Explorations and Machinery

Kirkland Lake reveals mine plan for Detour Lake

Kirkland Lake reveals mine plan for Detour Lake
Mining News Pro - Gold miner Kirkland Lake Gold has revealed signing production growth aspirations at its Detour Lake gold project, in Ontario.

In a new life-of-mine plan for the mine, Kirkland was expecting gold production between 2021 and 2024 to reach between 680 000 oz and 720 000 oz at the Canadian mine, growing to 800 000 oz in 2025, and reaching over 900 000 oz in 2032.

Between 2021 and 2025, operating costs per ounce sold are excepted to reach $524/oz, while all-in sustaining costs would average $775/oz.

The miner said that based on the 13.8-million-ounce mineral reserve, Detour Lake is expected to have a mine life of some 22 years, with potential existing to further extend the mine life with an updated resource model incorporating the 2020 and 2021 exploration drilling.

“The 2021 life-of-mine plan represents an important interim report on our progress advancing the Detour Lake mine, defining a highly profitable operation that is well positioned to benefit from our ongoing exploration success and other value creation opportunities. Based on the new mine plan, Detour Lake is poised to become Canada’s largest gold producer and, with the potential for substantial growth in mineral reserves as our drilling programs continue, could very well become one of the largest and most profitable gold mines in the world,” said Kirkland Lake CEO and president Tony Makuch.

“The 2021 life-of-mine plan includes significant production growth and improved unit costs compared to past operating experience. Production growth is driven by higher levels of mill throughput, reflecting increased ore tonnes mined, lower stripping ratios, better ore fragmentation and improved productivity in the mill based on a number of key business improvement initiatives.

“Sustaining capital estimates, which account for about half of total capital expenditures in the first five years, are based on actual experience over the last several years and extensive engineering work. Growth capital expenditures over this period mainly relate to new growth projects aimed at maximising returns and positioning the operation to benefit fully from additional value creation opportunities.”

Makuch said that a key factor driving Kirkland Lake’s interest in acquiring Detour Lake mine was the belief that the company could substantially grow mineral reserves through extensive drilling.

“Results to date support our view that there is a large, continuous corridor of mineralisation along the Detour mine trend that extends from the Main Pit, through the Saddle Zone and continues beyond the West Pit location. With continued drilling success, we anticipate transitioning to a much larger pit design as we grow our mineral reserve base leading to further increases in production at better unit costs.”

Based on a gold price of $1 500/oz, the Detour Lake mine is expected to generate gross revenues of $21.7-billion over the life of the mine, and some $5.4-billion between 2021 and 2025.

Total capital expenditure over the life of the mine is expected to reach $3.6-billion and some $1.5-billion from 2021 to 2025, with a number of key projects contributing to the level of capital expenditure in the first five years, including between $65-million and $75-million for projects aimed at increasing throughput in the mill to 28-million tonnes a year.

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