Skip to content

Northwestern Ontario could host one of Canada’s largest gold mines

First Mining Gold’s technical study places 12-year mine life on Springpole project
First Mining Springpole 1

A technical study is putting a 12-year mine life on a proposed open pit gold and silver mine in the Red Lake area of northwestern Ontario.

First Mining Gold released a new preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its $959-million Springpole Gold Project mine and mill operation.

In an Oct. 16 release, the company said the PEA provides updated metallurgical work that should significantly improve gold and silver recoveries.

Located 110 kilometres northeast of Red Lake, the company refers to Springpole as being “one of the largest undeveloped open pit gold projects in North America.”

“The updated PEA incorporates the potential for improved gold and silver recoveries as a result of the updated metallurgical results that we announced in February 2019,” said First Mining CEO Dan Wilton in a statement.

“It reinforces the potential for the Springpole Gold Project to become one of Canada’s largest gold mines when in production, with average annual gold production in excess of 400,000 ounces between year 2 and year 9, with a very attractive operating cost profile.

“The results demonstrate a robust project, with further opportunity to improve on the economics through the optimization studies that will be completed as we advance the project through a pre-feasibility study.”

Over the life of the mine, Springpole is pegged to produce 3.9 million ounces of gold and 22 million ounces of silver.

The upfront capital costs are estimated at $809 million with ongoing capital costs of $124 million, plus $26 million set aside for the mine closure costs.

Mining will take place in a series of open pits down to a depth of 400 metres. Construction will involve draining and damming a portion of a bay on Springpole Lake. Three coffer dams, 510 metres long, will be built.

The company is currently advancing Springpole through the provincially and federal permitting process with a joint environmental assessment underway.