Mining Life & Exploration News December 2022

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Northern Ontario’s Mining Voice Since 1994 DECEMBER 2022 PM 40022702 Promoting interest, understanding and investment within the mining industry. RING OF FIRE: Critical Minerals and the Central Role of Indigenous Communities Pages 80-108 Anniversary Pages 55-61 25th Newmont Musselwhite Mine’s Northern Ontario Mining Report Issue

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Mining is not a static industry but one that is con stantly changing as it deals with new realities. The northern Ontario mining industry has been at the forefront of change, thus earning its reputation as a global leader.

Keeping up to date in a knowledge based economy is not easy nor simple. Northern Ontario is fortu nate to have the Canadian Mining Expo hosted in Timmins Ontario each year and the new CEN CAN Expo held in Thunder Bay. These events bring to gether the stakeholders of the industry annually and create an atmosphere conclusive of exchang ing information. Each year we put together the Northern Mining Re

port which is a round up of mining activities, trends and important issues facing our industry.

With the search for critical minerals and the positive outlook for gold and base metals we are fortunate to be residing in northern Ontario.

We do face our challenges though such as a lack of skilled workers. But I am confident that in the face of this challenge and others we have the right people, organizations and institutions to overcome them.

As we move forward to a new year and review our past one I feel confident in our northern communities that we are up to the challenge and will succeed. This issue features the active juniors, producers and near producers that make this industry what it is today.

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Recently Mining Life & Exploration News attended the Ontario Geological Survey OGS Virtual Showcase 2022. One of the sessions enjoyed by our publisher was the Ontario Critical Minerals Projects and Exploration Opportunities ses sion that was given by Mark Puumala, M.Sc., P.Geo, the Senior Manager of the Resident Geologist Program.

“Northwestern Ontario has definitely seen an uptick in exploration of Lithium over the past few years”, stated Mark Puumala during his presentation.

This is due to the fact that Lithium occurs in association with Rare Element (Li-Cs-Ta) Pegmatites associated with S-type granites in Superior Province. Critical minerals consist of the metals cobalt, copper, nickel, uranium, lithium, magnesium, platinum group metals, rare earth elements and others, and are vital in aerospace, telecommunications, computing, batteries, and an array of clean technology industries.

Canada ranks among the top five exports of various critical minerals includ ing platinum group metals, nickel, co balt, and graphite.

Northwestern Ontario currently has eight advanced critical mineral explo ration sites, including lithium, graphite, copper and platinum group metals (pal ladium) providing an opportunity for the province to become a leading jurisdic tion in critical mineral production.

Critical minerals like lithium and graphite also require processing of the raw mined material to create a useable product, presenting an opportunity for Northwestern Ontario to become a leader in the chemical processing and conversion of critical minerals to provide

products for clean technologies such as batteries for electric vehicles and largescale electrical grid energy storage. The conference spoke to critical minerals projects, the advanced and early staged exploration projects and an over view of those critical minerals projects in Ontario. Leading the way was the active Lithium projects which have doubled since 2021.

There are over 140 active critical mineral projects in Ontario:

• 53 Nickel-Copper-PGE + Cobalt

• 32 Lithium + Tantalum-Cesium

• 16 Zinc-Copper

• 7 Copper

• 6 Niobium-Phosphate-REE

• 5 Cobalt

• 3 Graphite

Along with Molybdenum, Chromi um, Tungsten and Uranium.

Also quite noticeable was the amount of exploration activity in the zinc and copper projects along with the Niobi um projects that as well doubled since 2021. Currently Ontario has 11 critical mineral producing mines with 9 located in Sudbury, one in Timmins and one in the Thunder Bay region. “This number is certain to rise in the immediate future as there are 19 projects that are at the economic evaluation stage which are focused on Nickel, Copper, Lithium, PGE’s, Graphite, Cobalt, Chromite, Zinc and Niobium”, stated Puumala. Some of these economic staged proj ects are focused in on battery metals (Nickel, Lithium and Cobalt), Copper and Platinum Group Elements. Featured in the presentation were just a few of the active projects in Ontario.

Advanced Critical Mineral Projects in Ontario

Lithium Projects

PAK, SPARK Lithium deposits owned by Frontier Lithium Inc. which is lo cated 175 km north of Red Lake. Fron tier published a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) in April of 2021 having an after-tax net present value of $974.6M with 21% internal rate of return. Frontier completed their Mineral Processing Pilot Program in March of 2022.

Separation Rapids Lithium Project owned by Avalon Advanced Materi als Inc. is another project located just 70 km north of Kenora. During 2022 the company announced an agreement with RenJoules International Ltd. To develop a Lithium Hydroxide along with securing an off-take agreement for Petalite concentrate a major glass ceramic manufacturer.

Rock Tech Lithium Inc. Georgia Lake Lithium project also located in the Thunder Bay mining district includes 5 Spodumene bearing pegmatite depos its.

Seymore Lake Lithium project owned by Green Technology Metals Ltd. is located 250 km north of Thunder Bay and is aggressively advancing their project with mineral resource estimates for the North and South Aubry deposits that were released in June and are working towards the completion of a PEA.

Nickel, Copper and Platinum Group Projects

Ring of Fire Metals formerly Noront Resources which had been working the area for the past 15 plus years. Ring of

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Fire Metals is looking at developing Nickel, Copper, Platinum Group Ele ments, and the Chromite deposit all lo cated in the Ring of Fire region situated 500 km north of Thunder Bay. “These are world class deposits which include the Eagle’s Nest, Black Thor, Big Daddy, Blackbird and Black Label deposits”, stated Mark.

Ontario continues to make progress on the “Corridor to Prosperity” leading to the Ring of Fire region by collaborating with First Nations partners on legacy infrastructure development in Northern Ontario. The government is supporting the priorities of individual First Nations, which see potential Ring of Fire devel opments as opportunities for prosperity. Together, this has led to significant progress.

Clean Air Metals Inc. with their Current Lake and Escape Lake Platinum Group Elements and Copper, Nickel Projects are located in the Lake Supe rior region of Ontario, 50 km northeast of Thunder Bay. The company has an Updated Mineral Resource dated No vember 2021 and filed a positive PEA in January 2022. They are working towards a new Updated Mineral Resource and Pre-feasibility Study. The project currently has an After-Tax NPV of $378M with a 29.8% IRR.

Generation Mining Ltd.’s Marathon Palladium-Copper Project is located just 10km north of the Town of Mara thon. A feasibility Study was completed in March of 2021 announcing a 14.6 year mining life, producing 245,000 ounces of Palladium equivalent annually with a NPV of $1.07B. Generation is targeting production for 2024 which will make them Ontario’s next Critical Mine.

Canada Nickel has been aggressively advancing their Crawford Nickel proj

ect, which is located near the world-fa mous Kidd Creek mine, 42 km north of Timmins. In 2022 the company completed a PEA with an After-Tax NPV of $1.2B with a 16% IRR. In 2022 they completed an Updated Mineral Resource and is working towards their Feasibility Study which is targeted for completion by the end of 2022.

Sudbury continues to be a major con tributor of Critical Minerals in Ontario with mines producing Nickel, Copper and Platinum Group Elements. Exploration activity continues to be strong in the Sudbury camp with three active mines, recently commenced production or ad vancing towards near-term production (Vale, Glencore and KGHM). Vale’s Copper Cliff South Mine just recently celebrated their grand opening.

Located just 70 km southwest of Sud bury is Magna Mining Inc.’s Shakespeare Nickel, Copper and PGE project This was a past producing mine and operated for a brief stint from 20102012. A Feasibility Study was released in March of 2022 with a 7 year mine life and a NPV of $140M with a 21.5% IRR. This will be an open pit operation. Located just 60 km east of Sudbury is New Age Metals Inc. with their River Valley Palladium project New Age has been conducting a large amount of work on the property during 2021 and into 2022 in order to advance their River Valley project. The company published a Mineral Resource Update in November of 2021 and has a Pre-feasibility Study underway targeted for release before the end of Q1 2023.

Mark had expressed enthusiasm when he spoke about what he called an ex isting and important new project that is further up the critical minerals supply chain. The company he was speaking about was the Electra Battery Mate-

rials Company and their Battery Ma terials Park project. They are currently expanding and recommissioning an existing refinery located in the Town of Co balt which will produce a battery grade cobalt sulfate. The company expects to be in production in early 2023 and has plans to include Lithium-ion battery re cycling, a battery grade Nickel refinery and a battery precursor manufacturing facility.

Early Stage Critical Mineral Projects

Ontario is primed to help meet the needs of the electric vehicle surge and demand for critical minerals used in the New Green era. Early stage exploration proj ects demonstrate how grassroots critical minerals exploration in Ontario is lead ing to new critical mineral discoveries. One of these projects is the Palladium One Mining’s Tyko Nickel Copper property which is located 55 km northeast of Marathon. This project is a new high grade Nickel discovery. Another discovery is the Hecla-Kilmer REE property owned by VR Resources Ltd which is located 110 km north of Kapuskasing. This rare earth element mineralization was discovered in 2020. In 2022 they had a successful diamond drill program with some very promising results.

Ontario sees huge potential for new discoveries and provides tremendous op portunity for critical minerals exploration and development. Ontario is a globally significant producer of critical minerals including nickel and cobalt and is home to several advanced lithium and graphite mineral development projects. Ontario stands ready to meet the growing de mand for critical minerals and is reaping the benefits.

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On Track To Becominig The Next Timmins Camp Producer

Market-watchers and investors are standing by in anticipation of the next milestone in the Galleon Gold story, a company poised to make a big name for itself in the historic and prolific Timmins gold camp. The Eric Sprott-backed company continues to deliver impressive drill results on its West Cache Project, which sits in the shadows of Pan American Silver Timmins West mining complex.

In October, Galleon reported additional drill results from its 2022 drill program at the 100% owned Proj ect.

Those results included the company’s best Zone #9 intercept to date (as determined by grade x thickness) in core hole WC-22-218. The assays showed 15.6 g/t Au over 7.6m within a broader zone of 7.41 g/t Au over 18.1m.

The company says this intercept will be included in a block model update for a detailed design of an underground bulk sample program.

The interval intersected at a near perpendicular an gle, representing about 98.5% true thickness.

“The results provide additional support for our plan to test mine this portion of Zone #9,” said R. David Russell, President and CEO.

“We believe that the bulk sample will provide impor tant work for prefeasibility studies and potentially be a profitable endeavor at the same time. From an ad vanced exploration perspective, once we bring the ramp alongside the ore body, we will drill the zone on close spaced centers, providing a full picture of the potential of Zone #9.”

The bulk sample is the next big step in the company’s march toward a production decision. A month earlier, Galleon outlined, in detail what that permit would en

tail.

“We are very pleased that our two-fold strategy for developing the West Cache Project continues to progress in a timely manner. We have been con ducting the baseline and technical studies required to apply for permits for an underground bulk sample in concert with our exploration and infill drill programs. By focusing on both permitting and increasing the mineral resource we continue to advance the project in a meaningful way,” said Russell.

Detail Engineering Design

The proposed West Cache Advanced Exploration Program, includes: 1) the development of a ramp and portal to access the Zone 9 deposit, 2) collection of a bulk sample (up to 100,000 tonnes) 3) exploration drilling at depth.

The company is pleased to report that it has awarded the contract for the Detailed Engineering Design to Nordmin Engineering Ltd., and work will begin immediately.

Design of Raise and Portal

The portal will be designed to incorporate required services such as ventilation, drill water, compressed air, power and communications with a stable face and overhead protection to the entry as needed. This work will provide a basis for tendering the mining work and a closure cost estimate/recovery plan per Ontario Reg 240/00.

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GALLEON GOLD
West Cache Project Site Plan

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Crown Pillar Assessment

A geo-mechanical and ground control specialist will com plete a crown pillar stability report, ground control sup port plan for the excavation work and recommendations for underground construction excavation approaches.

Design of Mine Service Infrastructure

This work will focus on power, dewatering, mine air heating and mine ventilation services – all in support of the proposed mining effort. The design will be carried through to equipment specification and information, in cluding costs and delivery schedules currently under consideration for the project. Geotechnical studies will be conducted on any planned infrastructure areas.

Design of Surface and Ancillary Infrastructure

Design of the surface stockpiles (both ore and waste) haul roads, underground shop and offices, fuel storage, and explosives magazines.

Detailed Development Plan and Schedule

The proposed underground working design by P&E Consultants (Preliminary Economic Assess ment published February 23, 2022) will be refined, as needed, to develop a detailed layout for the ramp and its headings. The Deswik scheduling tool will be utilized to establish the development plan, schedule and working requirements.

Baseline Studies

The company commenced baseline studies in 2020 and engaged Story Environmental in collaboration with Blue Heron to manage the programs and data collection required for the Advanced Exploration permit application. A baseline water sampling pro gram was initiated and several years of data has now been collected; in addition, groundwater and hydrogeology monitoring sites were established early and data has been documented accordingly. Aquatic and terrestrial programs have been com pleted during each season and the archeological assessment is complete.

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GALLEON GOLD
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Canada Orders 3 Chinese Companies to Divest Investments in Lithium and other critical elements

Canada ordered three Chinese companies in early November 2022 to divest their investments in Cana dian critical minerals, citing national security.

“While Canada continues to wel come foreign direct investment, we will act decisively when invest ments threaten our national secu rity and our critical minerals supply chains, both at home and abroad,” said Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Sci ence and Industry.

The measure was announced on November 2, 2022, and is in accor dance with the Investment Canada Act (ICA). Under the ICA, foreign investments are subject to review for national security concerns, and certain types of investment—such as those in the critical minerals sectors—receive enhanced scrutiny. The Canadian government ordered the divestiture after “rigorous scru tiny” of foreign firms by Canada’s national security and intelligence community, Industry Minister Fran cois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement.

“While Canada continues to wel come foreign direct investment, we will act decisively when invest ments threaten our national secu rity and our critical minerals supply chains, both at home and abroad,” Champagne said.

“Therefore, we reviewed a number

of investments in Canadian compa nies engaged in the critical minerals sector, including lithium. These companies were reviewed via the multi-step national security review process, which involves rig orous scrutiny by Canada’s national security and intelligence communi ty,” Champagne explained.

As a result of that process, the Gov ernment of Canada has ordered the divestiture of the following invest ments by foreign investors in Cana dian critical mineral companies:

• Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co., Limited is re quired to divest itself of its invest ment in Power Metals Corp.

• Chengze Lithium International Limited is required to divest itself of its investment in Lithium Chile Inc.

• Zangge Mining Investment (Chengdu) Co., Ltd. is required to divest itself of its investment in Ultra Lithium Inc.

Of the three companies being or dered to divest interests in Canadi an exploration firms, two (Sinomine Rare Metals Resources and Zangge Mining Investment) of them held equity stakes in Vancouver-head quartered firms exploring deposits that hold lithium, a key component in rechargeable batteries, and either cesium or tantalum, rare-earth

elements critical for electronic components.

Power Metals Corp is active in Ontario and is located 80 km east of Cochrane and 100 km north of Kirkland Lake, NE Ontario.

Power Metals has also received significant interest in its Cesium mineralization discovered at the West Joe spodumene pegmatite in August 2018.

Pollucite (Cesium’s ore mineral) is rare in pegmatites in Ontario, as it has only been identified in five pegmatite localities in the province: Power Metals owns 3 of the 5.

“The government’s decisions are based on facts and evidence and on the advice of critical minerals subject matter experts, Canada’s security and intelligence commu nity, and other government partners,” said Champagne.

Minister Champagne said the gov ernment will continue to work to ward an ICA framework that is well calibrated to ensure Canada’s continued prosperity and to face evolv ing national security challenges. Critical minerals are essential to powering the green digital econo my of tomorrow.

Increasing demand for these allimportant minerals are present ing Canada with a generational economic opportunity and we are committed to seizing that opportunity.

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Tower Gold Project Advancing its combined open pit and underground mining project

If you’re looking for a perfect recipe to bake a mine, look no further than the ingredients on the kitchen counter of Moneta Gold. Ontario’s oldest-listed mining stock is in the middle of a great jurisdiction; they’ve got a great property; excellent drill results; and an Ontar io government anxious to fast track promising projects.

Moneta Gold has been listed by major mining publications as one of the “juniors to watch” and for good reason.

Recently, the company announced assay results from seventeen (17) drill holes from infill drilling on the Windjammer gold deposit at the Tower Gold project, 100 kilometres east of Timmins. The drilling was conducted as part of the current 70,000 metres infill and resource upgrade drill program on the re cently announced mineral resource estimate of 4.5 million ounces in dicated gold and 8.3 million oz of inferred silver at the Tower Gold project.

“These latest assay results from Windjammer infill drilling continue to confirm the continuity and extensions of the current mineral re source estimate, only just updated in September,” said Gary O’Connor, Moneta’s President and Chief Ex ecutive Officer.

“These results support wide widths of gold mineralization within the

open pit mineral resources and af firm extensions of mineralization outside the resource to the east and at depth. As we continue to advance and de-risk the Tower Gold project, we look forward to complet ing the resource infill and upgrade drill program in preparation of the planned Pre-Feasibility Study and releasing additional results from the drill program as they become available.”

It’s all good news for O’Connor and his team as they move closer and closer to a production decision. In September, the company re

leased its highly anticipated Pre liminary Economic Assessment.

“We’re very pleased with the results of this PEA, which has outlined a strong base-case for a significant and highly profitable new gold mine in Ontario,” said O’Connor.

“Our robust base case at US$1,600 per ounce gold price for the proj ect supports a 24-year mine life with average annual production of 261,014 ounces of gold for the first 11 years with an after-tax NPV of $1,066 million and IRR of 31.7%, with very attractive cash costs and

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MONETA GOLD
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Tower Gold Project Open pit mine life 24 years Underground mine life 12 years

AISC, low CAPEX and low capital intensity. This PEA confirms the potential for a robust gold project with compelling project economics and represents an important interim up date on the progress of our work program at Tower Gold. In 2022, we will continue to focus on in-fill and definition drilling to better define re sources and improve the econom ics of the resource through increas ing grades and lowering strip ratios, while also identifying new targets.”

Windjammer

Infill drilling at Windjammer was focused on infilling and extending the wide stacked extensional quartz veins hosting the current open pit gold resource from surface to ver tical depths of up of 500 m below surface at Windjammer Central. The drill results confirmed conti nuity of the resource estimate and extended gold mineralization to the east and at depth. The Windjammer open pit current ly hosts an indicated resource of 42.05 million tonnes (“Mt”) @ 0.78 g/t Au containing 1,058,000 oz gold and an inferred resource of 34.46 Mt @ 0.97 g/t Au containing 1,074,000 oz gold at Windjammer South and 28.50 Mt @ 0.63 g/t Au for 581,000 oz gold indicated and 77.83 Mt @ 0.64 g/t Au for 1,595,000 oz gold inferred at Windjammer Central. The Tower Gold project will consist of the extraction of two separate areas: Golden Highway and Gar

rcon, 903, and Jonpol. The overall strategy is to mine the deposits in two phases using a combination of open pit and underground mining to achieve a total annual production rate of 7.0 million tonnes.

The mineral resources used in the mine plan are contained in the sev en mineral deposits over a length of 12 kilometres and span from surface down to a vertical depth of approximately 1,100 metres (“m”). The Westaway and South West de posits are characterized by multiple mineral corridors striking NW and dip sub-vertically and steeply to the west. The deposits have potential for open pit and underground min ing.

The Tower Gold project will be extracted with a combination of open pit mining for mineralization closer to surface, and underground min ing for mineralization at depth. The combined output of both mines will be 166.4 million tonnes (“Mt”) at an average grade of 0.94 g/t Au. The open pit mine will be responsible for 158.2 Mt at a grade of 0.81 g/t Au over an open pit life of 24 years, while the underground mine will contribute 8.2 Mt at a grade of 3.42 g/t Au over an underground mine life of 12 years. The Table on page 12 illustrates the mineral deposits each mine will extract.

The underground mine will be ac cessed through a single portal from

ent of 1:7. The mining method se lected is longitudinal sublevel longhole open stoping with minimum dimensions of 20 m L x 3 m W x 25 m H. Mineralized material will be extracted by ramp using a fleet of 50 tonne haul trucks at an aver age peak mine production rate of 900,000 tpa. Paste-fill will be used to backfill mined stopes.

Moneta is a Canadian-based gold exploration company focused on advancing its 100% wholly owned Tower Gold project, in the Timmins region of Northeastern Ontario, Canada’s most prolific gold produc ing camp. The September 2022, Preliminary Economic Assessment study outlined a combined open pit and underground mining and a 7.0 million tonne per annum con ventional leach/CIL operation over a 24-year mine life, with 4.6 Moz of recovered gold, generating an after-tax NPV5% of $1,066M, IRR of 31.7%, and a 2.6-year payback at a gold price US$1,600/oz. Tower Gold hosts an estimated gold min eral resource of 4.5 Moz indicated, and 8.3 Moz inferred.

Moneta is committed to creat ing shareholder value through the strategic allocation of capital and a focus on the current resource upgrade drilling program, while conducting all business activities in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

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MONETA GOLD

Canada Nickel’s march toward coveted net-zero status continues

There is no green economy without mining and juniors like Canada Nickel are enthusiastically embracing the underlying principle of carbon neutrality. Canada Nickel Company Inc. is advancing the next generation of nickel-sulphide projects to deliver nickel required to feed the high growth electric vehicle and stain less steel markets. Canada Nickel Company has applied in multiple ju risdictions to trademark the terms NetZero Nickel™, NetZero Cobalt™ and NetZero Iron™ and is pursuing the development of processes to al low the production of net zero car bon nickel, cobalt, and iron products. Canada Nickel provides investors with leverage to nickel in low politi cal risk jurisdictions. Canada Nickel is currently anchored by its 100% owned flagship Crawford Nickel-Cobalt Sulphide Project in the heart of the prolific Timmins-Cochrane mining camp.

The company has announced the results of further laboratory test results that build on the success of ini tial work on the In Process Tailings (“IPT”) Carbonation Process, which is a novel method for accelerated carbon capture that the company believes has transformative potential.

“These lab scale tests advance our understanding of how to operationalize this process to turn a nickel mine into a net generator of carbon cred its rather than a generator of carbon emissions,” said Mark Selby, Chair and CEO of Ontario’s newest and prolific nickel discovery project in Timmins.

“In our latest testing, we were able to triple the amount of carbon cap tured in 24 hours versus our prior test work. Our goal is to develop a process which would utilize exist ing plant equipment and processes to operationalize our IPT Carbon ation process, which is at least 8-12 times faster than current passive ap proaches and what industry leaders are currently able to achieve, with

easier quantification and verification of the amount of carbon captured,” added Selby.

The company says this new set of results from the lab scale test pro gram completed at Kingston Pro cess Metallurgy (“KPM”), utilizing the most reactive tailings stream, demonstrates that changes to two key levers increased the amount of carbon capture in just 24 hours rela tive to the previous tests by more than three times, and achieved more than 60% of the previously achieved carbon capture level that had taken six days.

“Understanding the impact of these variables on the carbon capture po tential is believed to be key to opera tionalizing the process.”

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CANADA NICKEL

BUILDING A ZERO CARBON INDUSTRIAL CLUSTER IN TIMMINS

IPT Carbonation process

Canada Nickel’s Timmins-based Crawford Project is hosted in ultramafic rock, which naturally absorbs and sequesters CO2. The potential to actively capture and sequester carbon was a key consideration in Canada Nickel’s acquisition of the 42 square km of target ul tramafic rocks in Timmins area which could anchor a zero-carbon industrial cluster in Timmins. “The challenge has been to develop a process that speeds up the naturally occurring carbon absorption process,” said Selby. “Canada Nickel has developed a simple active process that utilizes tailings as gener ated in the milling process and injects a concentrated source of CO2 for a brief period of time. This novel process for accelerated mineral carbonation is called In Process Tailings Carbonation or IPT Carbonation, which fixes CO2 geologically while the tailings are still in the processing circuit, rather than after they have been finally deposited.”

While Canada Nickel’s IPT Carbonation process has only been demonstrated at the lab scale and on a limited number of samples, the company believes that, given its relative simplicity, this process could be scaled up with availability of concentrated (rather than atmospheric) sources of CO2. This CO2 could potentially be delivered by downstream processing of Crawford concentrates, a wide range of industrial processing activities, green hydro gen production, carbon capture facilities, or natural gas power generation. The process clearly demonstrates the potential to produce NetZero NickelTM and NetZero CobaltTM for the EV industry, NetZero IronTM and chromium for the stainless-steel industry and generate substan tial carbon credits during the process. The Company believes that the need for a concentrated source of CO2 for this process and the substantial CO2 capture capacity potential of its ultramafic land position could form the basis for an entire zero carbon industrial cluster in the Timmins region.

The IPT Carbonation process utilizes tailings directly from the mineral processing circuit and conditions them with CO2 for a brief period of time. After this conditioning, the tailings achieved the Net Zero car bon capture target in less than 36 hours and achieved gross carbon capture rates of at least 26 tonnes of CO2 / tonne of nickel (5 times the amount necessary

to achieve Net Zero metal production) in just six days and could produce an estimated average of 710,000 tonnes of CO2credits annually and 18 million total tonnes of CO2 credits over expected life of mine based on the Crawford preliminary economic assess ment (“PEA”).

The experimental method and results for IPT Carbonation were initially completed at XPS, Expert Process Solutions, a Glencore Company, and the mechanism was then reproduced at a sec ond independent lab, Kingston Process Metallurgy, adding confi dence to the process.

“IPT Carbonation, which is an active process, has benefits over passive mineral carbon capture as the method for quantifying and verifying CO2 capture is expected to be much simpler. Using a standard carbon balance in the mineral processing facility, the CO2 captured from IPT Carbonation can be quantified before tail ings are discharged into the permanent tailings storage facility such that carbon offsets can be quantified in real time as part of a standard metallurgical accounting system. Canada Nickel expects industry standards to be developed for quantifying CO2 capture through passive methods as well,” adds Selby.

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CANADA NICKEL
MINING REPORT ML&EN

Corporate news items from McEwen Mining, are typi cally, short, blunt, and remarkably honest. That’s all the more reason that the company’s latest report to shareholders is signalling a rever sal of fortunes for the small-cap miner and a big jump in valuation, if chairman Rob McEwen is right. With three producing mines in fa vourable jurisdictions, including the Fox Complex near Timmins, McEwen announced positive trends in early November.

“This year has been much better than the previous three! While we still have issues to resolve, such as increasing our treasury by producing more ounces at a lower cost, we can clearly see a brighter future,” said Chairman and Chief Owner Rob McEwen.

“At the Fox Complex, where we have had a history of high operat ing cost/oz we are making good progress reducing our cost. I am pleased to say that in Q3 our cash cost/oz at Fox fell to $774, our lowest since mid-2018. This is well be low the industry average. Our next important area to improve at Fox is

the process plant (mill). Specifically, we need to increase the throughput because our mine is now producing more ore than our mill can process.”

As a result, the company has a large surface stockpile of ore equivalent to more than two months of produc tion.

