The Bracemac-McLeod mine is a high-grade volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit located in the prolific mining district of Matagami, Québec. The Matagami district has seen mining activity for more than fifty years and Bracemac-McLeod is the region’s twelve operating mine. Bracemac-McLeod is a zinc-enriched VMS deposit and also contains economic values of copper, silver and gold.
Underground longhole mining operations began in May 2013 with transverse and longitudinal stoping methods used to access the orebodies. The mine operates at an average rate of 3,000 tpd and ore is transported to the Matagami Mill where it undergoes a flotation process to produce concentrates of zinc and copper. The Matagami mill has been in operation since 1963 and underwent an upgrade that was completed in 2007. Average recoveries at the mill are approximately 96% for zinc, 94% for copper, 60% for gold and 40% for silver. Copper concentrate from Bracemac-McLeod is sent to the Horne Smelter in Rouyn-Noranda, Québec and zinc concentrate to the Canadian Electrolytic Zinc Refinery in Valleyfield, Québec.
Sandstorm has a 3.0% net smelter returns royalty on the production from Bracemac-McLeod. Sandstorm originally acquired a gold stream from Donner Metals Ltd., who previously held a 35% joint venture interest on Bracemac-McLeod. The gold stream was converted to a NSR royalty when Donner announced its inability to meet the cash calls under their operating agreement with Glencore Xstrata.