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Promoting interest, understanding and investment within the mining industry.

JUNE 2020

Northern Ontario’s Mining Voice Since 1994

THE QUARTERLY MINING REPORT Reporting on Canada’s hottest mining jurisdictions

Front Cover Photo Courtesy: Alamos Gold Inc. – Young-Davidson Mine, Matachewan, Ontario.

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5yr/5,000 hrs Warranty

5yr Financing for 0%


We understand the critical part of Equipment Operation and Maintenance Let us put our experience to work for you! Diagnostics & Flash capabilities Fleet Maintenance Component rebuild Mobile & in shop diagnosing Custom installations such as software and hydraulic attachments and much more A fleet of six service trucks are available to travel anywhere within Ontario. We work surface or underground. We are constantly growing to meet our clients' needs.

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WHERE THE WORLD COMES TO EXPLORE! Thousands of mining and resourcesector stakeholders from around the world who normally spend a week in Timmins the first week in June have an exciting new opportunity to connect, thanks to the veteran trade show experts at Canadian Trade-Ex. Plans for a large-scale Virtual Trade Show by Canadian Trade-Ex in mid-November (2020) are in full swing and it promises to be the largest ever Natural Resource Expo online (VIRTex article pg.12). Exhibitors are already lining up to participate. The great benefit of a virtual show is unlimited capacity and unlimited attendance which translates into an exponential opportunity to form supplier and purchaser connections. COVID-19 restrictions forced the postponement of the giant Canadian Mining Expo, commonly known as “THE BIG EVENT”, which was to be held this June 3-4 in Timmins. The new dates for that live event are now confirmed for June 1-3, 2021. The Central Canada Resource Expo in Thunder Bay which was supposed to take place this September, and is now scheduled for July 7th - 8th, 2021 at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds. Both events are the premiere showcases for northern Ontario’s rich rePage44 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

sources and the opportunities that these industries avail the regions. “Canadian Trade-Ex’s annual flagship Canadian Mining Expo held each year was growing bigger than ever. Last year’s Expo drew participants from 12 countries and more than 5,200 registered delegates, not including the over 1,200 exhibitors and over 500 job seekers,” states Canadian Trade-Ex President, Glenn Dredhart. “Based on years of hard data, and an immense amount of direct evidence from satisfied stakeholders from around the globe, we are comfortable in stating that the combined economic impact on the Timmins and surrounding economy is in the millions,” adds Dredhart. “It’s even bigger when you factor in the untold number of supplier and purchaser relationships that have formed over the past three decades.” The Canadian Mining Expo is recognized as a mustattend event for Institutional and retail investors, buyers of supplies/services, Indigenous groups and communities, northern municipalities, international delegations looking to learn from and contact manufacturers, educational institutions, and training facilitators. “We are known as a ‘boots-on-theground’ type of show that over the past three decades has been used as a launchpad for dozens of mining compa-

Advertisers Index ALS Geochemistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Asinike DIAMOND DRILLING. . . . . . 57 Barminco . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Barrick Hemlo . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Canada Nickel Company . . . . . . . . . 19 Chibougamau Diamond Drilling. . 47 CIS Carriere Industrial Supply Ltd . 17 Corporation of Town of Kirkland Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Dueck's Mechanical Inc./ Diamond Shelters . . . BACK COVER Dumoulin Trucking . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 DUX Machinery . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Far Northeast Training Board . . . . . 61 Federal Screen Products Inc. . . . . . 51

Fountain Tire . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Gilli’s Containers Service . . . . . . . . .BACK INSIDE COVER Glencore / Kidd Operations. . . . . . . 27 GMS Mine Repair & Maintenance . 49 Hepburn Engineering Inc. . . . . . . . . 37 Highvec Canada Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 J.H. Fletcher & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 JPL Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Kirkland Lake Gold . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Laframboise Drilling Inc.. . . . . . . . . . 35 Lake Shore Gold/ Pan American Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Maljohn Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Manroc Developments Inc. . . . 17, 27

Melkior Resources Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . 41 MSN Consulting/Contracting Inc. . . 3 NADF . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 NETZSCH Canada Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Newmont Porcupine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Niiwin G.P. Inc. ..............7 Northern College . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Ontario Northland . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Provix Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Sling-Choker Mfg. (Timmins) Ltd.. 59 The Miller Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Timmins Mechanical Solutions SANY . . . . . . . FRONT INSIDE COVER TROJAN Tire . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 VIRTex Virtual Event Platform. . . . . 55 Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. . . . . . . . 16

Editorial Index WHERE THE WORLD COMES TO EXPLORE ........... 4 Newmont steps up in light of COVID-19 ...... 6 KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD sets quarterly record for cash flow . . . . . . 10 VIRTex A New Virtual Expo Platform . . . . . . 12 Wesdome Building Canada's Next Mid-Tier Gold Producer . . . . . . 14 Canada Nickel turning heads with Nickel-Cobalt Play . . . . . . 18 PAN AMERICAN SILVER - Timmins Gold Assets Shine . . . . . . 20 Kidd Life of Mine hasn't budged, However... . . . . . . 24 A new lease on life! Call it, Hemlo 2.0 . . . . . . 28 BARMINCO excited to enter North American Mining Market . . . . . . 32 Mistango Resources formidable player in Kirkland Lake camp . . . . . . 34 Young-Davidson weathers COVID-19 with minor disruption . . . . . . 36