At Gold Bar, McEwen is looking for ward to starting the mine Gold Bar South (GBS) deposit this quarter. “We are expecting to have a much lower cost/oz than our YTD cost because we will be mining higher grade ore at GBS, with half the strip ratio and no problematic carbona ceous material.”

In Mexico, we recently acquired a complete process plant on very ad vantageous terms that will help sig nificantly reduced projected capital requirements for our Fenix project. This acquisition has made Fenix more attractive to build and could provide a new long life mine for McEwen Mining.

The San José mine, where they have a 49% interest, put in a strong quarter and its exploration is con tinuing to extend its high-grade veins and discover new veins.

“We completed an $82 million fi nancing for McEwen Copper in a very tough equity market. Rio Tinto, the second largest mining company in the world, through its subsidiary Nuton, now owns 9.7% of McEwen Copper, as a result of its investment of $25M. Also, Nuton is testing the Los Azules copper mineralization to see if it can accelerate and increase copper recoveries. Another of Rio Tinto’s subsidiaries, Kennecott Ex ploration, signed an option to earn 60% interest in McEwen Copper’s other copper project, Elder Creek, by spending $18 million on explora tion. Elder Creek is located in Ne vada,” added McEwen.

In July, McEwen shares underwent a 10 for 1 consolidation. The com pany called it an “unfortunate but necessary action” to protect their listing on the NYSE, which is their principal exchange and where trad ing volume is the highest.

“Value, like beauty, is frequently in the eye of the beholder. I am often asked what I think MUX is worth and I want to share my answer with you,” Chairman Rob McEwen stated.

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cash cost/oz
McEwen Mining
McEwen Mining’s Fox Complex
Good Progress - Fox Complex sees
fall to their lowest since 2018

McEwen Mining “MUX” a great buy with considerable potential value

“I have arrived at a high/low range of value for MUX by adding up the some of its parts. Here are the parts: MUX has a 68% interest in McEwen Copper, it owns 100% of three gold mines: Fox Complex, Gold Bar and El Gallo/Fenix, a 49% interest in the San José gold/silver mine, a portfolio of five royal ties (NSRs) and a collection of exploration proper ties,” McEwen added.

“The operating challenges we faced in recent years have severely damaged our credibility with our shareholders and the market. As a result, few investors have taken a close look recently at our assets. If they did, I believe some would see the potential value that I see today. Yes, our cash is tight, our costs/oz are high and our mine lives are currently short, but that has been changing for the better.”

Fox Complex

Fox achieved the lowest quarterly cash cost since mid-2018 and they believe there is good potential to further reduce costs and increase production at Fox Complex by increasing mill throughput. They also plan to start crushing at the Froome mine site prior to transportation to the mill, which should re lieve stress on the primarily crushing circuit. In Q3, the company incurred $2.7 million for exploration at Stock and at the Black Fox properties.

“Let me show you my math and how I had arrived at a possible potential value for MUX of $8 to $30/ share,” sais McEwen.

“In this valuation estimate I have compared Los Azules to two copper projects, Josemaria and Filo, that are in the same province in Argentina as Los

Azules. Compared to Los Azules these projects are lo cated at substantially higher elevations, are at a greater distance from critical infrastructure (highways and pow er grid), have a smaller published copper resource base and copper grade, and they have public market values. Josemaria was purchased for $485M in April and Filo Mining has a market capitalization of $1.6B. The low end of the range is based on 50% of Josemaria’s pur chase price and high end on Filo’s market capitaliza tion.”

McEwen continued, “for the valuation estimate of MUX’s gold and silver mining interests, we compared the aver age Enterprise Value (EV) per GEO production of five smaller producers. The low end of range is based on 50% of their multiple and the high end at par with their multiple.”

Table Notes:

1.McEwen Mining has 51 million fully diluted shares

2.McEwen Mining owns 68.1% of McEwen Copper which owns 100% of Los Azules and Elder Creek

3.Josemaria purchase price was $485 million ($485M x 50% x 68.1%) / 51M

4.Filo Mining market capitalization $1.6 billion ($1.6B x 68.1%) / 51M

5.Elder Creek value is based on earn-in ($18M / 60%) x 68.1% / 51M

6.Royalties: 1.25% NSR on Los Azules and Elder Creek, plus three other royalties. Est. $35M / 51M

7.Average peer group (Jaguar Mining, Silvercorp, Forti tude, Gold Resource, Endeavour Silver) EV/GEO mul tiple 2.14x higher than MUX

8.Average peer group EV/GEO x 50%

“As you can see, I believe there is considerable potential value in MUX, and that is a big reason why I have a personal financial com mitment of $220M in MUX and McEwen Copper. Another way to look at MUX is that its current share price of $3.66 reflects the low end of potential value of the company’s ownership in McEwen Copper and you get all the other assets for free,” said McEwen.

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McEwen Mining
Page 23 J.H. Fletcher & Co. cannot anticipate every mine hazard that may develop during use of these products. Follow your mine plan and/or roof control plan prior to use of the product. Proper use, maintenance and continued use of (OEM) original equipment parts will be essential for maximum operating results. 2022 J.H. Fletcher & Co. All Rights reserved. 85 YEARS OF SOLUTIONS. Since 1937, Fletcher has been answering some of underground mining’s toughest questions. At Fletcher we provide more than solutions, we provide an atmosphere for an open dialogue with customers to ensure their operations are reaching maximum efficiency. Fletcher provides lifetime support through an experienced, knowledgable team of sales staff, engineers and field service technicans. Is your operation facing obstacles that mass produced equipment isn’t addressing? Get your custom solution started today. Learn more at www.jhfletcher.com 304.525.7811 800.543.5431 MANUFACTURED IN HUNTINGTON, WV Built on Answers. ® FOLLOW OUR SOCIALS: @FLETCHERMININGEQUIPMENT 2022 Canadian Mining Life.indd 1 4/5/2022 5:50:48 PM

Company celebrates FN Partnerships as Billion Dollar Côté Lake Mine develops

When northern Ontario’s Highway 144 was completed in 1970, it con nected two of Ontario’s major min ing towns by a thin, 270km band of asphalt. And for more than 50 years, travelers of that highway were treat ed to little more than extreme wil derness and the occasional, some would say, frequent moose sighting. Today, Highway 144 is seeing a steady stream of traffic in both northbound and southbound direc tions as employees and contractors head for the region’s newest gold mine, IAMGOLD’s Coté Lake op eration.

As of June 30, 2022, overall, the $1 Billion project was approximately 57% complete, with detailed engi neering nearly complete at approximately 99%.

Processing plant civil works have progressed with the continued placement of pre-cast and cast-inplace concrete. Structural steel for the processing plant building is cur rently erected and architectural ele ments are mostly complete. At the end of June, the SMPEI contractor had begun erecting the structure around the base of the ball mill foundation.

Building close partnerships with

nearby host communities like Gogama, and the Indigenous communities impacted by the mining activities is an integral part of IAM GOLD’s commitment to account able mining and sustainable devel opment.

“The support and insight we receive from our community partners is cru cial in ensuring we can maximize the benefits of our mining activities for all involved,” said the company in their latest newsletter.

“This summer, along with Sumito mo Metal Mining, our joint venture partner, we gathered in Nipigon with Flying Post First Nation for a day of activities and a shared a community feast at their newly con

structed administration office. Our partnership supports tangible and long-term benefits for the commu nity as together we build the Côté Gold mine in Ontario.”

The company says the meeting was an opportunity to celebrate partner ship.

“We would like to thank Flying Post First Nation for their trust, many contributions and willingness to find common ground as we continue to develop and grow our relationship.”

Flying Post First Nation is one of three Indigenous partners on our Côté Gold project, along with Mattagami First Nation and the Métis Na tion of Ontario, Region 3.

One of the ways IAMGOLD is giv ing back is through a commitment to local youth. “IAMGOLD is proud to partner with Indspire — an Indige nous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people — on the launch of two post-secondary scholarship programs for students of Mattagami First Nation, Flying Post First Na tion and the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Region 3.”

The three-year agreement between IAMGOLD and Indspire will assist 24 students to achieve their educa tional goals.

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Côté Gold
Representatives of Flying Post First Nation, IAMGOLD and Sumitomo Metal Mining Process Plant

4315 Gold Mine Road

South Porcupine, Ontario P0N 1H0

Newmont Porcupine announces the arrival of their new General Manager to Timmins!

Please join us in welcoming Dawid and Anna Pretorius to our commu nity, arriving from Australia after a long journey. Dawid will begin his role as General Manager on November 1st and looks forward to familiarizing himself with the Por cupine operations in Timmins and Chapleau.

Dawid has held multiple leader ship roles throughout his nearly 30-year mining career, working in South Africa, Indonesia and Australia for companies including Glencore, Rio Tinto, ARM Gold and Kumba Resources. In his most recent role as the General Manag er of Glencore’s Collinsville Open Cut operation in Queensland, Aus tralia, Dawid notably Improved site culture through his strong commit ment to workforce engagement. Dawid holds a BSc Honors in Ge ology from Northwest University in South Africa, a Master’s in Ore Reserve Throughput Manage

ment from the University of the Free State in South Africa, and a Site Senior Executive Certification from the Queensland Gov ernment in Australia. North America is an important region for Newmont with strong growth potential and opportunities for long life mines, and Porcupine is a major operation in our portfolio. Dawid will bring the operation significant management experience

and a strong technical skillset. His commitment to people leadership, safety and productivity will be a positive driver in the next stage of Newmont Porcupine’s journey.

On their first visit to Timmins, Dawid and his wife Anna took full advantage of the summer season by spending plenty of time at our golf courses and enjoying a few north ern adventures. In preparation for

Canadian weathers, the couple ordered a snow machine to fully immerse themselves in Northern Ontario life! Our small communities offer big benefits, and we look forward to having our new resi dents participate in local events.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Dawid and Anna to Porcupine!

Newmont Announces $160 Million Water Treatment Plant

On November 18, Newmont’s Porcupine mine was pleased to host Ontario Premier Doug Ford on site, alongside members of his cabinet, to announce its new state-of-the-art water treatment plant. Throughout 2021 and 2022, Newmont made a $160 million investment into the new plant, which will benefit the entire ecosystem and surrounding watershed through the collection, treatment and return of impacted water. Provincially, this plant will have among the lowest effluent discharge limits within the mining sec tor. The investment demonstrates how industrial and environmental

interests can be aligned, and is a strong example of Newmont’s com mitment to sustainable and respon sible mining.

Newmont anticipates that construc tion of the plant will be completed before year end and begin dis charging in 2023; once operational, the plant will return up to 13 million cubic meters of treated clean water to the Mattagami, Frederickhouse and Upper Kapuskasing water sheds. After more than a century of mining in Timmins, the next phase of operations at Porcupine is an op portunity to support regreening the region, significantly improve site

water management and support the local watersheds while main taining employment and economic benefits for Northern Ontario com munities, local First Nations and the government.

Since 1910, the historic Porcupine mining district has produced more than 67 million ounces of gold. The modern Porcupine mine is the larg est employer in Timmins, with more than 1200 employees and contrac tors. Newmont leadership has ap plauded Porcupine for its ongoing commitment to safe and sustain able production.

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PORCUPINE
Page 24 ML&EN MINING REPORT
Newmont is committed to creating a work environment that is free of gender bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. Join us on our journey.
JOBS.NEWMONT.COM

Eagle River continues exploration to build ounces

Wesdome is a Canadian focused gold producer with two high grade underground assets, the Eagle River mine in Ontario and the recently re-started Kiena mine in Quebec. The Company also re tains meaningful exposure to the Moss Lake gold deposit in Ontario through its equity position in Goldshore Resources Inc. The Compa ny’s primary goal is to responsibly leverage this operating platform and high-quality brownfield and greenfield exploration pipeline to build Canada’s next intermediate gold producer.

Wesdome seen a productive year as the Eagle River Mine, near Wawa, Ontario completed a planned shut down in July in order to complete mill upgrades and refurbishment work. Wesdome had also planned a shutdown at its Ki ena, Quebec mine in July for nec essary hoist upgrades. As well, the critical components of the paste fill plant were delivered and installed in Q3, with plant commissioning on track for later in Q4. Once the paste fill system is fully operational, Wesdome will focus on mine devel opment resulting in increased op erational flexibility and be better positioned to operate successfully in the challenging ground conditions encountered in Kiena Deep. The company is aggressive in exploration as they are spending roughly $15 million at each site an nually.

Wesdome is currently aiming to pro duce towards the lower end of the 120,000 – 140,000 combined guid ance range this year. Forecasted gold production at the Eagle River mine for 2022 is 85-95,000 ounces and 34-43,000 ounces at the Kiena Project. Wesdome has been one of the best performers (in the top 30) on the TSX for the past three years. As the company grows it is commit ted to a strong sustainability perfor mance. Wesdome was named to the Globe & Mail’s 2022 report on business Women Lead Here list. The company has spent $109 million in local procurement expendi tures in 2021 and has a company wide Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program in development. The company continues to have exploration success at their two brownfield discoveries, the Eagle River in Ontario and Kiena in Quebec.

Eagle Rive Mine

The big drivers for Wesdome’s Eagle River over the last few years is the identification of the parallel zones to the 8 Zone that has been mined for 20 years which is the bulk of the reserves and resource right now. They also have discovered in 2018 the Falcon Zone which will ex pand their resources and reserves outside the mine diorite. The Falcon Zone is currently in production with Wesdome taking out two stopes al ready. “These are the successes we

have to keep building on,” stated Michael Michaud, Vice President of Exploration at the September Gold Forum Americas conference. The Eagle River has ramped up to 100,000 tonnes per day. The rea son for this was they had the Mishi open pit which was a 2g/t project and they had the Eagle River mine which was 15g/t so it didn’t take long for Wesdome to end the Mishi open pit which was supplementing the feed to the mill and going over to the Eagle River mine and find ing more zones, ramping up the production from underground and replacing 2 gram material with 15 gram material. This is what helped to increase the production from 50,000 to 100,000 ounces annually. Wesdome is continuing to build on that success to exceed 100,000 ounces at Eagle River.

The Mine Plan

With the mine operating at a depth of 1km it is noticing the margins start falling off a little as it is more expensive to mine at depth. The company believes that finding more mineral ization off to the east which has a shaft then that would warrant the deepening of the shaft in that area and the margins would then again be added to the deeper ounces. “That is kind of the next 20 years of resources down in that area of the mine but I think the other part that’s interesting is we found the Falcon Zone which is located in volcanic

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rocks. It’s in a new setting and it’s the first time we found anything there and now we are developing over to it which gives us access to drill this zone off and look for more parallel zone like what we’ve done in the diorite and also to find more high grade shutes,” said Michaud. Michaud went on to say that those would be easy ounces to get as they are close to surface and can be accessed from the develop ment that already exists within the diorites and it could come up a different ramp system as opposed to going over to the shaft and to the mineralization at depth which is getting to be a congested area. A big part of the production profile over the next few years will be the Falcon Zone. Since having devel oped into this zone they have over 80 holes, 15,000 metres drilled already and have a clear under standing of the zone moving for ward.

Two New Zones in Hanging Wall Basalt of Kiena Deep Zone, Including 2,850 g/t Gold over 1.5m discovered

At Wesdome’s Kiena Mine Complex located in Val d’Or Quebec, underground drilling focussed on exploration to test sectors proximal to the Ki ena Deep A Zones. Early success discovered the Footwall Zones last year. Earlier this year, exploration confirmed the presence of the South limb in the folded Kiena Deep A Zone at depth. Recent drilling has contin ued to return high grade assays from this South limb area. This area remains open along strike and down dip. The discovery of additional zones proximal to the A Zones represents a significant benefit to the mining from using common infrastructure. Development metres planned per sub level will leverage access to more ounces, thereby positively impacting future mining. Most recently, drilling intersected two new zones in the hanging wall ba salt. The first zone was observed in holes N103-6839W1A, N103-6839W2, and N103-6839W3. Up to now, the strike, dip and true thickness of this zone are unknown. The second zone, observed in hole N103-6839W4, consists of a quartz-cabonate vein ( <10 cm-thick) with visible gold that returned 2,850 g/t Au over 1.5 m. Currently, the strike and dip of this vein are unknown. These new basalt zones all occur below an observed bend or steepening in the plunge of the Kiena Deep A Zone. Early hypothesis is that folding/faulting represented by fracturing in the hanging wall basalt could allow for a favorable environment for this type of mineralization.

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WESDOME
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Ontario important to Agnico Eagle’s current & future plans

Agnico Eagle has earned a reputation as a partner of choice within the industry, of being a reliable op erator with respect for others and for building trust and sharing opportunities with all their stakeholders. Agnico Eagle said while speaking at the Central Canada Resource Expo in Thunder Bay, “we will all benefit from our merged financial strength and our extensive pipeline of development and exploration projects to drive future growth. We will benefit from our shared roots, corporate cultures, and sustain able mining practices and finally, we will benefit from our combined commitment to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with our many stakeholders, support local government, local indigenous commu nities and businesses and maximize local employ ment.”

Agnico believes that environmental, social and governance considerations are not a burden, but an opportunity to improve their performance and sustain their businesses over the long term. For 65 years, they’ve been on a journey to build a high-quality business for the benefit of all. Already Agnico Eagle is recognized as leaders in environmental perfor mance with one of the lowest energy intensities and GHG emissions in the gold space and one of the lowest water consumption intensities in the mining industry.

Agnico Eagle has been once again recognized in 2022 by Corporate Knights as one of the 100 most sustainable corporations and one of the best 50 cor porate citizens in Canada. Agnico is committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2050 or sooner and are currently mapping out key milestones to achieve their carbon neutral goals.

ESG strategy is built on four key pillars:

1. Engaging with our communities and indigenous partners

2. Pursuing innovation with the adoption of new technologies and embracing outside the box thinking

3. Identifying and eliminating or mitigating risks to protect our operations employees, communities and the environment

4. Adapting to new realities and evolving to meet new challenges.

An excellent example of their commitment to lowering their GHG emissions and embracing innovation is their adop tion of the battery electric vehicles that are at the Macassa Mine in Kirkland Lake. The Macassa Mine was among the first mines globally to introduce battery electric vehicles starting in 2012. At the Detour Lake mine property, they are currently evaluating the potential to implement a trolley assist processing system for the haul trucks in the open pits.

Agnico Eagle strives to be the partner of choice within the mining industry and are committed to fostering positive and collaborative relationships with local communities. As early as possible, they seek to engage and partner with lo cal stakeholders and indigenous groups to assess the lev els of social acceptability and potential impacts of the proj ect, within the voice of the host community. The approach aims to mitigate potential negative impacts, discover opportunities for collaboration, avoid potential conflict and build community relationships. Agnico Eagle appreciates the need and overall benefit of engaging with traditional owners and have a commitment to building respectful re lationships.

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AGNICO EAGLE
Page 31 Page 29 MINING REPORT ML&EN
We make mining work

Macassa a potential regional mining complex

Agnico Eagle has a solid economic footprint in On tario and are committed to investing and growing the business.

In 2021 alone Agnico Eagle spent more than $1.58 billion on goods and services in the province approxi mately $378 million of that with indigenous business es. The company donated more than $3.7 million to local communities in On tario and invested more than $115 million in explo ration projects at Detour Lake, Macassa, Upper Bea ver and Hammond Reef. $352 million was spent on wages and benefits.

Agnico Eagle’s flagship mine is the Detour Lake Mine. It is the second largest gold producing mine in Canada with the largest gold reserves, substantial growth potential and has a very high profitable production rate. In July, Agnico announced a new evalu ation show showing a longer life and lower risk mine plan that added 38% gold reserves, which increases the mine life by 10 years until 2052. Additional scenarios are being evaluated to poten tially develop an underground mine and increase mill throughput beyond the 28 million tonnes per year af ter 2025. The long-term vision is to increase produc tion to 1 million ounces, or more per year, and an initial assessment of this potential is expected to be completed in late 2023. Several projects are underway at Detour Lake to progressively increase the mill throughput, including prescreening before the sec ondary Crusher, construction of additional CIP leach tanks, an upgrade of the gravity circuit, construction of an assay lab and an upgrade of the 230 KV main substation.

Looking forward, the company continues to have positive results with the drill bit at Detour Lake. His torically there was limited diamond drilling outside of the known mineral reserve areas. But since 2020, they have identified a broad and continuous quarter of mineralization, extending over four kilometers from the main pit through the Saddle Zone to the planned West Pit to a depth of at least 800 meters below surface with the system remaining open. An other key target includes the area west of the exist ing West Pit mineral reserves, an area that had seen limited previous drilling. They’re also evaluating op

tions to optimize and potentially increase the mining and milling rates to 32 million tonnes per year and assessing the potential for an underground operation. The Macassa Mine in Kirkland Lake has proven and probable gold reserves of 1.9 million ounces. In Q2, the planned work on the #4 Shaft project remained on schedule and the preparation of the production and service hoists were completed. They are now on level 6300s, where the focus is on developing the new conveyor drift and the loading pocket. Completion of the #4 Shaft proj ect is expected towards the end of 2022. The upgrade of the mechanical ventilation system has progressed as planned and is expected to increase ventilation capac ity from approximately 300,000 cubic feet per minute to 750,000 cubic feet per minute in order to support the planned increase in underground production in 20232024. At the end of the second quarter of 2022, the fourth and final ventilation raise was completed. Looking forward Agnico sees the potential of the Macassa to being a regional mining complex with the Amalgamat ed Kirkland zone. They are currently assessing opportu nities to incorporate the Amalgamated Kirkland zone into the mine plan starting in 2024. A 1.3 km exploration ramp from the new surface area is being developed in order to assess and infill drill the Amalgamated Kirkland deposit. Exploration drilling is ongoing to define and extend miner alization at the South Mine Complex SMC zone the Main Break and the 04 Break. Agnico’s three most important projects in the pipeline are the West Detour, Upper Beaver and Hammond Reef. The West Detour project is a proposed expansion of the operating Detour Lake mine, and it’s currently in the per mitting stage. The expansion of the reserves at the De tour Lake mine will help maintain and extend the length of employment opportunities. Currently the mine employs

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AGNICO EAGLE
Page 33 Page 31 MINING REPORT ML&EN DISCOVER EXPLORATION. MINING. MILLING. LEARN MORE AT DISCOVERKL.CA 705-567-9365 1-800-249-8933 edd@tkl.ca EXPERTISE TO MEET EVERY NEED From first field trip to the first pour, Kirkland Lake service and supply companies can help you succeed. Our local companies offer a diverse set of skills and expertise that will save you time and money. Geophysics, earthworks, mine construction and production, advanced fabrication, project management, training testing... the list goes on. Call today to learn more about the advantages of doing business with Kirkland Lake. MOVING INTO THE FUTURE & STRONGER THAN EVER!

Northern Ontario has North America’s only cobalt sulfate refinery

North American and global customers. Electra also owns the advanced explorationstage Iron Creek cobalt-copper project in Idaho, USA. Electra Battery Materials is an integral part of the North American battery supply chain, pro viding low-carbon, sustainable and traceable raw materials for the region’s fast growing electric vehicle industry.

Ontario Hydrometallurgical Refinery

Ontario’s Mines Minister George Pirie is fond of saying “We have what the world needs in northern Ontario.” And when it comes to the extraordinary global shift toward electric vehicles, one company is making sure that Ontario is a leader when it comes to delivering on those needs. Electra is building North America’s only fully integrated, lo calized and environmentally sustainable battery materials park in Cobalt. Leveraging the company’s own mining as sets and business partners, the Electra Battery Materials Park will host cobalt and nickel sulfate production plants, a large-scale lithium-ion battery recycling facility, and bat tery precursor materials production, which will serve both

Electra’s refinery acts as a critical bridge between the North American electric vehicle supply chain and North American sources of raw minerals and recycled materials.

Located in Ontario, near the largest auto man ufacturing centres in North America, Electra’s products are produced locally. Our site is approximately 350 miles (600 kilometres) from the U.S. border and is accessible by road or rail. In addition to the renewable and affordable hydro electricity that powers our site, Electra will pro duce the world’s lowest carbon solution for zeroemission vehicles.

Electra is growing its recycling business in a

Cont`d from Pg. 30 approximately 2100 people. With this expansion project the West and North Pits are planned to remain active during a period of approximately 12 years 2025 to 2036. And the expansion of the existing pit extends the life of the mine to beyond 2040.

For Upper Beaver, they are currently evaluating opportunities, including potential synergies with the Macassa Mine, or the whole complex. They want to develop the Upper Beaver deposit as they believe it has a potential to be a low-cost mine with annual production in the range of 150,000 ounces to 200,000 ounces of gold. Agnico Eagle completed a positive internal technical study at Hammond Reef in 2020 and the average an nual gold production over the expected 12-year mine life is forecast to be approximately 272,000 ounces at an average total cash costs per ounce of $748 and an average all in sustaining cost per ounce of $806. Initial capital costs are approximately $1 billion.

Agnico believes there are great opportunities to grow their operations in Ontario and look forward to working very closely with their team partners, the suppliers and stakeholders to advance their mutual interest in devel oping resources for the benefit of future generations. “Working with a wide range of stakeholders will be critical to our success and our ability to grow and innovate for the future,” stated Agnico Eagle.

In April the Detour Lake mine celebrated reaching 5 million ounces since commercial production began in 2013. This achievement would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of not only the employees, but also the contractors, indigenous partners, the community stakeholders and shareholders. As they come together to build the new gold standard, Agnico will continue to live their values of trust, respect, equality, family and responsibility. These values express who they are and guide them in everything they do. Even as the new Agnico Eagle grows and expands around the globe, their goals and values don’t change. They believe in family, authenticity and simplicity. They believe in working as a team and treating each other equally, fairly and with respect, respect for woman respect for diversity, equality and inclusion and respect for the physical and mental wellbeing of their people.

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ELECTRA
BATTERY MATERIALS

ELECTRA BATTERY MATERIALS

staged, modular fashion, initially targeting black mass from consumer electronics, and subsequently target ing primary battery scrap material from North American EV cell manufacturers.

Based on industry forecasts, there could be nearly 250,000 tonnes of lith ium-ion (“Li-ion”) batteries available for recycling from manufacturing scrap in North America alone by 2025.

As electric vehicle adoption increases and renewable energy industries ramp up in North America, Electra will use hydrometallurgy to recycle black mass back into useable Li-ion battery materi als.

Electra Battery Materials Corporation filed its financial results for the third quarter of 2022, and provided an up date on the commissioning of its cobalt refinery and launch of its black mass recycling demonstration plant. “Our performance in the third quarter was marked by considerable prog ress against our strategy and each of our primary objectives,” said Trent Mell, Electra’s CEO. “Most notably, we signed a definitive supply agreement with LG Energy Solution, the world’s second-largest EV battery manufac turer, completed more than 85% of the recommissioning of existing brownfield equipment at our battery materials re finery complex, confirmed cobalt min eralization at a second zone located in close proximity to our flagship deposit in the Idaho Cobalt Belt, and complet ed a scoping study on the production of nickel sulfate at our battery materials refinery complex that suggested com pelling economics. This progress is considerable for a company of our size and is indicative of the level of commit ment by our employees to sustain the first mover advantage Electra has es tablished.”

