AuRico Gold’s official opening of the Young-Davidson Mine spruces up regional economy

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

Approximately 850 people were on hand for the official opening of Ontario Mining Association member AuRico Gold’s Young-Davidson Mine recently.  The new precious metals producing operation, which completed its first gold pour in April, is located near Matachewan in northeastern Ontario about 60 kilometres west of Kirkland Lake.

Rain didn’t spoil the enthusiasm of visitors from taking mill tours and visits to the open pit and a display site for underground mining equipment.  Guests included employees and their families, contractors and suppliers, seasonal cottagers, local First Nations residents, politicians from various levels of government and special guests associated with the history and development of the Young-Davidson property.

Various departments at the mine, including geology, environment, surveying and mine rescue, had booths set up to showcase what they do on the job.  A gold bar was on site, which proved to be particularly popular for photograph opportunities.  The local newspaper “Northern News” reported that “Young-Davidson employees, who were leading tours and at various displays, volunteered their time to be there.  That shows the pride the employees have in the mine.” 

Ontario and Canada’s newest gold was brought into production through a capital investment of more than $400 million.  Though there is certainly more potential, current plans call for a 15-year mine life with a maximum production rate of about 250,000 ounces of gold per year.  During its two-year construction period, the mine employed up to 1,200 people at its peak and when at full production, the mine will employ about 300 people.

During the construction and development of the mine site’s facilities, more than two million hours were worked at the site without a lost-time incident.  “People work smarter when they work safely,” said AuRico President and Chief Executive Officer Rene Marion. Luc Guimond, General Manager of the Young-Davidson Mine noted the efforts to build a safety culture and the dedication of the employees to reach this safety milestone.

“The effort and ingenuity of all involved in bringing this mine into production deserve congratulations,” said OMA President Chris Hodgson, who attended the official Young-Davidson opening.  “Mining is a sector of the provincial economy, which is attracting investment and creating jobs and growth.  This mine opening is celebration not just for AuRico and this region but for all of Ontario.”

AuRico Gold predecessor company Northgate Minerals purchased the Young-Davidson property in 2005.  The site covers the operations of two historic gold mines, which produced about 1 million ounces of gold from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s.  The reawakening of the golden potential of this site has a large positive impact locally and regionally but it is also helping to grow the provincial economy and it is creating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.  At the opening, Mr. Marion announced the 6,000 tonne per day capacity of the mill would be expanded to 8,000 tonnes per day.

Mr. Marion is a finalist for the Ernst and Young 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  AuRico Gold, which has its head office located in Toronto, is a leading Canadian gold producer and explorer.  Core operations include the Young-Davidson Mine in Ontario and the Ocampo Mine and El Chanate Mine in Mexico.  The company also has advanced development projects in British Columbia and Mexico.  For further information AuRico’s website is www.auricogold.com.

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