Detour Lake Gold Mine Project in EPCM mode

In 2007, Detour Gold Corporation acquired the Detour Lake property, where previously there had been an underground/open-pit mine, which closed in 1999. The mining company faced numerous challenges caused by the low-grade deposit as well as the presence of a large muskeg and vulnerable wetlands in the area. Over 10 years later, Detour Lake has become one of Canada’s largest gold mines with capital reaching $1.5 billion. Since the first gold bar was poured in February 2013, the open-pit mine has produced an average of 656,000 ounces of gold per year.

Client: Detour Gold Corporation
Location: Detour Lake, Ontario

OUR EXPERTS’ SOLUTIONS

After a series of promising drilling campaigns and successful pre-feasibility and feasibility studies by BBA team members, once again, Detour Gold turned to BBA experts to develop ore processing facilities. The team was tasked with the detailed engineering of the new low-grade, high-tonnage processing plant as well as with purchasing equipment and providing technical support for the construction project of this impressive open-pit gold mine.

Founded on several innovations and evidence-based environmental solutions, BBA’s concept greatly exceeded client expectations in terms of mining. In addition to the technical aspects, BBA stood apart through exemplary project execution, from estimating and producing exhaustive monthly reports to project control.

  • Provided studies and assistance in publishing the NI 43-101 report.

  • Integrated a two-step pre-crushing process that significantly reduces operating costs and energy consumption.

  • Used a state-of-the-art activated carbon in pulp gold recovery method, including the Pumpcell absorption system for the leaching process.

  • Designed mining service buildings, pumping and tailing pond facilities, two double gear SAG mills, two ball mills, four 1,000 HP cone crushers and 20, 19 m diameter leaching tanks.

  • Replaced a standard air injection system with an oxygen injection system to increase gold leaching kinetics.

  • Integrated containment areas when designing the mining site to contain and recover any spills or leaks that may occur outside the processing plant.

  • In seven months, built a 230 kV hydroelectric transmission line stretching 180 km to supply power to the mine as of the start of the construction phase, which led to significant diesel savings.  

  • Addition of air conditioning in the technical corridors of each potline

  • Implemented environmental mitigation measures, such as recovering equipment-generated energy and heating the mine service buildings using waste oil from mining trucks.

  • Construction work was sped up during the winter months to provide access to the remote site, prevent damage to marshy land and limit risks associated with this type of soil.

  • Provided pre-operational verification support and commissioning.
  • Provided continual operational support from mine start-up.

The industry has recognized this project as being one of the most successful examples of how engineering improves the quality of social, economic and cultural lives of Canadians.

IN THE WORDS OF OUR EXPERT…

“BBA’s design exceeded the client’s operating expectations and implemented industry-leading innovations and effective environmental solutions. Today, the Detour Lake Mine is the largest regional employer, creating sustainable opportunities for the local and regional communities.”

Association of Consulting Engineering Companies | Canada

IN NUMBERS

  • Ore processing plant capacity of over 55,000 tonnes per day

  • Savings of 4.5 million litres of diesel fuel

  • Savings of about 2.1 million litres of propane per year

  • Approximately 230,000 L of recycled waste oil is used each year to heat the buildings.

  • Nominal flow of recovery water of about 2,000 m3/h based on the process diagram

  • Installation of a 180 km long 230 kV hydroelectric transmission line in seven months

  • Annual energy recovery estimated at about 15,000 000 kWh

  • Leaching process using 20 tanks measuring 19 m in diameter and 20 m in height

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