VANCOUVER — Mining company Goldcorp has announced that construction of its Borden mine near Chapleau in northern Ontario is on schedule and that commercial production remains on track for the second half of 2019.
The report on Borden, two other Canadian mines and one other in Mexico was released in September.
Goldcorp describes Borden as Canada’s first all-electric mine. Other new technologies for the project include full connectivity, with the goal of increasing efficiency and enhancing safety, indicated the statement.
Currently, the exploration ramp is using mainly electric vehicles. The fleet features automated battery/electric jumbos and battery bolters. All service vehicles are electrified, including a conventional grader that was converted into a battery-operated unit.
The Government of Ontario has agreed to invest $5 million into the deployment of the all-electric fleet through its target greenhouse gas program. The project site is connected to the Hydro One grid.
All mine infrastructure to support production is in place. Ramp development has now reached approximately 1.6 kilometres in length with a depth of 300 metres and is on schedule.
The continuation of the exploration ramp is leading toward level 420 metres, Goldcorp reported, which will be the final phase of the bulk sample program.
All operating permits are expected to be obtained by the fourth quarter of 2018, allowing for an increased pace of development along with construction of the remaining critical mine infrastructure including ventilation raise and secondary egress for the operation.
Permit applications for industrial sewage, air and water have been through the 30-day Environmental Registry phase and are currently being finalized.
The next milestone will be receiving acceptance of the mine closure plan, expected 45 days after the Aug. 22, 2018 submission.
With all-electric underground mine operations, Goldcorp estimates operating costs will be reduced by over $9 million per year due to the elimination of approximately two million litres of diesel fuel, and with reduced ventilation needs, a decrease of approximately 32,000 megawatt/hour of electricity and a corresponding decrease in propane required to heat the ventilation.
The statement noted that on June 6, Goldcorp announced the signing of an Impacts and Benefits Agreement with three First Nation communities with respect to the development and operation of the Borden project.
The formal signing of the agreement follows successful negotiations with Brunswick House First Nation, Chapleau Cree First Nation and Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation and marks the first time the three First Nation communities are involved with a mining project.
“We continue to be impressed with our team’s execution as we advance projects on time and on budget through the permitting and development process,” said David Garofalo, president and CEO of Goldcorp, in the statement.