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Timmins' Hollinger open-pit lookout on hold for 2020

When complete, project will provide look into Newmont's working mine

A lookout giving a glimpse into the active open-pit mine in the heart of Timmins is on hold for 2020.

Last fall, Newmont Porcupine opened the Hollinger Open Pit Lookout for a limited time, attracting hundreds of people on the opening day. 

With COVID-19, the plans are on hold and the lookout will be closed this year, said Bryan Neeley, Newmont Porcupine's manager of sustainability and external relations.

"Although mining operations and rehabilitation projects were designated an essential service in Ontario, we did not deem the remaining work on the lookout as an essential project," said Neeley.

"We have moved the dollars required to put the finishing touches on the lookout to next year.

"That being said, we still plan to work with the Timmins Museum on story boards for the lookout along with purchasing some of the material (benches, tables, signs) to be installed next year."

During the pandemic, he said, the company has made "significant decisions" to reduce the spread of the virus and keep the community safe.

"In the early stages of the pandemic in our area, the site implemented many COVID-19 preventative measures that have impacted on- and off-site resources," Neeley said.

"Without knowing the capacity of our contracting partners, our own workforce, and what additional measures would be required to not only complete the lookout but open it to the public, the site focused all rehabilitation work towards the Aunor project and some smaller scale projects," he said.

The Aunor project involves the rehabilitation of the historical Aunor A tailings facility, located about 500 kilometres northwest of Buffalo Ankerite.

In conjunction with local contractor Niiwin General Partnership, the work will include the regrading of the historical tailings, the placement of aggregate material, and the installation of a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) cover.