Pit Stop No3: the Lamaque Mine

The underground Lamaque gold mine is located in the famous region of Val d’Or or Valley of Gold. This region was established in 1934 fueled by the discovery of massive copper and gold ore bodies.  The great gold rush triggered a mining boom throughout the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.

The Lamaque mine started production in 1935 and 50 years later it was exhausted and shut down. Today, the Mine and the Bourlamaque historic mining village of Val d’Or are part of “The city of Gold” museum. This Museum offers visits of the mining site and invites you to become a miner for a day. Guests experience an underground descent to a depth of 90 meters. Underground, the guide, an old miner, explains the different methods of gold extraction and at the surface, visitors can see an ore transformation process within the laboratory and visit the pithead frame, hoist room and dryer section.

 

Welcome to La Cite de l'Or

Welcome to La Cite de l’Or

 

Guide explaining to visitors the history of Val d'Or

Guide explaining to visitors the history of Val d’Or

Visitors in the underground galleries of the mine

Visitors in the underground galleries of the mine

The guide is showing that when the mine was still active, the galleries were created by drilling and blasting

The guide is showing that when the mine was still active, the galleries were created by drilling and blasting

The underground galleries of the Lamaque  gold mine

The underground galleries of the Lamaque gold mine

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Pit Stop No2: Canadian Malartic mine

The Canadian Malartic open-pit

The Canadian Malartic open-pit

Canadian Malartic is one of Canada’s largest gold mine. Situated in the city of Malartic, 20 Km west from Val D’Or in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, this open-pit mine is expected to produce gold between 500 000 and 600 000 ounces of gold per year over a 16-year mine life. The first gold ingot was poured on April 2011 and commercial production started in May 2011. Built on time and on budget, Canadian Malartic presents a Probable Reserves of 9.37 million ounces of gold and continues to grow..

Haul trucks transporting the ore. Another truck is seen hydrating the ground to prevent the dust  spreading

Truck transporting the ore. Another truck is seen hydrating the ground to prevent the spreading of dust

The Canadian Malartic mining complex is comprised of several facilities including the conveyor belt and crushed ore stockpile building; a processing plant, a garage and numerous other installations. This immense complex represent an investment of more than $1 billion.

Secondary crushing circuit.

Secondary crushing circuit

Conveyor belt and ore reserve

Conveyor belt and crushed ore stockpile building

The Canadian Malartic mine is one of the most dynamic and interesting mine to work in particularly because it is located just across the town of Malartic. To minimize the impact of the sound generated by the haul trucks and shovels on the Malarticois, Osisko has constructed a green wall of several meters surrounding its mine.  In addition, drilling and blasting activities are interrupted when the wind blows towards the town; blasting is resumed when it is sure that the town will be uninfected by the blast.

Excavator placing the ore in a CAT793F mining truck

Letourneau loader placing the ore in a CAT793F mining truck

N.B: Want to experience Canadian Malartic ? This mine is open to visitors from early June to Labor day, fom Tuesday to Sunday; Make reservations in advance by contacting the Musée Minéralogique de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue (650, rue de la Paix, Malartic (quebec) J0Y 1Z0; Telephone (819) 757-4677; info@museemalartic.qc.ca).

Pit Stop No1: Jeffrey Mine

The haul road can be seen cutting the benches diagonally.

The haul road can be seen cutting the benches of the open-pit diagonally

Located in the heart of Asbestos city in southeastern Quebec, Jeffrey Mine started production of chrysotile or white asbestos in 1879. Chrysotile is the most common form of asbestos belonging to the serpentine group of phyllosilicates minerals. The mineral asbestos attracted the industrialists of the 90s due to its numerous properties. Over the years, the dangers associated with various forms of asbestos were identified lowering the demand for this mineral worldwide. The Quebec government has stopped funding the mining of Asbestos shutting down the largest mine of the region: Jeffrey Mine. This open-pit and underground mine reached a depth of 350 m. Today, the pit no longer exists as it has been reclaimed.

Two students holding  asbestos fibers

Students holding asbestos fibers

The chrysotile ore is transported from underground to the surface in this lift access

The chrysotile ore is transported from underground to the surface in this lift called a skip