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West Detour gold project to undergo provincial environmental assessment

Indigenous group had asked for the longer federal process.
Detour Gold has confirmed its West Detour project will undergo a provincial environmental assessment process. (Detour Gold photo)

Detour Gold’s West Detour project near Timmins will be vetted under the provincial environmental assessment permitting process.

In a Sept. 13 press release, the company said the federal Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will not designate the project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

The company filed its Environmental Study Report on Jan. 30, 2017, and sent it to the Indigenous communities with which it has ongoing consultation.

One of those communities requested the project be reviewed under the federal process, which takes between two and three years compared to the one-year provincial process.

"Detour Gold has been in meaningful engagement with its Aboriginal partners on the development of West Detour,” said Paul Martin, Detour’s president and CEO, in a news release.

“While this decision provides clarity on the jurisdiction of the regulatory process, it does not change our commitment to engage with our Aboriginal partners to ensure that their environmental, spiritual and cultural concerns are addressed.”

In the release, the company said the decision won’t impact its life-of-mine plan, which is scheduled to start in 2025.

West Detour comprises a near-surface gold deposit with a mineral reserve of 1.8 million ounces of gold (60.9 million tonnes averaging 0.94 grams per tonne).

Detour plans to start development of the North pit in 2019, while development on the West Detour pit is slated to start in 2025.

The Detour Lake Gold complex is located 185 kilometres northeast of the town of Cochrane.