The company expects to commission a copper flotation facility at the Canadian mill in Q4 2021

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Hudbay Minerals begins production from refurbished New Britannia mill. (Credit: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay)

Hudbay Minerals has started production of gold at its refurbished New Britannia mill in Snow Lake, Manitoba, Canada.

The Canadian mining company had wrapped up the refurbishment activities at the gold mill in June 2021. The subsequent commissioning and startup activities were completed in July paving the way for first gold production.

Originally, the refurbished mill was slated to produce the first gold by the end of this year.

Hudbay Minerals president and CEO Peter Kukielski said: “We are proud of the New Britannia project and operating teams for completing construction activities ahead of the original timelines and achieving a successful ramp up to first gold pour.

“This is a major growth milestone for Hudbay and our Manitoba business as it marks the beginning of the transition of our Lalor mine to a primary gold operation.”

Meanwhile, the Canadian miner said that it is also wrapping up the construction work at a new copper flotation facility at the New Britannia mill.

The copper flotation facility, which will enable the separation of copper concentrate, is said to be on track to be commissioned and ramped up in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The refurbishment project also involves adding a dewatering circuit and a pipeline for directing the tailings to the existing Anderson facility.

Hudbay Minerals estimated the annual gold production from Lalor and the Snow Lake operations to increase to more than 180,000 ounces during the first six full years of New Britannia’s operation.

The company had estimated the cost of refurbishment at $95m in September 2019. The mill was acquired in 2015 for nearly $10m as a potential long-term processing option for the Lalor gold and copper-gold deposits.

Hudbay Minerals had refurbished the New Britannia mill to considerably ramp up gold production from Lalor.

The refurbishment was also taken up to create new gold and copper-gold exploration opportunities in the Snow Lake region by setting up an operating processing facility with significantly higher gold and copper recoveries.