With water licence in hand, western Nunavut miner can get to work

Type B Water Licence will let Sabina complete “pre-construction infrastructure”


This map shows the approximate location of the Back River gold mine project in western Nunavut. (FILE IMAGE)

This map shows the approximate location of the Back River gold mine project in western Nunavut. (FILE IMAGE)

Sabina Gold and Silver Corp. announced last week that it had received one of the essential licences that the company needs to start building its Back River gold mine project in western Nunavut.

This is a Type B water licence from the Nunavut Water Board.

And it’s a “key authorization to complete work planned for the project in 2018,” a Sabina news release said.

The Type B water licence will let Sabina to complete what it called pre-construction infrastructure works. These would include preparing the marine lay-down area in Bathurst Inlet to receive necessary fuel, equipment, and supplies to the Back River project.

The company will also be able to move ahead on pre-development work to establish all-weather roads between the deposits, camp sites, tailings storage facility and the mill site.

The Type A water licence review is in process and is expected by the end of 2018, Sabina said.

In December, the Vancouver-based junior mining company received its project certificate from the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

Two weeks later, Sabina announced it had brought on a Chinese investor, Zhaojin International Mining Co. Ltd., which agreed to purchase 24,930,000 common shares in the company.

Sabina’s plans for Back River—which were first rejected by Nunavut regulators due to concerns over impacts on caribou—include a chain of open pit and underground mines at its Goose property.

The pits are expected to be operational for at least 10 years and would involve filling, damming or draining lakes and streams, and building a 157-kilometre road from the mine to a seasonal port and tank farm at Bathurst Inlet, about 120 km south of Cambridge Bay on the mainland.

After an initial investment of $415 million, Sabina hopes to produce about 200,000 ounces of gold per year.

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