Feasibility study at the Wasamac mine

The Wasamac mine is located about 15 km west of Rouyn-Noranda in Québec. After acquiring the mine in October 2017, Monarques Gold hired RPA to re-estimate and requalify the project’s mineral resources. After a change in regulations, Monarques Gold had to proceed with a feasibility study quickly to preserve its mining concessions and rights.

Client: Monarques Gold
Location: Abitibi, Québec, Canada

OUR EXPERTS’ SOLUTIONS

Many of our experts had participated in the pre-feasibility study for the Wasamac project in 2011, when the facilities were owned by Richmont Mines, and were familiar with the site and the project’s inherent challenges. After Monarques Gold acquired the site, BBA was initially hired to perform a conceptual study for transporting bulk ore and to explore local fixed-price processing opportunities to process Wasamac ore.

BBA then completed a comprehensive feasibility study for the project. The purpose of this study was to review and compile reclassified resources initiated in October 2017 by RPA; integrate advanced mining concepts using Rail-Veyor® technology and on a paste-fill system; study processing options, and tailings and water management facilities; and assess economic aspects of this underground gold project. Everything had to be carried out while fostering the project’s social acceptability and keeping a very tight schedule.

  • Mining plan incorporating the new Rail-Veyor® transport technology
  • Long hole mining method/high productivity backfill
  • Ventilation, electrical systems and automation design
  • Geotechnical and geomechanical analysis of rock
  • Power supply design from the Rouyn substation
  • Optimal location of the site’s main infrastructures, including:
    • Concentrator and related buildings
    • Processing areas
    • Tailings management areas
    • Waste rock storage areas
    • Electrical substations
    • Mining garage, warehouse, offices
    • Access road to site and onsite traffic routes
    • Level crossing
  • Vehicle movement simulations
  • General site plans
  • Metallurgical studies and design of a 6,000 tonne/day processing plant
  • Design of a backfill plant and geotechnical design of waste rock piles
    • Optimize backfill and excavation quantities
  • Design of a system to pump treatment sludge away from facilities and disposal of bulk tailings
  • Cost assessment (OPEX/CAPEX) and financial evaluation
  • Production of NI 43-101 report
  • Mine rehabilitation and closure plan
  • 3D video animation in anticipation of public presentations

BBA’s solutions helped develop a mining plan that will get the ore away from the mine using the innovative Rail-Veyor® technology, avoiding the presence of surface infrastructures, waste rock piles and ore as well as truck traffic near residential areas. This automated technology, which works with electricity, also helped reduce costs for transporting bulk ore. Moreover, the approach BBA recommended changed pre-production time from four to two years, greatly improving the project’s economic performance.

IN THE WORDS OF OUR CLIENT…

“Thanks to the hard work of BBA experts and the proposed innovative solutions, we now have an economically viable and socially acceptable project.”

Jean-Marc Lacoste, President – Monarques Gold Corp

IN NUMBERS

  • Average yearly gold production of 142,000 ounces over 11 years
  • Low overall production cost ($826/ounce)
  • Internal rate of return before taxes of 23.6% (compared to 4% since the 2011–2012 study)

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