The surprise announcement on Wednesday by Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM) that operations will continue at the Dome Mine has been welcomed on many levels in Timmins.
It means the longest-running gold mine in Canada will continue to be just that as the Dome will soon be moving into its 107th year of operation. The news from PGM Timmins mines general manager Brendan Zuidema was passed to employees Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
It was a welcome change from the announcement Zuidema had to make back on Jan. 15 when the company had decided the Dome Mine underground operations would be shutting down for good. Back then, it was estimated the closing date would be the end of July 2016.
The plan was to finish mining some known gold zones where the grade was still high enough to justify the cost of mining. The intention was to pull out of the mine and to begin the process of demolishing the shaft and other unnecessary surface buildings.
But things changed, especially with the price of gold, said Zuidema, who added the local management team took a hard look at the possibilities. He said the company regularly looks at what are called “net asset values” and it was determined that the underground operations were still worthwhile.
“We looked and said, ‘You know what? There is still some value here at the Dome Mine,’” said Zuidema. He said there was company-wide meeting held in Vancouver last month and the Dome project was put back on the table for re-consideration.
“So we brought that forward and everything kind of started from there and then we just got approval early this week to go ahead and continue Dome operations,”
Zuidema explained. “The management team at PGM is pleased to announce that the Dome Mine will remain open for the remainder of 2016 and beyond.”
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