Fenelon the next big gold camp . . . . . . 38 Melkior gets KL Gold vote of confidence . . . . . . 40 “Thunder Bay hosts Central Canada`s Largest Ever Resource Expo . . . . . 42 Gold Price continues encouraging yet confounding pace . . . . . . 44 RED LAKE is RED HOT . . . . . . 46 Evolution Mining reinvigorating former Newmont/Goldcorp Red Lake assets . . . . . 48 Pure Gold is on track to pour gold in Q4 . . . . . . 50 Timmins Mechanical displays confidence in Northern Ontario . . . . . . 54 IAMGold decision on Côté expected later this year . . . . . . 56 The Long and Winding Road to Ring of Fire . . . . . . 58


& Exploration News Published by Glenn Dredhart, President

Editor: Kevin Vincent

Editorial Consultant: Frank Giorno

Marketing & Sales: John Goulet, Rhonda Larochelle, "Jay" Cornelsen, Larry Sutton Circulation: Claudette Cornelsen, Audrey Guindon

nies looking to explore the option of making a move or an investment into Northern Ontario. Timmins is a century-old mining town with a lot to offer.” This year’s Expos included many new events such as the Ontario Mining Association’s 100th anniversary celebration, Big Event’s First Mining Awards Banquet, the

Meet The Purchasers Event, a Reverse Job Fair, the First Nations Partnership Pavilion, Aboriginal Forum which compliments the Partnership Pavilion with a conference, Tech Talks - A Mining Conference and open panel discussion on Mining the Future & Green Mining, the Billions in The Ground Investment


Return Undeliverable Canadian Address to CIRCULATION DEPT.: Email: info@canadiantradex.com

P.O. Box 490, Schumacher, ON P0N 1G0 Tel. (705) 264-2251 Fax: (705) 264-4401

Forum - promoting the Junior Mining Industry’s massive potential for investment with Keynote speaker Terry Lynch of Save Canadian Mining, Northern College’s Innovation Hub was to host a tour of their new facility and of course, and a new Jackleg Driller King, Queen and Dignitary would have been crowned for 2020.

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steps up during pandemic Photo: Newmont Porcupine Borden Mine Newmont Facebook credit. By Kevin Vincent

The pandemic of 2020 dramatically altered almost every facet of life - but one aspect that remains unchanged is the corporate generosity of companies like Newmont. The company’s Porcupine division stepped up its commitment to community support in the first half of the year with multiple investments stemming from Newmont’s multimillion-dollar COVID-19 response fund. On April 9th, Newmont announced the establishment of a US$20 million fund to help host communities, governments and employees combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Newmont Global Community Support Fund builds upon other local contributions and efforts the company implemented around the same time. “Our purpose to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining is more relevant now than ever before,” said CEO Tom Palmer. “The strength of our portfolio of world-class assets across top tier jurisdictions underpins the financial flexibility to take care of our employees, communities and shareholders. I am proud of the way our employees have responded to these challenging times,” he added. Newmont partnered with local Page66 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

governments, medical institutions, charities and non-governmental organizations to target funds towards addressing the greatest needs with a view to serving as a catalyst for long-term resiliency and future community development. To ensure that the fund supports communities in a robust and meaningful way, Newmont worked diligently with local governments to design a plan that focused on three key areas: to ensure that the support is most impactful to the communities, namely, employee and community health, food security and local economic resilience. First Nations companies like NIIWIN are ongoing examples of the support Newmont provides. Niiwin General Partnership Inc. (Niiwin) was founded to create opportunities for economic and business development in the mining sector. In November 2014, Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines (Newmont’s predecessor) signed a Resource Development Agreement with four First Nation communities (Flying Post, Matachewan, Mattagami and Wahgoshig First Nation). The Resource Development Agreement established a framework for continued consultation on existing and future operations in the Timmins area and defines long-term benefits for the four First Nations.

The agreement includes provisions for training, employment, and business opportunities. With unique access to business opportunities at PGM, the signatory First Nations arranged to become equal partners in developing a general contracting venture with a mandate of collaboration. Recently announced Newmont Porcupine, started rehabilitation work at the historical Aunor A tailings facility in Timmins. The project is a collaboration with local contractor Niiwin General Partnership. Work started in May and will run until December 2020. The tailings facility is about 500 metres northwest of Buffalo-Ankerite. “The rehabilitation work will include regrading of the historical tailings, placement of aggregate material and installation of a High-density Polyethylene (HDPE) cover,” reads a notice from Newmont Porcupine. In an effort to blunt the impacts of COVID-19 on the Timmins business community, Newmont and the Timmins Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of a program to support small businesses through a $250,000 donation from Newmont Porcupine. The set of initiatives within the program are in response to the city Cont’d on pg. 8

Niiwin General Partnership (Niiwin) Creating opportunities for economic and business development within the mining sector.

Work Safe. Home Safe.

