|Years of Operation:||1933 -1999|
|Ounces of Gold Produced:||3,525,389|
Reproduced with the permission of Kirkland Lake Gold Inc.
The Macassa gold mine was in continuous production from 1933 until operations were suspended indefinitely in June 1999. The mine was the last of the seven major gold mines in Kirkland Lake to halt production.
The original mine was developed on 11 mining claims by Macassa Mines Ltd. that organized in 1926 and obtained the assets of United Kirkland Gold Mines Ltd., in 1933. In 1962 the company combined with Bicroft Uranium Mines Ltd., and Renabie Mines ltd., to become Macassa Gold Mines Ltd. Amalgamation in November 1970 with Willroy Mines Ltd., and Willecho Mines Ltd., created the parent company Little Long Lac Gold Mines, located in Toronto. Upper Canada Mines Ltd. optioned management rights from 1970 – 1976. In December 1982, the amalgamation of several groups, including Little Long Lac Gold Mines, created Lac Minerals Ltd. (Macassa Division). It was during this period that the Tegren property was added to the traditional Macassa property. In August 1994, Barrick Gold Corporation successfully took over Lac Minerals Ltd., and Kinross Gold Corporation acquired it from Barrick in May 1995.
The first shaft was the 500-foot Elliot shaft that was developed in the Main Break Zone in the late 1920’s. Mining was unsuccessful and operations halted. In 1931, development westward onto Macassa ground from the 2475-foot level of the Kirkland Lake Gold Mine discovered ore on the Main Break for 700 feet along strike and in subsidiary hangingwall veins. These underground workings were connected with the 3100 foot No.1 shaft, and later by two winzes to greater depths. The No. 1 winze connected the 3000-foot to 4625-foot levels and the No. 2 winze the 4625 to 6875 levels. The No. 2 shaft was sunk from surface to a depth of 4625 feet about 1000 feet southwest of the No. 1 shaft. In 1986, the No. 3 shaft was sunk from surface (in what had been Tegren ground) to the 7050-foot level and then to a final level of 7225 feet. Until the mid 1990’s this was the deepest single-lift shaft in the Western Hemisphere. The No. 3 shaft was the most recent access shaft, and gave access to 21 levels from 3800 feet to the 7050-foot level until 1997. As a result of a rock burst on April 12, 1997, only the levels between the 4250 and 5150 levels remained active. Exploration development was underway on the 3800 foot level when production was halted in 1999. Rehabilitation of levels down to the 5700’ level was in progress prior to closure.
Since active production began in 1933, until the end of 1988, more than 115 kilometers of underground drifting and cross-cutting had occurred on 51 levels/sub-levels (Kinross, 1996), and from the date of initial production until the end of 1997, well in excess of 500 km core were drilled.
The first mill began operation in October 1933 at a capacity of 200 tons per day. The milling rate was increased to 425 tons/day in 1949 and to 500-525 tons/day in 1956. In August 1988 a new mill was built which could process 500-600 tons of rock and 750 tons of tailings per day. By 1996, modifications had increased capacity to 900 tons of rock per day and 1,000 tons of tailings per day. At the time of closure in 1999, mill capacity was near 1,600 tons of rock per day, or 600 tons of rock and 1,400 tons of tailings per day. During 1998, the 3.5 millionth ounce was produced.
The above summary of the history of the Macassa Mine is taken from: STILL, A.C. 2001 Structural setting and controls of gold mineralization at the Macassa Mine, Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Unpublished Masters of Science Thesis, Queens University 151p
Macassa Mine (Producer)
Partial history as of 1979
Approximately V/a miles west of Kirkland Lake, in central Teck Township. No.1 Shaft in pa tented claim L2837; No.2 Shaft in patented claim L4186; Elliot Shaft in claim L1617. Latitude 48.140, Longitude 80.070 . Map reference: ODM 1945-1, Township of Teck.
