Nunavut in northern Canada
The Meliadine Gold project is located in the Kivalliq District of Nunavut in northern Canada, approximately 25 km northwestof Rankin Inlet on the west coast of Hudson Bay. A privateall-weather access road, constructed by Agnico Eagle, connects Rankin Inlet to the Meliadine project. Meliadine is part of acluster of mines that includes the Meadowbank and Amaruqmining projects that represent an important growth platformfor Agnico Eagle, the owner and operator of the projects. Over CAD 1.6B will be invested in Nunavut for these mining projectsand auxilary infrastructure, employing over 2 000 employees at the different mining camps. Seven Gold deposits have been identified at the Meliadine project of which Tiriganiaq is the most significant. Gold mineralization in these seven deposits is mostly mesothermal quartz-vein-dominated gold systems instrongly sheared and complexly folded host rocks of Archeanturbidites, iron formation and volcanic rocks. Within each deposit are many goldbearing lodes of quartz vein stockwork, laminated veins and sulphidized iron formation with strike lengths of up to 3 km. Initially, Agnico Eagle will mine the Tiriganiaq deposit, including the Wesmeg 650 lode, from twoopen pits and an underground mine.
The current mine plan outlines a phased approach with Phase1 mill capacity expected to be around 3 750 tons per day. The mill capacity in Phase 2 is expected to increase to 6 000 tons per day, with ore being sourced from both, underground and open pits starting in year 4 and with ore being sourced entirely from underground during the first years. First ore from Meliadine was processed in 2019 and the mine should produce around 400 000 ounces of Gold annually over the 14 year life of mine. Preliminary mining methods consist of longitudinal and transverse longhole stoping with pastefill on a 25 m level spacing.
EFFICIENT MINE DEVELOPMENT
The Meliadine mine site is extremely remote and faces extreme weather conditions, particularly during the winter months. Construction challenges in such remotness and harsh climate conditions are manyfold and with only limited sealifts available to supply the site during the summer months, the logsitics plays a key role for whatever will be used at the site and how products are stocked, stored and applied all year round. Sika had to fully comply with the complex logistics shedule and warehousing limitations and had to elaborate a special set-up to supply the Meliadine mine site with shotcrete and a wide range of construction solutions in order to allow rapid mine development at this site.
In order to provide the required shotcrete quantity where and when needed for the underground development of the Tiriganiaq deposit, Agnico Eagle opted for the provenKing® MS-W1 UG dry to wet shotcrete solution. Ready-bagged shotcrete mixes are supplied to the site and are hauled underground, loaded into agitator trucks and the mix is blended with water. In order to accelerate the mix, proven Sika® Sigunit® technology is used that allows rapid early strength gain for the shotcrete at moderate accelerator dosage. Such high early strengths allow for rapid mine development and short re-entry time.
As the delivery of bulk, liquid chemicals to the site is not possible due to the risk of freezing and limited, heated storage, Sika provides a unique solution to blend instant shotcrete accelerator at the site whenever needed, avoiding heated storage and the risk of freezing as the product is delivered as a dry powder to the site. This Sika® Sigunit® P-10 AF powder technology has proven to be a unique solution at many remote mine sites globally.
In order to produce the liquid Sika® Sigunit® shotcrete accelerator at the site, Sika-King provided a custom made, on site production unit to the Meliadine mining team. Furthermore, Sika-King supplies a full range of other products to the site. For construction in permafrost ground, Agnico Eagle relies on the King® Nordic TC grout for their automated, Sandvik cable bolters. King® Nordic Grout is used for piling and general construction purposes.
Dry-mix shotcrete is used frequently at various sites of Agnico Eagle in Nunavut such as the King® MS-D3 UG dry-mix shotcrete. All of thedry-mix shotcrete is sprayed using Sika® Aliva® AL-252 shotcrete units.
- Steady shotcrete production all year around
- Cope with limited storage capacity (especially heated storage)
- Rapid early strength for the wet-mix shotcrete
- A minimum dosage of accelerator
- On site production of accelerator
- High performing cable grout that can be used in permafrost ground
Sika Products Used on this Project
*please note that the nordic linked here is the classic product, the nordic used on this project is a special mix (TC). Contact your Sika-King technical sales representative to inquire about the product.
** contact your Sika-King technical sales representative concerning Aliva equipment.