All underground mining at Red Lake is carried out by using three mining methods to maximum ore extraction: Overhand Cut and Fill (OCF), Underhand Cut and Fill (UFC), and Long Hole (LH). The high-grade zone, which primarily consists of a narrow vein system, is mined at the rate of 450 tonnes per day with an average grade of over 45 grams per tonne (1.3 ounces per tonne). The high-grade mineralization and complex geometry of the ore body require specialized operations expertise.
Innovative mining techniques have improved efficiency, such as a wet shotcrete system, the use of larger trucks, use of electric man carriers and a portable diamond drill mounted on a jumbo carrier. The operation is supported by two mill processing facilities, providing a total milling capacity of 3,100 tonnes per day, including crushing, processing and pastefill plants. The processing plant's operations consist of grinding, gravity concentrating, leaching, carbon-in-pulp (CIP), carbon elution and reactivation, electrowinning, bullion smelting/refining and cyanide destruction, flotation and concentrate handling—all of which are required to recover the gold in Red Lake’s ore types. (See Location & Geography for more ore-specific information)
The Cochenour/Bruce Channel deposit is key to plans for future consolidation. The work on enlarging and upgrading the existing Cochenour shaft is nearly complete. The development of a 6.0
-kilometre haulage drift that will connect the existing Red Lake underground infrastructure with Cochenour is ~90% complete
. The haulage drift will enable the efficient hauling of Cochenour/Bruce Channel ore to the Campbell mine for processing at the existing mill. The drift also opens up exploration of over six kilometers of untested ground in one of the world’s richest gold districts.