Lake Shore Gold Corp. announced that it has commenced driving a ramp from surface to access reserves above the 400 metre level at its 100%-owned Timmins West property. In addition, the Company’s advanced exploration program at Timmins West is progressing on schedule and budget with the planned 710 metre shaft having reached the 100 metre (328 foot) level. The Company remains on track to record first gold production from the Timmins West ramp early in 2009.
The current mine plan at Timmins West contemplates production from the ramp of approximately 30,000 ounces of gold in 2009 with output reaching the target rate of 500 tonnes per day late in the year. The ramp will eventually decline to at least the 400 metre level which will not only support early production, but will also assist in accelerating pre-production development once the Timmins West shaft and related advanced exploration work is completed.
Following completion of the headframe, hoistroom and other surface infrastructure, the shaft sinking program at Timmins West commenced at the end of July. To date, the shaft has reached the 100 metre level and is advancing on track for completion during the third quarter of 2009, to be followed by a program of level development, bulk sampling and underground diamond drilling. Pre-production development from the shaft is expected to begin late next year and to extend throughout most of 2010, by which time the Company is targeting total production from Timmins West to reach approximately 1,500 tonnes per day.
Ore from Timmins West will be processed at Lake Shore Gold’s 100%-owned Bell Creek mill, located approximately 20 kilometers east of Timmins. Refurbishing of the mill, which was acquired along with the Bell Creek mine in December 2007, is on track for completion by the end of September, with the Company currently in the process of transitioning the mill’s operating permit from inactive to active status. The mill is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2008, in advance of receiving ore from Timmins West.
Anthony (Tony) Makuch, President and CEO of Lake Shore Gold, commented: “We are very pleased to be moving forward with both the Timmins West ramp and shaft. Installation of the shaft sinking surface infrastructure was completed on schedule and on budget and we are confident that we will continue to meet our key development targets as we move forward. Timmins West is a world class gold project with significant potential for growth. The existing deposit remains open at depth from multiple zones and we have numerous exploration targets both at Timmins West and at the adjacent Thunder Creek property where the highly prospective Rusk zone was discovered last year. Very importantly, we remain fully financed to complete Timmins West and to advance our other projects and exploration properties.”
Lake Shore Gold Corp. is a mineral development and exploration company that is rapidly moving towards gold production through a portfolio which includes an existing processing facility and a number of quality mineral properties located in the Timmins gold mining district of northern Ontario and Quebec. The Company has completed a pre-feasibility study and is moving forward with an advanced exploration program at its Timmins West property, is well advanced in refurbishing its 100%-owned Bell Creek mill and is continuing drilling programs at a number of other prospective properties. The Company’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol LSG.