Barrick Gold’s nickel mine could become a ski resort

Barrick Gold’s (TSX, NYSE:ABX) old Mascot Giant nickel mine, which closed in 1973 and is located near Hope, British Columbia, could soon become a ski resort, says a news story published today in The Province.

Citing an interview with Dennis Adamson, electoral director of Electoral Area B of the Fraser Valley Regional District, the article states that the place would be called the Giant Nickel All Season Resort and it would be “a year-round recreational playground” only two hours away from Vancouver and which will feature ski hills, a gondola, a lake for canoeing, villages, and restaurants that grow their own vegetables.

According to Adamson, the area, which has relied on resource extraction in the past, is desperate for an economic kickstart and the tourist facility would provide such a boost. He has been working with the mining giant for six years to make this proposal a reality and he is expecting building to start very soon, given that the Agricultural Land Commission already granted Barrick permission to alter the boundaries of the parcel of land that covers 182 hectares and that straddles the Trans-Canada Highway north of Hope.

“They’ll be putting in the notice of intent (for the resort) very shortly,” he told the newspaper.

The Commission’s approval, says The Province, is conditional on Barrick using 19 hectares of Agricultural Land Reserve included in the parcel for agricultural purposes and not for residential or other purposes and on it submitting a pre-development plan for the area not later than spring of 2020. Raising the entire complex would come at a cost of $600 million.

The world's largest gold producer confirmed that they are in conversations with local stakeholders. However, its spokesman, Andy Lloyd, refused to provide further details. “It’s at a very, very early stage (…). We wouldn’t want to create a false impression that Barrick is building a resort,” he said.