A new hydrogeological model in Osisko Metal's updated PEA for its Pine Point project has helped reduce dewatering estimates by 30 per cent. Courtesy of Osisko Metals.

Welcome back to your weekly mining news recap, where we catch you up on some of the news you may have missed. This week’s headlines include a novel way to bring mine remediation to the public, a new gold mine starts construction and a big showcase for northern Ontario mining.

Monarch Mining has decided to slow down mining operations at its Beaufor mine in Quebec due to difficulties restarting and ramping up its Beacon mill. The past two months have seen the mill operating at only half its capacity of 750 tonnes per day, primarily due to “a number of mechanical and procurement problems,” as well as stockpiled ore being lower grade than expected. No restart date was announced, but the company says it will take this time to optimize its mining method to reduce dilution.

Marathon Gold will be moving forward with the construction of its Valentine gold project located in central Newfoundland and Labrador. Costs to complete the project are currently estimated between $470 and $490 million, with first ore delivered to the mill by the end of 2024 and first gold production in early 2025. Valentine’s measured and indicated resources are estimated at four million ounces of gold from 64.6 million tonnes grading at 1.9 grams per tonne.

New emissions-tracking tools are coming online to assist miners in monitoring their greenhouse gases. These technologies are leveraging blockchain technologies and using advanced modelling techniques to predict future emissions and showcase where companies can focus their reduction efforts. The hope is that, in the future, consumers will be able to receive the “full story” behind the emissions profile of products they buy.

After weeks of negotiation, Turquoise Hill Resources has agreed to sell Rio Tinto the remaining 49 per cent of its shares it does not currently own for $43 per share in cash. This price represents a 67 per cent premium on Turquoise Hill’s share price on March 2022, when Rio Tinto made its first public proposal to take control of the Oyu Tolgoi mine that was rejected by Turquoise Hill. Rio Tinto will pay approximate $4.3 billion for the stake, giving Turquoise Hill a total valuation of around $8.7 billion.

In the final leg of its latest private placement, McEwen Mining secured a US$25 million investment from Rio Tinto’s Nuton venture, equivalent to a 10 per cent stake in the company, as reported by Bloomberg. As a result, McEwen will explore the possibility of using Nuton’s copper leaching technology at its Los Azules project in Argentina, considered by McEwen as one of the world’s largest undeveloped high-grade open-pit copper projects.

Osisko Metals has released the results of its new preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Pine Point zinc-lead project in the Northwest Territories. The PEA lists an after-tax net present value of $602 million at an eight per cent discount rate with an internal rate of return of 25 per cent. Average annual production is estimated at 329 million pounds of zinc and 141 million pounds of lead over a 12-year life of mine. A new hydrogeological model has also helped reduce dewatering estimations at the site by 30 per cent, with a potential further 15 per cent to lose beyond current estimates.

The remediation of the Giant mine in Northwest Territories is a massive undertaking, and years of unchecked arsenic pollution during the mine’s operation are still a concern for nearby residents. As such, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada has teamed up with software developer Clirio to create a new app that displays augmented reality 3D models of the mine’s remediation plans. The hope is that this publicly available app will give better understanding of the government’s plans and peace of mind to nearby communities.

Two new copper operations, one from Antofagasta and one from Southern Peaks Mining, have received the Copper Mark designation, an assurance that the copper from these sites is being mined sustainably. The inclusion of these sites brings the total amount of copper mined from Copper Mark-certified operations to 20 per cent of the copper mined globally. Additionally, three new mines have joined the organization, bringing the total number of participating sites to 42.

After a successful showing at the CIMBC22 Convention and Expo in Vancouver, the Northern Ontario Mining Showcase is looking to expand its presence. FedNor, a regional development organization in Ontario run by the federal government, is providing the showcase with $412,000 to almost triple the size of its showroom footprint at the CIMTL23 Convention and Expo in Montreal, as reported by Northern Ontario Business. The new showcase will have room to promote 60 exhibitors, more than double its previous total of 24 from 2022.

Barrick has entered into an agreement to sell a portfolio of 22 royalties from mines located across North and South America, Australia and Africa to Maverix Metals for up to US$60 million, as reported by Mining.com. The total price is based on the performance of specific assets, such as $6 million if Skeena Resources’ Eskay Creek project in B.C. receives all its material permits within six years of closing the agreement. Barrick’s joint venture with Newmont, Nevada Gold Mines, also announced that it would sell three royalties to Gold Royalty Corp. for US$27.5 million.

That’s all for this week. If you’ve got feedback, you can always reach us at editor@cim.org. If you’ve got something to add, why not join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram pages?