Gold mining firm Newmont is moving towards full operations at its Musselwhite mine in Canada, following the commissioning of the mine’s conveyor system as well as material handling system.

The mine is located at Lake Opapimiskan in the Canadian province of Ontario.

Newmont noted that the commercial production has now been achieved at the Musselwhite conveyor.

Located 500km north of Thunder Bay in northwestern Ontario, Musselwhite, which became operational in 1997, is a joint venture (JV) between Placer Dome and TVX Newmont Americas.

Newmont president and CEO Tom Palmer stated: “I am extremely proud of the work that has been completed by the team at Musselwhite to safely deliver these two critical projects, whilst managing through the unprecedented challenges caused by Covid-19.

“Musselwhite is an important part of our North America region, and with the commissioning of these two projects is positioned to contribute to Newmont’s portfolio for many years to come.”

According to Newmont, the conveyor system and the material handling systems work in cooperation to shift material from deeper mine levels to the surface.

The company added that haul distances can be reduced as the ore crushed at deeper levels will be lifted from the underground crushers to the conveyor system. This ore will be then brought to the surface for processing.

In March this year, Newmont placed Musselwhite under care and maintenance to limit the spread of Covid-19 infections into the nearby First Nations communities in northern Ontario.

In September, Newmont and Canadian firm Agnico Eagle formed a 50-50 joint venture (JV) in Colombia to explore the Mid-Cauca belt, in the country’s northwest.