Mell added, “The adoption of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act provides strong incentives for the onshoring of the EV battery supply chain, which is already proving to be an important tailwind for our near-term prospects.”

“In the coming weeks, we expect to launch our black mass recycling demonstration plant where we will apply our lab-tested hydrometallur gical process to separate up to 75 tonnes of high-value material contained in recycled lithium-ion bat teries into discrete metals, includ ing nickel, cobalt, copper, graphite and lithium, for resale and new cashflow opportunities. This demonstration plant will run in parallel with the ongoing commissioning

of our cobalt sulfate refinery, the first of its kind in North America, which is expected to be complet ed in the spring of 2023.”

“Over the longer term, we are encouraged by the opportunities to expand into nickel sulfate pro duction at our refinery in Ontario giving the findings of our scop ing study and expand into cobalt sulfate production in Bécancour, Quebec based on preliminary work completed to date.”

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Aussie sweet on Harte’s Sugar Zone

during Q2 FY23

• Tailings lift progressing and is scheduled to be completed prior to the freezing of Gagegenha Lake. The tailings dam is a critical path item prior to the onset of winter and the commencement of discharge constraints into Gagegenha Lake.

• Conversion from propane to lower cost compressed natural gas for heating units at the Sugar Zone is complete

Following completion of an acquisition in February 2022, Silver Lake Resources commenced a review of operations at the Sugar Zone mine near White River and already, daily tonnage is up.

The company’s objective is one of delivering material operational im provements and a low capital inten sity growth strategy to leverage the installed infrastructure and current Mineral Resource.

At the time of the acquisition, the company stated: “The acquisition of Harte Gold and the Sugar Zone operation, with the associated land package further diversifies Silver Lake’s production base and estab lishes a significant growth platform in a tier 1 mining jurisdiction, at an attractive entry point. The earlystage nature of the operation provides Silver Lake with the flexibility to consider multiple operational op timization strategies to enhance the value of the defined mineral inven tory, whilst the limited drilling imme diately beyond the defined mineral inventory and the scale of the land package provides significant explo ration potential to enhance Silver Lake’s organic growth pipeline.”

Silver Lake purchased BNP Paribas (“BNP”) debt facilities at par value of US$65.3 million. In parallel, Sil ver Lake negotiated an exclusive right with BNP to have the flexibility to close out or novate Harte Gold’s hedge book with BNP undertaking

not to support an alternative transaction which did not close out the hedge book.

In its Quarterly Report to the Aus tralian Stock Exchange, Silver Lake outlined positive developments at Sugar Zone, including:

• Quarterly gold production of 10,709 ounces with sales of 9,692 ounces at an AISC of A$2,665/oz

• Significant progress on phase 1 capital projects with new crushing circuit operational, new maintenance workshop and mine ware house on schedule for completion in Q2 FY23

• Regulatory permits received for increased mine and mill capacity to 1,400 and 1,500 tpd respectively During the quarter Silver Lake made significant progress on the first phase of capital projects at the Sugar Zone including:

• Completion of new crusher plant installation which is now opera tional and provides a step change in crushing capacity in line with the new permitted limit of 1,500 tpd

• Redundant crushing circuit re moved with civil, electrical and me chanical works well progressed to establish a maintenance workshop facility in the former crusher shed

• Completing the upgrade of surface fibre optic and installation of under ground fibre optic cable to increase communication efficiency across the site and facilitate remote bog ging operations following the arrival of the new underground loading fleet later this financial year

• Cash expenditure on capital proj ects during the quarter of $10.0 mil lion Permit amendments to increase mine and mill capacity to 1,400 and 1,500 tonnes per day respectively were received during the quarter. The permits support the potential for Silver Lake to deliver production growth at the Sugar Zone operation as capital investment projects are executed and a new more reliable and productive underground mine fleet is introduced to the mine, in parallel with the ramp up of under ground and surface drilling activi ties, which have the potential to ma terially change the outlook for the operation.

The Sugar Zone mine is a high grade underground mine approximately 30km north of White River or midway between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie.

Gold mineralization mainly occurs in quartz veins, stringers, and quartzflooded zones predominantly asso ciated with porphyry zones, porphy ry contact zones, hydrothermally altered basalts and, rarely, weakly altered or unaltered basalt within the three subzones.

Page 36 ML&EN MINING REPORT Page 34
Page 37 Page 35 MINING REPORT ML&EN Serving the North since 1974 Specializing in ore, aggregate, sand hauling and floating service Robert 705-266-4076 | Domenic 705-266-5147 6943 Highway 101 East, Porcupine, Ontario P0N 1C0

Targets 4000m of core by end of year in Timmins

Saskatoon-based GFG Resourc es continues encouraging progress on its Montclerg Gold Project just east of Timmins.

In early November, GFG an nounced that it began its 2022 Phase 2 drill program testing mul tiple targets at its Goldarm Prop erty with a primary focus on the Montclerg Gold Project. The com pany plans to drill approximately 4,000m before year-end and an ticipates resuming drilling in Feb ruary 2023.

“Drill results from our last two programs at Montclerg have been very encouraging; returning nu merous bulk tonnage as well as high-grade gold intercepts at very shallow depths.

The results have outlined a sig nificant gold system with solid continuity in multiple lenses and it remains open in many directions,” said Brian Skanderbeg, President and CEO of GFG.

“Following a busy summer field program and further modeling and interpretation at Montclerg, we are pleased to have recently resumed drilling. Focus will be on in-fill drill ing within the MC Central target,

completing further step-out holes at depth and along the MC and CX trends and assessing the potential to make discoveries along this 10 km corridor,” he added.

The company describes the Montclerg Gold Project as part of a re cently consolidated Goldarm Prop erty, which consists of more than 15,000 hectares and covers over 30 km of the prospective Pipestone and North Pipestone deformation zones which hosts multiple gold deposits and mines in one of the most prolific gold districts in the world.

Montclerg is strategically located east of the prolific Timmins Gold Camp and is surrounded by sig nificant infrastructure. The Project consists of patented and unpatented mining claims that cover 10 km of the highly prospective Pipestone Deformation Zone.

“In addition, we have made great strides with our generative programs across the Goldarm Property, refin ing high quality drill targets at the Aljo Gold Mine and Carr targets lo cated on the eastern and southern portions of the Goldarm Property.

We look forward to testing these and other regional targets as part of

our 2022 and 2023 programs and believe in the potential for further discoveries across the Goldarm Property.”

Prior to outlining results of the drill program, GFG made the first of two anniversary payments on an op tion agreement with International Explorers and Prospectors Inc., whereby GFG can acquire a 100% interest of Montclerg.

Pursuant to the Agreement, GFG issued a total of 5,353,721 com mon shares of the company to IEP at a deemed value of C$0.0934 per common share based on the VWAP for the five previous trading days. The common shares issued have a statutory hold period of four months and one day from the date of issuance.

GFG also owns 100% of the Rattle snake Hills Gold Project, a district scale gold exploration project located approximately 100 km south west of Casper, Wyoming, U.S. In Wyoming, the company has part nered with Group 11 Technologies Inc. through an option and earn-in agreement to advance the compa ny’s Rattlesnake Hills Gold Project with a technology that could revolu tionize the gold mining industry.

Page 38
Page 36 GFG Resources
ML&EN MINING REPORT
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Critical Minerals in the Ground

Vale invests C$945 Million Copper Cliff South Mine Expansion

With Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Mines Minister George Pi rie in attendance, Vale Canada opened the first phase of a $945 million Copper Cliff Complex South Mine project in Sudbury in October.

The project is expected to nearly double ore production at the mine by adding around 10,000 tonnes of nickel production and 13,000 tonnes of copper per year. “Feasibility studies are currently underway for future development phases of the Copper Cliff Mine Complex, with potential to deliver sustainable and responsibly sourced minerals essential for a low carbon economy well into the future,” the company stated in a news release to mark the event. Vale is excited about their future as they continue to invest 30% year over year in exploration projects in Ontario.

The project will add 250 direct jobs and there are over 14% wom en working underground which is 10% more than just a fews years ago. The project is creating one of the largest underground mining complexes in North America. To expand the mine, the compa

ny moved more than 544,000 tonnes of rock to build 12 kilometres of un derground tunnels. The new tunnels

to the long-term sustainability of our Sudbury operations,” said Deshnee Naidoo, Executive Vice-President of Vale’s base metals business & CEO of Vale Canada.

Vale has invested C$28.4 billion in the past 12 years in Ontario and supports over 13,700 jobs.

Deshnee Naidoo, Executive VP of Vale’s base metals business.

connect the mine’s south and north shafts. The project started in 2017. “The first phase of the Copper Cliff Mine Complex South project enhanc es our supply of low-carbon nickel and other critical minerals and adds

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Mines George Pirie, Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe, Sudbury MPP Jamie West and Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger donned coveralls and personal protective equipment for the grand opening at the mine site. It’s the sixth major mining project that Ford’s PC government has presided over since taking office in 2018, adding billions in payroll taxes to Ontario’s economy.

“This mine will create hundreds of new jobs for our skilled work ers and be a major boost for the economy of the region,” Ford said. “We are thrilled that Vale is deepening its commitment to Ontario and can assure them there is not a better place for in vestment than right here in Sudbury,” the Premier added.

Page 40 Page 38 ML&EN MINING REPORT
VALE CANADA
Premier Doug Ford speaks at grand opening ceremonies.
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One of North America’s highest grade gold mines

Island Gold Mine PHASE 3+ Expansion Project

Alamos Gold’s Island Gold Mine located outside of Dubreuilville, Ontario is one of the highest-grade gold producers in North America, and re cently declared their million ounce pour in 2021. This was a major milestone for the mine but due to the Covid Pandemic couldn’t be celebrated the way it should have been. But that isn’t the end of the story for this operation, it is just the beginning.

Austin Hemphill, General Manager at Al amos Gold’s Island Gold Mine spoke at the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay this past September where attendees were given a presentation on the Phase 3+ expansion project for their underground Island Gold Mine.

The Island Gold mine is operating at about 1200 ore tonnes per day. With the Phase 3+ project, they’ll be expanding it to 2400 tons. For anyone following Ala mos, they would have noticed they an nounced, at the peak of the 2020 pan demic, their initial Phase lll project which was to be a 2000 tonne/day project. Since then, Alamos has experienced ongoing exploration success. Due to that success, they’ve been able to ex pand that project (Phase 3+) to 2400

tons per day.

Right now, from an an nual basis, Island Gold is spending about $60 million in goods and services and paying about $38 million in wages. “Again, with about half of our workforce based locally. We are a responsible operation and work relentlessly to maintain a very stel lar environmental reputation. We work closely with our first nations community partners, and we meet or exceed all the standards,” stated Hemphill.

workforce is getting younger, with 21% below 30 years of age.

Since Alamos acquired the asset in 2017, which at that time had just around 2 million ounces combined resources and reserves, they have more than tri pled the resource. Alamos continues to have exploration success as they have acquired additional assets in the neighborhood. All of this positive shift contributed to why they decided to ultimately convert to the Phase 3+ project.

When Alamos acquired the Island Gold mine, the project was producing around 100,000 ounces of gold and currently they are producing around 140,000 ounces of gold per year. Once the Phase 3+ project is completed the com pany expects the number will double. What this project will entail is a fundamental transformation of the mine site,

Half of the workforce at Island Gold is local - and local to Alamos is the town of Dubreuilville and nearby White River and Wawa. They have about 824 peo ple at the Island Gold mine and it continues to grow. The breakdown in the workforce is as follows; 481 employees, 340 contractors and just over 45% of their workforce, again are employees based locally, and about 7% of their workforce self-identify as First Nations. Right now about 18% of their workforce are female, and the majority of those be ing local. The mining average for female employment sits at 16% in Ontario. The Cont`d on Pg. 42

Page 42 Page 40 ML&EN MINING REPORT
ALAMOS GOLD

Expansion to double gold production

trips/hour at 1,305m (main shaft station) = 495 people per hour and 43mm hoist ropes.

from

they’ll go from their current ramp access only mine using a Modified AVOCA min ing method to the Phase 3+ expansion project which will include the installation of a new shaft, installation of a paste backfill plant and an expansion of the current mill facility.

The first element of the project will be the sinking of a shaft. “This is a new shaft and when we looked at this proj ect in 2020 we identified we’re down to about 1500 meters with the identi fied resource and we said, okay, as we continue to have success we’ll adapt. So how deep should the shaft be? We went ahead and we designed the shaft, we designed the hoisting plant, we de signed our ventilation infrastructure to take us down to 2000 metres.”

Hemphill says this means Alamos is able to utilize hoisting efficiencies upon the initial depth, to just shy of 1400 metres. “That also gives us the ability to expand to the future. In addition to that, we’re going to construct ourselves a paste backfill plant. We’re going to be able to divert about 40% of our tailings underground providing us a longer life with our existing tailings storage facility. Right now, the design capacity, that facility has is adequate for everything we have in the books from a resource and reserve perspective. And then final ly, obviously, we’re going to be mining more. We have to process more.”

Alamos anticipates completing the project by mid 2026. The Island Gold

mine’s new shaft will be located south of Goudreau Lake. This will include the infrastructure, the shaft itself, admin buildings and dry facilities. 80% of the workforce is going to relocate south of the lake upon completion of the project. The shaft production hoisting plant (ore and waste) will consist of a 5m x 2m double drum, a 2000 metre design depth with an initial sinking depth to 1373m, 2x 12t skips at 15m/s on steel guides, 4200kW rating, bottom dump skips with scrolls, 198s at 2,000m = 3,500 tpd, 154s at 1305m = 4,500 tpd and 54mm hoist ropes. This is a conventional steel head frame.

“With respect to personnel getting to and from the workplace safely and rap idly at present we are ramped down to right around just over a kilometer deep, it takes them about an hour and 15 to an hour and 20 minutes to get from the portal to the working areas. The new shaft design will cut more than half that time moving them closer to 30 minutes to most of their working areas at the time of the completion of the project,” said Hemphill, which gives the company obvious production time boosts.

By utilizing the new design, they went a bit larger with an eight-ton cage with two decks which allows the mine to bring 33 persons per deck 66 people per load. This means they can bring their entire workforce down in about an hour or less meaning a huge savings to the mine.

This isn’t a separate compartment; it’s going to be on timber guides and is counterweighted. They operate this independently, which provides the highest level of flexibility.

The newly designed service hoisting plant (personnel and materials) will consist of 4.5m x 1.8m single drum, 2,000m design depth, 2500 kW rating, 8t double deck cage with 33 persons per deck, 10m/s on timber guides with dogs used for personnel and palletized loads, 7.5

The next element of the project dis cussed during the presentation, was their paste plant, which is a $50 million project. The mine is a narrow vein mine and they have had to leave a lot of ma terial underground as pillars. The Island Gold mine is a very high grade mine with an average reserve grade at about

40 Cont`d on Pg. 44

Page 44 Page 42 ML&EN MINING REPORT
Cont`d
Pg.
ALAMOS GOLD
Page 45 Page 43 MINING REPORT ML&EN R e s o u r c e s & i n f o r m a t i o n B u i l d i n g y o u r n e t w o r k L o c a l s e r v i c e & s u p p l y L E T U S H E L P Y O U G E T C O N N E C T E D CONTACT: ANDREW KANE a n d r e w . k a n e @ t h u n d e r b a y . c a C e l l : 8 0 7 . 6 3 0 . 7 1 1 1 G e n e r a l O f f i c e : 8 0 7 . 6 2 5 . 3 9 6 0 N a t u r a l R e s o u r c e s B u s i n e s s D e v e l o p m e n t M a n a g e r

Billion dollar project fully funded from Alamos’ own mine operations

lining that this is a billion-dollar project. “We’re able to fund this project wholly from revenues and mining both from the Island Gold mine as well as our sister operations. In addition to that, we are looking to reduce costs from about $700-$800 an ounce all in sustaining, to about $340 going for ward which is a significant reduction.”

In addition, the operation has become even more efficient from a green house gas perspective. They are able to park the majority of their diesel fleet on the completion of the project and become almost completely reliant on grid power. As part of their project, they are now looking at how to bet ter implement electrical equipment underground.

Cont`d from Pg. 42

10 grams per tonne, so the pillars have a significant amount of value to them. By utilizing their paste backfill, they get a number of benefits, they have an engineer fill product, they can increase their extraction ratio, as well as being able to divert about 40% of their tailings from the storage facility back underground. The last aspect of the project is the mill expansion to 2400 tpd capacity. The key component changes are a new crushing plant, an additional ball mill, convert the existing circuit to two trains, refurbish the existing regrind mill, convert 5 leach tanks to CIL and add 3 new larger tanks, add a new packaged 5t ADR plant and new cyanide destruction circuit. The cost of the mill alone expansion is 76 million dollars.

“We have an existing mill, we have known metallurgy and we demonstrat ed we understand how to process our ore so we’re going to effectively twin our processing plant,” said Hemphill. “Again, we have a simple metallurgy so there’s no flotation or anything, so it’s a simple leach circuit. What we’ll do is

effectively duplicate our existing 1200 ton ball mill. We’ll utilize one of our existing historic mills, we’re presently using as re grinds and have two parallel trains. We’re going to be utilizing a lot of the materials and resources we already have and retasking and repurposing them.”

The mine will require a truck load-out area and have the trucks tram ore up to the existing mill which is about a two kilometer haulage distance. The ore will be stock piled to surface in a new storage facility. The company needed to add a cyanide destruction circuit using the natural pho todegradation for a cyanide destruct. This will give more control over the process. Alamos looked at options. “Everybody wants a new shiny mill, and they took a good look at it, but it didn’t make sense when you have an existing mill that works and works quite well. In addition to this, by paralleling it, we now have two trains, we have effectively a significant level of redundancy online. The advantage of ex pansion verses a new mill are two-fold. A lower capex and two trains provides great er operational flexibility.”

Hemphill ended his presentation by under

The project started with the new ad min buildings and was completed in 2021. They built and constructed a new warehouse as they’re doubling their production and are going to double their demand on consumables. Historically the Island Gold mine was a small operation, with a small shop at about 315m level. They have now relocated a larger shaft underground and the new shop is located at the 620m level.

With permanent camp work is done, the mine site has a little over 480 rooms right. There is also a temporary camp expansion required for the project.

Alamos has already begun their presink. That’s the initial 50 meters of the shaft. Once completed, they’ll install the Galloway, construct the perma nent head frame over it, commission the hoists and then begin sinking in earnest. It is believed the initial pro duction from the shaft will be sched uled in Q1 2026 and it will continue to ramp up through the year into 2027 where they will reach their 2400 ton/ day production rate.”

Page 46 Page 44 ML&EN MINING REPORT
ALAMOS GOLD
Photo: Young-Davidson is a low-cost, long-life operation and one of Canada’s largest underground gold mines. With a large Mineral Reserve base and strong ongoing free cash flow generation, Young-Davidson will serve as Alamos’ foun dation for growth for many years to come.

Building a multi-million-ounce gold project in Northern Ontario

If you attended the Central Canada Resource Expo in Thunder Bay in September, you couldn’t help but notice the presence of the Equinox Gold – Greenstone Mine team at their display and on the trade show grounds looking for products, ser vices and employees to help their HR and procurement team in the building of one of Canada’s top gold producers.

During the event, Greenstone Mine’s General Manager, Eric Lamontagne provided an update on

the status of the construction of the Greenstone Mine and their plans as they head into pre-production. The Greenstone Mine is located 275 km northeast of Thunder Bay, in the Municipality of Greenstone, Ward of Geraldton and is located in the traditional territory of Treaty 9 which is the traditional territories of the An imbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation, Long Lake #58 First Nation and home to the citizens of the Metis Nation of Ontario. The

project started as a brownfield proj ect. It was mined between 19301970 by the Hard Rock, MacLeodCockshutt and Mosher companies. The Greenstone Mine is now 60% owned by Equinox Gold and 40% owned by Orion. The Greenstone Gold Mine team continues to ad vance the project into production. The project was rebranded as the Greenstone Project.

Working on the project in the midst of the COVID Pandemic was chal lenging. Between April and Septem ber of 2021, the project moved on schedule with the pre-production early works starting with land clear ing, a temporary water treatment plant and the construction of their lodging facilities. In October of 2021 the Groundbreaking Ceremonies took place onsite.

Currently the open pit sits in the middle of Highway 11 and is being relocated for about 4.4 kilometres and the plan is to have the new highway completed and handed over by Q4 2023.

The footprint of the mine is 12 km long and 5 km wide and when traveling through Geraldton you couldn’t help but notice the change in the landscape and the construc tion activity taking place. This small

Page 48 Page 46 ML&EN MINING REPORT Equinox Gold Greenstone Mine
Greenstone Mine’s General Manager, Eric Lamontagne gives project update during the CEN CAN Expo held in Thunder Bay.

northern community is buzzing with activity. The project is an economic boost and is important to the communities and their indigenous partners in which they operate. The mine project has become and will remain for years to come, an eco nomic development pillar in the Greenstone.

To name just a few of the short- and long-term benefits:

• Over 2,000 jobs during con struction

• 1.2 billion dollars in federal and provincial taxes

• Over 3 billion dollars in Ontario purchases alone

• Many upgrades to infrastructure

• Many partnership opportunities and more …

Eric stated he was proud of the part nerships they are establishing, and it is a pleasure in working with the municipality of Greenstone. Eric was anxious to dive into where they are and where they are go ing in the construction phase of the project. “Every day the project moves closer to pre-production, with 750 people on site currently working 7 days a week, every day of the month we are at full capacity and at the peak of construction. The truck maintenance shop is currently under construction. Along with the Crusher building and the secondary crusher building which will eventu ally go to the dome and then the processing plant. For the health and safety of our operation since the be ginning of the project we are without lost time and we just finalized a call this morning prior to the conference where we reached 1.5 million hours without any lost time injury and it’s really important for the Greenstone Project to make sure all our employ ees and contractors return home safe. Covid 19 did not impact the mine that much up to date as we implemented a mandatory mandate

Equinox

vaccine for all employees and con tractors. We took a lot of measures because of the severity of the pandemic. We continue to monitor this very closely”, stated Eric.

The mine is fully permitted. The Inde pendent Review Board was in place since 2017 to give oversight for de sign, construction and management of the tailings management facility.

The project is in full compliance with all permits and management plans and has met all reporting deadlines.

The Phase 2 financial assurance was submitted in Q1 2022 and cov ers the mine pre-production activi ties. Last winter the mine complet ed the relocation of the Goldfield Creek.

When speaking about opportunities for their indigenous partners Eric was proud to say that his agree ments are top of the line agreements with many ideas in starting new partnerships. A couple of ex amples given in his presentation

Page 49 Page 47 MINING REPORT ML&EN
• • •
Gold Greenstone Mine

were the partnership of the reloca tion of the police station, a solar panel project which was 10 mega watts, and the start of training pro grams. Eric said it is important to work in partnership on training and to increase the number of trainees to provide more permanent jobs in the future.

For the mine itself Eric said, “we just started mining with the first blast happening few weeks ago (end of August). We had our barbecue in Greenstone and we invited the com munity to attend. The response was very good as the mine is very well received by the community. During the event the mine organized a site visit with 500 people in attendance. It was a very good day.”

The mine will ramp up to 70,000,000 tonnes per year. To do so it is critical to the mine’s success they have a safe start-up which will include the sufficient training required to oper ate, a team committed to safety and a void management plan in place due to the historical underground workings. Along with a safe start-up will come good execution which will incorporate planning and commu nication, availability of a workforce and the equipment required, excel lent supplier support expertise and services, the dewatering of under ground workings and a multitude of other details.

Eric said in his presentation that in 2023 they will ramp up with the ma

chinery required to a full projection so that at the end of 2023 they are ready to go into commercial produc tion in 2024.

The open pit is close to two kilo metres by one kilometre and at a depth of 600 metres. The Reserves sit currently at 135 million tonnes at 1.27 g/t with a reserve currently set at 5.5 million ounces of gold. As the mine evolves it will likely extend the life of the mine. The mine just assembled their first fleet of equip ment at the time of the conference (beginning of September) to supply the rock needed for the construction phase. Eventually we will require up to 31 CAT 793 trucks, 4 Komatsu/ SMS PC5500 shovels, 1 Komatsu LT-1850 loader, 6 Epiroc PV235 drills, 6 Komatsu 375 dozers and 3 CAT 16M graders to supply a 50,000 tonnes per day operation. Progress on the Process Plant start ed on the west end and already the structure is in place and the clad ding is now finished. In working on the east end, they are preparing the two foundations for the ball mill and by December they’ll put the steel structure and the cladding to en close the building completely before the winter. The process plant is a conventional one which is very simi lar to the Rainy River Mine. The plant is designed to operate at 27,000 t/d and progress on the construction of the Process Plant is 30% complete with all the equip

ment on schedule for delivery. Work commenced underground in Q3 2022 and is underway with a leach tank being installed by Q4 2022 along with the ball mills and the crushers are looking to be installed by Q3 2023.

The mining industry just like others in Ontario and globally for that mat ter are experiencing delays in pro duction and shipping of the goods required for construction and day to day operations. Eric noted in his presentation that they have had some delay with the steel. The team at Greenstone Gold Mine are eager and able to adapt to certain hold ups in the delivery of materials and have switched their schedule by complet ing the concrete foundation for the second ball mill. The focus remains the same which is to close every thing up by the end of December 2022/January 2023.

The Greenstone Mine is on track as there have been no drastic changes in the major facility milestones such as the delivery of the Permanent Effluent Water Treatment Plant, Power Plant, Process Plant, Gold field Creek Diversion, TMF, Hwy 11 Handover and start of pre-produc tion mine activities which will see the first gold pour in H1 2024.

Eric closed in stating, “we have a very good team that have worked together since the beginning. Most of the workforce goes back as far as 2013 and are still with us today. The team essentially is the core of the operation. It’s fun because mining is very small world. For the employ ment opportunities we have a lot of jobs we need to fill. You are looking at 550 employees working yearround plus 250-300 in contractors. If you are looking for a career in min ing, you are encouraged to go to our website and you can apply online or call our team of HR staff. The same applies for supply and service com panies looking to connect with our operation you can visit us online as well.”

Page 50 ML&EN MINING REPORT Page 48
Equinox Gold Greenstone
Mine

Red Lake’s next potential large, long-life mine complex with a first pour targeted in 2029

BUILDING A LEGACY

project is a centerpiece of the Com pany’s development portfolio and has excellent potential to support a large, long-life mine complex. Drilling results continue to fulfill expec tations, including high-grade inter cepts at depth, and the Company is on track to declare an initial mineral resource estimate in early 2023.

Through the Great Bear Project we are committed to being an active, good member in all communities of the Red Lake region by making a positive and lasting impact through job creation, local investment and strong environmental stewardship.

Learn more at www.kinross.com

Our Values

On a global scale, Kinross produc es approximately two million ounc es of gold annually and expects to continue that trend through the end of the decade. Kinross is one of the top 10 gold producers in the world. The company is primarily Americas focused, with three operations in North America, two in South Ameri ca and one in West Africa.

