The final day of 2017 is marking the end of an era at a Timmins mine.
More than 100 years after the Dome underground mine started, Dec. 31 work is permanently ceasing.
Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM) announced the closure, which directly affects about 140 people, in August.
To mark the end of the historic operation, mine general manager Marc Lauzier said each crew has had cake, a photographer was brought in for crew members wanting a picture taken, and the workers are receiving a memento to bring home.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our crews, they’ve done a phenomenal job, they’ve kept their heads up right until the end and the morale is actually better than it could be. We’re doing our best to keep the mine running until the 31st and everybody’s staying focused, it just speaks to the professionalism of the people at PGM,” Lauzier said.
While the mining operations will stop Dec. 31, he said there will be work over the next couple of weeks before the conveyances are stopped.
The Dome started in 1910.
In its time, Lauzier noted that 17 million ounces of gold have come out of the ore body, with Project Century having the potential for an additional five million ounces.
“It’s a 22 to 23-million-ounce ore body, very few ore bodies around the world have that much gold and have been open this long,” he said. “And if you think about what it’s done for the community, 100 plus years of solid contributions in the community, kept people employed for all that time, a lot of what’s happened in Timmins is because of mines like the Dome and it’s the only one that was open that long. It’s just amazing what this mine has done for the community.”
The Dome underground is just one part of the company’s operations in the Timmins area.
Project Century could double the depth and diameter of the open pit. Lauzier said the project is in the pre-feasibility stage. The company will be updating the market at investor day in January.
Hoyle Pond, and the mill are also still operational. He said the Borden project near Chapleau is going very well and is still being constructed.
While Lauzier never worked as a miner, he did spend time underground at the Dome as a geologist.
“When I started as a geologist in ’91 I never thought I’d be the one closing the mine. It’s just been such a special ore body,” he said.