The Magino Gold Project is located in Finan Township, approximately 10km south-east of Dubreuilville, 40km north-east of Wawa, and 195km north of Sault Sainte Marie, in Ontario, Canada. It is 100% owned by Argonaut Gold through its wholly owned subsidiary Prodigy Gold (Prodigy).
The preliminary feasibility study for the project was completed in January 2014 and was further updated in January 2016. Construction works will commence following the grant of regulatory approvals from the provincial and federal agencies, as well as finalisation of financing options.
The overall investment to bring the Canadian gold project into production is estimated to be $540m. The project is expected to generate between 400 and 500 jobs during the construction phase, and between 250 and 350 jobs during the production phase. The production life of the project is estimated to be ten years.
Geology and mineralisation
The project is located in the geological Wawa sub-province of the Precambrian Canadian Shield, which hosts felsic to intermediate pyroclastic metavolcanic rocks and mafic metavolcanic rocks. Gold mineralisation at the project site occurs in veins within the Webb Lake Granodiorite stock.
The granadiorite contains between 5% and 10% veins of carbonate, quartz, tourmaline and pyrite in various orientations and the mineralised veins are approximately 2m and 4.5m-wide, with a strike length ranging from 25m and 70m.
Magino gold project reserves
As of December 2015, the Magino Gold Project was estimated to contain probable reserves of 105.4Mt grading 0.34g/t, containing 3.019Moz of gold.
Mining, processing and production details
The project envisages the development of the Magino deposit using open-pit mining, deploying 218t haul trucks, matching shovels, front-end loaders and other conventional ancillary equipment.
The proposed processing plant will primarily be equipped with SAG mill and ball mill grinding circuits, a gravity recovery circuit, a cyanide leach circuit, carbon-in-pulp (CIP) and carbon-in-column (CIC) gold recovery facilities, a carbon handling and treatment circuit, as well as electro-winning and smelting facilities.
The project aims to recover 2.823Moz of gold at an annual average production rate of 295,000oz. The proposed processing plant will have a capacity of 30,000t a day (t/d), whereas the average gold production rate during the first three years is estimated at 370,000oz.
Infrastructure for the Canadian gold project
The project benefits from its close proximity to existing road and rail infrastructure. It will involve the upgrade of the existing road near the project site.
Electrical power for the project is expected to be provided by Algoma Power Incorporated (API) via an existing 44kV line, which is capable of supplying up to 30MW, while a substation is being proposed to be constructed at the project site. The required water will be sourced from groundwater on-site and nearby local lakes.
Other major infrastructure for the project will include a waste rock management facility (WRMF), a tailings management facility (TMF), an explosives storage facility, a garage, a warehouse, fuel storage facilities, a sewage treatment plant, communications systems and main buildings, which house administrative offices, site security offices, accommodation camps and a laboratory.
Key players involved
The updated prefeasibility study (PFS) was compiled by JDS Energy & Mining with inputs from Resource Modeling for the geology and resource estimate, SLR International for the geotechnical, tailings, hydrogeology, tailings management facility, surface water management studies and D.E.N.M. Engineering for the metallurgical review.
LJB Mineral Services, Kirkham Geosystems, and Rockland were involved in compiling the PFS, along with JDS Energy & Mining and SLR International.
The latest metallurgical testwork for the project was conducted in two phases by McClelland Laboratories, whereas three separate series of column leach tests to probe the feasibility of heap leaching material from the project were conducted by Kappes Cassidy and Associates (KCA).