Putting People First Outstanding Corporate Citizenship High Performance Culture Rigorous Financial Discipline

Jeremy Brans, Vice President and General Manager of Kinross On tario, spoke recently at the Projects in the Pipeline Conference held in Thunder Bay. In his presentation, Jeremy gave an overview of the ex citing milestones and schedule en visioned ahead for the Great Bear project, since renamed from Dixie following the project acquisition. Kinross is a Canadian gold min ing company that is over 25 years old and currently has no operating mines in Canada. “It has been 16 years since Kinross has mined in Canada,” said Jeremy. “We are excited to be back and are committed to working in Northern Ontario on our newly acquired Great Bear

project”.

The Great Bear project hosts sev eral gold discoveries on-property. First discovered in 2019, the largest and most significant of these is the LP Fault zone, which has top-tier potential to support a large, longlife mine complex and to bolster the company’s long-term production outlook.

Kinross is a Canadian-based global senior gold mining company with operations and projects in the United States, Brazil, Mauritania, Chile, Canada, and Ghana. Our focus on delivering value is based on our core principles of responsible mining, operational excellence, disciplined growth and balance sheet strength.

Kinross is a company that is com mitted to operating responsibly and this was a message that was echoed throughout the presentation. Kinross Great Bear is proud to be working within the traditional territory of their partners in the Wa bauskang First Nation and Lac Seul First Nation, and of the collective members of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3.

Kinross Great Bear recently hosted an environmental monitor training and certification course for mem bers of the partner First Nations’ communities. The purpose of the training was to build technical ca

pacity among members to enable the communities to monitor and access the project site environ ment, with the goal of building trust through transparency as Kinross undertakes their work on the Great Bear property.

The five-day training focused on providing the skills and resources needed to perform techniques according to current environmental regulations in Ontario for all areas of site environmental monitoring including water, wildlife, plants soil and air. The newly trained and cer tified monitors are encouraged to visit the project site regularly, with the goal of supporting an inclusive environmental permitting process and putting in action Kinross’ com mitment to responsible mining. As Kinross works in their host communities, the focus is on making a positive and lasting impact through job creation, local invest ment and strong environmental stewardship. “There are many met

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Jeremy Brans, Vice President and General Manager of Kinross Ontario speaks to a full house at the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay, Sept. 15/2022

BUILDING A LEGACY

Through the Great Bear Project we are committed to being an active, good member in all communities of the Red Lake region by making a positive and lasting impact through job creation, local investment and strong environmental stewardship. Learn more at www.kinross.com

Our Values

Kinross is a Canadian-based global senior gold mining company with operations and projects in the United States, Brazil, Mauritania, Chile, Canada, and Ghana. Our focus on delivering value is based on our core principles of responsible mining, operational excellence, disciplined growth and balance sheet strength.

Page 53 MINING REPORT ML&EN Page 51
Putting People First Outstanding Corporate Citizenship High Performance Culture Rigorous Financial Discipline

It’s either the highest standard in environment for that jurisdiction or the Kinross standard, whichever is

BUILDING A LEGACY

Through the Great Bear Project we are committed to being an active, good member in all communities of the Red Lake region by making a positive and lasting impact through job creation, local investment and strong environmental stewardship.

Learn more at www.kinross.com

rics that we track in this area. We have a social responsibility plan for each mine site, and we pay very close attention to our engagement metrics as we work to fulfill our commitments to the communities in which we operate”, said Jeremy Brans.

Kinross spent three and a half bil lion dollars investing in local econ omies in 2021, the vast majority of which was spent in the local com munities and countries in which the mines operate. The majority of employees are also local, either from the country or from the local community.

“This is all part of the Kinross overall philosophy on sus tainable mining”, stated Jeremy.

The company’s approach to sustainability has three different tenets associated with it.

The first is to Do No Harm. Jeremy explained it this way. “In short, this is not just a safety perspective, but also an environ mental one. Any where that we’re building, operat ing, or closing an operation, we aim for the higher stan dard of the land.

The second is Making a Positive Contribution. This is what they like to say is taking a ‘legacy’ approach to maximizing the local benefit foot print. Jeremy explains it this way, “If we imagine a Kinross mine closed 10-20 years ago in your community and now Kinross comes back into the community and finds a new ore body. Is the community excited to welcome us back? Are they cheering that Kinross is back in town? We would hope so. That’s the principle that we use to guide all of our deci sions, both up front and throughout any operation’s life.”

The third tenet is Acting Ethically and Transparently. “Transparency is our default, like being an open book. It is in our DNA. We find that being transparent, open and hon est is just good business. We work to operate with respect for human rights and engage with our partners and stakeholders”, stated Jeremy.

One element that attracted Kinross to the Great Bear project was the favourable location and access to infrastructure. Just south of the town of Red Lake in northwestern Ontario, the project is situated along paved Highway 105 with access to a provincial power line and gas line running parallel to the highway. The second thing that continues to ex cite Kinross about the project is the large gold discovery called the LP Fault zone. This large mineralized zone was first discovered in May 2019, only three and a half years ago. Since then, there has already been 500,000 meters of drilling in the LP Fault zone alone. If you accompany that with the additional high-grade gold vein discoveries that were made in 2017 and 2018 you can’t blame the Company for its excitement.

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kang & Lac Seul First Nations communities.
Our Values Putting People First Outstanding Corporate Citizenship High Performance Culture Rigorous Financial Discipline
Kinross is a Canadian-based global senior gold mining company with operations and projects in the United States, Brazil, Mauritania, Chile, Canada, and Ghana. Our focus on delivering value is based on our core principles of responsible mining, operational excellence, disciplined growth and balance sheet strength.

BUILDING A LEGACY

discovery on the large, prospective Great Bear property.

In addition to drilling activity, preparation for environmental permitting is currently underway on site. It is projected to take approximately 5 years to get the permits in place to start construction, and the environ mental baseline studies are key.

Through the Great Bear Project we are committed to being an active, good member in all communities of the Red Lake region by making a positive and lasting impact through job creation, local investment and strong environmental stewardship. Learn more at www.kinross.com

Our Values

Putting People First Outstanding Corporate Citizenship High Performance Culture Rigorous Financial Discipline

When Kinross acquired the Great Bear project this past February, they paid about one and a half bil lion dollars for it, with a strong belief in the potential of the project that had not yet even defined a mineral resource. The Company is planning to deliver the project’s initial mineral resource estimate in early 2023, along with the release of the global 2022 year-end results. Finally, this project is particularly exciting to Kinross, simply because the project is starting from a truly blank slate; as a greenfield project. This provides the Company ample opportunities to make the right de cisions that will guide everything ahead, such as making the project a low emission mine right from the start. It provides the opportunity to work in safety and environmental stewardship right from the begin ning.

Kinross Great Bear is currently completing scoping studies to as sess the prospect for a large-scale mining complex with a first produc tion pour by 2029. Work continues daily, and activities such as drilling and baseline environmental activi ties are currently taking place on site. The company hopes to be con ducting advanced exploration ac tivities in 2024-2025, which would allow access to the deeper miner

alization and enable underground drilling for a better understanding of the geology and mineral resource. If all goes well, activity would gradu ally advance from surface exploration to driving a decline in advanced exploration, construction and finally reaching production starting in 2029.

PROPERTY OVERVIEW

There are multiple high-grade zones located across the Great Bear property. The greater LP Fault zone is approximately 10.8 kilome tres in strike length, 4.6 kilometres of which comprises the current area of focus. The LP Fault zone remains open along strike in both directions and at depth. There are other Red Lake style discoveries also locat ed on the property. The Hinge and Limb zones might have supported a mine and mill on their own but have fallen second attraction when compared to the LP Fault zone. Ad ditional exciting early discoveries on site include the Arrow and Midwest zones. While Kinross is currently putting most of their drilling efforts into defining the mineral resource within the known LP Fault Zone, there is still quite a bit of upside potential in either extending the LP Fault zone or even making another

Jeremy stated, “For any mine that’s starting up, we must make sure that if we’re going to close it properly, we need to have a very solid base line understanding of where we started. Water, air, land, fish, land animals, everything from the outset and that’s what we are focused on right now. The same applies on the social side of things, working with our First Nation partners and the nearby communities of Red Lake and Ear Falls, researching local health and wellbeing, land use, Tra ditional Knowledge, recreation, em ployment and other socio-economic elements. We need to understand where the communities are today in order to measure our impact to morrow and to be sure that we are making a long term positive contri bution.”

What’s Next in 2022-2023?

“We will continue our work in col lecting baseline information and updating our understanding of cul tural values, sensitive areas and site constraints so that these can be protected and avoided as we plan our project footprint and continue with exploration activities on site. We are also looking to deliver an Initial Mineral Resource Estimate (National Instrument 43-101 com pliant) in 2023 and a Pre-feasibil ity Study to follow,” stated Jeremy Brans. Without a doubt, it is certain ly shaping up to be a very exciting next few years for the Kinross Great Bear project.

Page 56 Page 54 ML&EN MINING REPORT
Kinross is a Canadian-based global senior gold mining company with operations and projects in the United States, Brazil, Mauritania, Chile, Canada, and Ghana. Our focus on delivering value is based on our core principles of responsible mining, operational excellence, disciplined growth and balance sheet strength.

This year, Newmont’s Musselwhite mine achieved a quar ter century of commercial operation – but the story of Musselwhite started long before the mine began production in 1997. Brothers Allan and Harold Musselwhite first discov ered visible gold mineralization in a quartz vein on the north side of Opapimiskan Lake while panning for gold in 1962, on the traditional territory of North Caribou Lake First Nation in Treaty 9. The brothers performed much of the early explo ration work, including extensive drilling, until a syndicate of mining companies acquired the property. However, the feasibility of and method to exploit the deposit would be debated for more than three decades to come.

In 1992, Musselwhite became one of the first mines in Can ada to enter into a comprehensive agreement with First Nations communities, laying the groundwork for the produc tive and mutually beneficial partnership that it celebrated at its silver jubilee. Musselwhite has formal agreements with the North Caribou Lake First Nation, Cat Lake First Nation, the Windigo First Nations Council, Wunnumin Lake First Nation, Kingfisher Lake First Nation, the Shibogama First Nations Council and Mishkeegogamang First Nation that guide its commitments to local communities. A feasibility study was accepted in 1996 and the mine was subsequently built over the next year.

Since the mine began production in 1997, Musselwhite has produced more than 5 million ounces of gold and deepened its relationships with its First Nations partners. In addition to providing direct employment opportunities, Musselwhite works with local businesses to procure goods and services. Musselwhite is grateful to the many businesses who provide their services to the site, including Shibogama Health, Win digo Catering, Ojijakoes Community Development Corpo ration, BBH Contracting, Wasaya Airways, Synterra Security and many others.

In addition to providing direct employment opportunities, Musselwhite has also played a role in the creation of new businesses like Synterra Security. In 2011, in response to discussions Musselwhite initiated about a need for security services, a groundbreaking agreement was signed between Kingfisher Lake, Wunnumin Lake and Naicatchewenin First Nation that made Synterra Security the first majority owned security company in Northwestern Ontario. Synterra Security officially signed a service agreement with the Musselwhite mine and hired its first six security guards that year. Today, Synterra Security has approximately 200 employees at operations across Northern Ontario, 40% of whom are Indigenous.

In 2018, Musselwhite was honored to host Elders Annie Williams, Georgina Patayash and Jowin Quequish, as well as their family members, on site for National Indigenous Day before they passed. These special guests flew to the Musselwhite mine despite mobility challenges, and spoke both of their memories on the land and the intent of the Musselwhite Agreement to benefit future generations. Jowin Quequish served as Chief of North Caribou Lake First Nation at the time of signing the first Musselwhite Agreement.

The Norman Patayash Wellness Centre at the Musselwhite mine was recently opened to honour Elder Norman Patayash of North Caribou Lake First Nation, who was the head trapper and land user of the territory that the proposed mine was sitting on. He believed that mining development would bring prosperity and improve quality of life, and welcomed development based on this understanding; his support directly resulted in the signing of the first Musselwhite Agreement. The centre will provide a safe space for any religious, cultural, spiritual or wellness activities.

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MUSSELWHITE 25th
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On September 20, Newmont’s Musselwhite mine commemorated its 25th anniversary by hosting several hundred guests, including mine employees, Indigenous leaders and community members, government leaders and business partners. While looking back on the people and partnerships who made the first Musselwhite Agreement possible, attendees offered their congratulations on the silver jubilee.

The Musselwhite mine celebrated its silver jubilee with an event held on site. Windigo Catering, who recently won the Skookum Jim Award for Aboriginal Achievement in Canada’s Mining Sector, prepared a delicious meal. Attendees received a silver coin emblazoned with the first Musselwhite logo as a keepsake.

The modern Musselwhite mine is a fly-in, fly-out operation on the southern shore of Opapimiskan Lake on the traditional lands of North Caribou Lake First Nation. The 180-square-kilometre property is located approximately 130 kilometres north of Pickle Lake and 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay. This world-class gold deposit is mined from two main zones below Lake Opapimiskan. Ore is processed onsite using a circuit that includes crushing, grinding, leaching by cyanidation, carbon in pulp recovery and electrowinning.

“Congratulations to the Musselwhite mine on the tremendous accomplishment of 25 years of commercial production. It has been a critical element in the mining industry in the North, which in turn is a key element of Ontario’s economy and one that will continue to grow.”

“I want to congratulate the ownership, management and staff of Newmont Musselwhite as you celebrate 25 years of commercial production. Your contributions to the City of Thunder Bay and many other communities in the North are substantial. You were one of the first companies to develop strong relationships with Indigenous communities and partners, leading to shared wealth. Your leadership in this regard is a model for many and contributes to building a stronger and healthier Northern Ontario.”

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to all employees, Indigenous community members and partners who were involved with this 25-year milestone of the first gold bar pour at Musselwhite in 1997. Musselwhite demonstrates the value of the northwestern Ontario mining jurisdictions and reinforces the commitment made by all to safe and responsible mining.”

“As we look forward to the future and another 25 years, let us learn from the lessons of the past. If we continue to work cooperatively and towards common interest, and respect each other for the knowledge and strength each of our parties brings to the table, I know we will face and conquer all challenges ahead. Miigwech.”

Frank McKay, CEO of Windigo First Nations Council:

Newmont Musselwhite was honoured to host several hundred guests, including mine employees, Indigenous leaders and community members, government leaders and business partners, to commemorate 25 years of commercial production.

“I’m pleased to congratulate Musselwhite mine and Newmont on an incredible 25 years of sustainable mining and fostering of historic partnerships. Our government recognizes the value that these mines deliver to our northern and Indigenous communities, which is why we continue to work hard to find impactful ways to support the industry. Mining has delivered pivotal economic success in Ontario and together we’ll continue building on our established strengths and setting the right conditions to ensure that the sector’s best days lie ahead.”

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MUSSELWHITE 25th anniversary Page 58 ML&EN MINING REPORT
Page 61 Page 59 2022 MINING REPORT ML&EN Newmont Musselwhite Congratulations for 25 Years of Success! info@nordmin.com | www.nordmin.com THE FUTURE OF LTE IS NOW. www.becker-mining.com info@ca.becker-mining.com BENEFITS OF LTE Better Security Cost Efficient Robust + Reliable Greater Control CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE LTE networks offer a path to smart mining and a future of profitability, improved safety, and increased environmental responsibility.

Newmont acquired the Musselwhite mine in 2019. Our ability to mine is dependent on the enthusiastic and ongoing support of local communities, and Musselwhite provides an outstanding example of how sustainable and responsible mining can create value, improve lives and generate strong relationships that span generations.

Coinciding with a quarter century of commercial production, Musselwhite reached another milestone in its community relationships this year – the completion and energization of the first phase of the $1.8 billion Wataynikaneyap Power project, which will connect re mote First Nations to the Ontario power grid and end their reliance on diesel generators to unlock greater community development. 24 First Nations equally own a 51% interest in the Wataynikaneyap Power entity, which was originally incorporated through an agreement between 13 First Nations and Goldcorp, a predecessor of Newmont. Wataynikaneyap means “line that brings light” in Anishininiimowin and is the largest First Nations-led infrastructure project in Canada, with a goal of First Nations eventually owning 100% of this important infrastructure.

Musselwhite will remain an important pillar in the communities that it depends on, and Newmont continues to fund the programs and events that are important to its neighbours – as well as seeking creative new opportunities to improve lives. During the COVID-19 pan demic, for example, Newmont purchased modular homes for the communities of North Caribou Lake First Nation, Wunnumin Lake First Nation and Kingfisher Lake First Nation to use as safe isolation facilities for COVID-19 positive or suspected positive individuals, and an existing building in Cat Lake was converted into an isolation facilities. The units will become shelters from family and gender-based violence when no longer needed for isolation purposes.

In 2021, Musselwhite partnered with the Oshki Wenjack Education Institute – which provides training and educational opportunities for Indigenous communities under the Nishnawbe Aski Nation – on a pre-apprentice program that provides opportunities to 12 Indigenous youth. Another example is the three-month Stope School Program, which Musselwhite delivers to candidates from signatory and affiliate communities who are interested in working in an underground mining environment. Success stories like Musselwhite epitomize the attractiveness of the Northwestern On tario mining jurisdiction and doing business with the First Nations whose traditional territories surround our Musselwhite operation. Newmont is proud to have inherited the Musselwhite legacy and will continue to learn from and build upon its successes as we enter the next quarter century of production.

Musselwhite is proud to be a long-time sponsor of the Underground Gym and Youth Centre, which provides free access to meals and multiple activities for Thunder Bay youth in need. The centre is dedicated to promoting and teaching fitness, healthy lifestyles, self-confidence and self-respect, and hopes to expand into providing career training opportunities to vulnerably youth, particularly in the trades; the goal is to support children in meeting their present needs while setting them up for success as they grow into adulthood. Newmont recently made a donation to support the expansion; pictured above, from left to right, are Musselwhite Sustainability and External Relations Manager Shane Matson and Underground Gym and Youth Centre Founder Peter Panetta.

One of the ways that Musselwhite demonstrates respect for its Indigenous partners is through the opening and closing water ceremonies each spring and fall that give thanks to and show respect for the land and water surrounding the site. The ceremony consists of prayers and hymns, with youth opening and closing the decant valve.

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Musselwhite delivers a three-month Stope School Program to candidates from signatory and affiliate communities who are interested in working in an undergrounding mining environment. Graduates learn a variety of core skills that empower them to launch a successful career in the mining industry.
Newmont has a long history of taking a leading approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. These figures from our 2021 Sustainability Report show how the Musselwhite mine aligns with our purpose of creating value and improving lives through responsible and sustainable mining. * All data is from 2021 unless otherwise stated. Our 2021 operations at Musselwhite were significantly impacted by COVID and completion of conveyance infrastructure, $932,535 in community investments $25.58M spend on Indigenous suppliers $66.6M spend on local suppliers, with $126/4M spend on national suppliers ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION* 1997 Started Production 100,000 oz Annual gold production 1.8M oz gold reserves 874 Employees & Contractors MUSSELWHITE 25th anniversary
Page 63 Page 61 MINING REPORT ML&EN C AT ERI N G C AM P MA N AG E ME N T HOUSEKEEPING LAUNDRY & JANITORIAL O N - S I T E C OMMI S S A RY F OO D SE R V I CE S windigocatering.ca 807.737.1585 Newmont Musselwhite Mine Congratulations on 25 Years of Mining Excellence FULL REMOTE CAMP SERVICES

Invested.

Impala Canada Limited was formed on December 13, 2019 when North American Palladium was acquired by Impala Platinum Holdings Lim ited (the Implats Group), an inte grated global platinum group metal (PGM) producer. Implats was at tracted by the Company’s focus on palladium, its reliable growth poten tial, its highly engaged team and the revenue-generating potential of its Lac des Iles Mine.

The Lac des Iles Mine (LDI), is a palladium operation with more than 28 years of production located northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario and employs over 700 employees and features a unique, world-class ore body and modern infrastruc ture, including both an underground mine and surface operations. The mine is noted for its modern infrastructure, advanced underground technologies and world-class ex ploration portfolio. This past year, more than ever, Impala Canada has made significant

investments in their busi ness, in their people, in the local economy and in the community — all of which reflect their Com pany values: Respect, Care and Deliver. “We believe that an investment in the future of LDI — which has ex pended almost $98.5 million in local businesses and Indigenous joint ventures last year alone — is an invest ment in Northwestern Ontario. Our confidence to increase investments at LDI and in the com munity is anchored on our people and on pal ladium — a critical metal used in catalytic convert ers, which reduce harmful emissions from gas oline-powered vehicles.

We are one of the largest and saf est mines in Canada, and our workforce is one of the best — skilled, dedicated and hardworking. Increasing global emissions stan dards are driving demand for palladium, and our capital investment strategy is focused on increasing mine production to 12,000 tonnes per day by 2024. In the last year we have invested $12 million on explo ration drilling, nearly $29 million on mobile equipment, and $18 million on a new crushing circuit. Impala Canada’s LDI Mine is wellpositioned to be a leader in the criti cal minerals movement. We are in vested in being a significant player in Northwestern Ontario for many years to come, and we are now more invested than ever”, stated Tim Hill, CEO of Impala Canada. The Lac des Iles Mine operates on the Robinson-Superior Treaty ter ritory which is the traditional terri tory of the Anishnaabeg and the Métis. The operation’s longstand

ing relationships are with five local communities of this land and place in Northwestern Ontario: Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay), Whitesand and Fort William First Nations, Métis Nation of Ontario and Red Sky Métis Independent Nation.

Invested in Health and Safety

Impala’s care for the health and safety of their employees, their families and the community are paramount in all that they do. This past year, they became a fully vac cinated site while they continued to stringently follow and implement their pandemic protocols to prevent the entry and spread of COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Impala Canada has purchased and delivered more than 20,000 masks to Thunder Bay-based orga nizations and Indigenous communities.

To keep health and safety at the forefront, every day, employees and contractors complete a daily safety card which includes, among other things, the LDI 5-Point Safety System. This is a joint program run by Impala Canada and the United Steelworkers Union Local 9422.

At the start of each shift, workers provide yes or no answers to five safety-related questions, including: Are your workplace and equipment

Page 64 IMPALA CANADA Page 62 ML&EN MINING REPORT

IMPALA CANADA

Invested in attracting industry’s top talent to join the Impala Canada family

too is our Impala Canada family. If you want to join, visit www.impala canada.com/joinus. We are always looking for good people”, stated Mike Newbold, General Manager of LDI.

Invested in Operations and Exploration

LDI was proud to be chosen as the site of this announcement, which

in good condition? Any question answered with a ‘no’ is a hard stop. The crew member then corrects the issue or, if needed, flags it with the supervisor, who will investigate and take corrective action. The daily 5-Point Risk Assessment questionnaire is one of many tools used to keep our people safe and ingrain safety into our Company culture. There are 12,400 5-Point Risk Assessments completed each month. There are 33,836 total training hours delivered to their workforce via the Safety Team. “Many of us see our colleagues as “work family.” During our shifts we live and eat together; and after hours we fish, snowshoe and work out in the on-site gym together. Our workforce is now more than 875 employees and contractors, and as we work to mine 12,000 tonnes of ore per day, we are invested in at

tracting the industry’s top talent to join our Impala Canada family. We just wrapped up our second Impala Canada Recruitment Roadshow in which, over eight days, our team travelled to 13 cities and towns across Northwestern Ontario and as far away as Alberta, interviewing potential candidates in person.

While we are actively growing to day’s team, we also have our eye on the future of our workforce. In February 2022, we announced a $120,000 partnership investment with Confederation College to help build a pipeline of skilled trades over the next three years. On site, we continue our robust appren ticeship, internship and co-op pro grams, which also include a key mentorship component to ensure the success and wellbeing of our young talent. Our operation is growing, and so

Impala Canada is committed to a long-term future. The company is making the right investments now, to ensure a sustainable mining op eration that can weather the ebbs and flows of the global metals mar ket, and to continue to be a flagship employer in Northwestern Ontario. The company began a capital proj ect in May 2021 to build a new crushing circuit for their mill. This $29 million capital investment es sentially “decouples” or “unlinks” their current crushing circuit, which produces fine ore (a.k.a. “feed”), from the mill, which then further pro cesses the feed to produce the final product: a concentrate. The new system will allow for a more consis tent feed to be provided to the mill. It will be completed by the end of this calendar year, and will enable an increase in production from 500 to 600 tonnes of ore per hour.

Over the past five years, production at our LDI underground operations has increased from 4,000 to 10,000 tonnes of ore per day. By 2024, we expect to reach 12,000 tonnes per day.

To meet that target, the mine will need more muscle in the form of people and equipment. The mine expansion project is addressing the demand on two fronts: creating a nimble and versatile workforce and also growing the workforce. In ad dition to $4 million invested in new mobile equipment, they now have dedicated trainers for underground,

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Photo supplied: Impala Canada 2022 Report to the Community Erin Satterthwaite, Impala Canada’s VP Communications and Corporate Af fairs, opens the launch of the Province of Ontario’s Critical Minerals Frame work. detailed, among other things, investments in Ontario’s mining industry.
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Invested $90 million in contracts with NW Ontario businesses

newly trained supervisors and co ordinators, and they’ve increased the total number of crews working around the clock.

The Lac des Iles Mine is exploring more opportunities. Over the past two years, in addition to investing in geological research at Lakehead University, they have invested $30 million in exploration drilling to iden tify near- and longer-term opportu nities. In the first year, the primary focus was on conversion drilling, which involved replacing depleted resources. The second year saw their strategy evolve as they added focus on discovery drilling to iden tify new mining zones for the com pany’s growth pipeline. They will continue to invest in the exploration of their LDI properties with an aim to adding more value and pro longing the longevity of the opera tion. There was 50,000+ Metres of diamond drilling completed in 2021 alone and there is 1,000,000 Me tres of core stored at LDI. Impala Canada believe sustainable communities are held up by three major pillars: a strong economy, healthy people and a thriving natu ral environment and they are proud to contribute to all three. As a major employer and a large purchaser of local goods and services, they sup port the economy. Their strong part nerships with local organizations and institutions empower people, particularly those most vulnerable, and at their LDI mine site they’re continually working on new ways to minimize their carbon footprint and practice good water management.

As production at LDI has steadily in creased with a goal of 12,000 tonnes of ore per day by 2024, so too has our reliance on lo cal businesses and joint ventures. In 2021, the com pany invested nearly $90 million in contracts with 299 Northwestern Ontario businesses, and 99% of all our goods and services are pur chased from Canadian suppliers, of which 76% are from Ontario. The annual value of contracts with Indigenous joint ventures in 2021 was $39.3 million which has increased year over year for the past 5 years. What are Joint Ventures? At Impala Canada, the term joint ventures re fers to businesses that are 51% or more Indigenous-owned. Contract ing joint ventures is one way our Impala Canada seeks to be more diverse and inclusive.

