The Nugget Pond Milling Facility is located on the Baie Verte Peninsula in Northeastern Newfoundland, Canada. Rambler purchased the facility in October 2009 for $3.5 M CDN as a gold processing carbon in pulp circuit. The mill is only 40 km from the Ming Mine site and through the addition of a copper floatation circuit, the facility is now capable of processing both gold and copper bearing ore types. The gold hydromet has a name plate capacity of 500 mtpd (metric tonnes per day) while with the copper concentrator designed for 1000 mtpd. Presently there is a common crushing and grinding plant feeding both mills however through a future expansion and addition of a new crushing and grinding circuit the Company hopes that the facility will have the ability to process both ore types simultaneously.
First commercial production at Nugget Pond began in April 1997 at a nominal rate of 350 mtpd within the plant later optimized to 500 mtpd. The gold rich deposit had a proven and profitable mine life of four years and by the spring of 2000 the existing Nugget Pond ore reserve was exhausted. Fortunately, at that time, the present owners were already in the process of developing the Hammerdown deposit in the King's point area which added an additional 4 years of processing. By the middle of 2004 the facility was placed under a care and maintenance program.
In June of 2006 Crew Gold Corporation acquired Nugget Pond for the processing of their Nalunaq gold deposit in Greenland. The plant began commercial production on this ore body in February 2007, however due to high transportation costs this campaign ended in June 2009. At that time, Crew Gold immediately entered into a toll milling agreement with Anaconda Mining Inc. for their Pine Cove deposit which was subsequently cancelled in December 2009. Currently, the facility is dedicated to the processing of ore from the Ming Mine.
The Nugget Pond facility has surpassed all expectations by running continuously at 98% availability with an average recovery of 95% over the past 10 years. Since its first production in 1997 on the Nugget Pond deposit, the mill has seen ore from three other gold deposits with almost 1.5 million tonnes of ore processed over its life.
The mill itself has a modern but conventional mill circuit that includes leading edge computerized process control systems that assist mill operators for both production and environmental control.