The Rice Lake Mine was originally built in 1934 and remains a core part of operations. It reaches 5,500 feet below the surface along two shafts. The 4,050 foot A-shaft connects to a 5,000 foot railway crosscut which in turn connects to the 900 foot D-shaft and spiral ramp that descends another 760 feet.
The Rice Lake Mine uses various methods of mining including panel, cut and fill, and shrinkage that use stopers and jack-legs. Some long-hole mechanized mining methods are also employed.
The Rice Lake Mine contains reserves of 69,300 ounces (374,700 tons at 6.34 grams per ton), measured plus indicated resources [inclusive of reserves] of 235,400 ounces (996,500 tons at 8.10 grams per ton), and inferred resources total 488,500 ounces (1,709,800 tons at 9.8 grams per ton). The zone is open at depth below the lower mine level.
Click here to see the full mineral reserves and mineral resources table.
Operations in the Rice Lake mine are currently focussed on development in three main areas of the mine, on 26 Level, 16 Level, and the A-Shaft:
- On 26 Level of the Rice Lake mine, the Company is driving a 150 metre drift, to begin definition drilling of the 007 deposit, and a 300 metre access drift to allow mining of the 710 deposit. Mining in this region is targeted to begin in early 2014.
- On 16 Level of the Rice lake mine, the Company is constructing 1,200 metres of tracked haulage drifts to access the Hinge district from 720 metres below surface. Development work will continue in 2014 to access the 007 deposit. Mining is targeted to begin in early 2014 in the Hinge district, with operations commencing in the 007 deposit later in the year.
- A-Shaft is being reconfigured with new ropes, guides, drum, and skips in anticipation of increased production from 26 Level. Once complete, A-Shaft is expected to have up to 2,500 tpd capacity from 26 Level.