Large mining companies are now initiating multi-million dollar exploration efforts in Canada. Centerra Gold Inc., Goldcorp Inc., and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. are just some of the big names expected to lead the way for gold prospecting in the region. “We have a lot of evidence that there is gold in the area,” Agnico chief executive Sean Boyd commented regarding his company’s plan to move eight drill rigs and around 80 miners to its arctic location.
From Prospect to Mine
Prospecting is the first step to be taken before an area can be converted into a mine. Every site needs to be thoroughly examined to confirm its viability, and mining and exploration companies spend millions of dollars every year for this. Sometimes, prospecting yields the projected results, but most of the time properties never become mines. Nevertheless, it all can be worth it when prospectors and their backers hit pay dirt.
According to The Globe and Mail, this move by the mining giants into exploration is unprecedented in a way, as prospecting has generally been done by small mining companies. However, due to three consecutive years of falling commodity prices and a good number of high-profile discoveries, big names are more hesitant to finance small-time miners with little or no track record, and are compelled to take on the task themselves.
Production is the goal of every prospecting attempt. It’s not unusual for areas to take 10 years from being a prospect to becoming a full-fledged production mine. Mines can be classified as either an open-pit or underground operation, but both types share many basic operations, such as drilling and blasting of ore, transporting of ore to the surface via high-capacity mine skips, loading and hauling of ore to the mill, crushing of ore to gravel size, grinding of ore into powder, separation of minerals from waste materials, disposal of residue, and shipment of processed product to market.
The need for quality mining equipment
Product development is a key aspect of mining. Leading manufacturers like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp. are always working to design products (ore skips, mining cages, loading systems, dump systems, rail haulage, etc.) that will make the job of the miner easier, safer, faster, and more accurate. Get in touch with them for your quality mining equipment needs.
Big mining companies to take lead on Canadian prospecting, The Globe and Mail, Mar. 15, 2015
Canada’s mining sector braces for another challenging year, CBC News, Dec. 28, 2014