Lake Shore Gold Accelerates Work at Bell Creek Mine in 2020


Work at Bell Creek will ramp up next year, according to Lake Shore Gold country manager David Bernier.

At the Timmins Chamber of Commerce’s Inside Their Business event, Bernier provided an update on the operations of Lake Shore Gold, a subsidiary of Pan American Silver.

He talked about what’s happening at their two locations in the city, the potential impact of the main highway closure for road reconstruction, and more.

In Timmins, Lake Shore Gold owns the Timmins West mine and the Bell Creek mine and mill in Porcupine.

With Bell Creek growing every year, Bernier said it’s possible to continue on this path.

“We are looking to increase the capacity of the plant, as we have made some adjustments simply due to the current economic situation where we can actually process more. Next year our growth will be focused on the plant, a small expansion, as well as the growth of the Bell Creek mine,” he said.

In 2020, he said a 20% increase is expected for Bell Creek.

“And we’re actually going to be laying off Timmins West a bit. Timmins West has been a mine that’s been under immense pressure to produce during the growth of Bell Creek, so with that it’s a bit strained, so we’re going to be laying off Timmins West a bit and then ramp up Bell Creek next year,” he said.

Earlier this year, the company celebrated the official opening of the Bell Creek shaft.

The investment of $100 million over two years expanded an unusable 300 meter shaft into a 1,080 meter producing shaft.

“It was a game-changer for the mine. This has helped tremendously to reduce costs,” Bernier said.

“The plant was designed for around 4,000 tonnes per day when it opened. Since then we have made minor improvements and adjustments to this and have actually only had a 5,000 tonne day. removed from the mine, which was a record. Everyone is fully engaged there. It’s exciting for Bell Creek.

At both mines, the current life is in 2025, Bernier said.

“When we drill diamond, we hope it’s something that keeps moving,” he said.

There are a number of projects he said they were also trying to work on, but hadn’t had the resources to do before.

“There are a few things that we are looking at in our land holdings that we are trying to move forward next year,” he said, adding that they would not be doing any rock or soil work.

To get the ore from Timmins West to the Porcupine mill, it is trucked through town. He said that averaged between 2,600 and 3,000 tonnes per day.

With a massive Connecting Link road construction project along Algonquin set to shut down a section of the corridor starting next year, Bernier said he wanted to make sure the city considers all options for rerouting the traffic.

He asked their trucking company for an estimate of the additional costs the detour might entail for the multi-year project.

“We haven’t received that yet, but I’m guessing it will be between $1.50 and $2 a ton,” he said, which he said would be an impact of about $3 million. .

“We just want to make sure all alternatives are looked at. If there’s an opportunity to leave a few avenues open, then obviously that’s something that would work better for our business as well as others who use it,” Bernier said, noting that companies like EACOM and Newmont Goldcorp also use the stretch of road for business.

Although he supports road works, he said companies pay extra for every tonne diverted.

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