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Dore Copper advances hub-and-spoke Chibougamau plan

Dore Copper expects to publish the first of a series of resource estimate updates on its Chibougamau copper-gold camp in Quebec, Canada, in the first half of 2021 as it works towards completing a preliminary economic assessment on a hub-and-spoke project, president and CEO Ernest Mast has told Mining Journal.
Dore Copper advances hub-and-spoke Chibougamau plan Dore Copper advances hub-and-spoke Chibougamau plan Dore Copper advances hub-and-spoke Chibougamau plan Dore Copper advances hub-and-spoke Chibougamau plan Dore Copper advances hub-and-spoke Chibougamau plan

Part of the Chibougamau project in Quebec, Canada

The hub of the project is the 2,800 tonnes per day Copper Rand mill, which Mast says can be brought online with relatively little work.

"The mill requires upgrades to its electrical and control systems. We would look to restart at closer to 1,000tpd and as we put the various former mines into operation we can increase that tonnage. It will be a challenge to fill the mill but even if only at 60% capacity we will be a 100,000 ounce a year. The mill configuration means we don't have to restart all equipment," he said.

Dore Copper acquired the project from trading firm Ocean Partners, which is now its leading shareholder and which has offtake rights to sell the concentrate it will produce. In addition to a mill and former mines, the project has a tailings facility. "We have yet to decide if we try to grandfather the mill and tailings facility under existing permitting or whether we permit the whole project," he said.

The company has a 35,000m drilling programme underway which will continue into 2021 including 25,000m of step out drilling at Corner Bay and Cedar Bay and 8,000m at the Joe Mann deposit.

"We are exploring the deposits to work out which are the best of the five and to sequence their production accordingly. Corner Bay will be the first mine to start as its resources are closest to surface and it is the largest deposit. Then it would be Cedar Bay or Joe Mann as they are the highest grade," Mast said.

Shares in Dore Copper are trading at C77c, valuing the company at $23 million