Impala has made their largest social investment to date — a $375,000 donation to Roots to Harvest, a community organization that har nesses the power of food to build belonging and dignity. By support ing Roots to Harvest and their regional food-based programming, Impala Canada is living one of their core values, Care, by helping to bol ster the resilience, health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations in Ontario’s Northwestern region.

Impala has invested $150,000 in Indspire including 10 new scholarships per year. The company has also Partnered with Confedera tion College by encouraging young people to consider a future in skilled trades is the focus of a new part

nership between Impala Canada and Confederation College. Their recent $120,000 investment will help the college recruit broadly in Northwestern Ontario, provide tu ition support to students in need and facilitate on-the-job training. Impala contributes $10,000 an nually in partnership with the Out land Youth Employment Program (OYEP), a national network of training, education and employ ment opportunities for Indigenous youth. Their contribution has been leveraged by OYEP to fully serve and support Indigenous youth in several ways, including: 1) Mining education as a main area of focus on the curriculum, 2) Wrap-around support services such as resume development, bursaries, housing supports, mentorship and more, 3) PPE such as hardhats, high-visibil ity safety vests and work gloves to ensure the youth are protected and working safely, and 4) Helping par ticipants and graduates to progress into leadership positions within the program.

The electrical energy used at LDI is 100% renewable hydro-electric power and therefore is not a major producer of C02 emissions. With a focus on understanding our carbon footprint, we have implemented in cremental changes such as recy

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IMPALA
CANADA
Invested in Northwestern Ontario Impala Canada’s Green Pledge

cling as much as possible, sourcing cleaner burning fuels and more. In tandem, we are working on larger, longer-term initiatives such as the International Council on Mining & Met als (ICMM)’s Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management. We have a comprehensive water monitoring program that is in accordance with gov ernment regulations and permits that monitors surface and ground water quality, sediment quality, fish populations studies and more. Surround ing our Mine site is a network for 28 groundwater monitoring wells, which are continually monitored throughout the year.

82% of LDI’s water is recycled (8,021,178 litres) and there are 35 bodies of water monitored by Impala Canada with 3,400 hours spent on wa ter management.

Investing in People

Impala Canada believes they have an important role to play in nurturing the pipeline of mining professionals, so they invest in apprenticeships, co-ops, enhanced education and in-house training to upskill and motivate their people, and to support the next gen eration of mining talent. There are 22 apprentices currently employed at LDI in the apprenticeship program.

Impala is investing in the Next-Gen Trades. The apprenticeship program at Lac des Iles (LDI) is a partnership between the Company, the appren tices, and their college, combining onthe-job training with classroom edu cation to develop the next generation of skilled tradespeople. Alternating a year of work with eight weeks of study, their apprentices accumulate the re quired 6,500 to 9,000 work hours (depending on the trade) to write their provincial Red Seal examinations. The program covers the apprentices’ salaries while working and 100% of their tuition costs — and each time they return to school for the next level of training, they receive a pay bump.

Apprentices agree to stay with Impala for a minimum of two years, post-grad

uation, and many of these graduates go on to become mentors to new apprentices. It is believed that an investment in the apprenticeship program is an investment in the future of the trades and in mining.

Last October, they created dedicated trainer roles and launched a cross-training program for their employees to develop new skills and work in different areas of the business. Cross-training some miners on the trucks, for example, and others on blasting and drilling, keeps the company nimble and positions them well to meet production targets — even during uncertain times like a global pandemic. Investing in training produces a more versatile workforce, increases job satisfac tion and builds a better, more sustainable business.

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Evolution’s Journey to Securing Red Lake’s Future

Red Lake Operation (RLO) remains a cornerstone asset for Evolution Mining – its journey to being restored into a premier Canadian gold mine continues with safe and sustainable operations. Their focus is on the surface, in the community and deep underground. Evolution’s high-grade asset is situated on one of North America’s highest-grade gold camps with out standing exploration potential in a tier-one mining jurisdiction with Mineral Resources of 11.7Moz and Ore Reserves of 2.9Moz. The Red Lake Operation currently has an 18-year life-of-mine plan. Evolu tion has also recently completed a strategic acquisition from Bat tle North Gold, which has a New 600ktpa mill facility expandable to 900ktpa with minimal capital. The land package of +280km2 has a transformation plan to produce an aspirational 350kozpa, accelerated by the operational synergies of the Battle North Gold acquisition. Evo lution has significant exploration upside – exploration expenditure of US$50M over three years with a planned annual drilling rate of 100,000m. This comes with a longterm regional potential to grow the current resource.

James Binnie the Project Manager for Evolution Mining was a guest speaker in Thunder Bay’s CEN CAN Expo in September 2022. James spoke about the evolution of Evolution Mining’s Red Lake mine. The Red Lake Operation is centered around the Municipality of Red Lake with their processing assets, the mining declines and shafts all situated within that area. The current workforce predomi nantly are residents from the Red

Lake region with approximately 10% Indigenous employees, which is in line with about the same num ber of Indigenous residents in the Red Lake area.

Evolution continues to have a strong working relationship with provincial and federal government agencies and has a closure plan in place for the Red Lake proper ties. They have long-term partner ships with the Wabauskang and Lac Seul First Nation communities and spend about $11 million Canadian annually with local businesses and their First Nations partners. “Our first nation partners have ac tive collaboration agreements and we’re currently modernizing those at this time, stated James.

A fine example of their commitment to the communities in which they operate was the recent donation of a fire truck in response to the forest fires which they had in 2021. The new truck was donated to the Balm ertown fire station. The truck was a

clone of the existing vehicles they use and now they have three of them in service. This enables ease of maneuverability within the municipality and enables the munici pality to continue to train firefight ers and use the same equipment no matter where they’re needed.

Evolution has a strong sustainability stewardship and continue to meet or exceed their regulatory require ments. Evolution has had no ma terial environmental incidents and have had an internal review board established for their tailings storage facilities. Evolution has a commit ment to net zero by 2050. In terms of Evolution’s carbon footprint, they are the smallest contributor to carbon emissions in Evolution, due mostly to hydroelectric power and look forward to building on that success with the purchase of electric vehicles which have a zero net car bon footprint.

James said to the audience present at the conference, “You would have

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EVOLUTION MINING
Photo: James Binnie the Project Manager, Evolution Mining was a guest speaker in Thunder Bay’s CEN CAN Expo in September 2022

Evolution phases into net zero goal with purchase of EV Equipment

enable Evolution to increase their mining rates.

They also have the Balmer #3 Shaft which acts as the primary ore hoist for the Red Lake mine underground workings.

The newly acquired Bateman mill sits beside the McFinley ore body. In the presentation, James referred to a large screen shot of the ore resources and said the current Co chenour ore body has about three to four years of production left in that part of the mining plan. He said however there are some exciting drilling results coming in from that area and there may be potential to extend the life of that ore body fur ther.

seen when you walked in the front gate of the trade show grounds, there’s an Epiroc mine truck dis played there which is on its way to the mine, imminently.” This is just one of many electric vehicle pieces of equipment on its way to the mine site.

They have others such as scoop trams or underground loaders, mine carriers and more as they phase into the net zero goal. “We’re seeing the cleaner, quieter zero emission machines operating at lower costs. And, there is good operator acceptance. You can’t help but notice how quiet they are and there’s no diesel particulates, which also makes it safer to oper ate for our workforce as opposed to the older style diesel trucks,” said James.

Mining Infrastructure

The Cochenour Shaft, which once served to bring ore to the surface, is now a service shaft for underground workings. Ore from the Co chenour mining zone now travels underground on a high-speed tram and travels 5.5 kilometers under the Red Lake airport and runway. Ore travels to the Reid Shaft, which is the primary ore hoist for the Low er Cochenour and Campbell mine zones and as it comes to surface the ore will make its way to the Campbell or Red Lake Mills. Evolution now has the CYD (Camp bell Young Decline). This is a new surface portal and decline in devel opment and will act as the primary access to the Upper Campbell and HG Young mining zones. This will

Evolution had a clear vision for Red Lake when they acquired it. A key to Evolution’s journey is putting the right people in the right roles. Part of why they were at the CEN CAN Expo was to look at recruiting people into the growing organization. Binnie said, “I’m sure we’re not alone. It’s a very difficult market at the moment to get people into certain technical roles. And there’s been a lot of work to get our leader ship team on site established. And you know, I think we’ve got it right, now.”

Evolution had a display set up and their HR department was accept ing resumes and speaking to ca reer seekers that were looking to fill those open job positions.

Evolution is looking at increasing production in mining, and milling, which has the benefit of reducing

Page 72 Page 70 ML&EN MINING REPORT
EVOLUTION MINING
Photo: Jeannette Dupasquire (LinkedIn Post) Epiroc underground EV Truck lands at CEN CAN Expo and makes it way to a new home at Evolution’s Red Lake Mine. The Red Lake Vision / Evolution’s Journey Forward
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Key to Evolution’s journey putting the right people in the right roles

quite a substantial distance about 15 kilometers out to Bateman. So that would require overland trans port of the ore to that facility and piping of tailings back to the Red Lake tailing facility. We don’t intend to deposit tailings out at Bateman. There’s about two years of tailings storage out there at site at the mo ment. But the long-term strategy is actually to centralize all our tailings facilities in the existing Red Lake TSF tailings storage facility.”

costs. They are looking to access more tonnes and more ounces which will help to spread their oper ating costs across their growth plan and this will help support a long life at the mine.

They have a clear pathway to 200,000 ounces per annum plus they’re increasing their mining rates as they have multiple mining zones now and higher grades from the upper Campbell deposit. A portion of the Upper Campbell deposit is already mined but the path forward is a new high-grade mine at Upper Campbell. Evolu tion has developed a decline from surface that will connect to the his toric underground decline. They’ve started from surface and have since reached the old 3 level. Un derground, they have started strip ping at 14 level and are now work ing their way up the decline climb where the two will join in the mid-

dle. This will help to increase min ing rates substantially and will lend its hand to an opportunity to grow the processing infrastructure and increase production for the site.

James Binnie said in his presen tation the reason for being here in Canada is to work on processing infrastructure.

“We have the Campbell Mill which has an existing capacity of about .8 million tonnes per annum; the Red Lake Mill, which is about .35 million tonnes per annum and the Bateman which is currently being built at .45 million tonnes but is expandable to about 1 million tonnes per annum. The opportunity that we see before us is to actually look at what we’ve got and optimize the processing assets across the business. One of the key considerations for growing Bateman is if you look at where the ore will be predominantly coming to surface over the next 10 years, it’s

When Evolution purchased, the mine, it was operating just under 1 million tonnes per annum, and through operational improvements and some additional effort put into the mine operation, they’ve got it up to 1.1million tonnes per annum. The new mill optimization study is going to take them to the next step, which is about 1.8 million tonnes per annum. Therefore, Evolution is developing a clear strategy which is to optimize and rationalize the site processing infrastructure.

In closing James said, “We’ll undertake trade off studies to look at where we can best place infrastruc ture, what we do with our existing assets to really optimize the site, reduce our costs, and spend capital in the right place to deliver on our 1.8 million tonne target. I guess the exciting thing is, we’re a rare thing in this industry, we actually have multiple options to expand our milling rights, which is, a pretty good place to be in. We have a clear pathway to our 200,000 ounce tar get per annum. We have exciting growth upside. With the real aim of returning Red Lake to a Premier Canadian gold mine.”

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EVOLUTION MINING
Pic.:Evolution’s booth at CEN CAN Expo was an excellent opportunity to con nect with current and potential vendors, meet others in the industry, and show case our operation and the transformation journey in Red Lake!

Full service mining solutions and innovation since 1962

Six decades of experience have positioned Redpath Mining Contractors and Engineers as a leader in the global underground mining sector. With skilled people and unequalled technical and operational know-how, Redpath successfully delivers sophisticated and technically complex projects in diverse environments all over the world.

Service areas include mine development, shaft sinking, mass excavation, production mining, raiseboring, mechanized raise mining, underground construction, mechanical excavation, engineering, technical and specialty services.

Safety – First, Last and Always

At Redpath, the health and safety of our employees and stakeholders are of the utmost importance. We are commit ted to continuously improving safety and health through em ployee engagement and empowerment. Redpath provides leadership development training, utilizes robust safety man agement systems, the latest technology and professional trainers to ensure that our employees have the necessary skills, tools and equipment to work in a safe and productive manner.

Modern underground fleet and innovative solutions

With one of the most modern and comprehensive contractor fleets in the industry, Redpath provides a full range of under ground development and construction services. We exca vate hundreds of kilometres globally every year. Lateral de velopment, ramps/declines and mass excavation are prime elements of our mine development services. Known for our ability to offer solutions for varying and difficult ground condi tions, our expertise in performing high-quality mining in ex treme climate situations is unique in the industry.

Underground construction, demolition and rehabilitation Redpath provides a world of experience in full-range mine construction and installation for all project sizes and com plexities. Skilled in new infrastructure development, we are also recognised for dewatering, rehabilitating, upgrading and re-commissioning mines that are re-entering produc tion. We build underground shop facilities and refuge sta tions, ore handling and conveyance systems consisting of chutes, grizzlies, conveyors, ore transfers, ore and waste bins, crushers and loading pockets.

Record-breaking raisebore contracting and manufacturing with extensive fleet Redpath also designs and manufactures the Redbore family of raise drills, including the world’s largest proven capacity raise drill, the Redbore 100. The drills are designed and manufactured in-house in North Bay, ON. With unique

power output and compact design, Redpath’s raise drills can handle a full range of diameters of raises and depths. Red path meets the demands for conventional, box-holing (up reaming), down reaming and autonomous reaming.

Contract mining from concept to turnkey infrastructure

Clients all over the world commission Redpath to perform full production-mining services, involving engineering and design to complete turnkey operations. Services include construc tion engineering, planning development, production drilling, blasting, ore haulage, crushing and conveyance to surface for processing.

Mechanised raise mining offering flexibility, speed and economy

Having amassed the industry’s largest mechanised raise mining equipment fleet, Redpath’s innovative approaches, patented designs and concepts have been providing safe drill and blast raise-mining services and solutions since 1975. In-house engineering and technical services for enhanced project control and integration Working together from design to installation and commis sioning, Redpath’s globally mobile and experienced technical experts provide innovative and reliable designs with the abil ity to offer a total mine package. The company’s integrated scheduling systems enable efficient decision making, project control and value management.

ESG commitment based on time-honoured corporate values

Redpath has a longstanding commitment to the incorporation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into our organization. It is based on Redpath’s ‘Philosophy’ and ‘Guidelines for Success’ penned in 1962. The commitment is a fundamental part of all our dealings with clients, business partners, subcontractors, suppliers, employees and the com munities in which we live and do business.

Redpath has over 6,000 employees and offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Mongolia, South Africa and USA. www.redpathmining.com

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Time has come for Avalon

Establishing the lithium battery materials supply chain in NW Ontario

Avalon Advanced Materials has been looking to create new criti cal mineral supply chains for over 25 years now! They first acquired their advanced lithium asset, the Separation Rapids Project back in 1996-97, hosting the Big Whopper pegmatite (BWP), as it was referred to by the Ontario Minister of Mines George Pirie in an opening speech during the CEN CAN Expo Confer ence (Projects in the Pipeline) held September 15th in Thunder Bay. Donald Bubar, President and CEO of Avalon Advanced Materials ad dressed a full house at the con ference starting off by stating that “maybe it was a bit early back then (referring to 1996-97), and that it now looks like our time has finally come”. What interested Bubar in getting involved with the exploration of critical minerals back then was the gold price collapse and added to that was the BRE-X scandal which for a junior company made it very difficult to raise capital if you wanted to do gold exploration. Don-

ald thought he should look at some thing else.

Donald said in his presentation, “Separation Rapids had been a new discovery that had just been made by a geologist working for the OGS. I decided that it was an interesting opportunity to do something differ ent, that’s not gold. So I’ve been running Avalon since 1995 and be ing a small cap company, we’ve been around for awhile accessing

capital through the equity markets. And one of the things I learned ear ly on was that if you’re going to pro duce materials for clean technol ogy, the end users often audit their supply chains back to the source to make sure they’re produced in sustainable ways. So that’s what inspired us over 10 years ago to start implementing basic principles of sustainability as part of our over all business model. And we’ve been producing an annual GRI compli ant sustainability report for over 10 years now. We just got an ESG risk rating from Sustainalytics Morningstar last year, and that’s helped introduce our story and get more interest from the growing ESG in vestment community.”

Avalon Advanced Materials is a very diversified company now. As the company had learned early on that it was all about having the right product at the right time when new technology creates new demand for one of these non-traditional commodities. Don saw the future with rare earths over 15 years ago. Avalon now has a diversified as set base with exposure to a broad range of different critical minerals. Don has tried to educate people more on how this is quite a differ ent business from traditional mining of exchange traded commodities, in that it’s more like a manufacturing business because it’s all about how you process it to meet the needs of the end user that would have an interest in the product and then mak ing the derivative product to meet their specifications.

“So it’s time for the regulations to get updated to recognize some of

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Photo: BWP after 2021 Blast for Bulk Sample Donald Bubar, President and CEO of Avalon Advanced Materials

concerns associated with the refinery are addressed. We also see potential for opening a battery-manufacturing plant that FWFN would own. We got into this thing to start a dialogue and we still have lots of heavy lifting to doright now, we’re excited about it. If the project ends up being located in the City of Thunder Bay, it will be a positive development for this community and the entire region.”

Once the site is selected, Avalon and Rock Tech will collaborate with landowners on the necessary engineering, site preparation, and construction design studies required to facilitate construction of the project which is set to commence next year. Donald Bubar, President & CEO of Avalon commented that he shares Chief Collins’ vision:

these fundamental differences in the approach you have to take be cause it’s unlike traditional mining, as it’s not just about tons and grade, it’s about designing the process and the product. You then scale your operation based on the market de mand, not the size of the resource. So, it’s very different in that regard and therefore, bulk sampling is one of the first things you need to do. The next step is to do the process test work and make trial quantities of the product so the end users can test it and make sure it’s going to meet their requirements. But un fortunately, the mining regulations have typically blocked you from tak ing a bulk sample until you’re at an advanced stage in the mine devel opment.”

In February of this year, Avalon announced that it had secured $3,000,000 in convertible security financing to fund bulk sampling work at its Separation Rapids Project which is required to finalize its production process flowsheet and produce product samples for customer verification.

resources that were developed de cades ago for one traditional com modity where the resource con tained a whole lot of other minerals that had no value then but do today.

with potential for additional volumes of further refined lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate.

SECURING A LOCAL LITHIUM SUPPLY CHAIN

Demand for lithium battery materials is on the rise and is predicted to continue to increase by 23% year over year, while suppliers struggle to keep pace. The development of the lithium refinery represents a vital step towards establishing a local supply chain of this critical element while creating significant employment opportunities in Thunder Bay and surrounding area.

Ontario with the provincial govern ment creating the Critical Minerals Strategy earlier this year. A lot of the components of that strategy are things Don has been advocating for many years now. “It looks like may be they are starting to get it now, on the different ways to promote get ting these new supply chains start ed here in Northern Ontario. And we want to also show how this is a really important economic develop ment opportunity for the First Na tions to take advantage of, as many of these critical minerals like lithium can be produced in low impact sus tainable ways”.

The development of this refinery represents a unique opportunity to create a local supply chain that can become a catalyst for economic development. We’re delighted

Don has also been advocating for how closed mine sites and his toric mine wastes now need to be looked at as opportunities to extract value from the waste. “This is because there are many examples of

With the wastes sitting there on sur face you don’t have to mine them. Just reprocess the waste and reme diate the long term environmental liability while you do it,” said Don.

Avalon has been very pleased with all the recent developments here in

Purchase commitments will then be secured from interested battery manufacturers, which will facilitate access to the capital required to commence construction. The initial design capacity will depend on anticipated sales volumes which are expected to be a minimum of 15,000 tonnes per year of lithium sulphate

One of the things that attracted Ava lon’s interest in the Project was that the deposit contained a rare lithium mineral called Petalite, which has been in demand for a long time as a high purity specialty mineral. Because it’s a high purity lithium alumi num silicate mineral, it can be used directly to introduce lithium into the batch formulation for high strength

One of the refinery’s major sources of lithium mineral concentrates will be derived from Avalon’s 100% owned Separation Rapids Lithium Project located in the traditional territory of the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations (WIN). Avalon first signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with WIN in 1999 which was renewed in 2013, and the WIN leadership continues to support the Project.

Page 77 Avalon Advanced Materials Page 75 MINING REPORT ML&EN DATE FOR OFFICE USE ONLY Sales Rep Final Approval
RESOURCE INVESTMENT NEWS T H E Riley Trimble Corporate Communications & Development rtrimble@sentinelmarket.com Aben Resources Suite 1610 - 777 Dunsmuir Street Vancouver, BC, Canada, V7Y 1K4 T S X : AV L O T C Q X : AV L N F i r @ Av a l o n A M . c o m www.AvalonAdvancedMaterials.com Diverse critical minerals portfolio, offering investors exposure to lithium, cesium, tantalum and the rare earths in Canada C R I T I C A L M I N E R A L S F O R C L E A N T E C H N O L O G Y
PROSPECTOR
AVL_Ad_PRESS_Apr28_2021:Layout 1 21-04-28 3:22 PM Page 1
15 / MAY 2021 PROSPECTOR THE
Photo: Lepidolite from the BWP

glass ceramic products. At that time, there was demand for it North America as Corning used Petalite to invent Corningware cookware. But unfortunately, they exited that business, just when Avalon thought they were going to get going. Ava lon knew they would have another day and actually, demand for Pet alite in glass ceramics is growing rapidly as it is now in short supply and a lot of international glass-ce ramic companies are interested in the product. There is a lot of innova tion on new types of high-strength glass-ceramic products creating an other important market opportunity for Avalon going forward.

The Separation Rapids project is located just north of Kenora, Ontario in the traditional territory of the Wa baseemoong Independent Nations. Avalon has had a good relationship with the community there ever since they got started. Avalon first signed an MOU to collaborate with them back in 1999 and they continue to be interested in the economic de velopment opportunity. It is hoped that the project can get started soon for Avalon and their First Nation partners.

The mineralogy is a little different from most of the lithium resources that are spodumene pegmatites, in that this one contains Petalite and Lepidolite, a lithium mica that’s got that purplish color to it. They are both minerals that can be concentrated to recover the lithium and to produce lithium battery materials. The original Big Whopper resource is on a mining lease and Avalon has added more claims on to the north west side of the property as the belt hosting the pegmatites trends to the northwest.

Don commented, “we know there are more lithium pegmatites out there. In fact, we discovered a new one last year that we haven’t drilled yet that looks really good, actu ally, in terms of being very coarse

grained, and probably hav ing more sub zones of other minerals within it. But ev eryone wants to see the lithium battery materials supply chain established here now and in Northwest ern Ontario. So, we been looking at producing lithium hydroxide for quite awhile and we first did a PEA on it back in 2016. I realized awhile ago that creating the midstream processing capacity is the key next step and the most expensive part of the production process. Establish ing that facility in a central location with good transportation infrastructure, so that it can serve other new producers of lithium mineral con centrates makes sense since there is an abundance of lithium pegmatites in Northwestern Ontario.

So if you’re going to establish such a facility in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay is a perfect location for it because it’s the transportation hub of the Northwest and has good proximity to all kinds of lithium peg matites of various sizes..

So if new producers find some that aren’t that big, but there’s a buyer of the concentrates for the refinery here in Thunder Bay, then they can develop it as a small quarry, use new processing technologies like dense media separation or sensor based ore sorting to concentrate it, then sell it and make a lot of money while not doing any harm to the en vironment.

Don noted that “We’re keen to work with Lakehead University on getting more education into the Earth Sci ence program on how these new minerals are important to many new technologies and keep inspiring

more research and ways to recover them efficiently and potentially new applications for them.

Don went on to say “we’ve created a subsidiary called Avalon Lithium Inc. to be the refinery owner.

Avalon is now starting to get a whole lot more interest from all the companies that you’ve been reading about in the news from Germa ny and elsewhere that are keen to take advantage of the resources in Northwestern Ontario.

Avalon recently signed an MOU with the major Korean battery man ufacturer, LG Energy Solution who are planning to establish a battery manufacturing facility in southern Ontario so they can take advantage of the access to lithium battery ma terials supply chains to be developed in northern Ontario.

There is also a lot of interest now from First Nations, including the Fort William First Nation, in being an investing partner in the refinery. There are many lithium pegmatites near First Nations communities in the north, the Ring of Fire and else where, providing opportunities to get started producing the lithium mineral concentrates for the refin ery.

In terms of the economics, it keeps getting better and better, as Avalon first did their PEA in 2016 when the assumed price for lithium hydroxide used was $11,000 a ton and now more than tripled! If we use $20,000

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Photo: Pink Petalite from the BWP

a ton now maybe as a long term average, then the profitability is extremely good. The Separation Rapids Project now becomes a multi-billion dollar asset.

The demand for Petalite in glass ceramics is also growing rapidly and Avalon also wants to take advan tage of that opportunity. Avalon recently signed one offtake agreement with a major international glass-ce ramic manufacturer and now has lots more interest. It’s the perfect storm as there’s more demand and there’s a real shortage of supply of this high purity lithium mineral, as most of it came from Zimbabwe, and now China controls all the resources there. “So we’ve got one of the few large petalite resources in the world that China doesn’t already control and that’s opening the door for us to create supply for the many end users out there that are looking for a new supply of this important specialty mineral. There’s also lots of innovation happening in that space right now. I see lithium glass as potentially replacing windshield glass in electric vehicles as part of the whole light-weighting strategy for electric vehicles going forward”, said Bubar. So the next steps moving forward for Avalon are in the market for glass ceramics and the key next step has always been to process a bulk sample and be able to provide product samples to the end users so they can try it out and make sure it’s going to meet their needs. Avalon took that bulk sample last year, but there’s still no facility in Canada that’s equipped properly to do the processing for us on a sample that big. Avalon is now in the process of acquiring their own Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant so they can do it themselves and get that whole supply chain started but recently had interest from a major inter national distributor of petalite in supporting Avalon’s petalite production aspirations.

The plans are to establish the lithium battery materi als refinery in Thunder Bay as Avalon now has an in dustrial site picked out and are in the process of closing the deal to acquire it. At that time, Avalon will get started on the model for building it and then finalize their feasibility study cost estimates, complete the en vironmental assessment work at the site and then get started in the short term with the products for the glass ceramic industry, but also at the same time looking at all the other potential byproducts. With lithium peg matites, like this one, almost everything in the rock is potentially a saleable commodity. Other critical miner als include cesium, tantalum and rubidium bearing Kfeldspars. So the plan is to recover all those mineral by-products too and enhance the overall value of the asset. And then hopefully, we’ll be able to get the bat tery materials production started by 2025-26.

Financing Magino Mine secures poduction date for 2023

Building a mine during a pandemic is not an easy task. Argonaut Gold was up to the challenge as they continued on schedule for their production date in 2023.

