Western Nunavut gold project heads into technical review
Nunavut regulators seek comment on TMAC’s revamped project
The price of gold is down, but TMAC Resources Inc. continues to move ahead with its Hope Bay-Doris North gold mine project in western Nunavut, about 125 kilometres south of Cambridge Bay, with a view to getting its mill in operation by the end of 2016.
By then the price of gold — now languishing at US $1,164 per ounce — may rise again to US $1,250 per ounce which TMAC said, in its pre-feasibility study, is required for the mine to make money.
Meanwhile, the Nunavut Impact Review Board and the Nunavut Water Board have opened the project for technical review and asked for comments on TMAC’s new plans for the gold-rich Doris North deposit.
The project, originally reviewed and approved, when it was still owned by Newmont Mining Corp., involved the development of an underground mine at Doris North.
Ore was to be stockpiled and processed through a crushing and milling plant with a capacity of 668 tonnes per day, with gold to be shipped off site in the form of bars.
The original project was expected to operate for two years, producing about 306,830 ounces of gold.
According to recent NIRB correspondence, TMAC now wants, among other things, to extend the mine life by four additional years, mill up to 2,000 tonnes of ore a day, produce more gold, tailings and discharge, increase camp capacity to accommodate up to 280 workers and over-winter fuel barges to support its operations.
TMAC has all its paperwork in order, including a 20-year benefit and land tenure surface and sub-surface agreements with Inuit organizations.
And TMAC also said this month that it’s “significantly de-risked the Hope Bay Project financially by securing equity and debt financing for gross proceeds of over $350 million.”
TMAC said it’s now able to focus on executing TMAC’s “Path to Production Plan,” which will lead to the commissioning of the processing plant at Doris North in late 2016.
Work planned for the remainder of 2015 includes:
• completion of the 2015 sealift, including the purchase and delivery of 15 million litres of diesel fuel and materials for the processing plant building, to Hope Bay;
• increasing underground development activities in September with the arrival of the underground equipment on the 2015 sealift; and,
• continuation of site preparation work including the construction of the foundation of the processing plant.
After Doris North is in operation, TMAC said it plans to use the “bootstrap” approach to develop other deposits within the Hope Bay project. This means the initial production at Doris North is expected to produce the cash-flow to fund the development of other deposits in the Hope Bay greenstone belt.