Vertical development and support; evolution in methodology at LaRonde Mine

CIM Montreal 2015
Léon Grondin-Leblanc (Agnico-Eagle Mines)

Agnico Eagle’s flagship LaRonde Mine is exploiting a world class Au-Ag-Cu-Zn massive sulfide lenses complex. It is located in the Abitibi Region of northwestern Quebec, approximately 650 km northwest of Montreal. With more than 4 Moz of gold in proven and probable reserves, Laronde has one of the largest gold deposits of any mine operating in Canada. These reserves extend from surface down to 3,110m and remain open at depth. LaRonde’s ore production is around 6,300t per day with the current operations taking place at 2,930m below surface.

Right from the early days of Laronde Mine, a large amount of vertical development had to be made in order to access and mine the orebody. As the mining front progressed toward greater depth, the changing operational context and ground conditions were having negative effects on our vertical development. In order to address the problematic, a review of our vertical development and support method became necessary to achieve an acceptable level of performance and safety while maintaining costs to a minimum. In this presentation the challenges that were the starting point of the re-evaluation process will be exposed as well as the reviewed vertical excavation and support methods.

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