Mr. Jeff Wilhoit reports
GOLDCORP EXPANDS CANADIAN GOLD GROWTH PROJECTS
Goldcorp Inc. (TSX: G) has released positive study results for the company's two major Canadian gold projects, Eleonore in Quebec and Cochenour in Red Lake, Ont., and the approval of full-scale development of both projects by Goldcorp's board of directors.
Eleonore Gold Project
- Average annual gold production of approximately 600,000 ounces over
an approximate 20-year mine life, an increase of over 80% from
previous production estimate.
- Average life-of mine cash costs of less than $400 per ounce of gold.
- Throughput of 7,000 tonnes per day from concurrent mining of upper
and lower portions of deposit.
- Total initial capital cost of $1.4 billion.
- Construction permit expected mid-2011; initial gold production
planned for the fourth quarter of 2014.
- Long-term Collaboration Agreement signed with Cree Nation of
Cochenour Gold Project
- Average annual gold production of between 250,000 - 275,000 ounces in
the Red Lake district over approximately a 20-year mine life.
- Average life-of-mine cash costs of less than $350 per ounce of gold.
- Processing rate of 1,500 tonnes per day; Red Lake processing
optimization studies to follow.
- Initial capital cost of $420 million.
- Initial gold production planned for the fourth quarter of 2014.
"The Eleonore and Cochenour projects are key components of Goldcorp's next generation of gold growth projects, and the positive results of these studies confirm our expectations for sustained, high quality gold production from two very important areas in Canada - the historic and prolific Red Lake camp and an exciting new district in the James Bay region of northern Quebec," said Chuck Jeannes, Goldcorp President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our advanced conceptual understanding of these ore bodies, when taken together with Goldcorp's expertise operating some of Canada's largest underground gold mines, enables our project teams to optimize mine development plans for long-term benefits for our shareholders and other stakeholders."
Eleonore Production Profile Nearly Doubles
The updated pre-feasibility study for Eleonore calls for robust, low-cost gold production in the heart of one of the most attractive mining jurisdictions in the world. In conjunction with refinements to earlier technical work, the new development plan details a doubling of the plant throughput to 7,000 tonnes per day, contributing to an average of more than 600,000 ounces of gold production per year over an approximate 20-year mine life. The deposit remains open at depth and the mine plan will be optimized based on future exploration results. Life-of-mine cash costs are expected to be below $400 per ounce.The significant increase in project scale is being driven by a development concept that calls for the simultaneous development of two separate, vertically stacked mining operations each targeting different areas of the ore body. The first will target production in the upper portions of the Roberto deposit above 650 meters and will be accessed from both the exploration shaft currently under development and a decline from surface. The second operation will extend to a depth of approximately 1,400 meters and access the deeper ore by way of a second shaft to commence construction in mid-2011. Total capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $1.4 billion. Commencement of construction of the second shaft, processing facilities and related infrastructure will proceed immediately upon receipt of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment permit expected in mid-2011. Initial gold production is expected in the fourth quarter of 2014.In advancing the Eleonore project, several important milestones have been achieved in 2011, including the declaration of an initial proven and probable gold reserve in excess of three million ounces and the signing of the Collaboration Agreement with the Cree Nation of Wemindji. The progress of site development continues to accelerate, including full-face sinking of the planned 750-metre deep exploration shaft which is currently at a depth of 130 metres.
Cochenour to Further Enhance Red Lake's Production Profile
Goldcorp has completed a scoping study for the Cochenour gold project confirming the strong economics of the Company's plan to develop the Bruce Channel deposit in Red Lake. Simultaneous access of both the top and bottom of the Bruce Channel ore body is being advanced through the widening of the existing Cochenour shaft and the continued construction of a 5-kilometer long rail haulage drift from the existing Red Lake underground workings. Ore from Bruce Channel will be transported via the high speed drift and processed at Red Lake's existing Campbell milling facilities at a rate of approximately 1,500 tonnes per day. Estimated life-of-mine gold production is expected to average between 250,000 - 275,000 ounces per year over an approximate 20-year mine life at a total cash cost below $350 per ounce. Initial capital expenditure for the project is $420 million with first gold production anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2014.
On February 9th, Goldcorp announced an initial gold resource at Cochenour of 2.7 million inferred gold ounces. This estimate includes remnants of the old Cochenour deposit and the new drilling of primarily the upper portions of the Bruce Channel deposit. Consequently, neither the grade nor the total ounces are reflective of the potential of this mineral deposit, which will be formally established by additional, deeper drilling as the deposit remains open at depth. For construction and planning purposes, the Company continues to estimate the Cochenour project as a mineable deposit of 5 million gold ounces. Surface drilling will continue throughout 2011, with the aim of delineating the upper portions of the Upper Main Zone as well as further exploring the upper extensions of the Footwall Zones. This work will be accomplished by up to three surface drill rigs drilling from McKenzie Island and additional drilling at the north end of the Cochenour property.
The development of Cochenour is a key component of the Company's overall optimization plan to sustain the Red Lake operation for decades into the future. The plan is analyzing the Company's portfolio of Red Lake assets as a single, cost-efficient project with shared processing capacity and optimized capital and operating costs.