Amaruq gold project is an open-pit gold deposit located in Nunavut Territory, Canada. Agnico Eagle is developing the project as a satellite deposit to the Meadowbank Mine.
Estimated to cost £289m ($350m) to develop, the project is expected to produce approximately 2.5 million ounces (Moz) of gold between 2019 and 2025. The gold deposit is expected to have a mine life of seven years.
Pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the project was completed in December 2017 and the PFS report was published in February 2018. Agnico commenced the project development in July 2018 and plans to begin production in the third quarter of 2019.
Amaruq gold project location, geology, and mineralisation
The Amaruq gold project is located within the Meadowbank mine, which is situated in the Kivaliq District of Nunavut Territory, Canada. Located near the Tehek Lake, the Meadowbank mine lies approximately 2,600km from Toronto and 70km from Hamlet of Baker Lake.
The Amaruq project is located within the Woodburn Lake Group, which contains the Archean supracrustal rocks.
The project is categorised into three sectors, namely IVR, Whale Tail, and Mammoth. Mineralisation styles identified at these sectors include pyrrhotite-amphibole-carbonate injections and replacement in iron formation, along with silica-flooding in association with arsenopyrite-pyrrhotite in chert-rich units.
The deposits also feature discordant shear zones comprising quartz, carbonates, sulphide, and native gold.
Amaruq gold project reserves
The Amaruq gold project is estimated to contain reserves of 24.9 million tonnes (Mt), graded at 3.59 grams per tonne (g/t) Au. It is estimated to contain 2.9 million ounces (Moz) of gold.
The open-pit and underground indicated mineral resources identified at the Amaruq satellite project are estimated at 8.9Mt of ore, grading 3.97g/t, while the inferred resources are estimated to be 12.6Mt graded at 5.12g/t. The total contained gold is estimated to be 3.2Moz.
Mining and ore processing at Amaruq gold project
Conventional open-pit truck and shovel method of mining will be used at the Amaruq satellite gold project. A total of 193Mt of material is proposed to be mined from Whale Tail and IVR pits, with initial production from a quarry located to the eastern side of Whale Tail pit.
Initial mining operations will be conducted only at the Whale Tail, until the first half of 2020. Combined production from both the pits is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2020, with approximately 35Mt of material expected to be produced a year from 2020 to 2023.
Ore from the Amaruq satellite project will be processed in a 2.7Mt capacity processing plant. Conventional gold plant flow sheet will be applied at Amaruq with initial ore undergoing two stages of crushing, followed by grinding in a semi-autogenous (SAG) mill, ball mill, and pebble crusher (SABC).
The resultant product will undergo gravity concentration, cyanide leaching, followed by gold recovery in a carbon-in-pulp circuit.
A continuous gravity concentration process, followed by regrinding the concentrate, is proposed to be added for a more efficient gold recovery.
The Amaruq project site can be accessed through a 72km all-weather exploration road from the Meadowbank mine, which is connected to the Baker Lake through a 110km private all-weather road.
Power supply for the project will be provided by a diesel-fuelled electrical generation facility featuring three 1.1MW units. It will comprise two separate fuel storage and distribution systems - one for the mobile fleet and another for the power plant.
Fresh water will be collected from Nemo Lake and pumped to the onsite potable water treatment plant through a 250mm high-density polyethylene (HDPE) insulated pipe.
Workers are proposed to be accommodated at a 315-bedroom one storey complex.