* New agreement to stay in force until March 2011
* First gold production expected by end of May
TORONTO, April 13 Canadian junior Century
Mining Corp (CMM.V) said on Tuesday that unionized hourly
employees at its Lamaque gold mine in Val d'Or, Quebec, have
ratified renewal of an existing collective agreement.
Century Mining acquired the adjacent Sigma and Lamaque
mines at Val d'Or in 2004 after mining at the site was halted
in 2003. Mining had first started in 1937.
The company operated the open-pit Sigma mine between 2005
and 2007, while commencing an underground exploration and
development program at Lamaque in 2006. The company was forced
to put work at Lamaque on hold in 2008 due to a lack of working
However, Century Mining earlier this year closed a C$60.75
million ($60.15 million) financing that will allow it to bring
the Lamaque project back into production and also allow the
company to increase capacity at its San Juan gold mine in
Last week, the company said it was on schedule for its
first gold pour at Lamaque by the end of May 2010.
The company, which aims to be a mid-sized gold producer,
said the new agreement with the union, the Syndicat des
Employes de les Mines Sigma (Quebec) Ltee, was ratified by more
than 90 percent of voting union members and will remain in
force until March 31, 2011.
Since reopening the Lamaque project in early January, the
company has brought on a mining team of more than 100 employees
and continues to fill vacant positions, the company said in a
(Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Peter Galloway)