Canadian minerals explorer MAS Gold has entered into an agreement with the Saskatchewan government to acquire about 463 ha, including the former producing Contact Lake gold mine, in the La Ronge Greenstone Belt.
The Contact Lake gold mine was operated from 1994 to 1997 by Cameco.
MAS CEO Jim Engdahl says the company believes opportunities in the Contact Lake property to be tremendous, given the underground infrastructure in place and the significant amount of data available to begin developing a new model to guide exploration on the brownfield site.
The Contact Lake mine is also located only 10 km from MAS Gold’s North Lake deposit and is a new addition to the company’s “hub and spoke” mining concept.
Upon completion of the transaction, MAS Gold will hold mineral rights to about 34 306 ha spread along the full trend of the La Ronge gold belt.
The Contact Lake gold deposit was first identified by Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation (SMDC; later Cameco) exploration field crews in 1984 as part of its Preview Lake exploration programme that also resulted in the discovery of the nearby Point and Preview SW gold deposits. Operations were conducted from December 1994 to May 1998; decommissioning was completed by December 1998 when the mine was put on care and maintenance. Final site closure was declared in March 2008.
Significant underground development remains at the site of the Contact Lake mine that could be reconditioned, including a 6 m by 4 m ramp to a depth of about 340 m and six main levels and various sub-levels. Level 5244 was driven 230 m to the east-northeast along the structure of the zone to access historically defined resource blocks that were not mined. Gold recovery over the life of the mine was reported to be 95%, using gravity and cyanide leach plus carbon-in-pulp processes run at a throughput rate of 715 t/d to 925 t/d.