Canada. Working under a COVID-19 Operational Framework which utilizes pre-deployment monitoring and testing, a reduced workforce and numerous onsite protective measures, the Project Development team mobilized to site during the first week of July.Work commenced on key initiatives to progress infrastructure as well as to prepare for the construction of an exploration ramp to access the high-grade underground corridor at the Umwelt deposit.
Work commenced on extending the existing all-weather airstrip from 3,000 to 4,500 feet to facilitate the use of large capacity cargo and transport aircraft to support development and future operations.The use of larger aircraft enables the delivery of bulk fuel at a savings of $2.00 per litre, as well as the timely delivery of underground equipment to build the exploration decline and other infrastructure.To date, 53 ATR flights and the first Hercules aircraft of a planned 12 flight delivery program have been successfully received and the extension of the airstrip was completed safely and on schedule.
Major equipment and services for the underground exploration decline and portal workshop structure have been procured at a commitment of approximately C$8m.The majority of this equipment has already been staged in Yellowknife and is in the process of being transferred to site as part of the Hercules delivery program.
Additionally, in preparation for the construction of the exploration ramp, blasting and quarrying was completed to construct network roads connecting key areas within the Project footprint.These roads connect the quarry and existing exploration camp with the future underground mechanical shop and laydown area for the ramp portal. The portal box cut is well underway and is expected to be completed before winter break demobilization in December. Preliminary works are underway for the roads to the settling pond which will be constructed next year.
Detailed engineering for all aspects of the workshop, ramp dewatering, ventilation and utility requirements has been completed and the team is ready to procure the bulk material required for commencement of ramp development in the Winter of 2021.