OTTAWA — Newly released documents show a focus on small projects bogged down the first phase of the Liberal governments new infrastructure program.An internal analysis obtained by The Canadian Press under the access-to-information law, shows 32 departments handed out $14.4 billion in the first phase of the program.Almost one-third of the projects needed less than $100,000 in federal support but required the same detailed reviews as much bigger projects which delayed construction and the flow of federal cash.The government has been criticized for the slower-than-anticipated pace of infrastructure dollars leaving the federal treasury.The Liberals argue tracking federal spending can be misleading because funds only flow once receipts are filed, which causes a lag between when work occurs and money is paid out.A spokeswoman says Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is able to approve projects worth up to $50 million, putting the vast majority of projects under the minister’s authority and reducing timelines for approvals.The Canadian Press
Goldcorp has achieved first gold production at Cerro Negro, a high-grade gold mine located in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. On July 25, the initial dore bar weighing approximately 100 kg was poured at the mine containing an estimated 317 oz of gold. Overall, progress at the mine remains on track for declaration of commercial production by the end of the year. Production guidance for 2014 is expected to be between 130,000 and 180,000 oz of gold. Initial capital costs have been reduced by $100 million and are now expected to be between $1.6 and $1.7 billion.“We are very pleased to have first production on schedule and within our current capital cost guidance range from this world class mine,” said Chuck Jeannes, Goldcorp President and CEO. “Very importantly, this achievement was reached safely, with Cerro Negro in the midst of a run of over 4.1 million man hours without a lost time accident. This milestone signals not only the start of Cerro Negro’s mine life, but also a period of sustained growth for Goldcorp. The team at Cerro Negro has done an outstanding job amid occasionally challenging circumstances and I congratulate them for this outstanding effort. We look forward to strong contributions from Cerro Negro to Goldcorp’s overall performance for many years to come.”Cerro Negro is a high-grade gold mine located in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. It contains several high-grade vein structures, including the Mariana Central, Mariana Norte, San Marcos and Eureka.Cerro Negro was acquired in 2010 and since then the gold reserves and resources have nearly doubled, and new discoveries support Goldcorp’s expectations that Cerro Negro will be a long-lived, high quality asset with low production costs. Cerro Negro’s ideal physical setting and easily accessible veins will result in near-term, cashflow-accretive gold production. Proven and Probable gold mineral reserves totalled 5.74 Moz as of December 31, 2013.The property contains a large, very prospective land package, with a rich network of near-surface gold veins that are easily mineable at very low costs.The project is located on the low level Patagonian plains in southern Argentina, at an elevation of some 600 m above sea level. Project infrastructure is excellent, with paved and gravel road access to the nearest provincial town of Las Heras, 110 km northeast. Las Heras already provides basic manufacturing and service facilities to local on-shore oil fields located in Santa Cruz. 160 km northeast of Las Heras is the regional centre, Comodoro Rivadavia (population 140,000), with port and airport facilities.The property comprises 25,000 ha, and contains ten currently identified prospect areas with manifestations of epithermal gold mineralisation. The deposits are low-sulphidation, epithermal gold (and potentially silver) hosted within quartz veins and associated stockworks. Within the overall project, at least six zones of epithermal mineralization are now recognised.