Colomac closing next month
Underground mine potential will not keep workers at site

by Nancy Gardiner
Northern News Services

NNSL (Sep 01/97) - Colomac mine will be closing in October, confirms Graham Eacott, vice-president of investor relations for Royal Oak Mines Inc. Two hundred and sixty employees will be affected.

Re-opening an underground mine in a couple of years using the same facilities at the Colomac Indin Lake site is a possibility, however.

"Clearly, underground ore cannot be developed in time to avert a shutdown of the open-pit operation later this year," according to a recent Royal Oak press release.

"An option we're looking at is seeking a joint-venture partner (to investigate the potential for underground mining.) There's been no discussions but it's an idea we have -- we may look internationally," Eacott said.

Royal Oak is encouraged by the potential for underground mining at Colomac based on recent results, according to a recent press release.

"There's been some (exploration) drilling there in the past by the former owner, Neptune Resources Corp.," he explained.

The company has completed extensive mapping, shallow drilling, geochemistry, geophysics and topographic work on the property.

The potential for underground mining is shown by several showings and deposits hosted in three regions in the Indin Lake area, according to Royal Oak. Approximately 30 intersections for various zones are reported and the best intersection demonstrates .35 ounce per tonne with a core width of 39.6 metres, the company reports.

Royal Oak has produced more than 500,000 ounces of gold from open pits since the mine opened seven years ago.

The mine has a 10,000-tonne-per-day capacity mill, power generating facilities, maintenance workshop, camp, airstrip and tailings pond.

Royal Oak is listed on the American and Toronto Stock exchanges.