Rubicon Minerals Corporation (TSX:RMX) (NYSE MKT:RBY) provides an update on the development of the Phoenix Gold Project. Rubicon has recently completed sinking the shaft, initial development of the tailings facility, construction of the mill building, earthworks, and 200-person camp. Underground development is underway. The Company has also entered into a US$75 million gold stream agreement to assist in financing the Project construction.
The Phoenix Gold Project Development and Construction Update
Shaft Sinking Completed
Rubicon completed shaft sinking in mid-December 2013. The total shaft depth is 730 metres from the surface. The installation of a loading pocket on the 337-metre level from surface is completed and the surface skip dump is nearing completion. This allows the Company to expedite underground lateral development on the 122-metre, 244-metre, and 305-metre levels. Two 10-tonne skips and two cages for personnel transport have been installed. The Company will be installing a 10-tonne loading pocket at the 685-metre depth and is planning lateral development at the 610-metre level.
Underground Project Development
Lateral development has been initiated on the 244-metre level for diamond drilling. Vertical development on the 122-metre and 305-metre levels has commenced and this will provide access for the ventilation system expansion.
Tailings Management Facility and Remaining Earthworks
The Company has completed the majority of the TMF development necessary for the first 2 years of operation.
The main components of the semi-autogenous and ball mill were delivered and received on site in 2013. The Company has poured most of the required outdoor concrete slabs. The mill building is completed and the internal cranes are fully operational. The mill thickener tank foundations are completed. Management has deferred some activities in the mill construction to preserve the Company’s strong balance sheet.
Surface Infrastructure Completed
The Company has commissioned a 2,500 horsepower hoist and extended headframe. In addition, Rubicon has completed the construction of the required roads, a 200-person camp, a new power line and substation, the mill building, and the SAG and ball mill foundations.
Timeline to Projected Production
Rubicon believes that the main elements required to complete the Phoenix Gold Project are the completion of the mill construction, as well as the underground lateral and vertical development. The completion of the mill construction is the critical path. Management has deferred mill construction to preserve the Company’s balance sheet until it has secured the remaining financing to complete the Project. Rubicon has entered into a US$75 million gold stream agreement with Royal Gold and the Company estimates it will need to raise an additional US$100 million to complete the Project to potential production. Rubicon is currently evaluating financing alternatives with a strong focus on minimizing the Company’s cost of capital. We estimate projected gold production in approximately 12-14 months following the completion of additional financing.
“We are extremely pleased with the key construction milestones that we have achieved to-date,” stated Michael A. Lalonde, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rubicon. “The Company has completed a substantial amount of the required construction, further de-risking the Project.”
About Rubicon Minerals Corporation
Rubicon Minerals Corporation is an advanced stage gold development company. The Company is focused on responsible and environmentally sustainable development of its Phoenix Gold Project in Red Lake, Ontario. Gold production is projected to commence 12-14 months following the completion of the remaining financing. The Phoenix Gold Project is fully permitted for initial production at 1,250 tonnes per day. In addition, Rubicon controls over 100 square miles of prime exploration ground in the prolific Red Lake gold district which hosts Goldcorp’s high-grade, world class Red Lake Mine.
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