The first ore trucks from the Wolverine mine will begin rolling down the Robert Campbell Highway on Friday.
The zinc, silver, copper and lead mine, located 190 kilometres northwest of Watson Lake, is sending its first shipments of stockpiled ore to Stewart, BC, where it will be shipped to Asia.
“We’re not pulling ore out of the mine at this time, we’re putting out stockpiles,” said Pamela O’Hara, vice-president of environment and community affairs.
The Yukon Zinc Corporation, which owns the mine, is still doing more structural work on the mine’s walls.
Mine worker William Fisher died after a tunnel wall collapsed in April.
“We were delayed after the fatality this spring,” said O’Hara.
After an investigation by the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board, the mine had to put in a safety plan and safer working conditions.
Despite a hold on extra digging, the mill is operational, said O’Hara.
“We’re not running huge tonnage, but just making sure that all circuits are performing to our satisfaction,” she said.
“We do hope to be in production in a limited scale over the fall and winter period so that we’ll be up to full production early next year.”
The mine has a permit to churn out 1,700 tonnes of ore per day.
But starting Friday, the mine will only put out about 25 to 30 per cent of that limit, said O’Hara.
The mine has only hired about 45 per cent of its projected staff of 250.
And most of its fleet of 13 to 15 trucks will be idle until 2011, when Yukon Zinc can begin processing ore from the mine, said O’Hara.
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