BAIE VERTE, N.L. — Anaconda Mining is hoping to see its annual gold production of 16,000 ounces increase to more than 100,000 in the next three to five years.
Earlier this month, Chris Budgell, the company’s mill processing engineering coordinator, told delegates of the 31st annual Mining Conference in Baie Verte of the plan to get to that level.
The Goldboro Project in Nova Scotia is expected to have an average annual production of 41,000 ounces starting in 2021. Anaconda has been trying to take over all shares of Maritime Resources, including the Hammerdown gold deposit that would see its annual production rise to over that 100,000 plateau. However, Maritime Resources has not been willing to allow the takeover to proceed.
The Pine Cove pit at the Point Rousse project has been in operation for eight years, producing that annual production of about 16,000 ounces. Budgell also said the Nugget Pond Horizon has gold they will explore and possibly process soon.
He also mentioned the exploration project on the Northern Peninsula in the Jackson’s Arm area, where there is 83,000 ounces in indicated resources and 526,000 ounces of inferred resources.
“We have had a good record of gold production over the years,” Budgell said. “We are consistently generating cash flow. Over the eight years we have generated $50 million just with the Pine Cove operation.”
In 2018, they are budgeted for about 18,000 ounces at the operation, and he said they are ahead of that pace currently with a string grade and mill production. He said they could see 19,000 to 20,000 ounces this year.
There is a lot of effort at the Stog’er Tight development in the past few years, according to Budgell. The west pit is currently being mined, and processing is expected to occur this month. With the strong grades there, he said production is expected to go way up this quarter and into the summer. The east pit will be mined in December, with the north and south pits following in the first quarter of 2019.
The Argyle resource is one Budgell says came from no historical resource, and will be mined within a year. There are more than 38,000 ounces indicated with another 30,000 inferred. He also said there is a lot of potential to expand that.
There is a lot of exploration ongoing in the area. The production timelines overlap starting with the Pine Cove main pit through the first three quarters of 2018 and the Stog’er Tight west pit continuing for the entire year. The east pit will see production for the final quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, while the north and south pits will be produced in the second and third quarters. The argyle project will begin in 2019 and continue through to the end of 2021, with other Point Rousse targets getting underway in 2021.
Options outside of gold production include toll milling, which carries international bulk shipping opportunities.
“It’s not just the Pine Cove pit and we are done after that,” Budgell said. “We have a lot of different resources on the horizon, and things should go on for a long time yet.”