Since the acquisition of the old Bachelor mine by Metanor Resources Inc., the surface infrastructures have been renovated or constructed: the hoist room, headframe, ore mill, compressors, administrative and technical offices, core shack, as well as the camp, which can house close to two hundred workers. The site also has a 50-hectare pond to collect mill pulp, as well as a five-hectare polishing pond. The ore mill was completely renovated, including installation of a carbon-in-pulp treatment process. With this process, Metanor boasts a 96% to 98% gold recovery rate at the Bachelor Mine ore mill.
The shaft sinking, which began in November 2010, was completed in late July 2011. In all, 163 meters were excavated during that period, and the Bachelor mine shaft has now reached a depth of 727 meters, including three additional levels (13, 14 and 15), each 60 meters apart. From mid-2011 through the first half of 2012, Metanor commenced lateral development at levels 12, 13 and 14 in order to take a 5000-tonne bulk sample and at the same time, start definition and exploration drilling to increase confidence in existing resources and define new ones.
The company completed bulk sampling for the Bachelor project in June 2012, and in July of the same year, announced that it was going ahead and developing the project for commercial production, a goal that was achieved on December 1, 2013. The mine has been in operation since that time, and carrying out exploratory and definition drilling underground to replace production.
Underground mining of the gold deposit, primarily using the stoping method, produced 131,000 ounces of gold during the 80s. The mine now has 14 levels with ventilation and emergency exits. The first seven are accessible via a three-compartment shaft and the deeper levels by a four-compartment shaft. Sub-vertical veins are mined using long-hole drilling via sub-levels.
The mine is connected to the provincial power grid and has high-speed Internet and cell phone service, and there will be a camp to house and feed workers. Employees work a 7-7 shift in four teams operating 24/7. The ore mill is operational and includes a tailings site with all the necessary social and environmental authorizations.
The Bachelor mine is located in Le Sueur Township (CL740), approximately 225 km northeast of Val-d’Or, Quebec, and is accessible via provincial Highway 113 linking Val-d’Or and Chibougamau. The mine can be reached by road in 2.5 hours from Val-d’Or (225 km) or 1.75 hours from Chibougamau (165 km). Val-d’Or and Chibougamau are full-service centres for mining and economic activity.
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