Abitibi region, Quebec
The Lapa underground mine is located near our LaRonde operation. It is Agnico Eagle’s highest grade mine, with gold grades more than twice as rich as the company’s average.
2015 production and costs
90,967 oz, $590/oz gold
The Lapa underground mine is located in the Abitibi region of northwestern Quebec, just 11 km east of our LaRonde mine, and 49 km west of our Goldex property. Lapa has proven and probable reserves containing approximately 78,000 ounces of gold (0.4 million tonnes grading 5.49 grams/tonne gold). Lapa is expected to pour 60,000 ounces of gold in 2016, which is expected to be the last full year of its mine life.
The Lapa property straddles the Cadillac-Larder Lake Fault Zone, a regional structure that hosts numerous gold prospects and past producers. The Fault Zone is taken up by the Archean-age Piché Volcanic Group rocks, which are locally folded; many of the gold-mineralized zones are located in the hinges of the fold structures.
Gold mineralization is located in zones of deformation within the Piché Group volcanic rocks. Gold is known to occur in three styles: as quartz veins, as tabular zones or as biotite-altered zones. The Contact Zone is the major economic lens of mineralization that has been traced for up to 600 metres, horizontally, and over 1,000 metres, vertically. The Zone is currently open at depth in all directions.
Lapa hosts an underground mining operation accessed by a 1,369-metre-deep shaft. Two mining methods are used – longitudinal retreat with cemented backfill, and locally transverse open stoping with cemented backfill. The dilution rate for mining the reserves averages 71%. The production rate averages 1,700 tonnes/day.
Excavated ore is trucked to a dedicated Lapa processing plant within the LaRonde processing facility with grinding, gravity and leaching circuits. Concentrates from Lapa’s gravity and leach circuits are sent to the LaRonde refinery to produce doré bars.
Two areas (Zone 8 East - Upper mine and the Zulapa 7 - Deep 2 Zone) have been identified as areas that could potentially support future mining activity post-2017. However, any potential production from these areas would likely require synergies with other production opportunities such as the Bousquet Zone 5 or the Pandora project. Results of underground drilling and development at Pandora, testing the C Zone and Branch Zone, have been encouraging and additional work will be conducted throughout 2016.