Anaconda now plans full processing facility at Goldboro mine

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – Anaconda Mining’s success in expanding the known gold deposits at its Goldboro Project site — and its confidence in further expanding the estimated deposit — has led it to change its plan for the mine. Originally Anaconda planned to ship concentrate to its Pine Cove Mill in Newfoundland for processing. Now it intends to develop a full-scale milling facility at Goldboro.

The company shared the change in plans in a news release Tuesday, where it discussed the feasibility study now underway for its planned gold mine at Goldboro.

“Due to the growth of the Mineral Resource Estimate at Goldboro demonstrated from its recent drill programs, and the company's confidence in its ability to continue to substantially expand the deposit, the study will now contemplate a full-scale milling facility at Goldboro that will produce a doré bar.”

Doing the processing on site "greatly increases the employment numbers and ensures that the vast majority of financial benefit will stay right in the Municipality," District of Guysborough CAO Barry Carroll told The Journal via email Tuesday. "It follows with MODG’s philosophy that the greatest benefit should benefit the local Municipality where the resource is located.

"Anaconda continues to check the boxes and we have confidence that they’ll achieve their goal of starting construction next winter provided the market for gold remains steady."

“We continue to see that (the deposit) is open in all directions,” Angelo told The Journal during a telephone interview Tuesday. “And we have some big expectations on just how big we can make it.”

The CEO said the company does not yet have firm numbers on how many jobs will be added for the processing part of the operation.

“What’s firm is the fact that we are going with a full-scale mill and that scenario is what will feed into the feasibility study,” he said.

“This is a sign that we see longer-term potential in Goldboro -- more than what we initially contemplated. So it’s positive news that we are willing to put more capital up front because we see a longer life than we originally saw.”

Anaconda evaluated two options for ore processing and processing plant construction: the use of a gravity circuit, followed by concentration of the gravity tails by flotation and gold recovery via leaching; and gravity concentration followed by whole ore leaching. Both options assume a full-scale processing facility at Goldboro. Anaconda ultimately concluded the preferred scenario to be gravity concentration followed by whole ore leaching, which will be evaluated further in the feasibility study.

At the end of January, Anaconda Mining completed the mining phase of its 10,000-tonne bulk sample from its Goldboro Project site and the underground mining contractor, Cementation Canada Inc., has finished its work there.

“Access to the mine has been secured and site closure activities for the Bulk Sample are scheduled to be completed in the spring,” the company said in its release.

Anaconda plans to ship the bulk sample material by barge to its Pine Cove Mill in Newfoundland in the coming months, once transport conditions are favourable, for processing.

"Less than two years ago, we acquired the Goldboro Gold Project at a tremendous value,” CEO Dustin Angelo said. “In that short period of time, we have produced a positive preliminary economic assessment, registered the project for permitting, completed mining a 10,000-tonne Bulk Sample, and increased the deposit to over 600,000 ounces of Measured and Indicated Resources and over 450,000 ounces of Inferred Resources. We look forward to continued progress in 2019 with the commencement of a feasibility study and the continuation of permitting, with the aim of obtaining the requisite permits to begin construction in 2020."

Earlier this month, Anaconda commenced the feasibility study, which will incorporate the data from the bulk sample and include the results of the first 22,000 metres of diamond drilling that was completed from June 2017 to December 2018. The company also expects to generate a new mineral resource estimate as part of the study, which is expected to be completed in late 2019. Anaconda has retained WSP Canada Inc. to lead the study and work on the mine design, project infrastructure, and economics. Ausenco Solutions Canada Inc. has also been engaged to support WSP with respect to process optimization and mill design for the study (Ausenco was involved in the engineering and construction of Atlantic Gold Corporation's mill at the Moose River Consolidated Project in N.S.). The study will also incorporate additional metallurgical testing.

Since February of 2018, Anaconda has been working through the permitting process in the Province of Nova Scotia, and has engaged the assistance of GHD Limited, who had worked with Atlantic Gold Corporation during its permitting of the Moose River Consolidated Project. In August 2018, the company submitted its Environmental Assessment application and is currently compiling further information required by the various regulators in the Terms of the Reference issued on October 15, 2018. In addition, the company has submitted an application for the crown land lease and is advancing applications for a mineral lease and industrial approval.

Anaconda expects to secure all permits by the end of first quarter 2020, with the aim of beginning site construction in mid-2020 with commercial production to follow in mid-2021.