Caterpillar 793F autonomous haul truck dumping mined rock ore at the primary crusher in late January

Milestone achieved: Côté Gold’s Rock in the Box sets the stage for success

March 6, 2024

At Côté Gold, our commitment lies in achieving consistent and dependable outcomes through a culture of excellence that thrives on collaboration, technological innovation, and tangible advancements. With successful completion of the primary crushing circuit testing and the commissioning of the first mined rock ore, our Côté Gold Operations Team has reached a significant milestone known as Rock in the Box. In doing so, the team is paving the way for our first gold pour, another major milestone set to occur towards the end of March.

As the journey towards commercial production, scheduled for the third quarter of 2024, continues, the implementation of innovative technologies like autonomous haulage will set Côté Gold apart as a pioneer in the field. The planning and execution exhibited in these early stages demonstrate that we are well on our way to becoming a major player in the Canadian gold mining industry.

Milestone achieved: Côté Gold’s Rock in the Box sets the stage for success (continued)

The first steps for Côté Gold to start its journey towards its goal of becoming the third largest gold mine in Canada is the commissioning process where all the equipment is turned on, tested, and optimized to ensure it runs as expected.

In the fourth quarter, we began the commissioning of the processing circuits and plant, where the mined rock is crushed, grinded, put into solution and ultimately turned into gold. The initial milestone achieved in January is what we call “Rock in the Box”, where mined rock was successfully delivered to the primary crusher by our autonomous haul trucks, crushed down, and then conveyed to the coarse ore dome.

In February, we completed the commissioning of the next stages of crushing and grinding, including the HPGR and ball mill which, together, progressively reduced the size of the crushed rock into a fine sand and combined it with water. In March, we will turn on and test the “wet” circuits, where the fine sand in water is combined with reagents before stripping out the gold, and ultimately pouring gold dore bars in the gold room.

The phased approach adopted for commissioning and start-up was designed to ensure a progressive and systematic testing of equipment and systems. By breaking down the process into distinct phases, the Operations Team can focus on specific areas, allowing for a thorough evaluation before moving on to the next stage. Moreover, this approach allows for a staggered transition to operations, facilitating early testing and necessary adjustments.

The successful completion of phase one ― Rock in the Box ― with its testing of crushers, screening, and material transfer processes, was a significant milestone because it serves as the crucial link between mining and milling operations and builds the foundation for our journey to become what we believe will be Canada’s next great gold mine.

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