Chukar – SMD’s Longest Life Project to Date Comes Back a Second Time
SMD started the portals at Newmont’s Chukar Mine in January 2002. The Chukar mine is located within the Gold Quarry Pit, at Newmont’s South Area near Carlin, Nevada. The job was originally a three-month development with a small amount of long-hole open stoping. We finished our first tour at this great mine eight years later when Newmont crews that were displaced from Deep Post at the end of 2009 took over. During our first tour, we mined 2,620,000 tons of ore and 52,000 feet of drift. We also placed 1,250,000 tons of backfill.
After being away for almost two years, we were asked to come back to establish a new portal and access into Chukar to allow mining to resume. Pit sequencing had interrupted production from the mine. We established a new portal from new location in the pit and connected to existing workings behind the pit highwall. We established completely new surface infrastructure that has remained unaffected by pit mining.
Chukar is a safe, high productivity mine with ore production averaging 1,200 tons per day. The main mining method is transverse long-hole open stoping with a lot of remote mucking. Primary stopes are filled with cemented rock fill. Secondary or tertiary stopes may be filled with gob. Ore mined in this second phase has exceeded what was mined in the first phase.
Chukar is now part of the Nevada Gold Mines Joint Venture and is nearing the end of its productive life.