Business

White Rock company aims to re-open Carolin Mine

Bruce Downing, left, shows Brad Fanditch of Valley Helicopters a map of the New Carolin Mine Gold Corp. property off the Coquihalla Highway.   - Contributed photo
Bruce Downing, left, shows Brad Fanditch of Valley Helicopters a map of the New Carolin Mine Gold Corp. property off the Coquihalla Highway.
— image credit: Contributed photo

by Kerrie-Ann Schoenit, Black Press

A White Rock mining company is working towards reopening the Carolin Mine site near  Hope.

New Carolin Gold Corp. controls approximately 134 square kilometres in the Coquihalla Gold Belt, which is host to several past producing underground gold mines including Carolin, Emancipation, Pipestem, Ward, Aurum and numerous other gold prospects. Recent studies conducted by the company determined the property has the potential to host a multi-million ounce deposit.

“With the gold price up, it makes it very attractive,” said president and chief executive officer Bruce Downing. “We already have an existing mine permit, which saves us a lot of time and money. In the world of mining today, that is a huge asset.”

The Carolin Mine – 18 kilometres northeast of Hope – operated from 1981 to 1984, and closed at the end of 1984 due to poor gold recoveries, low grades due primarily to dilution and low gold prices.

Ongoing logging of the property over the years has made all targeted development areas readily accessible. Thirty per cent of the previous mill infrastructure is still in place, including equipment and water. Carolin Mine also has 10 kilometres of stable underground tunnels with no acid rock drainage.

New Carolin Gold Corp. is currently examining potential mining plans to once again extract gold from the property.

Downing said the company could choose to mine solely underground, operate underground with a small open pit at the surface, or utilize the entire area as an open pit. The ore would then be processed on site at the rebuilt mill to create a gold concentrate, which would either be sold or used to pour doré gold bars.

New Carolin Gold Corp. plans on drilling this summer to confirm historical data as well as increase gold inventory.

The company will also be conducting a preliminary economic assessment soon, followed by a comprehensive economic feasibility study to determine the cost of bringing the mine back into production.

Meanwhile, Downing said a resource study has found 30,000 ounces of gold sitting in a permitted tailings pond on the property.

Only 55 per cent of gold was recovered from ore during the 1980s when Carolin Mine was in operation. The remaining crushed rock was disposed of in the tailings pond.

“We’ve done a preliminary economic assessment and we’re looking at re-processing the gold out of these tailings to give us a cash flow,” said Downing, noting the project will hopefully start in 2013.

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