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Argonaut Gold’s Magino gold mine hits major milestones

Nov 16, 2021

By Frank Giorno
Argonaut Gold is making steady progress towards developing its Magino gold mine near Marathon, Ontario and has reached several major mile-stones as it heads into a very busy 2022.

Doughert pic
Photo: CEO, Pete Dougherty taken at the Magino Groundbreaking Ceremony in September 2021.

“The Magino construction project continues to advance on schedule as we continue to work with our two major partners: Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc. (Ausenco) and Sigfusson Northern Ltd. (SNL),” CEO Peter Dougherty informed share-holders and community members in the company’s October newsletter. Dougherty listed the major achievements Argonaut had achieved by October 2021 towards turning the Magino mine into a fully productive operation.

Construction Progress

The Magino Processing Plant had its cement pouring and foundation building well underway towards completion by 2022 for the Ball and SAG mill areas. The forms and rebar were commenced in the reclaim chamber.
Work on the road also was well underway with the Main haul road section completed and a new temporary infrastructure multi-use lay-down pad completed.

Other construction projects that have been completed include:

  • Security and medical trailer completed.
  • Pole mounted transformer and stepup transformers erected.
  • Sections of the camp buildings completed including hallways and insulation.

Argonaut Gold successfully implements Environmental Management System

Argonaut environmental

Environmental Permitting

Work on essential environmental protection features at Magino also reached several milestones by October 2021. Argonaut has completed installation of ground water monitoring wells which will be essential for monitoring and remediating possible spread of contamination from its open pit and tailings management facilities.
Argonaut Gold has successfully implemented the Environmental Management System as construction progresses and continues to work collaboratively with various Federal as well as Provincial regulatory agencies.

By October 2021 Argonaut:

  • Completed downstream and upstream coffer dams for the Water Control Quality Pond (WQCP).
  • Liners placed on all dams. Drilling commenced for the jaw crusher retaining wall.
  • Detailed backfill for Leach Tanks completed.
  • Sections of the Tailings Management Facility dam have been cleaned.
  • Continued earthworks and water management follow-up.
  • Started biological field work (sediment, benthic and fish tissue sampling) as well as ongoing monitoring.

Site predictive water quality modelling is progressing well with Ministry engagement expected in the coming weeks. Discussions on fish habitat compensation and construction materials sorting is e-progressing with Ministry officials from their fish re-stocking program.

Mining analysts and investors give Argonaut Gold a solid two thumbs up

Argoaut epiroc

Community Partnerships

Argonaut Gold team members regularly participate in meetings to provide environmental updates to its Indigenous partners: Michipocoten First Nation, Batchewana First Nation, Missanabie Cree First Nation, Métis Nation of Ontario, Red Sky Métis Independent Nation and Garden River First Nation.  These meetings are key for communicating project progress and for gathering input to ensure work was being conducted in a manner that protects their members.
“We are also continuing to engage with community members and all Indigenous communities to ensure our neighbours are well informed of all activities with the Project,” Dougherty said.
In the companies October newsletter, Dougherty gave a summary of progress on its gold mining operations as well. Argonaut, he said was continuing its plant site perimeter ditching and installation of drains around its gold room and transformer pad. It has continued to build its Tailings Management foundation and had commenced the placement of strip-ping inside the TMF footprint.
In the near future it will complete the essential pit dewatering system that will permit gold extraction work. Once in place, Argonaut will begin production drilling and blasting to accelerate blast rock inventory. Its exploration drilling program will continue with five diamond drills operating.
The company is now working on continuing the plant site perimeter ditching, and installation of perimeter drain around the gold room and transformer pad, continuing TMF foundation preparation and commencing placement of stripping inside the TMF footprint, implement the pit dewatering plan and continue with production drilling and blasting.

Stock performance

At the end of October 2021 Argonaut stock was valued at $3.29 Cdn per share. This compares to a low value of $0.88 Cdn on March 20, 2020, a quadrupling of its value.
Argonaut Gold’s financial position and its steady progress making Magino operational has caught the attention of mining analysts who are giving the company a solid two thumbs up.
For example, in the Seeking Alpha Investment Newsletter, a guest columnist who goes by the pseudonym, “Bang for the Buck” stated “Argonaut Gold offers a fantastic valuation for the patient long-term investor.” “Argonaut Gold already has most of the capital required to move Magino into production, which decreases the risk substantially,” he stated. “I think the company offers a very attractive upside based on 2021 and 2022 cash flows.”
The thinking at Argonaut Gold reflects the optimistic comments offered by Seeking Alpha’s confidence in the company.
“As we continue to progress on the construction of our Magino, we are committed to updating our share-holders during this process as we execute on our strategy to transform Argonaut from a high-cost, junior producer with relatively short mine lives, to a low-cost intermediate producer with much longer mine lives,” Peter Dougherty assured shareholders and potential future investors.

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