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Mine developer raises financing for open-pit gold mine

First Mining Gold pockets $8.5 million to prove up Springpole Project
First Mining Springpole 1
First Mining's Springpole Project (First Mining photo)

First Mining Gold has raised $8.5 million to advance an open-pit gold mine project in northwestern Ontario.

The Vancouver junior miner has closed a private placement share offering to raise financing for exploration and permitting for its Springpole Project. The money was raised in three tranches beginning in February.

The company has a number of gold prospects in northwestern Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland-Labrador, Nevada and Mexico but its main focus is to bring Springpole, 110 kilometres northeast of Red Lake, through the final permitting phase and into production.

They’re currently drilling and gathering information for a pre-feasibility study, due out by year’s end.

The deposit is promoted by the company as “one of the largest undeveloped open pit gold projects in North America.”

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A technical study released last fall placed a 12-year mine life on the potential operation. Over the life of the mine, Springpole is pegged to produce 3.9 million ounces of gold and 22 million ounces of silver.

“We are delighted to have strong participation from our existing shareholders in this financing,” said First Mining CEO Dan Wilton in a March 6 release.

“Their support, along with additional investment by management and insiders, has allowed us to upsize this financing and continue to move Springpole through the permitting and pre-feasibility Study process.”

At nearby Goldlund, situated between Dryden and Sioux Lookout, the company has been continuously drilling since June to expand the gold resource.

The deposit has an indicated gold resource of more than 800,000 ounces at almost 2 grams per tonne (g/t) and 870,000 ounces in the inferred category at close to 1.5 g/t.

With 50 kilometres of prospective strike, the company is confident this is a district-scale gold property.

First Gold also has an earn-in arrangement with Australia’s Auteco Minerals on its Pickle Crow Project in the dormant Pickle Lake gold mining camp.

The relatively small former mine was a consistent high-grade producer between the 1930s and 1960s, producing 1.3 million ounces of gold and averaging 16 grams per tonne.

Auteco is spending $10 million on exploration to earn 80 per cent ownership of the project. The Australian company’s specialty is resurrecting old gold camps by applying modern exploration techniques.

Once the deal closes shortly, the company expects to begin exploration this spring.