The Timmins mines are located in Timmins, Ontario, Canada, one of the world’s most prolific gold camps. The Timmins mines consist of two mining operations, Timmins West and Bell Creek, both of which feed the Bell Creek Mill.
The Timmins West mine is located approximately 18 kilometres west of Timmins and is comprised of the Timmins deposit, which has been in commercial production since January 2011, the Thunder Creek deposit, which achieved commercial production in January 2012, and the 144 Gap deposit, located approximately 600 metres from the Thunder Creek deposit, for which the Company released the initial Mineral Reserve estimate in the third quarter of 2017. All three deposits are interconnected by underground drifts. Tahoe produces ore from the mine via a 5.5 metre diameter shaft with a 6,000 tonne per day hoisting capacity. Ore is accessed using mobile equipment via internal ramps both from surface and the main shaft. Primary mining methods include longitudinal and transverse longhole mining.
The Bell Creek mine is located in Hoyle Township, Ontario, Canada, approximately 20kms northeast of Timmins. Operations are exploiting steeply-dipping shear-hosted sulfide gold mineralization by underground longhole mining methods with ore trucked to surface via a ramp system for processing. A project to rehabilitate a historic shaft at Bell Creek and extend it from approximately 300 metres to a depth of 1,080 metres commenced in the second quarter of 2016, with completion targeted for mid-2018. The shaft project is expected to result in a doubling of production at Bell Creek, to approximately 80,000 ounces per year, and to significantly extend mine life.
The Bell Creek mill processes ore from both the Timmins West and Bell Creek mines. Ore is processed by single-stage crushing and single-stage grinding, with a portion of the gold recovered by gravity methods, followed by pre-oxidation and cyanidation with carbon-in-leach and carbon-in-pulp recovery. During 2016, the mill averaged 3,410 tpd and processed 0.9 million tonnes of ore at an average gold grade of 4.19 grams per tonne and an average recovery of 96%, for a total of 121.6 thousand recovered gold ounces. Total cash operating and all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”) in 2016 averaged $615 per ounce and $1,057 per ounce, respectively.
In 2017, production from the Timmins mines is expected to total between 165 and 180 thousand ounces. Target ranges for total cash operating costs and AISC per ounce produced in 2017 are $650 – $700 and $1,000 – $1,100, respectively.
Exploration drilling in 2016 succeeded in extending mineralization at both operating mines in Timmins as well as at a number of near-mine projects and exploration targets. At Timmins West, mineralization at the Timmins Deposit was extended to depth by 150 metres, with extensions also being achieved at the 144 South target and Gold River deposit. At Bell Creek, the NA and NA2 zones were extended to the east along strike, with the Hanging wall 6 zone being extended to depth. The Company also had encouraging drill results at the Vogel property, approximately 1.5 km east of Bell Creek.
The Timmins West mine property encompasses an area of approximately 14.5 square kilometres. The majority of the property is situated within Bristol Township, with approximately 36 hectares located in Carscallen Township. The mine is accessible via Highways 101 and 144 and is in close proximity to the area’s main hydroelectric transmission line. The area experiences a continental climate with an average mean temperature range of ‐17.5°C (January) to +17.4° (July) and annual average precipitation of approximately 831 mm. Operations at the Timmins West mine can be carried out year-round.
The Bell Creek property is located in Hoyle Township, Porcupine Mining Division, approximately 20 kilometres by road, northeast of Timmins, Ontario. Year-round access is via Florence Street, a 6.7 km long all‐weather asphalt and gravel road, north of Ontario Provincial Highway 101. The area experiences a continental climate with an average mean temperature range of ‐17.5°C (January) to +17.4° (July) and annual average precipitation of approximately 831 mm. Operations at the Bell Creek Complex can be carried out year-round.
The City of Timmins, with an area of 3,210 square kilometres and a population of 43,165 (2011 Census), has an economic base dominated by the mining and timber industries. An experienced labour pool, mining supplies and mining/construction contractors are readily available in the Timmins area.