The property is underlain by Timiskaming metasediments (including tuffs) and a variety of intrusive rocks. The predominant metasediment is boulder and pebble conglomerate. Most of the mine workings lie within augite syenite, syenite, syenite porphyry, and diabase intrusive rocks. The augite syenite forms an elongated tabular mass of irregular outline which parallels the trend of the metasedi ments (N60-800E) and dips steeply south. It is the most widespread of the intrusive rock types and is itself intruded by a westward-p itch ing pipe-like mass of syenite. The Kirkland Lake “Main Break” cuts the augite syenite along its length, with the 177 southern part having been thrust upward about 1,500 feet. The syenite porphyry occurs as dikes cutting the syenite and augite syenite. Only one narrow diabase dike has been found in the mine workings. It cuts all other rock formations. The most important structural control in the mine is the Kirkland Lake Fault, or “Main Break”, which has an average dip of 800S to a depth of 3,500 feet. Below this depth, the dip begins to decrease. Most of the early ore was found along the “Main Break” and in hanging wall subsidiaries. In recent years, the majority of the mill feed came from veins on and adjacent to an important footwall subsidiary of the “Main Break” at depth. This structure is known as the “04 Break”. It is being mined, along with its subsidiaries below the 4,625-foot level, in the vicinity of the No.2 winze. Some of its veins extend into the Tegren property to the west. The productive veins are always quartz-filled frac tures. They occur in every type of country rock in the zones of fracturing with the exception of the diabase. In longitudinal section, the upper extremity of the ore bodies in the mine rakes to the west at about 400 , and no ore has been found above the 1,300-foot horizon. The rake roughly parallels the margin of the main intrusive body and may have been controlled by this structural feature. The dis placement of veins, ore shoots, and structures by post-ore faulting is small. Vein filling classed as ore consists of quartz of different generations, inclusions of wall rock, some carbonates, and minor sulphides, tellurides and native gold. The principal sulphide is finely dissem inated pyrite which averages less than 2 percent of the ore. Sericite and chlorite occur in the ore and wall rocks, and molybdenite is largely confined to slips in the fractured quartz. Gold was deposited very late in the sequence of mineralization and is mainly confined along fractures in the quartz, although it also occurs in the pyrite and tellurides. The most common tellurides are altaite and the gold telluride, calaverite. ECONOMIC FEATURES: As of December 31, 1976, ore reserves stood at 270,530 tons averaging 0.561 ounce of Au per ton (Canadian Mines Handbook 1977-78, p.323 (Willroy Mines Limited)).
Willroy Mines Limited.
1911: Easternmost claims of the property (L1616 and L1617) staked by Dave Elliot.
1916-1919: Elliot Shaft to 523 feet and 1,369 feet of lateral development on levels at 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 feet by Elliot-Kirkland Gold Mines Limited.
1926-1927: Elliot-Kirkland property and additional claims to the west taken over, 4,833 feet of lateral development on the 300-, 400-, and 500-foot levels, one underground diamond-drill hole (767 feet) and 14 surface diamond-drill holes (7,014 feet) by Macassa Mines Limited.
1931-1933: Three-compartment Macassa No.1 Shaft to 2,500 feet, a long drift connecting this shaft with the Kirkland Lake Gold 2,500-foot level, 4,504 feet of underground development on levels at 500, 1,000, 1,750, 2,000 and 2,500 feet and sublevels at 2,000, 2,175 and 2,325 feet, and 941 feet of diamond-drilling. In 1933, a 200-ton mill was completed and production started. All work by Macassa Mines Limited. 1934-present: The mine is serviced by two shafts and two winzes (the Elliot Shaft is no longer used). The No.2 winze, collared at the 4,625-foot level, has taken the workings to the 6,900-foot level. Total underground development to the end of 1976, be low the 750-foot level, is as follows: 209,301 feet of drifting, 58,759 feet of crosscutting, and 45,559 feet of raising. Milling capacity was increased from 200 tons per day in 1933 to 500 tons per day in 1952. In 1976, an average of 250 tons of ore per day was be ing milled. Production has been continuous from 1933 to date. Under a 1971 agreement, Macassa mines and mills ore from the Tegren Goldfields Limited property (immediately to the west) on a royalty basis. From 1970 to 1976, Upper Canada Resources Limited managed the operation in ex change for 50 percent of the profits. When Willroy Mines Limited assumed this role in 1976, explora tion and development were accelerated.
|Year||Gold||Silver||Ore Milled||Recovered Grade|
|(ounces)||(ounces)||(tons)||(ounce of Au per ton)|
These figures include production from the Tegren Mine which began in 1971. In 1976, the mill was processing an average of 250 tons of ore per day.
Canadian Mines Handbook 1977-78, p.322, 323 (Willroy Mines Limited).
ODM 1920, Vol.29, pt.4, p.26 (Elliot Kirkland).
ODM 1928, Vol.37, pt.2, p.147, 148.
ODM 1948, Vol.57, pt.5, p.125-132.
ODM 1964, GC11, p.15-25.
ODM 1964, MRC3, p.52, 53.
Gordon, J.B., Lovell, H.L., de Grijs, Jan, and Davie, R.F.
1979: Gold Deposits of Ontario, Part 2: Part of District of Cochrane, Districts of Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Sudbury, Timiskaming, and Counties of Southern Ontario; Ontario Geological Survey, Mineral Deposits Circular 18, 253p.