Northern Ontario has an excellent new team as the Magino Project heads into production. Their partner ing First Nations and the northeastern Ontario communities have embraced the operation and continue to see the benefits. Argonaut announced Chuck Hen nessey as Vice President, Canadian Operations effec tive August 29, 2022. Hennessey brings 35 years of mining and project leadership experience to the role. He has extensive experience in mining construction, operational readiness, plant commissioning and proj ect ramp up. Most recently, Hennessey worked for Centerra Gold Corporation as Vice President of Oper ations and was general manager at two large Ontario mines. Hennessey has been credited with improving safety, cost and production at these mine sites and building relationships with First Nations partners.

Argonaut Gold also announced early November that it has completed the financing package to bring the Magino gold mine into production. The property, 40 km northeast of the town of Wawa, Ontario, is the site of an underground mine which has the same name it had when it opened just after the First World War. The mine operated sporadically over the decades and recovered 141,319 oz. of gold over that period of time. The company has arranged a term loan of $200 mil lion and a revolving credit facility of $50 million for development and construction of their open pit and conventional mill. Argonaut has hedged 25,000 gold

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ARGONAUT GOLD

ounces per quarter for the six quar ters starting in the third quarter 2023 at a gold price of $1,860/oz. and 15,000 gold ounces per quarter for the 10 quarters starting in the first quarter 2025 at a gold price of $1,860/oz.

In addition, the company has hedged 10,000 gold ounces per quarter for the 10 quarters starting the first quarter 2025 at a gold price of $1,763/oz.

The company has also closed the sale of a 2% net smelter return roy alty on Magino and the surrounding land package with Franco-Nevada (TSX: FNV) for $52.5 million and a $10 million equity private place ment, for which approximately 34.7 million Argonaut common shares at a price of C$0.3931 per share will be issued to Franco-Nevada.

The Magino gold project has mea sured and indicated resources of 132.4 million tonnes grading 0.94 g/t gold for 4.0 million oz. and an inferred resource of 20.9 million tonnes at 0.78 g/t gold for 526,000 contained ounces.

Larry Radford, Argonaut President and CEO said, “Magino is a key driver of our future growth with a production potential of 142,000 ounces per year for the first five years of production at significantly lower life-of-mine cash costs of ap-

proximately $907 per ounce,” Drilling results from Argonaut’s Magino Mine continue to return en couraging results. In September, results from deep drilling at Magino indicated high-grade intercepts. The ongoing drill program contin ues to intersect multiple zones of mineralization at depth along a strike length of 1500 meters rein forcing the underground expansion potential below the planned Magino open pit.

“The drill results further demon strate the potential of a mineral re source expansion at depth at the Magino Project. We continue to receive assays, and our goal is to expand the mineral resource enve lope to include an open pit and underground scenario to meaningfully extend the project’s mine life and increase mine profitability,” com mented Larry Radford.

70% complete. The company has recently completed a progress re port of construction activities and milestones which are bringing them that much closer to the completion of their build process.

Site works and construction mile stones reached in September in clude:

• Process Building Foundation work including: SAG and Ball Mill slab pouring, SAG Mill backfill comple tion, pinion gear rough set and prep of ring gear, rebar installation for Grinding/Gravity transformer blast walls.

• Leach Tank and Thickener work including: installation of final tank panels for leach tanks including prep for hydrostatic testing and completion of leach tank bridges, handrails and grating.

• Electrical work throughout the plant site including: cable distribu tion and installation at the Reagent, TMF and Leach Tanks.

• Water Quality Control Pond work including: completion of doweling, continuing formwork and backfill.

Argonaut is continuing construction and has commenced operational readiness activities at the Magino Project. As of October, 2022 the C$920 million estimated cost to completion, C$626.0 million had been spent and C$726.0 million had been committed.

The Magino construction project was estimated at approximately

• Tailings Management Facility (TMF) / Reagent / ADR area work including: filter installation in ADR, installation of Tailings pumps, com pletion of rebar and grade slab pour for Reagent area, completion of Stage 1A Embankment rockfill, completion of upstream toe hydro vac bulk cleaning, ongoing frost protection and liner placement, completion of structural steel instal lation in ADR area, continuing CIP pipe installation and rough set of area pumps.

• Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Pow er Plant work including: installation of the Engine Hall rebar, cladding, insulation and crane, completion of radiator foundation grouting and ongoing culvert work.

As preproduction mining continues

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ARGONAUT GOLD
Site Works & Construction Progress Magino Construction Update Photo: CIP Piping Installation

Argonaut will continue with their Reverse Circulation (RC) ore control drilling, continued open pit de-wa tering and prepare for installation of the underground pump stations. Argonaut’s team continues to en gage with community members and all indigenous communities to en sure that their neighbours are well informed of all activities with the project.

Key highlights of Argonaut’s Envi ronment, Permitting and Community Relations include:

• Effluent, surface water, air quality, groundwater and overburden ARD sampling and monitoring.

• Installation of pumps and pipelines for TMF water filling for startup.

• Ongoing spill prevention inspec tions and corrective actions.

• Participated in monthly meetings

to share updates with Indigenous Partners to address environmental matters. This includes First Nation’s site engagement related to power line rerouting, the LNG Plant and the ECA permit.

• Continuous engagement with all Indigenous Partners on employment, training opportunities and general updates on the project.

• Hosted a Community Meet and Greet for the local community which welcomed over 250 individuals from Dubreuilville, Wawa and Sault Ste Marie. This included tours of the Administration building, bus tours of the mine site and a Community BBQ.

• Community food donations to Chadwick Home and the Wawa Food Bank.

• Working with local students for

Co-Op placements, including two students from École Secondaire l’Orée des Bois in Dubreuilville, who are working with our Health and Safety team.

The Magino Project continues to make progress as they assemble and mobilize their teams and build infrastructure. Their HR/Recruitment and purchasing teams have recently attended and exhibited at the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay to promote site and recruitment engagement activities. As winter is around the corner in Northern Ontario the construction site will look to finalize pipeline corridor construction, execute winterization of site and continue with exploration drilling and start the field exploration program.

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ARGONAUT GOLD

A Mine of the Times Partnerships in Ring of Fire Work Towards Social Licence and Economic Impact through Employment

Previously, good news stories in the mining industry focused pri marily on deposits. But today they focus more on the people – and in Northwestern Ontario, that includes the people living in regional First Na tions in particular. Terms such as “reconciliation” and “social licence” are filtering into the mining language, while benefits spread out beyond the mining companies and industries to the communities and region.

Take for example the Ring of Fire Metals’ Eagle’s Nest deposit in the Ring of Fire. Many believe this to be the future of nickel production in Canada. But partnerships are needed to get these projects off the ground. If the projects are successful, these partnerships will demonstrate a new era in mining where the people in surrounding Matawa First Nations – not to mention Thun der Bay and Northwestern Ontario – take their rightful place as part of

the success story. It will also show how partnerships such as the ones developing between Ring of Fire Metals and Outland-Horizon North can strengthen a project and help it progress.

New Mines Bring New Opportunities – for Everyone

Ring of Fire Metals’ Ring of Fire nick el deposit sparked a bidding war be tween two Australian mining compa nies: BHP Group Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, and Wyloo Metals, a subsidiary of the Tattarang Group based in Perth, Western Aus tralia. Wyloo outbid BHP, which set the stage for a new era in mining in Northwestern Ontario. That’s at least in part because Tattarang is also known for its progressive ap proach to social licence in Australia.

Ryan Weston, Vice President of Exploration at Ring of Fire Metals, recognizes the importance of social responsibility. And it’s not a drain on

operations as some make it out to be. Quite the opposite.

“There’s a competitive advantage to respecting the values that come with social licence and reconcilia tion,” Weston said. “For us, it’s more about sharing the benefits of what we do with local communities so that it is good for everyone involved.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the partnership, Outland-Horizon North has evolved over the years to become one of Northern Ontar io’s largest employers of Indigenous workers and managers though the various contract services it provides. Outland has worked closely with lo cal First Nations in five provinces over the last 23 years of successful Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) operations to produce more than 850 graduates. The organization learned valuable lessons about how to build trust with youth and in spire youth to build futures for them

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selves. Today, more than 50 per cent of OYEP management teams are made up of Indigenous staff who act as mentors and role models, which helps youth feel comfortable and safe.

“Each year, we see more and more children of OYEP graduates from earlier years applying for OYEP sum mer job positions,” said Dave Bradley, OYEP program founder and for mer Outland owner now focused on Indigenous Business Development and Community Relations. “We be lieve this is probably the strongest affirmation of the value of the expe rience for high school-aged youth. Ninety-two per cent of OYEP grads graduate from high school. Families want these outcomes for their kids.”

So it was only natural that Ring of Fire Metals turned to Outland to help meet its staffing needs including at Esker Camp in the Ring of Fire.

“We love the relationship we have with Outland,” Weston said. “If you think about how hard it is to get em ployees right now, there is more op portunity than ever for First Nations youth to get into this industry. The best way for us to help reach those workers in the shortest amount of time was to bring Outland on as a partner.”

Jennifer Morrison, Outland Regional Director of Operations, said that social responsibility is part of Outland’s DNA, much as it is for Wyloo and Ring of Fire Metals.

“We take pride in Corporate Social Responsibility being engrained in all levels of the organization,” Morrison said. “Outland wants to be a good employer, a good service provider, a good community member. We have an exciting and dynamic workplace and encounter new and interesting challenges every day.”

These are the types of partner ships that Thunder Bay CEDC Nat ural Resources Business Development Manager Andrew Kane likes to

see being forged in the region.

“Many First Nations feel higher engagement in the economy is a vital part of reconciliation. Growth in Indigenous employment and busi ness opportunities is a big contributor,” Kane said. “But for many nat ural resource companies coming to Northwestern Ontario including mining companies, they may not know what this growth could look like. Here are two companies in Ring of Fire Metals and Outland that are working hard with community part ners to move the yardsticks.”

Indigenous Participation Key in Today’s Mining Industry

It’s important to note that “buy-in” is not a one-time thing. Partnerships are key to successful mining projects at every step. In the case of Ring of Fire Metals’ Eagle’s Nest deposit, that includes its partnerships with surrounding Matawa communities. Outland plays a role in that continu ing dialogue as well. Morrison sees it as a two-way street.

“It’s an opportunity for those em ployees coming from their communi ties to be stewards of their own land,” Morrison said. “Plus, they can be the eyes and ears of their community. Previously, this level of project/com

munity integration and social licence was the exception, not the norm.”

“Ring of Fire Metals has that same view – we’ll never be successful if we don’t work in partnership with area communities,” Weston said.

Understanding History and Accepting Indigenous Ways of Knowing Helps Companies Moving to the Region

Outland’s own guiding principles are based on the idea that understand ing the traumatic history of Canada with respect to Indigenous Peoples combined with acceptance of Indig enous ways of knowing and cultural norms is essential to good partner ships. Unfortunately, history shows how non-Indigenous firms have difficulty training, employing, and retain ing employees from nearby commu nities. This is even more significant considering that exploration and min ing work is happening on Indigenous ancestral lands.

“This summer, just over 50 per cent of Outland’s day-to-day operations staff and management come from communities all across the North,” Bradley said. “We have been learn ing organically over the years how we can work together with our clients and partners to make the workplace

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RING OF FIRE

match the needs of the worker rather than the other way around. We have an amazing team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous managers who are responding to the needs of individu als and families both in the work place and at home, and that is mak ing all the difference.”

Necessarily, the company is extremely careful about where they send their employees. It has devel oped its own form of due diligence when matching its employees to a project.

“The last thing we want is to set back any worker in their personal healing and/or capacity-building jour neys by putting them into uninformed, uncaring workplaces,” Bradley said. Esker Camp is just the beginning, Weston said. As the project develops, so too will the relationship between Outland and Ring of Fire Metals.

Outland Employees Benefit from Partnership

Casimir Meshake is one of those peo ple directly benefitting from the part nership between Outland and Ring of Fire Metals. Meshake, who lives in Aroland First Nation, first heard about OYEP from his cousin Travis Me shake, who took the program in 2016. So, when Outland came to Green-

stone High School looking for recruits, Meshake signed up immediately.

“It was a great pro gram, and it taught me a whole lot about mining and forestry including all about tree planting,” Me shake said.

This summer, Out land asked him to work site support at Ring of Fire Metals’ Esker Camp in the Ring of Fire: helping keep the camp clean, painting houses, and any of the thousand other tasks needed to keep the camp running smoothly. He sees similarities be tween the two jobs: they both involve a lot of outdoor work in the field.

Meshake will take that a step fur ther this fall when he takes a drilling course after his rotation at Es ker Camp is done. He hopes to go back to Esker and the Eagle’s Nest deposit as a driller this winter.

Crucially, it was OYEP that gave Meshake the opportunity to take his life in a whole different direction. He said that without that program, he simply would have graduated high school and “dropped out” as he puts it.

“I would have been out of school – I

would have been not doing anything if I didn’t find Outland,” Meshake said. “I would have just stayed in Aroland, not doing anything.”

Thunder Bay CEDC Plays Key Role

This partnership is just one of many happening in Northwestern Ontario right now. And, Kane said, it’s the Gold Standard for what could be happening in the region.

“Working with companies like Out land makes it much easier to connect to and partner with communi ties in Northwestern Ontario,” Kane said. That can happen indirectly as well, he said. “There are so many Indigenous-owned and joint venture companies, and new suppliers are launching all the time. With the com ing mining boom, there will be even more opportunities in the near future.”

Kane said that his door is open to companies moving to Northwestern Ontario for mining and mining-relat ed activities.

“The CEDC is the one-stop facili tator to help mining companies find employees, contractors, suppliers, and so on,” he said. “We’re often the bridge between government agencies, Indigenous communities, and organizations. We can help with al most every aspect from finding of fice space and making introductions to helping employees get settled in.”

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT MINING IN NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO?

CONNECT WITH ANDREW

Natural

Cell: 807 630 7111

General Office: 807 625 3960

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Andrew Kane Resources Business Development Manager andrew kane@thunderbay ca
RING OF FIRE

Ontario Mines Minister George Pirie Continues Building Bridges in Ring of Fire Territory

There’s a sense of progress on all sides that the resource-rich Ring of Fire region of Northern Ontario is on the brink of a breakthrough. On tario’s new Mines Minister George Pirie has been tasked by Premier Doug Ford with getting the Ring of Fire across the finish line.

Pirie was the keynote speaker at the Central Canada Mining Expo held recently in Thunder Bay. Pirie brings more than three decades of mining experience to the portfolio but his core strength in his new role, is a deep and personal commitment to ensuring that First Nations com munities share in the Ring of Fire’s extraordinary economic benefits.

“I want to show my respect for the contributions of First Nations and recognize the role of treaty-making in what is now Ontario,” said Pirie at the outset of his remarks.

Today, those contributions include a high number of communities that rely on Ontario’s mining industry.

“In the mining industry, there’s 45,000 people. And as you know, the 45,000 people are largely em ployed in Northern Ontario. And by Northern Ontario, I mean from North Bay, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, to Timmins and Thunder Bay.” Pirie pointed out that there are 90,000 people employed in Ontario’s auto sector. “And as we know, they’re all south of North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Southern Ontario holds nine tenths of the pop -

ulation. Canada is driven by 90,000 people that contain nine tenths of the population of Ontario. Put that into perspective. Do you realize how im portant mining is in Canada? Do you really realize how important mining is in northern Ontario?”

Pirie’s passionate delivery land ed with those in attendance. “With 45,000 people employed and in a geographic area with 1/10th of the Ontario population? Does everybody here realize how important you are?” said Pirie to the audience.

“Every single citizen, everybody, you realize the impact we have on the economy?”

The Minister underlined the enor mous untapped volume of economic power in the north.

“I want people to listen to this very, very carefully. I was elected June 2nd. I was sworn in on June 28th as an MPP and on June 29th, I was sworn in as the Minister of Mines. Within the first week, I was at a national energy and mines conference in St. John’s.”

The conference was hosted by Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s fed eral Minister of Natural Resources. Pirie says he and Wilkinson are on the same page, despite the fact that they are from two different parties.

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Ontario’s Minister of Mines, George Pirie speaks at the Ring Of Fire Conference as part of the CEN CAN Expo held in Thunder Bay.

“What he (Wilkinson) said was mu sic to my ears. He focused on three things. And he spoke with a sense of urgency. He talked about the en ergy crisis globally caused by the invasion of Ukraine.”

Pirie said every mining person needs to understand the importance of energy. “If you’re thinking about, or you’re developing a mine, you’re going to say, where is the power go ing to come from?”

Pirie was intimately involved in that discussion as the President and CEO of Placer Dome Canada and the development of the Musselwhite Mine. “We built that road, we built the power transmission line. It was a very expensive capital project, and not the most efficient way to get a transmission power line.”

The minister says the company had serious conversations about drawing power from Manitoba be cause they could potentially buy that electricity at about 3.2 cents a kilo watt hour. Pirie drew a contrast with Quebec as well. “At the Detour Lake Mine, in the late 90’s, we were trying to survive in depressed gold prices.”

The Detour Mine is just a few ki lometres from the Quebec border. At the time they could have tapped into the James Bay Hydro system at about 2.8 cents a kilowatt hour.

“Both times in those conversa tions, we refused to do that. Because power, as every political jurisdiction knows, is a matter of sovereignty. Germany just learned that when they cut off the natural gas, and Ontario views their power in a very similar fashion. If you lose your ability to control your power, independently, it’s a threat to your sovereignty,” Pi rie stressed to the audience.

The minister reminded the audience that prior to the election of the Doug Ford Conservative gov ernment, the Liberal/NDP regime were skyrocketing energy costs. “In fact, they needed to unwind some

of these very, very expensive pow er contracts that were put in place by the Liberals subsidizing wind at about 78 cents a kilowatt hour, and solar panels at about 52 cents a kilowatt hour. Because they’re not sus tainable,” he added.

Pirie says when your operating costs become prohibitive, you lose your ability to fund the programs that you need to fund within the province. Pirie told the audience that “Energy is a key component of mining. With out a doubt, everybody in this room has an idea about what it would take. A couple of years ago hydro (Hydro One) thought they had enough en ergy. In recent conversations, they realized they don’t - that they’re way behind in that opportunity.”

Pirie says there’s ample opportu nity to generate new, clean energy, especially in Northwestern Ontario and Northeastern Ontario. “And of course, these projects will be driven by the indigenous people. Five Na tions Energy is a power transmission company in northeastern Ontario and is 100% indigenous owned.”

Pirie continued. “As everybody knows, the winter roads are not sus tainable, they’re not reliable. And fly ing in diesel into these communities is not going to be sustainable, there is a better solution. When Minister Wilkinson is talking about the crisis in energy and what has to be done. The important role that this plays in the critical mineral strategy, is that indigenous people across the North are going to help make this happen.”

“The second thing that he (Wilkin son) talked about was climate change, if we’re going to be green, we’ve got to be mining, you have to mine these minerals. There’s no oth er way to get these minerals, other than mining.”

The minister says all of Northern Ontario will be required for the en ergy and green economy solutions to get critical minerals out of the ground that the world needs. “Principally, the indigenous people. Because we know nothing is going to hap pen without the indigenous people being involved in these industries, full stop, full partnership.”

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RING OF FIRE
Tower erection during construction of the East-West Transmission Tie. (Photo: Valard Construction)

like Indonesia, and what they’re doing is not nearly as environ mentally friendly and they are getting there much quicker.

here in Ontario - how do we get these projects done responsibly, and more expeditiously? “It’s a challenge for us. Just recently, the Indonesian government an nounced new projects to sup ply electric vehicle batteries at 295,000 tonnes per year. So that’s 40 Eagles Nests. Those projects went from nothing, to un der construction in two years. Not that we were going to get there in two years, but it just shows you, we need to do whatever we can by working together to get our products, our most responsible products to market and not miss this opportunity,” said Flewelling.

KWG still pursuing the Ring railway is the solution

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half years”, stated Moe Lavigne, Vice President of Ex ploration and Development for KWG Resources while opening his presen tation during the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay in September 2022. Moe was invited to bring the audi ence up to speed on where KWG is and where they are going in the Ring of Fire mining region.

Resources sticks to that claim as they know they had to prove that they

Flewelling said what’s most im portant is what we’re doing right now – continued exploration activity. The company has identified over 70 nickel targets in the ring of fire area that they’re follow ing up on and they’re in the process of rebuilding their explora tion program and updating their camp. The company intends to spend over $10 million per year on their exploration program in the Ring of Fire.

“Our exploration team’s opti mistic that there’s going to be new deposits found so that we can increase our pipeline of nick el deposits,” he concluded.

Ring of Fire Metals has a strong focus and an excellent team. Flewelling said nickel de posits around the world tend to occur in clusters. “For example, look at Sudbury, look at Russia and look at northern Quebec that’s what’s happened. The deposits occur in clusters, and we believe that’s the case here.”

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KWG Resources primary chro mite holdings are located on sever al parcels of land in the Koper-Mc Faulds Lake area, one of the most dynamic parcels located in the Ring of Fire. Its most hopeful property is the Black Horse Project. This past October, KWG bought the property they had under option which contains its largest chromite resource, the Black Horse property. Previous ly KWG purchased 50% interest of a stake held by Bold Ventures Inc. Recently it purchased the interests held by Fancamp Resources. It also has a 30% interest in the nearby Big Daddy Chromite Project owned by Ring of Fire Metals. The other KWG Resources claims hold potential for nickel, zinc and copper as well as other metals and minerals many on the Ontario and Canadian lists of critical minerals.

One of KWG Resources pillars is bulk transportation. “You just can’t mine the Ring of Fire unless you have a way of getting the chromite out of the ring of fire. It has zero val ue if you don’t have a bulk transpor tation method”, stated Moe. KWG

Another pillar of this organization is the direct reduction of chromite (technology). They need to utilize cutting edge technology, technology of the future to reduce the chromite to the ferrochrome. The company invested heavily in patenting direct gas reduction of chromite, to ferrochrome, and have received patents in five different jurisdictions on the planet, including Canada. They’ve also reached out all over the world for entities that might be willing to participate in this development. KWG partnered with Natural Resources Canada as they invested $8 million over an eight-year period of time to understand the nature of the chromite, the Ring of Fire, and how to best reduce it to ferrochrome and also how to deal with the byproducts. KWG’s new natural gas CHROMIUM IP, low temperature, ‘solid state’ re duction process, has enormous glob al competitive advantages in terms of reduced capital cost, reduced operating cost, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The other key pillar for KWG is and has been from the very begin ning the consultation and building of partnerships with the indigenous communities located within the Ring of Fire. When Marten Falls and We bequie, announced a few years ago that they were going to become the proponents of the construction of roads in the James Bay lowlands, KWG applauded that, because

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There is No Green Economy Without Mining

George Pirie is unequivocal when it comes to unlocking the critical mineral wealth of the Ring of Fire – it won’t happen without full-on Indig enous partnerships. Ontario’s Mines Minister was direct – he was blunt –and he was emphatic, there is enor mous upside potential that will impact indigenous lives for generations as talks among various stakeholders continue around Ring of Fire devel opment.

Pirie’s passionate remarks were delivered at the recent Central Can ada Expo in Thunder Bay. In his key note address, Pirie made no bones about how he and the Ford govern ment regard First Nations partnerships. “The upside, of course with that is that we’ll be developing these projects,” said Pirie. “They’ll be led by the indigenous peoples. They’ll be transformed as Michael (Fox) said, from being under undervalued peo ples in our land.”

Pirie went even further about his thoughts on First Nations role in Canada’s economy. “The people that will be the global leaders to transform our economy and achieve our green objectives,” he added. Pirie repeated himself twice. “It’s a hell of an oppor tunity - hell of an opportunity - and it will happen.”

Pirie and federal Natural Resourc es Minister Jonathan Wilkinson seem to be in lockstep. Wilkinson is touting the importance of the green econo my and the need for critical minerals. The biggest opportunity in Can ada is in northern Ontario and the Ring of Fire. While traditional issues that tend to separate Canada’s two

main political parties continue in the normal course of politics, the green economy and the need for critical minerals is rare common ground.

In a recent energy conference on the east coast, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson talked about transforming the economy into a green economy. “The requirement to do that was a focus on critical minerals. Again, music to my ears again as a mining guy. We cannot be green without mining. What does that mean? That means that makes us (mining) into the good guys.” Longtime anti-mining environmentalists are now caught in the crosshairs of their own rhetoric. “Because for years, we weren’t viewed as being good guys,” said Pirie.

The Ontario Mines Minister made a reference to the movie Avatar, which painted mining as an evil in dustry. Reality has set in – there is

no green economy without mining. “Now, we can’t achieve our goals without mining. Why is it again? And why am I emphasizing this so much - about how important mining is, and how we must view ourselves as the good guys.”

Pirie says it goes back to the length of time it takes to get a mine permit in Ontario. “When Kidd Creek was discovered in 1968, a huge poly metallic deposit, it was put into production within three years - three years,” he said incredulously. “How did it go from three years to aver aging 15 to 20 years to put a mine into production? Because we lost our mandate from the people of On tario and the citizens of Ontario.” Pi rie paused. “It wasn’t important. It’s important now, it’s very important. If we’re going to achieve our climate goals, if we’re going to be a green economy, if we’re going to energize

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Picture of Minister Pirie meeting with Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. Both share a sense of urgency for developing the Critical Minerals needed for a cleaner economy.
RING OF FIRE

like Indonesia, and what they’re doing is not nearly as environ mentally friendly and they are getting there much quicker.

That’s the challenge for us here in Ontario - how do we get these projects done responsibly, and more expeditiously? “It’s a challenge for us. Just recently, the Indonesian government an nounced new projects to supply electric vehicle batteries at 295,000 tonnes per year. So that’s 40 Eagles Nests. Those projects went from nothing, to under construction in two years. Not that we were going to get there in two years, but it just shows you, we need to do whatever we can by working together to get our products, our most responsible products to market and not miss this opportunity,” said Flewelling.

In delivering his presentation Flewelling said what’s most im portant is what we’re doing right now – continued exploration ac tivity. The company has identified over 70 nickel targets in the ring of fire area that they’re follow ing up on and they’re in the pro cess of rebuilding their explora tion program and updating their camp. The company intends to spend over $10 million per year on their exploration program in the Ring of Fire.

“Our exploration team’s optimistic that there’s going to be new deposits found so that we can increase our pipeline of nick el deposits,” he concluded.

Ring of Fire Metals has a strong focus and an excellent team. Flewelling said nickel de posits around the world tend to occur in clusters. “For example, look at Sudbury, look at Russia and look at northern Quebec that’s what’s happened. The de posits occur in clusters, and we believe that’s the case here.”

KWG still pursuing the Ring of Fire Holy Grail, hoping a railway is the solution

“It was nice to emerge from the fog we’d been in due to COVID in in the last two and a half years”, stated Moe Lavigne, Vice President of Ex ploration and Development for KWG Resources while opening his presen tation during the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay in September 2022. Moe was invited to bring the audi ence up to speed on where KWG is and where they are going in the Ring of Fire mining region.

