budget:|
|–||at the end of May 2011, Northgate has invested approximately $170 million towards construction of the Young-Davidson mine.|
|»||After an intensive optimization study, a mid-shaft crushing and loading facility has been added to the original feasibility study mine design to facilitate access to higher grade underground ore one year earlier than planned, which will provide flexibility in the early years of mine operation and production.|
Diamond Drill Program
|»||Hole YD11-234B in the YD West zone intersected 4.31 grams per tonne (g/t) gold over 79.6 metres (m) (estimated true thickness is 55.0 m), including 5.66 g/t over 49.9 m.|
|»||The underground exploration program that will drill test targets to the east of the known reserves at Young Davidson is scheduled to begin in the final week of June.|
“Our employees and contractors at Young-Davidson continue to put in hard work and dedication to all of the activities underway on site”, said Ken Stowe, President and CEO. “Due to their great efforts, the project continues to advance on schedule and on budget. In addition, we are very pleased with the results from the YD West Zone and the new exploration program set to begin this month, potentially adding to our 2.8 million ounces of reserves and 650,000 ounces of resources.”
Young-Davidson Construction Update
The first leg (446 m) of the new Northgate production shaft is almost complete with breakthrough of the raise bore expected in mid-July. The second leg, to a depth of 700 m is expected to begin by November 2011.
Mid-Shaft Loading Facility
The Northgate Board of Directors have approved a mid-shaft loading facility, which is an optimization to the original mine design that will allow for early underground ore production from the 9590 level and above. This design will de-couple underground ore production from the ongoing development in the lower half of the mine and will provide for early underground ore feed to supplement open pit production. The facility is scheduled to be operational by Q1 2013, one year ahead of the feasibility schedule for underground ore production. Pre-production capital expenditures will not change as a result of this optimization, however, sustaining capital in the 2014-2015 period will increase by approximately $25 million.
115 kV Transmission Line
The 115 kV hydro transmission line from Kirkland Lake to the Matachewan Junction is proceeding ahead of schedule and is expected to be complete by September 2011.
Construction of the tailings dam facility is on schedule and the facility will be in a position to receive tailings from the mill’s scheduled start up in March 2012. The tailings facility is an expansion of one of the historic tailings sites on the property.
The mill building erection is proceeding and will be enclosed by early July, at which time the installation of the process equipment will begin, much of which has already arrived at site.
More photos of the project development and a short video clip are available on our website at www.northgateminerals.com.
Hole YD11-234B returned 4.31 g/t gold over 79.6 m and contained a higher grade section of 5.66 g/t over 49.9 m at the base (footwall) of the zone. This intersection which was reported in a news release on June 7, 2011 is located about 130 m above and 55 m east of Discovery Hole YD10-198. Both 234B and 198 are in a new gold zone west of the currently defined reserves and resources, confirming the fault offset model relating the YD West zone to the main Young-Davidson ore body.
Hole YD-11-240A, which was drilled perpendicular to the exploration holes in the YD West area in order to resolve the location and correlation of the north-south trending diabase dykes is now complete and the results are being analyzed.
Underground exploration in the area east of the current Young-Davidson Reserve is scheduled to get underway in the last week of June.
Figure 1 – YD West Zone-Longitudinal Section
John Andrew Cormier, PEng, Project Manager, Northgate Minerals Corporation, is the Qualified Person responsible for reviewing and approving the technical information of this press release.
Carl Edmunds, Exploration Manager, Northgate Minerals Corporation, is the Qualified Person responsible for reviewing and approving the exploration results of this press release.