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Giant arctic gold mine takes one step closer

Components for processing plant at Hope Bay Project, Nunavut Canada. Image: TMAC Resources

TMAC Resources Inc. (TSX:TMR) announced on Monday that Canada’s Nunavut Impact Review Board has okayed an amended mining plan for the company’s Doris North gold mine, the first stage of its Hope Bay project.

Toronto-based TMC said the receipt of the amended Project Certificate No. 003 for a much larger mine than previous owners of the property envisaged marks the completion of the NIRB process and that the agency now transitions to a monitoring role.

A pre-feasibility study outlines production of 3.2 million ounces from the project over 20 years with average annual production of 160,000 ounces

The water board of the northern Canadian territory is progressing with a related amendment to the water license for the Doris Mine according to TMAC’s statement:

The public hearing on the amended water license for the Doris North Project was completed earlier in September and TMAC awaits the NWB report. The finalized water license is anticipated later in the fourth quarter of 2016. The proposed amendments increase the tonnage to be mined, the mine life and the size of the Doris camp. Among other operational changes the amendments will increase the amount of tailings that can be placed into the already permitted tailings impoundment area and permit the discharge of treated water to Robert’s Bay.

TMAC, worth $1.5 billion on the TSX, owns 100% of the 1,101 square kilometre Hope Bay Project located near Cambridge Bay in Nunavut which includes two other deposits besides Doris. The high grade mine, which would be Nunavut’s second operating gold mine, boasts 7.7 g/t average gold grade reported in reserves. A pre-feasibility study outlines production of 3.2 million ounces from the project over 20 years with average annual production of 160,000 ounces.

TMAC says it will commissioned the processing plant in December and has already stockpiled more than 25,000 ounces of gold ore and hopes to achieve steady state production in 2017. The company has already spent around $250 million of the $334 million required to construct the mine.

Newmont Mining acquired the property in 2007 and subsequently upgraded the infrastructure including air strips, fuel storage, camps and ports. The company was also near completion of a processing plant in South Africa to be shipped in and underground Doris development but then placed the project in care and maintenance in 2011.

In March 2013, TMAC Resources acquired this mine and commenced construction of the processing plant and other infrastructure. This mine boasts of stunning 3.5 million troy ounces of gold in reserves and a total gold resources that are close to 6 million ounces. Newmont is a major shareholder in TMAC Resources.

Milestone for giant arctic gold mine

Another planeload arrives