VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – TSX-listed Anaconda Mining has partnered with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) to research and develop, prototype and optimise a new technology to mine steeply dipping narrow gold veins that cannot be mined cost-effectively with existing technologies.
"This narrow vein research and development project fits with Anaconda's objectives of optimising mineral resources and maintaining sustainable employment at the Point Rousse project, in the Baie Verte region. Anaconda has narrow vein hosted gold mineralisation within our property boundaries.
“We hope to leverage our culture of innovation, and the expertise at MUN, to ultimately adapt and create technology that will position this province as a global leader in narrow vein mining,” the company’s VP of Technology and Innovation Allan Cramm said in a press release on Wednesday.
While many gold deposits can be effectively mined using current mining technology, there are many deposits that, despite high grades, present unique challenges for traditional mining methods because of their narrow vein geometry. There are numerous mineralised veins such as this within Newfoundland and Labrador, Anaconda advised.
A prime example is Anaconda’s Romeo and Juliet prospect at the Point Rousse project, where the company has an operating mill. Romeo and Juliet is a steeply dipping, gold-bearing quartz vein ranging in size from about 0.5 m to several metres wide, which locally carries significant gold grades and could represent a potential source for gold ore with the right technology.
Last week, federal and provincial officials announced financial support for the research project, with the federal government offering a loan of more than C$1.5-million for the project through the Atlantic Innovation Fund (repayable if the project is successful), and the province providing a grant of C$520 000 for the initiative through the Research & Development Corporation, via the GeoEXPLORE programme.