resim 507
resim 507

Finally some good news from the northernmost gold mine in Quebec. Annual production is expected to increase at the Éléonore mine in 2023, between 23% and 37%, compared to the previous year.

Its owner, Newmont, the world’s largest gold producer, plans to produce 265,000 to 295,000 ounces of the yellow metal this year at an all-inclusive cost of US$1,300 to US$1,400. The ounce was selling for US$1,970, or CAN$2,665, on March 31.

Newmont became the owner of Éléonore in April 2019 when it partnered with Goldcorp. The first gold pour occurred there in April 2015. At that time, annual production was expected to be 500,000 to 600,000 ounces of gold.

Located 350 kilometers north of Matagami, the deposit was discovered by André Gaumond, then head of Virginia Mines, in the early 2000s.

“Éléonore has become the newest gold mine in Quebec from a new territory, and not from an old mine whose activities have been relaunched”, explains Guy Bourgeois, general manager of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association.

Osisko Mining’s world-class Windfall deposit, 100 kilometers east of Lebel-sur-Quévillon in northern Quebec, is something of a product of Éléonore.

“Éléonore is expected to produce more in 2023 thanks to increased underground tonnage and production rate resulting from productivity improvements. Continued improvement in production is expected over the long term,” read the Q4 2022 filings on SEDAR by Newmont.

On February 23, 2023, Newmont reported proven and probable reserves at its Quebec mine comprising 9.4 million tonnes at an average grade of 5.22 g per tonne for 1.57 million ounces of gold.

The good news is welcome, as 2022 has not been an easy year with production of only 215,000 ounces of gold.

“Gold production was down 15%, primarily due to lower crushed ore grade and mill throughput. Costs applicable to sales per ounce of gold increased 28%, primarily due to lower gold ounces sold, higher fuel, energy and labor costs. contract labor resulting from cost inflation and increased maintenance costs for underground equipment,” Newmont explains in its year-end report.

This mine, which required investments of more than 2 billion US dollars to reach the operating stage, had seen its reserves melt by 1.7 million ounces, or 43%, by Newmont in February 2020.

“Éléonore has performed below expectations,” said independent mining analyst Eric Lemieux today. These are not the initial deposits that we imagined. It shows the difficulties in the mining sector. Mother Nature hides her jewels and digging them up isn’t always easy. »