A promising gold deposit near Timmins is likely three years away from development after a three-way $1.95-billion merger deal between Kinross, Echo Bay Mines and TVX Gold Inc. was announced June 10.
An estimated 1.277 million ounces of proven and probable reserves of gold were believed to exist in 1997 in the Aquarius project when Echo Bay purchased the property for $53 million US.
Whether the Aquarius will be a stand-alone project or incorporated into a separate Placer Dome-Kinross deal, the Porcupine Joint Venture, is not known, but this latest merger of the three mid-sized mining companies makes the Aquarius project more financially viable.
The new Kinross created from the three-way merger will own 100 per cent of the Aquarius, according to a spokesperson for Kinross. The plan is to put all the Timmins operations of Kinross and Placer Dome into a new entity with Placer Dome holding 51 per cent. Both Kinross and Placer Dome hope to have an agreement signed by July 1.
The dormant Aquarius property is situated on the eastern edge of Timmins near Highway 101 and Highway 67. If developed, the open-pit mine would likely employ 200. Public hearings held in Matheson and Timmins on the joint venture encountered no objections and municipal approvals are also expected, an official with Kinross says.