The recruitment of a Project Director for Black Angel continues. This is a crucial role and we are determined to find the best candidate possible. In the meantime, work is proceeding with support from Qualter Hall.
Site Planning Meeting
A site meeting was held at Black Angel for a week last autumn and significant progress was made with some fascinating new ideas emerging.
Qualter Hall and EMJ jointly designed the site layout at Maarmorilik to extend the camp, provide new fuel storage facilities, developed a covered store for concentrate awaiting shipment and operational consumables. The plan links buildings with the materials handling system to ensure efficient loading and unloading of cable car gondolas. They were also required to design a layout and operating system which will be as automated as possible to minimize the use of people and to cater for the very low winter temperatures. Golders and our team identified the ideal location for the mineral process plant as being inside the old workings and were able to determine the basics of ventilation and material handling.
Golders also examined the bulkhead that exists in the entrance to the Deep Ice Zone tunnel. As the tunnel is flooded, a well engineered plan will be required to work out how to safely remove the bulkhead so that access can be restored.
Perhaps the most interesting development, however, was the idea that the pillar entrapment mining method for safe pillar removal may be modified. Under this new plan, the pillars to be retained for roof support would be supported by a series of backfill walls, creating a honeycomb of voids which can then be used for the safe disposal of tailings. Golders need to complete a mining method report and model the new ideas but, at this stage, it is clear that the concept should benefit both CAPEX and operating costs whilst providing an environmentally safe repository for the tailings.
A new financial model is being prepared for the project based on cost data provided by GBM, Qualter Hall and EMJ. The CAPEX constituents reflect the work done in the autumn as referred to above but it is believed that a material reduction can be achieved by better sourcing of plant and equipment. Consequently, an exercise has begun to get more competitive supplier quotations and it is hoped that the revised cost data can be obtained within the next two months.
As reported in the last newsletter, every effort is being made to accelerate production of gold at Nalunaq to improve cashflow. Currently, the production is enabling the Company to meet its ongoing operating costs and as such the Company is working to reduce the backlog of supportive creditors.
The price of gold has been fluctuating in response to world events and the Company has fixed the price on about 80% of its anticipated production for the next 3 months, to the end of April, at an average price of approximately $1,680 per ounce.
Some kind shareholders presented the company with some bottles of champagne and that inspired a prize giving to members of the team who have made an exceptional contribution to the group in the last three months. The recipients of a bottle of Veuve Clicquot were:
- Steve Ainsworth (Deputy GM and Head of Mining) for his contribution in transforming the mining team at Nalunaq
- Joan Plant (Operations Support Manager) for developing a new control system to ensure that we are in total control of reports to the BMP (the Greenlandic regulatory authority) and with permit applications and renewals. Her work has been much praised by the BMP
- Kevin McNair (CFO) for the effective management of cash through a period of great difficulty during which he was able to maintain the vital support of our suppliers.
|Nalunaq Production Stats
||Year to date
|Doré produced (ounces)
|Gold sold (ounces)