KWG Resources primary chro mite holdings are located on sever al parcels of land in the Koper-Mc Faulds Lake area, one of the most dynamic parcels located in the Ring of Fire. Its most hopeful property is the Black Horse Project. This past October, KWG bought the property they had under option which con tains its largest chromite resource, the Black Horse property. Previous ly KWG purchased 50% interest of a stake held by Bold Ventures Inc. Recently it purchased the interests held by Fancamp Resources. It also has a 30% interest in the nearby Big Daddy Chromite Project owned by Ring of Fire Metals. The other KWG Resources claims hold potential for nickel, zinc and copper as well as other metals and minerals many on the Ontario and Canadian lists of critical minerals.

One of KWG Resources pillars is bulk transportation. “You just can’t mine the Ring of Fire unless you have a way of getting the chromite out of the ring of fire. It has zero val ue if you don’t have a bulk transpor tation method”, stated Moe. KWG

Resources sticks to that claim as they know they had to prove that they can get it out.

Another pillar of this organization is the direct reduction of chromite (technology). They need to utilize cutting edge technology, technology of the future to reduce the chromite to the ferrochrome. The company invested heavily in patenting direct gas reduction of chromite, to ferro chrome, and have received patents in five different jurisdictions on the planet, including Canada. They’ve also reached out all over the world for entities that might be willing to participate in this development. KWG partnered with Natural Resources Canada as they invested $8 million over an eight-year period of time to understand the nature of the chro mite, the Ring of Fire, and how to best reduce it to ferrochrome and also how to deal with the byproducts. KWG’s new natural gas CHROMIUM IP, low temperature, ‘solid state’ re duction process, has enormous global competitive advantages in terms of reduced capital cost, reduced oper ating cost, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The other key pillar for KWG is and has been from the very begin ning the consultation and building of partnerships with the indigenous communities located within the Ring of Fire. When Marten Falls and Webequie, announced a few years ago that they were going to become the proponents of the construction of roads in the James Bay lowlands, KWG applauded that, because

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this province, it’s important now. And it’s part of my mandate that we move from where we are to being the num ber one mining jurisdiction globally.”

Pirie, known for his diplomatic, reserved and even-keeled manner, turned up the passion dial. “Everybody, every single person in this auditorium and everybody in north ern Ontario and in fact, I hope, in southern Ontario realizes how im portant this activity is. We must get the mandate back from the people of Ontario, they should be clamor ing at us. Why is it taking so long to develop these projects? How do you go from three years to twenty years?” Pirie says there’s a lot of reasons - some were unintentional. “There’s no doubt about that. And some of them were accidents or un intended consequences.”

Pirie didn’t pull any punches when it came to the Liberal/NDP impact on the north. “The Liberal government, the provincial Liberal government did not want to see mining develop, or any resources in northern Ontario. Our mining industry fell off the cliff. Our forestry industry fell off the cliff. There was a strategy that was purposely designed to end the resource industry.”

Pirie says the impact on the north, especially First Nations stakehold ers, was devastating. “I point directly at them. It was the Premier of Ontario, Premier McGuinty that said, our economy is not going to develop by people that hope to dig holes in the ground. Well guess what? It is go ing to be defined by people who dig holes in the ground. And I am very passionate about this. Because for years, no one has stood up and said we are important.”

“I’m the Minister of Mines. And I’m very proud of that. My background is all about mining. It must be understood how important mining is - what this mandate means - to be successful with this mandate,” Pirie

emphasized.

Premier Doug Ford made a pur poseful objective when he gave Pi rie the job of developing the Ring of Fire. Pirie made a comment when he ran for mayor of the city of Tim mins in 2018. He said that northern Ontario wasn’t important – it wasn’t on the radar of southern bureaucrats and political leaders catering to GTA, Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa. He pointed the finger at ineffective representation by the NDP MPP Gilles Bisson and MP Charlie Angus.

“I’ll talk about one of the examples. The Kidd Creek smelter in Timmins was lost in that period of time. The world’s second-best smelter glob ally - clean environmentally. We could be producing critical minerals with that smelter right now if it was still open, but it was torn down. And who was there to defend us? Abso lutely nobody! 600 direct jobs were lost. I can’t imagine losing 600 jobs in southern Ontario, without some body standing up and saying this can’t happen.” Pirie continued. “And nobody made any noise. Well, we’re going to make noise - 600 jobs! Why am I involved in politics? Why do I run for mayor? Why am I involved in provincial politics? Because we

had declining populations for years and years and years - for 30 years. Why am I so excited to be at this con ference? Because at first it focused on forestry. But it’s the first time it’s focused on mining. There’s a buzz, there’s a buzz of business around this conference.”

The Minister called on Ottawa to be a willing partner at the table. “We all know that nothing is going to happen without having a federal partner at the table with the prov ince to ensure the development hap pens. We need a full partnership. I’m convinced Minister Wilkinson is a partner that I can trust, things will happen as they should, with their involvement.”

Pirie says there is a sense of urgency. “Every single year that goes by, that we can’t move projects forward, affects every single person in the service industry, and the produc ers, the explorers who have to raise funds that must be spent within a defined period of time, and it affects the indigenous peoples.”

“We know that every parent wants a better life for their children than they had. And in my personal experi ence, that happens through respon sible development. I’ve seen it with

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Picture of the Ring of Fire Metals Esker Camp site. Exploration work is ongoing. It’s fly-in, fly-out camp and dealing with the wetlands which are costly to explore, and it will be costly to develop. But at the same time, the known resources there - are of a quantity and of a grade that support the development.” (Ring of Fire Metals photo)

the Musselwhite Project, and I’ve certainly seen it in northwestern Quebec. I’ve seen the communi ties that have benefited from the economic resources being developed, flourish. And I’ve seen their kids flourish. And I can see that I’ve seen their kids have a better life.”

Pirie concluded by underlining his passionate sense of urgency on immigration. “We’ve got oppor tunities with people, we need employment. We know jobs are going unfulfilled right now, because of the demand for these products. One of the answers, of course, is immi gration. And so, in Porcupine right now there’s 800 students from India that are going to school at Northern College - 800.” “I support the fed eral government’s proposal that by the end of the century, there’ll be 100 million people more in Canada than there are today. That’s a lot of people. We’re just starting to recog nize the potential within indigenous peoples, the kids, they’re the fast est growing part of our population demographically. I’m so happy to see the indigenous schools being developed in Thunder Bay, private schools that are flourishing.”

Pirie says northerners are star ing at all of the answers. “We just have to act. And we have to act to gether to ensure that we secure the future together. And understand, when I stand here in front of you, it’s with great pride that I’m stand ing in front of you as the Minister of Mines. I’m standing here saying “we’re the good guys”. We pro vide the solutions. We can grow the economy. We can solve the climate crisis together here in northern On tario, with full partnership with indigenous peoples.”

“It’s right here in Thunder Bay, the hub of Northwestern Ontario, and Timmins is the hub in north eastern Ontario. We work together to solve our problems to make our lives better at every single level.”

From Protest to Proponent: The Long, Winding Road to the Ring of Fire

It’s been over 15 years. Like a teenager, anxious to get their drivers’ license, the Ring of Fire (ROF) is en tering a stage where it may go from a learners permit, to a G2.

Attendees at the Central Canada Resource Expo Conference on the Road Link to the Ring of Fire were updated on the benefits the road will have on the isolated Northwestern Ontario First Nations of Webequie, Marten Falls and several others.

Michael Fox, from Indigenous Community Enterprises (ICE) kicked off the afternoon conference in Thun der Bay, Ontario in mid-September. The conference titled “Critical Min erals and the Central Role of Two Indigenous Communities was well attended with a full house seated comfortably at the Cineplex Theatre in Thunder Bay. Fox also participat

ed in two other conferences which included discussions on the North ern Link Road, one in Toronto Oc tober 4th and one in Sudbury, Oc tober 22nd.

Fox pointed out the Ring of Fire quest has been going on since 2007 when it was discovered and confirmed by Noront Resources and Spider Resources.

During the first half of the Ring of Fire’s existence, companies like Cliffs Resources and Noront pegged their hopes on chromite, which is used to make stainless steel. But the market went flat. Cliffs sold to Noront and Noront recently sold to Wyloo Metals which changed its name to Ring of Fire Metals. Noront also ex plored a location for a ferrochrome smelter in Sault Ste. Marie which met with fierce local resistance. Other

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Thunder Bay's Mining Expo was a success. Pictured here is Michael Fox co-host of the Ring of Fire Critical Minerals and the Central Role of 2 Indigenous Communities conference. The Indigenous-led Environmental and Impact Assessment for the Ring of Fire is a special story that many came to hear.

companies involved in the ROF in clude KWG and Juno Resources.

Today the critical minerals needed for the electric vehicle battery manu facturing has overtaken chromite as the primary pursuit with the focus on nickel, lithium, copper. Ontario Premier Doug Ford is keen on capital izing on the demand for EV battery critical minerals.

Famously, in 2018 Ford declared that the Ring of Fire was going to open up under his watch even if he had to hop on a bulldozer himself. Ford has tasked several cabinet min isters to work with all stakeholders to turn the region into a world-class mining hub, an idea that was a cen tral plank of his re-election cam paign in the 2022 Ontario election. After the June provincial election, Ford named former Timmins Mayor George Pirie, a former mining execu tive, to be the Minister of Mining, with responsibility for the Ring of Fire.

That portfolio is new – it separated mining from the longstanding provin cial ministry which has been known as the Ministry of Northern Develop ment and Mines.

The environmental concerns about opening up these lands are with the carbon-rich peatlands of the James Bay Lowlands, about 540 kilometers northeast of Thunder Bay, and the unproven mineral deposits that lie underneath. Those in favour of mining in the Ring of Fire say the minerals could power the push to lower global greenhouse gas emis sions as electric vehicles will replace gasoline engine vehicles. Environ mentalists and some First Nations argue the costs of disturbing the re gion’s peatlands outweigh any pos sible benefits.

Before an ounce of nickel, lithi um or other critical minerals can be mined, both Ontario and Canada En vironmental Assessments must be completed to ensure the environment in the broadest sense of the word is

protected. “It’s been 15 years since the Ring of Fire was discovered.” Fox said. “I know many remote commu nities, are challenged with the daily struggles of impoverished communi ties, making them the underclass in Canada,“ Fox said. “I think, the role of indigenous communities is more significant today,” added Fox. “At one point, Marten Falls and Webequie were protesting the Ring of Fire.”

Environmental Assessment Process

Webequie and Marten Falls First Na tions went from being protesters to partners in the developments in the Ring of Fire area and must undertake an environmental assessment to make sure the best route is se lected while protecting the natural and cultural social environment. Under the Canadian system of govern ment, aspects of the environment are under federal jurisdiction such as free-swimming fish and their fishery habitat, spawning grounds; the pro vincial government has jurisdiction over the land, trees, resources. Air and climate change are jointly ad ministered. A joint EA process may be established to avoid duplication of services and red tape. There are also possible financial cost shar

ing available between Ontario and Federal governments, but to date no agreements have been signed. An environmental assessment in Canada and Ontario is a decisionmaking tool, which helps identify, predict and evaluate the potential effects of a proposed project on the environment. Notice of the start of the EA are posted on the Ontario governments Environmental Regis try page and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada page. Once the detailed engineering, environmental, traditional studies, community infor mation and public consultations, and public hearings are completed, the proponents submits their EA report to the Minister of Environment of On tario and their counterpart in Ottawa.

“There is great potential in the development of the Ring of Fire for my community,” Chief Wabasse explained. “Webequie First Nation which is a small remote commu nity with 151 residents on reserve and 250 off reserve. Community members leave for urban centres such as Toronto, Ottawa and other northern Ontario communities because of health, education and other reasons.”

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Pictured is Bob Baxter a representative of the All Season Road Committee for Marten Falls. Bob delivered the message that it is time to do something as our community is suffering. Suffering from lack of medical care, the cost of food and travel and the price of fuel. Fuel costs are three times higher than that of Thunder Bay.

like Indonesia, and what they’re doing is not nearly as environ mentally friendly and they are getting there much quicker.

That’s the challenge for us here in Ontario - how do we get these projects done responsibly, and more expeditiously? “It’s a challenge for us. Just recently, the Indonesian government announced new projects to sup ply electric vehicle batteries at 295,000 tonnes per year. So that’s 40 Eagles Nests. Those projects went from nothing, to un der construction in two years. Not that we were going to get there in two years, but it just shows you, we need to do whatever we can by working together to get our products, our most responsible products to market and not miss this opportunity,” said Flewelling.

In delivering his presentation Flewelling said what’s most im portant is what we’re doing right now – continued exploration ac tivity. The company has identified over 70 nickel targets in the ring of fire area that they’re follow ing up on and they’re in the pro cess of rebuilding their explora tion program and updating their camp. The company intends to spend over $10 million per year on their exploration program in the Ring of Fire.

“Our exploration team’s opti mistic that there’s going to be new deposits found so that we can increase our pipeline of nickel deposits,” he concluded.

Ring of Fire Metals has a strong focus and an excellent team. Flewelling said nickel deposits around the world tend to occur in clusters. “For example, look at Sudbury, look at Russia and look at northern Quebec that’s what’s happened. The de posits occur in clusters, and we believe that’s the case here.”

KWG still pursuing the Ring of Fire Holy Grail, hoping a railway is the solution

“It was nice to emerge from the fog we’d been in due to COVID in in the last two and a half years”, stated Moe Lavigne, Vice President of Ex ploration and Development for KWG Resources while opening his presen tation during the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay in September 2022. Moe was invited to bring the audi ence up to speed on where KWG is and where they are going in the Ring of Fire mining region.

KWG Resources primary chromite holdings are located on sever al parcels of land in the Koper-Mc Faulds Lake area, one of the most dynamic parcels located in the Ring of Fire. Its most hopeful property is the Black Horse Project. This past October, KWG bought the property they had under option which con tains its largest chromite resource, the Black Horse property. Previously KWG purchased 50% interest of a stake held by Bold Ventures Inc. Recently it purchased the interests held by Fancamp Resources. It also has a 30% interest in the nearby Big Daddy Chromite Project owned by Ring of Fire Metals. The other KWG Resources claims hold potential for nickel, zinc and copper as well as other metals and minerals many on the Ontario and Canadian lists of critical minerals.

One of KWG Resources pillars is bulk transportation. “You just can’t mine the Ring of Fire unless you have a way of getting the chromite out of the ring of fire. It has zero val ue if you don’t have a bulk transpor tation method”, stated Moe. KWG

Resources sticks to that claim as they know they had to prove that they can get it out.

Another pillar of this organization is the direct reduction of chromite (technology). They need to utilize cutting edge technology, technology of the future to reduce the chromite to the ferrochrome. The company invested heavily in patenting direct gas reduction of chromite, to ferro chrome, and have received patents in five different jurisdictions on the planet, including Canada. They’ve also reached out all over the world for entities that might be willing to participate in this development. KWG partnered with Natural Resources Canada as they invested $8 million over an eight-year period of time to understand the nature of the chro mite, the Ring of Fire, and how to best reduce it to ferrochrome and also how to deal with the byproducts. KWG’s new natural gas CHROMIUM IP, low temperature, ‘solid state’ re duction process, has enormous glob al competitive advantages in terms of reduced capital cost, reduced oper ating cost, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The other key pillar for KWG is and has been from the very beginning the consultation and building of partnerships with the indigenous communities located within the Ring of Fire. When Marten Falls and We bequie, announced a few years ago that they were going to become the proponents of the construction of roads in the James Bay lowlands, KWG applauded that, because

Page 93 MINING REPORT ML&EN Page 91 Toll Free: 1-800-990-2263 bvmininfo@bureauveritas.com + Assaying and Geochemical Analysis + Metallurgy and Mineralogy + Mine Site Laboratories + Spectral Services + Environmental Services ANALYTICAL LABORATORY SERVICES FOR THE EXPLORATION & MINING INDUSTRIES
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Traditional Indigenous Values Are Part of the Environmental Assessment

Traditional indigenous principles are today part of the Environmental Assessment study in the Ring of Fire area. And we will do that through our three-tier model. The three-tier mod el was developed from our commu nity and elders. The three-tier sys tem consists of the Reservation, the Protected Area, and also the Mutual Benefit Area.

Making Informed Decisions

The First Nations want to generate information about the environmen tal impacts on their communities to make better, informed decisions for their people. “As the proponents of environmental and impact assess ments Webequie and Marten Falls can define the scope of the studies properly to ensure we exercise our responsibility as environmental stew ards of our homelands”, Chief Wa basse explained. “As an indigenous nations leading the environmental as sessment, we can directly generate information to make informed deci sions,” Chief Wabasse noted. Under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) the right of self-determination of indige nous nations, and the right to choose

the type of development that is in har mony with their traditional values is supported.

Benefitting in the Wealth

Generated by The Ring of Fire First Nations will also identify oppor tunities, pathways for training, and employment and businesses for their community, their First Nation neighbors and for future partners so all can share in the benefits.

“When you see your community suffer poverty, isolation and see the prices of food and gas three times higher than Thunder Bay and have to wait a few days for the transportation to come in to Thunder Bay for health services it’s time to do something to make improvements”, said Bob Bax ter Marten Falls representing Marten Falls First Nation.

“We want to protect our traditional practices, land, water and resources,” added Bob. “Yes, we hunt and fish. We have our freedom to hunt and fish which is a great asset for us. When I was young, our way of life was trap ping and stuff like that”.

Several other First Nations pro vided technical submissions to the current EIA and Terms of Reference for the Northern Road Link. They are working with companies in the exploration field. Development has

to be done in a sustainable manner, and sound environment for the pro tection of their lands and they have to have a protection policy in place. An all-season road will provide op portunities for youth and also link to Thunder Bay, Geraldton and access better education, health and cheaper food and clothing. As our chief Bruce Achneepineskum said “This road is an economic lifeline for our commu nities. And it will bring jobs training and prosperity where our youth cur rently have no opportunities.” These roads will eventually lead to the Ring of Fire and benefits for neighboring first communities mining companies, development of climate friendly elec tric car batteries.

Towards Building the Road

Qasim Saddique, the co-lead for the Northern Road Link on behalf of Mar ten Falls First Nation, provided an update. Michael Fox is the other colead on the Northern Road Link on behalf of Webequie First Nation. Qa sim explained the way the mechanism through which these proponents take place. The Northern Road Link will eventually become a physical road build out of gravel, but before that can happen the joint environmental as sessment will pinpoint several alter native options. At this point we don’t know where the road will be placed. Only options exist that will be evalu ated in detail before a final preferred option will be selected based on de tailed evaluation of impacts on the natural and the man-made environ ment or cultural values of the com munities.

“Depending on the alternative we choose; it will be somewhere between 117 and 164 kilometers long,” Qasim pointed out, with about a 60 metres of cleared area, and a 100 metre right of way. It will be approximately a 20-me tre-wide multiuse road, including undivided lanes, shoulders and ditches. It will be a gravel road primarily be cause of, of the requirements of the

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Pictured is Qasim Saddique, Principal of Suslop. In Qasim’s presentation he referred to the Ring of Fire Road Link as a historical event. He spoke of what the road means to the communities of Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations which are located in the Ring of Fire and what the project looks like.

weather up north. The road will need time to settle.” It will foreseeably be a gravel road and there’ll be a num ber of water crossings, including one large bridge crossing the Attawapis kat River, and a number of several smaller bridges and culverts as well.

Qasim explained in addition to the actual length and width of the road right of way, a number of other parts to that infrastructure are required: • aggregate sources, quarry sites, • temporary access roads, • temporary work areas • construction camps

Working Group

A working group was put in place to oversee the overall development of the project. Two members from Mar ten Falls, Lawrence Baxter and Al anna Downy Baxter were appointed. And then two members from Webe quie, Roy Spence and Gordon Wa basse. were appointed as well. Qasim Saddique was appointed on behalf of Marten Falls and Michael Fox on behalf of Webequie First Nation. The technical studies are delegated to them. A technical team led by SNC Lavalin, and Dillon Consulting con duct the environmental studies, engi neering studies. Fox and Qasim con sult with neighboring communities. The Northern Road Link connects the Marten Falls Community Access Road to the Webequie Supply Road. It is the link into the Ring of Fire. All three projects are independent, they all have their own primary function that is independent of each other’s own functions.

Alternative Routes

12 alternative corridors will be exam ined. “You can end up with a number of different set combinations as their final preferred alternative. Qasim said. “A number of studies have to be done, a lot of consultation and conversa tions have to take place. Indigenous knowledge has to be collected from neighboring communities, from Marten Falls and from Webequie before

that decision can be made.”

Time Frame for Completion

It takes about 15 years to build a mine in Ontario right now, out of those 15 years, a big chunk is the environmental impact assessment and the regu latory permitting process. By way of a road and mine-building timetable,

Noront Resources — now owned by Ring of Fire Metals, a subsidiary of Australia’s Wyloo Metals has project ed a timetable for its Eagle’s Nest nickel project in the Ring of Fire show ing the start of construction of a northsouth road in the middle of next 2023 with the completion by mid-2027.

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• All Weather Roads & Runways • Contract Mining • Dams & Frozen Core Dams • Dikes • Earthworks & Site Development • Exploration Support • Ice Roads & Runways • Mine Site Remediation, Care & Maintenance • Remote Infrastructure Planning • Site Services & Crushing • Vertical Cutter Mining Proudly working alongside our local Indigenous partners on multiple projects in Ontario RING OF FIRE MINING REPORT ML&EN Page 93

Webequie First Nation

Focused on responsible development & becoming the Aviation

Hub for the Ring of Fire

Asstakeholders across the Ring of Fire region continue to evalu ate their role in the multi-billion-dollar resource base, one First Nation has already put a vision in motion.

Cornelius Wabasse is the Chief of the Webequie First Nation, a re mote community located in the Ring of Fire.

The Chief was honored to be speaking as part of the CEN CAN Expo, Ring of Fire Critical Minerals and the Central Role of Indigenous Communities Conference held in Thunder Bay September 15th. The Chief spoke on how his community is playing a central role in the build ing of the Northern Road Link to the Ring of Fire. He said there is great potential in the Ring of Fire.

The Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation’s communi ty aspirations have been kickstarted by an indigenous-led major study of an economic development road from the airport to the proposed mine site development. The project is called the Webequie Supply Road.

Marten Falls started their own road called the Community Access Road. Together, both communities are working as co-proponents on the third road called the Northern Road Link, which, when working together with other First Nation Communities, Chief Wabasse says will deliver prosperity for their communities. The Webequie Supply Road is an exten sion of another road for the airport development plan, which is still in progress.

Chief Wabasse told the confer ence guests, “We look forward to

talking with funders about the expan sion of our airport, and to become an aviation hub for the Ring of Fire. We do have that aspiration as well to become the hub of the Ring of Fire. In terms of aviation, I think it’s impor tant to share why we are leading an Environmental Impact Assessment. So, it’s very important that everybody knows where we stand, and how we want to move forward and work with our partners.”

“Firstly, we wanted our indigenous principles to be part of any EIA study in the Ring of Fire area. And we will do that through our three-tier model. The three-tier model was developed from our community, elders, along with our members. It’s a plan on how we want to prosper in being part of the development in our area.”

The three-tier system consists of the Reservation, the Protected Area, and the Mutual Benefit Area.

“Secondly, the First Nations will also want to generate information

about the environmental impacts in order to make informed decisions for their people. There is a need for more information to have that in formed decision so that all involved can make a better decision moving forward. By leading the environmen tal and impact assessments, we can define the scope of the studies prop erly to ensure we exercise our re sponsibility as environmental stewards of our homelands. This is very important that we understand the processes that we work together, so that we understand how we can maintain our homelands.”

Thirdly, Chief Wabasse said, as in digenous proponents, they can prop erly participate in the studies that are underway. “We have to be involved in that - and benefit from capacity building, field programs, and indige nous knowledge studies. Indigenous knowledge studies are very impor tant to us. And it’s very important for all parties to understand what we’re

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Webequie First Nation, Ontario. Photo by WCS Canada / Cheryl Chetkiewicz

like Indonesia, and what they’re doing is not nearly as environ mentally friendly and they are getting there much quicker. That’s the challenge for us here in Ontario - how do we get these projects done responsibly, and more expeditiously? “It’s a challenge for us. Just recently, the Indonesian government announced new projects to sup ply electric vehicle batteries at 295,000 tonnes per year. So that’s 40 Eagles Nests. Those projects went from nothing, to un der construction in two years. Not that we were going to get there in two years, but it just shows you, we need to do whatever we can by working together to get our products, our most responsible products to market and not miss this opportunity,” said Flewelling. In delivering his presentation Flewelling said what’s most im portant is what we’re doing right now – continued exploration ac tivity. The company has identified over 70 nickel targets in the ring of fire area that they’re follow ing up on and they’re in the pro cess of rebuilding their explora tion program and updating their camp. The company intends to and look at northern Quebec that’s what’s happened. The de posits occur in clusters, and we believe that’s the case here.”

KWG still pursuing the Ring of Fire Holy Grail, hoping a railway is the solution

“It was nice to emerge from the fog we’d been in due to COVID in in the last two and a half years”, stated Moe Lavigne, Vice President of Ex ploration and Development for KWG Resources while opening his presen tation during the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay in September 2022. Moe was invited to bring the audi ence up to speed on where KWG is and where they are going in the Ring of Fire mining region.

KWG Resources primary chromite holdings are located on sever al parcels of land in the Koper-Mc Faulds Lake area, one of the most dynamic parcels located in the Ring of Fire. Its most hopeful property is the Black Horse Project. This past the Black Horse property. Previous ly KWG purchased 50% interest of a stake held by Bold Ventures Inc. Recently it purchased the interests held by Fancamp Resources. It also has a 30% interest in the nearby Big Daddy Chromite Project owned by Ring of Fire Metals. The other KWG Resources claims hold potential for nickel, zinc and copper as well as other metals and minerals many on the Ontario and Canadian lists of critical minerals.

One of KWG Resources pillars is bulk transportation. “You just can’t mine the Ring of Fire unless you have a way of getting the chromite out of the ring of fire. It has zero val ue if you don’t have a bulk transpor tation method”, stated Moe. KWG

Resources sticks to that claim as they know they had to prove that they can get it out.

Another pillar of this organization is the direct reduction of chromite (technology). They need to utilize cutting edge technology, technology of the future to reduce the chromite to the ferrochrome. The company invested heavily in patenting direct gas reduction of chromite, to ferro chrome, and have received patents in five different jurisdictions on the planet, including Canada. They’ve also reached out all over the world for entities that might be willing to participate in this development. KWG partnered with Natural Resources Canada as they invested $8 million over an eight-year period of time to understand the nature of the chro mite, the Ring of Fire, and how to best reduce it to ferrochrome and also how to deal with the byproducts. KWG’s new natural gas CHROMIUM IP, low temperature, ‘solid state’ re duction process, has enormous glob al competitive advantages in terms of reduced capital cost, reduced oper ating cost, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The other key pillar for KWG is and has been from the very beginning the consultation and building of partnerships with the indigenous communities located within the Ring of Fire. When Marten Falls and We bequie, announced a few years ago that they were going to become the proponents of the construction of roads in the James Bay lowlands, KWG applauded that, because

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talking about, when we say indigenous knowledge. Those are some of the knowledge that we have, that we need to maintain, so that we can continue our culture moving forward.”

