Base and precious metals miner Hudbay has identified an early gold opportunity from the New Britannia mill, in Manitoba, and says it could produce gold earlier than expected in 2021.
The NYSE-listed company, which is midstride a mill refurbishment project at New Britannia mill, is still studying the opportunity and will provide more detail in the current quarter, reports president and CEO Peter Kukielski.
The New Britannia gold mill refurbishment is the processing plant for the Lalor mine, in the Snow Lake region. The refurbishment will more than double gold production from the Lalor mine to 150 000 oz/y by 2022.
The project includes the refurbishment of the mill itself and a new-build copper flotation building. Hudbay senior VP and COO Cashel Meagher explains that there is an opportunity to accelerate the completion of the refurbishment of the mill itself, which will allow it to mill some higher-grade gold from Zone 25 in advance of the completion of the copper flotation building.
Gold production from Lalor is expected to be 74 000 oz in 2020 and 102 000 oz in 2021.
Should Hudbay proceed with the early gold production, it could increase the guidance for Manitoba for next year.
Hudbay broke ground at the New Britannia site with the start of construction for the new copper flotation building in May. Repairs for the mill building are also under way.
Refurbishment activities are on-track to be completed by August next year, with plant commissioning and ramp-up expected during the second half of 2021.
As part of its Snow Lake gold strategy, Hudbay also revealed that it is studying the potential expansion of the New Britannia mill from 1 500 t/d to 2 200 t/d and opportunities to increase gold and copper recoveries at the Stall mill.