Canada’s Largest Gold Mine Nearing Production

Detour Gold’s new 55,000-mt/d mill includes two parallel comminution lines and conventional gravity and CIP
gold-recovery circuits. (Photo courtesy of Detour Gold)
Detour Gold began commissioning the first mill production line at its Detour Lake open-pit gold mine in northeastern Ontario in October 2012 and expects the first ore to be fed to the circuit before the end of the year. The first gold pour is scheduled for January 2013. When Detour Lake reaches design production rates in 2013, it will be Canada’s largest gold mine.

Gold production at Detour Lake during 2013 is expected to total between 350,000 and 400,000 oz. Life-of-mine gold production after full commissioning is scheduled to average 657,000 oz/y over a period of 21.5 years.

Detour Lake currently has proven and probable open-pit mineral reserves of 15.6 million oz of gold in ore grading 1.03 g/mt at a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/mt. Once com-mercial production is declared, total cash costs are expected to be between $800 and $900/oz.

As of the end of October 2012, Detour Gold had mined more than 20.3 million mt of material from the Detour Lake pit, with the majority of the material relating to pre-stripping. Approximately 1.1 million mt of ore had been stockpiled for future process-ing, which was in line with the company’s plan of having 2.3 million mt of ore at an average grade of 0.81 g/mt by year-end 2012. The life-of-mine waste-to-ore strip ratio will be 3.6:1.

Processing at Detour Lake will be through a conventional gravity and CIP plant. Two parallel lines will each have one secondary cone crusher, one SAG mill and one ball mill. At full production, mill throughput will total 55,000 mt/d.

Pre-production capital costs for Detour Lake are expected to come in within 3% of the project cost estimate of C$1.45 billion, which dates from November 2011. As of September 30, 2012, Detour Gold had spent C$1.19 billion and had approximate-ly C$348 million in cash and short-term investments, sufficient to fully finance the remaining project expenditures.

Gerald Panneton, president and CEO of Detour Gold said, “We are now confident we will see the first ore in the mill circuit before year-end 2012, almost two months ahead of the original schedule. The first gold pour is expected to occur in January 2013 and will mark a new chapter in Detour Gold’s successful history as it transitions from a developer to producer and becomes the next mid-tier gold producer in Canada.”

The Detour Lake mine is owned 100% by Detour Gold. The mine is located about 300 km northeast of Timmins, Ontario, and 185 km by road northeast of Cochrane, Ontario. The mine is located at the site of the former Detour Lake mine, an open-pit and underground mining operation that produced gold between 1983 and 1999.

As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 12 -