Red Lake is an underground gold mine in northwestern Ontario, Canada. The operation comprises the Red Lake, Campbell and Cochenour mines over a strike length of 7km. The Cochenour mine is connected to Red Lake by a 5km haulage drift, with ore processed at the Campbell Mill.
Red Lake is accessible by major highways, with commercial air services to the mine from Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. It is located approximately 250km northeast of Winnipeg. Red Lake is supported by an experienced and highly-skilled workforce largely residing in adjacent towns of Red Lake and Balmertown and benefits from strong community partnerships with Lac Seul and Wabauskang First Nation Groups.
The operation comprises the historic Dickenson, Campbell and Cochenour mines, with multiple shafts and associated processing facilities. Since production commenced in 1949, the combined Red Lake Operation has produced more than 25Moz of gold at an average grade in excess of 20g/t gold.
Mining at Red Lake is undertaken predominantly via long-hole stoping. Processing at the Campbell mill is via conventional crushing and grinding followed by gravity concentration to recover free-milling gold, with refractory gold recovered by floatation followed by pressure oxidation, neutralisation and CIL.
We completed the acquisition of the Red Lake Operation on 1 April 2020. FY20 gold production in the first quarter of Evolution’s ownership was 27,428 ounces which was above guidance of 25,000 ounces. AISC of A$1,943/oz was under the A$2,100 – A$2,300/oz guidance range.
An operational transformation is underway to realise the full potential of this asset. This three-year project will deliver sustainable, low-cost production of 200,000 ounces per year with an AISC under US$1,000/oz. The initial focus of the project is on increasing underground development rates, rationalising workforce numbers and decommissioning redundant equipment.
Successes at the end of the FY2020 included: a 37% increase in monthly development rates; a 16% reduction in site workforce; winterising the Red Lake mill; commencement of ecommissioning two shafts and rationalising underground mobile equipment. This project is on track to deliver and together with the recently announced 11Moz Mineral resource estimate, we remain confident in Red Lake’s long-term success.
We have also commenced a project to unlock the future of Red Lake and envision a possible sustainable production rate of 300,000 – 500,000 ounces per year. It is an exciting future for Red Lake.