The Chief said that Webequie wants to realistically identify the op portunities and pathways for train ing, employment and businesses for their community members and their First Nation neighbors and for future partners, as part of an indige nous-led environmental and impact assessment.

“Lastly, we hear a lot about UN DRIP, or the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peo ples. Many people, they focus on prior informed consent. To us, there is no better way that we know of to freely generate information prior to any project starting in our area. So, as an indigenous nation, to lead the environmental assessment, we can directly generate information to make informed decisions.”

Chief Wabasse says it’s impor tant that everyone understand that UNDRIP is a document that every one needs to understand in order to better move forward. “While a lot of people don’t look at what UNDRIP

is, and the other clauses such as indigenous nations have the right to self-determination and the right to choose our own type of develop ment. That is what we are doing.”

“We are determining through the studies, what type of sustainable de velopment we want as indigenous nations and what type of shared decision-making to our homelands and with our industry and govern ment partners, that is what we have been working on in the past several years.”

Wabasse says “it has been hard work, it is critical work and most important, it is a collective work. We have to work together to move forward to make things more sustain able. Part of that collective work is the membership that we have formed. We have to continue to in form, engage and consult our mem bers on a regular basis as well as other surrounding communities. For our indigenous neighbors who either have the same views or have differ ent views, we are open to hearing other people, we’re open to engaging with other people and we are open to input and feedback on real projects. We are open to sharing opportunities

as well. We are very open to discus sion and meetings and this is how we will move forward.”

The Chief said he is thankful for the several First Nations who have provided technical submissions to the current EIA and Terms of Refer ence for the Northern Road Link. He looks forward to continued information sharing on the work that they are doing.

They are working with companies in exploration, and directives from elders in principle to begin to quan tify what sustainable development is to that community moving forward.

“Development has to be done in a sustainable manner, and sound en vironment for the protection of their lands and they have to have a pro tection policy in place,” said Chief Wabasse.

Chief Wabasse closed by saying, “Our way of life has changed, and we have to learn to adapt as we move forward into the new future. But we have to maintain our values and culture and our way of life as we move forward. The land and water stewardship are very important. We are encouraged to pursue educa tion with First Nations, Industry and Government. We also have our inherent rights, that we will follow. And we hope that our inherent rights will be recognized, as we work together, moving forward, with the potential of the Ring of Fire.

The Chief says Webequie First Nation will protect its homelands with a robust and rigorous environmen tal impact assessment. “Why? Be cause it’s trying to improve the qual ity of life for our members, and we see value in leading and participat ing in the Ring of Fire development. Webequie First Nation is exercising its rights to self-determination. And lastly, Webequie First Nation wants to provide opportunities to its youth members and to the future members in the generations to come.”

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Pictured here is Chief Cornelius Wabasse of the Webequie First Nation. Webequie is the coproponent along with Marten Falls of the Northern Road Link. Chief Wabasse was a key note speaker of the Ring of Fire conference.

Wyloo - Ring of Fire Metals Looks to decarbonize planet with Ring of Fire critical Minerals

Anew company name, a new po litical landscape, and a new On tario Mines Minister have all come together as momentum continues build swiftly around efforts to develop the multi-billion-dollar Ring of Fire region of Northern Ontario.

Stephen Flewelling, CEO of Ring of Fire Metals, recently rebranded from Noront Resources , gave an update of the projects in the Ring of Fire at the Central Canada Resource Expo conference in Thunder Bay. Flewelling talked about recent changes that are happening and what the future looks like.

“The environment in the ring of fire in the far north is flat, and wet and that becomes important when you start to talk about what it means to work there and what it means in terms of protecting the environment, which is critically important to our local communities,” said Flewelling. “When one looks at the scale of the Ring of Fire and the extensive claim fabric and you compare that to the Sudbury basin, which has been op erating for over 100 years, you can see there’s no doubt that there’s a very, substantial area that will lead to hopefully, mines for generations to come.”

Flewelling, however, was cautious. “Now that concept scares a lot of peo ple, because they say, oh my, there’s going to be this massive develop ment in the ring of fire. And it’s going to have unacceptable environmental consequences. And I think, that’s the secret to the development is how do

you do those mines? How do you have an economic engine that will last for decades in northern Ontario and provide that engine and how do you balance those two factors?”

A year ago, Wyloo began the pro cess of bidding to acquire owner ship of Noront Resources, and that was finalized on April 7 of this year, when Wyloo Metals, an Australian private enterprise, owned by Andrew Forest, purchased 100% of Noront Resources.

“Why did Wyloo want to buy Noront?” said Flewelling. “They saw that this is a region that can have a major impact on the decarbonized future of the planet. It is potentially

the major source of critical minerals in Ontario.”

Flewelling pointed out that in 2021, the U.S. published a list of 50 miner als critical to the U.S. economy and national security and of those 50, nine are found in the Ring of Fire.

“The key critical minerals in the ring of fire are chromium, copper and nickel. We have a deep project pipeline, and our development strategy is to first develop the Eagle’s Nest nickel copper PGM deposit.”

“We aspire to take the feed from that deposit, the concentrate, and we will use that as a foundation for developing a battery metals facil ity which will produce nickel sulfate,

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Ring of Fire Metals, Aerial of Esker Project site.
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which will feed the Ontario-based battery metals business.”

Ring of Fire Metals has an aggres sive exploration program for addi tional nickel deposits. The company is now ramping that up, operated by an exploration team led by Ryan Weston, VP of Exploration, in Thun der Bay. 60% of their exploration em ployees have come from the First Nation communities.

Following the development of the Eagle Nest deposit, the com pany intends to develop the signifi cant chromite assets starting with the Blackbird Deposit, followed by development of the Black Thor deposits. It is their intention to build a ferrochrome processing plant and right now they’ve targeted Sault St. Marie as the host site, despite fierce local opposition.

“We believe we have a technical choice there that would represent the most environmentally friendly plant in the world for producing fer rochrome that would be mainly fo cused on the US market,” stated Flewelling.

Critical minerals and battery met als, all found in the Ring of Fire, are important in today’s environment. Im

portant for Canada and important to Ontario. “We can see this with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, guar anteeing and enhancing the supply chains in North America for North American use is going to become continuously more important and that creates an opportunity for busi nesses like the Ring of Fire Metals company and a glorious opportunity for Northern Ontario.”

Eagle’s Nest is a high-grade nickel deposit with 11 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves and an inferred resource of another 9 mil lion tonnes. It is believed there’s a 20-year mine life at a million tonnes a year. This will produce about 15,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate and al most 9000 tons of copper, per year. “Anybody familiar with the Sudbury area will know that the Nickel Rim Mine which is the flagship mine, for Glencore in Sudbury is about the same size as what is being proposed for the Eagle’s Nest,” said Flewelling.

The other elements that are very significant for this operation are the platinum and palladium grades. “This is a substantial high-grade deposit that will have a very significant im pact on the economy of Ontario. A

feasibility study was completed in 2012 and they`re in the process of updating that feasibility study. They intend to produce about a million tonnes a year or 3000 tonnes per day with a 100% underground mining operation.

Flewelling said, “What’s novel about this is we have two challeng es, one is what to do with tailings and where to store tailings and tra ditionally, tailings that don’t go back into the mining area, are stored on surface in a tailings pond. Every one here knows what the geography looks like. For that reason, it’s chal lenging both technically and environmentally to store those tailings.”

“The other challenge we have is a lack of aggregate that we can use for construction. We believe we can combine those two problems by hav ing an underground quarry, which will ultimately mine over 3 million tonnes of aggregate for use for our construction purposes and for the roads that will be developed by the communities of Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation, then use the void created by that construction material to place the tailings.”

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Ring of Fire Metals, a Geological Technician from Webequie First Nation sets up survey equipment. Photo provided by Ring of Fire Metals. Aerial Photo of Ring of Fire Metals’ Esker Camp in Winter
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like Indonesia, and what they’re doing is not nearly as environ mentally friendly and they are getting there much quicker.

here in Ontario - how do we get these projects done responsibly, and more expeditiously? “It’s a challenge for us. Just recently, the Indonesian government an nounced new projects to sup ply electric vehicle batteries at 295,000 tonnes per year. So that’s 40 Eagles Nests. Those projects went from nothing, to un der construction in two years. Not that we were going to get there in two years, but it just shows you, we need to do whatever we can by working together to get our products, our most responsible products to market and not miss this opportunity,” said Flewelling.

Flewelling said what’s most im portant is what we’re doing right now – continued exploration ac tivity. The company has identified over 70 nickel targets in the ring of fire area that they’re follow ing up on and they’re in the pro cess of rebuilding their explora tion program and updating their camp. The company intends to spend over $10 million per year on their exploration program in the Ring of Fire.

“Our exploration team’s opti mistic that there’s going to be new deposits found so that we can increase our pipeline of nickel deposits,” he concluded.

Ring of Fire Metals has a strong focus and an excellent team. Flewelling said nickel deposits around the world tend to occur in clusters. “For example, look at Sudbury, look at Russia and look at northern Quebec that’s what’s happened. The de posits occur in clusters, and we believe that’s the case here.”

Faulds Lake area, one of the most dynamic parcels located in the Ring of Fire. Its most hopeful property is the Black Horse Project. This past October, KWG bought the property they had under option which con tains its largest chromite resource, the Black Horse property. Previously KWG purchased 50% interest of a stake held by Bold Ventures Inc. Recently it purchased the interests held by Fancamp Resources. It also has a 30% interest in the nearby Big Daddy Chromite Project owned by Ring of Fire Metals. The other KWG Resources claims hold potential for nickel, zinc and copper as well as other metals and minerals many on the Ontario and Canadian lists of critical minerals.

One of KWG Resources pillars is bulk transportation. “You just can’t mine the Ring of Fire unless you have a way of getting the chromite out of the ring of fire. It has zero val ue if you don’t have a bulk transpor tation method”, stated Moe. KWG

Resources sticks to that claim as they know they had to prove that they

Another pillar of this organization is the direct reduction of chromite (technology). They need to utilize cutting edge technology, technology of the future to reduce the chromite to the ferrochrome. The company invested heavily in patenting direct

chrome, and have received patents in five different jurisdictions on the planet, including Canada. They’ve also reached out all over the world for entities that might be willing to participate in this development. KWG partnered with Natural Resources Canada as they invested $8 million over an eight-year period of time to understand the nature of the chro mite, the Ring of Fire, and how to best reduce it to ferrochrome and also how to deal with the byproducts. KWG’s new natural gas CHROMIUM IP, low temperature, ‘solid state’ re duction process, has enormous glob al competitive advantages in terms of reduced capital cost, reduced oper ating cost, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The other key pillar for KWG is and has been from the very beginning the consultation and building of partnerships with the indigenous communities located within the Ring of Fire. When Marten Falls and We bequie, announced a few years ago that they were going to become the proponents of the construction of roads in the James Bay lowlands, KWG applauded that, because

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Flewelling says this enables the mine to have no tailings on the surface. “The concentrator will be lo cated on surface which will take the million tonnes of ore and turn that into about 150,000 tons of concen trate and some of that concentrate will be sold to existing smelters with some of that concentrate being used hopefully for the development of their battery metals plant.”

The mine expects to have a net zero greenhouse gas approach. “We’re looking at how we can work with the road proponents and the province to get a power line for green power. We’re looking at interim plans for wind and we’re do ing a wind study right now trying to understand what the wind resources are and potentially use hydrogen for our trucking fleets to move the ma terial from the Ring of Fire to the railhead. And we’re very focused on using only electric vehicles under ground, which is a great opportunity,” stated Flewelling.

One of the key items important to Ring of Fire Metals is making mini mal disturbances environmentally. They are making the mining opera tion’s footprint as small as possible and minimizing the additional distur bance for what already exists.

The mine fits on an already dis turbed area in the Ring of Fire, which is where their exploration camp is located. “The disturbance size will be less than one kilometre. So, the additional disturbance for developing this mine is very small, less than one square kilometre. The Ring of Fire area is 65,000 square kilometers of the approximately 250 thousand square kilometers that make up the James Bay Lowlands. Eagle’s Nest will be the first mine to disturb just one square kilometer. The Blackbird deposit will also be done by fitting into this footprint, so there’ll be no additional disturbance.”

Wyloo has made a number of commitments that will be guiding principles for how the mine is devel oped. The first, is developing Eagle’s Nest as a net-zero emissions mine.

“This comes with many challenges. There is no current power source in the area other than diesel, just like the local communities. That’s going to be an important element to com mitting $25 million towards investi gating the potential for battery metal production in Ontario utilizing the Eagle’s Nest concentrate as a base,” Flewelling told the large audience.

They are also targeting $100 million of contracts to Indigenous -owned businesses, everything from building the Eagle’s Nest project and creating an employment framework so that they maximize the employ ment of the First Nations communities in the area.

“This is ground-breaking for the local communities. The plan is to develop the Eagle’s Nest mine in parallel to the development of the roads in order to integrate the op portunities for the construction, sup ply of aggregates and the building of the mine to minimize the time to get

Wyloo’s first critical minerals mine to market.”

“We’ve got a great opportunity as the Minister (Pirie) mentioned in his presentation with the demand picture for electric vehicles. The current nick el market has about 2 million tons of nickel that goes into supply - mainly for stainless steel globally. So, we ex pect the demand for electric vehicles to increase the current 2 million by 1 million tonnes by 2028. That’s a 50% increase in the amount of nickel that needs to be supplied from mining op erations. There’s a similar story with respect to copper demand. And we believe that Eagle’s Nest can provide enough nickel for 400,000 electric vehicle batteries every year through it’s mine life,” stated Flewelling.

The world needs new mines. The Ring of Fire is an opportunity for Ontario to become leaders in supply ing those mines. The best way to supply electric vehicle batteries is from mines like Eagle’s Nest, it’s the most economic and environmentally friendly way to do it. The challenge is, it’s not going fast enough. What’s happening right now is the sources for nickel, over time will come places

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Speaker Stephen Flewelling, CEO Ring of Fire Metals, speaks at the Ring Of Fire Conference as part of the CEN CAN Expo held in Thunder Bay.

like Indonesia, and what they’re doing is not nearly as environ mentally friendly and they are getting there much quicker.

That’s the challenge for us here in Ontario - how do we get these projects done responsibly, and more expeditiously? “It’s a challenge for us. Just recently, the Indonesian government announced new projects to sup ply electric vehicle batteries at 295,000 tonnes per year. So that’s 40 Eagles Nests. Those projects went from nothing, to un der construction in two years. Not that we were going to get there in two years, but it just shows you, we need to do whatever we can by working together to get our products, our most responsible products to market and not miss this opportunity,” said Flewelling.

In delivering his presentation Flewelling said what’s most im portant is what we’re doing right now – continued exploration ac tivity. The company has identified over 70 nickel targets in the ring of fire area that they’re follow ing up on and they’re in the pro cess of rebuilding their explora tion program and updating their camp. The company intends to spend over $10 million per year on their exploration program in the Ring of Fire.

“Our exploration team’s opti mistic that there’s going to be new deposits found so that we can increase our pipeline of nickel deposits,” he concluded.

Ring of Fire Metals has a strong focus and an excellent team. Flewelling said nickel deposits around the world tend to occur in clusters. “For example, look at Sudbury, look at Russia and look at northern Quebec that’s what’s happened. The de posits occur in clusters, and we believe that’s the case here.”

KWG still pursuing the Ring of Fire Holy Grail, hoping a railway is the solution

“It was nice to emerge from the fog we’d been in due to COVID in in the last two and a half years”, stated Moe Lavigne, Vice President of Ex ploration and Development for KWG Resources while opening his presen tation during the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay in September 2022. Moe was invited to bring the audi ence up to speed on where KWG is and where they are going in the Ring of Fire mining region.

KWG Resources primary chromite holdings are located on sever al parcels of land in the Koper-Mc Faulds Lake area, one of the most dynamic parcels located in the Ring of Fire. Its most hopeful property is the Black Horse Project. This past October, KWG bought the property they had under option which con tains its largest chromite resource, the Black Horse property. Previously KWG purchased 50% interest of a stake held by Bold Ventures Inc. Recently it purchased the interests held by Fancamp Resources. It also has a 30% interest in the nearby Big Daddy Chromite Project owned by Ring of Fire Metals. The other KWG Resources claims hold potential for nickel, zinc and copper as well as other metals and minerals many on the Ontario and Canadian lists of critical minerals.

One of KWG Resources pillars is bulk transportation. “You just can’t mine the Ring of Fire unless you have a way of getting the chromite out of the ring of fire. It has zero val ue if you don’t have a bulk transpor tation method”, stated Moe. KWG

Resources sticks to that claim as they know they had to prove that they can get it out.

Another pillar of this organization is the direct reduction of chromite (technology). They need to utilize cutting edge technology, technology of the future to reduce the chromite to the ferrochrome. The company invested heavily in patenting direct gas reduction of chromite, to ferro chrome, and have received patents in five different jurisdictions on the planet, including Canada. They’ve also reached out all over the world for entities that might be willing to participate in this development. KWG partnered with Natural Resources Canada as they invested $8 million over an eight-year period of time to understand the nature of the chro mite, the Ring of Fire, and how to best reduce it to ferrochrome and also how to deal with the byproducts. KWG’s new natural gas CHROMIUM IP, low temperature, ‘solid state’ re duction process, has enormous glob al competitive advantages in terms of reduced capital cost, reduced oper ating cost, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The other key pillar for KWG is and has been from the very beginning the consultation and building of partnerships with the indigenous communities located within the Ring of Fire. When Marten Falls and We bequie, announced a few years ago that they were going to become the proponents of the construction of roads in the James Bay lowlands, KWG applauded that, because

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they thought that was truly the role of the First Nations. “It is important that they lead the development in the Ring of Fire, not to be simply a stakeholder and from the very begin ning, KWG always wished to honor the spirit of the treaties and share the land. I think that’s finally happen ing. We’re very happy to be part of this process and it is truly historical”, said Moe.

The world is watching says Moe as they were invited to attend the International Chromium Develop ment Association annual meeting in Paris and update them on what’s going on in the ring of fire. They also invited Marten Falls First Nation to go to Paris and give their perspec tive on what’s going on in the Ring of Fire project. Both were very well received as the world continues to be watching.

In 2021 KWG hired Tony Marquis as President and COO of Can ada Chrome Corp. to explore their bulk transportation options. Tony is known as an experienced railway ex ecutive; he retired from CP in 2019 and also worked for CN Rail. KWG required Tony’s expertise and are glad to have him on board moving the project forward.

Also in 2021 they hired a hired a company called Rail-Veyor Technol ogies which is based out of Sudbury Ontario. They have an alternative to trains which is machinery that is re ally a blend of a bit of a roller veyor and railroad which was looked at to help reduce operating costs and ship the chromite out to be processed. The Rail-Veyor process needs elec tricity. KWG created a joint venture between them and Cormorant Utility Services to conduct an engineering financial study which has recently been completed. At that same time, one of the principles of Cormorant, Fiona Blondin became a board mem ber of KWG. Megan McElwain was also appointed President and COO

of KWG in January 2022 as she left her role of Vice President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Frank Smeenk remains the CEO.

Tony Marquis spoke as part of the KWG presentation and said, “I was brought in to build and run a heavy haul railroad. When I looked at the costs that were first presented to me by the KWG team, I thought they were a little bit light. And then when you’re looking at maybe six, may be 8 million tonnes per year of ore coming out, the return on invested capital may not be there.” Tony ex plored another potential solution for this which they call the utility corridor. KWG staked over 300 kilometers of claims on gravel deposits between Nakina and the Ring of Fire.

Tony explained the system being explored by KWG as Rail-Veyor being a light haul rail system which will carry the ore from the Ring of Fire down to Nakina. It can be trans loaded at Nakina and be processed at the area. It can also haul goods north and material north to the com

munities and to the mine site. For the overall transportation solution, what do you do with 6 million tonnes of the chromite? Nakina going westNakina is located on the CN mainline and has easy access to the West Coast, whether it’s Prince Rupert or it could go to Vancouver. Naki na going to the south- you’ve got ease of transport to Sault Ste. Marie, you can operate on the CN and the Agawa Canyon Railway. Nakina go ing southeast with ease of transport to Sudbury via CN. “Nickel moving to Sudbury might be a nice idea”, stated Tony. Then there’s Nakina to Timmins, you’ve got the ONR if they made an investment and res urrected the Pagwa sub you could easily get direct transportation to Timmins. Tony said, “it would travel on the ONR and imagine six to 8 million tonnes of freight product on the ONR. That would probably make for a very viable railroad. There are people looking that this and saying this could really help out an Ontario funded railroad.

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KWG Resources photo: Rail-Veyor. Can operate over boggy terrain and muskeg without significant ground pressure and environmental impact.
Page 107 MINING REPORT ML&EN Page 105 WORK WITH REAL EXPERTS WE’RE HIRING ! Explore our opportunities at : www.g4drilling.com 819-825-4079 Diamond drilling Drill & Blast R&D OUR SERVICES Surface & underground Long hole drilling Responsibility Integrity Safety Efficiency

Why Rail-Veyor?

Rail-Veyor is very environmentally friendly, it meets so many of the envi ronmental issues and conforms with the need for sustainable technolo gies to protect our planet. It runs on electricity, has no emissions, it sits on the land surface, you do not have to upset what we know is called the breathing lands. There are no particulates, no emissions, less noise, less dust. It’s simple, it’s fast, it’s flexible, it’s extendable, it’s expandable. Tony said, “let’s assume we build Rail-Vey or into the initial claims that we have and then another mine starts a fur ther way up, you can easily extend the railway or up to the next mine you don’t have to add all kinds of roads, you don’t have to add the in frastructure. It’s a very simple sys tem to build. It’s also a simple sys tem to move if you have to move it. The energy efficiency is remarkable and the beauty of rail there allows for underground mining, no open pit mining. We would run the system un derground, load it, and loop it up and to Nakina. If you’re only handling the once your cost of operating the mine is substantially less”. We believe the

mining community is responsible to build the transportation infrastructure to move the ore from the Ring of Fire to a location where it can be trans loaded – not depending on publicly funded construction of roads.

A case study was released from the Casteel Mine in Missouri where the superintendent was quoted in saying this technology has the po tential to revolutionize underground mining. One of the added benefits of Rail-Veyor is that it will reduce traf fic on community roads. The train will replace 200 one-way haul truck trips each day. Tony shared what he calls almost proprietary information. The capex costs that we’ve come up with using Rail-Veyor is $859 million Canadian, the OPEX is $3.79 per tonne which is substantially less than rail and way less than trucking. The overall costs will end up being a lot less than traditional mining.

Another partner in our project is Cormorant Utilities Service and they also completed their electrical infrastructure capex study to supply the power to Rail-Veyor, to the mine sites, and to at least five First Nation communities planning on a 230 kilo

volt transmission line, which has included with it, 72 single mode fibers to allow for high speed communica tions across the whole system. The cost is estimated at almost a billion dollars on capex, and just shy of $2 million per annum on the OPEX.

Procurement Opportunities

For a city like Thunder Bay there’s upwards of $460 million of potential business when it comes to fabrica tion of rail and fabrication of the cars for services. The only thing propri etary for Rail-Veyor and what they produce themselves are the drive stations. So there’s a lot of opportu nity in the pipeline, when the project starts to roll out.

In closing Tony said, “Megan has shared with the chiefs of Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations the vision of KWG since its incep tion, that this utility corridor will be the foundation of an indigenously owned enterprise much more than a partnership, more than just a hand shake this is this a business we plan to build as a utility and turn it over to be run as an enterprise by the indigenous people.”

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Tony Marquis President and COO of Canada Chrome Corp spoke on the viability of building a Rail-Veyor system for bulk transportation of ore from the Ring of Fire to be processed.
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KWG Resources’ Moe Lavigne V.P of Exploration gave a presentation on how to move the raw materials from their chromite deposit to get processed. Moe spoke on the history of KWG Resources and introduced Tony Marquis the one in charge of their transportation plans for moving the ore.
Page 109 MINING REPORT ML&EN Page 107 Over 6000 delegates attended the first annual CEN CAN Expo www.cencanexpo.ca For booth reservations & sponsorship opportunities call 1 -705- 2 64-2251 Join the Mining Boom Over 300 Displays • Conferences • Networking Events September 13-14, 2023 Fort William Gardens, Thunder Bay

Marten Falls First Nation

The Northern Road Link - A better life for our youth

“You know, when you see your community suffer some extreme conditions due to poverty, isola tion and just being remote. When you see the prices of gas there are three times higher than in Thunder Bay. When you want to come to the city, and you must wait a few days for the transportation to come in. When you see your health services fail because of lack of transportation. It's time to do something, it’s time to move forward! And that's the vi sion of the Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum, council leader ship and members of the Marten Falls community”, said Bob Bax ter, from the Marten Falls Commu nity Land Use Planning Team at the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay. Bob was a speaker in the Ring of Fire Conference.

Bob went on to say, “they wanted a better life by themselves where they're not just prisoned. I'll use the word prisoned in a square box of land we call our reserve. Yes, we hunt and fish. We have our freedom to hunt and fish which is a great asset for us. But when I was young, our way of life was trapping and stuff like that. I talked to the youth today. They're telling me your way of life is not my way of life. We want freedom to go in and out of our community. It's been quite a few years since Marten Falls had wanted a normal all season road. An all season road that would provide access to places like Thunder Bay and Geraldton sometimes to access better health and to access more affordable items. Some of my brothers and sisters live in Marten Falls. They come out to Thunder Bay and it costs them about $500 to get back home just in air fare. That $500

could go towards groceries. Things like that are why we look at develop ing a route to the commu nity so they can have a better life. The Northern Road Link is a large-scale project.

Like I said, Marten Falls is a remote indigenous community. It's about 423 kilometers from here, northeast and it's situat ed at the junction of the of the Albany. And it's not, of course accessible by all season roads. In stead, we have a winter road network or airplanes for travel. This is how we supply our communities with necessary goods and services.”

As we all know, their weather is changing. win ter roads don't last as long as they used to. The win dow for travel is now get ting narrower for getting groceries, fuel or equipment to the reserves. As proponents of the project Mar ten Falls is leading the assessment process in a way that made them mitigate environmental risks to the community, the people and their tra ditional lands. They’re also working with Ontario to achieve their vision. As proponents Marten Falls is also the most impacted community as to where the road is going and we're combining western science and our community’s indigenous knowledge for a holistic view.

“One of the things that the community members stressed when we started moving forward with this

committee is to protect the land, pro tect the water, protect the environ ment so that they don't lose their land so that their way of life is not impacted in such a way that they can never get it back. We are also working with other interested communities to col lect data that will be used for the en vironmental assessment. Of course, like I said, this road is going to be our next economic lifeline for the community. This is a key economic reconciliation with our remote com munities. This road is an economic lifeline for our communities. And it will bring jobs, education, training and prosperity where our youth cur rently have no opportunities.

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