Our initial Resources Development Agreement with Goldcorp (Nov. 2014, now Newmont Porcupine) has allowed us to provide full time employment to First Nations Community Members and non-Community Members, as well as training opportunities to increase employability to all.


Congratulations to our Northern communities on Mining Week! We are proud of the dedication and commitment of our front line worker’s and their families during Covid-19.

Thanks for keeping us safe!

Ph.:1 (705) 235-0898


Page ML&EN SPRING P0N 2020 Page 6855 Highway 101 E., Unit 3, PO Box 1581, Timmins, Ontario 1C07

Newmont Porcupine

a reliable partner to the people Cont’d from pg. 6

and Chamber’s recommendations from a Joint Business Continuity and Recovery Task Force, established in early April of this year. The new program included four critical components to assist local small businesses and organizations, with less than $2 million in annual sales, who were deemed non-essential in March. These businesses have not been generating revenues and will subsequently incur extraordinary expenses in order to comply with new requirements as a result of COVID-19. The establishment of the Timmins Emergency Response Loan for Businesses in the amount of $200,000. A $100,000 investment from Newmont Porcupine is being matched by The Venture Centre to create the $200,000 fund. The fund, administered by partner The Venture Centre, is intended to provide timely assistance to businesses that are either ineligible for Provincially or Federally established programs or require bridge financing until funds from those programs become available. A Timmins Professional Services Fund that will provide micro-consultations, valued at $40,000, for small businesses without staff resources in certain professional services. This fund is available to eligible businesses with under $300,000 in wages and/or revenue so that they may assess their eligibility for programs like the Federal Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy. Newmont Porcupine contributed $20,000 to launch this and MNP LLP matched their contribution. A $30,000 boost to the Chamber’s #finditINtimmins campaign to direct shoppers to support local businesses, given that many local consumers have been reoriented to shopPage88 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

ping online. “At the heart of this program is a focus on ensuring businesses are leveraging all announced resources in an effort to reduce the risk and will be open to the entire business community — administered by the Chamber and supported by The Venture Centre, MNP LLP and Newmont Porcupine,” stated Val Venneri, President of the Chamber. Bryan Neeley, Sustainability and External Relations Manager with Newmont Porcupine, was on hand during the announcement and said, “Newmont Porcupine is in a unique position compared to the rest of the company’s operations around the world in that we operate directly in the heart of this city. Newmont’s partnership with the Chamber to support small and medium sized businesses is consistent with our company’s purpose to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining.” “Newmont Porcupine remains a reliable partner to the people of Timmins and Chapleau and we are proud to collaborate with The Chamber to support the health of the businesses that support our community, our employees and their families,” he added. Newmont Porcupine also donated

$40,000 to the Timmins & District Hospital Foundation in their ongoing efforts to support the community in managing the pandemic. Various items were identified as a need during this time and Newmont Porcupine has offered to fund some of those purchases. The $40,000 donation was used to purchase two portable negative pressure units costing approximately $15,000 each and two CO2 monitors costing $5,000 each. The portable air purification systems allow the conversion of a typical hospital room to a sterile room under infection control/isolation periods. The CO2 monitors are used in the emergency department to monitor the level of carbon dioxide in the blood stream. Coupled with other monitoring equipment, the units will make it easier for healthcare teams to make quick, informed decisions. “We want to do our part to support the fight against the pandemic and these donations to the TADH will directly benefit our communities, employees and neighbors,” said Neeley. Barb McCormick, manager of donor relations, added, “We greatly appreciate the support from Newmont Porcupine, they are huge community supporters and have stepped up to help during this difficult time.

Photo: Newmont Porcupine

Our most important measure of success is keeping people healthy and safe. Committed to the Health, Safety and Wellbeing of our Employees & Communities.

Global Standards to Manage Health & Hygiene

Caring for our Workforce

Supporting Local Communities

Implemented additional safety controls across operations.

Established flexible, remote working plans for employees.

Extensive cleaning at all facilities and workplaces.

Committed to paying employees through June.

Significantly reduced staffing levels; only ~50% of employees working on location to minimize transmission risk.

Offering Employee Assistance Program and solutions to support physical, mental and familial wellbeing.

Established $20M Global Community Support Fund to address needs in three key focus areas: Employee and Community Health Food Security Local Economic Resilience

Taking an Informed, Proactive Approach Advised by World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC) and external medical professionals. Working closely with host communities, First Nations, regional and national governments to protect our workforce and nearby communities.



Partnering with local governments, medical institutions, charities and NGOs to address greatest needs.

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KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD sets quarterly record for cash flow By Kevin Vincent The year of COVID-19 did not stop Kirkland Lake Gold from turning in a healthy first quarter of 2020 and President Tony Makuch gave credit to KL Gold employees, contractors and suppliers. “I think with the knowledge of people at Kirkland Lake Gold, we definitely had a pretty solid quarter in Q1 2020 and a lot of adversity, but you can see where quality people rise to the occasion. And a lot of our suppliers and third-party contractors as well, we see there’s a lot of quality people in this industry. But the other thing that really happened is that our people did an excellent job protecting themselves and each other and also turned in a very solid quarter of performance in the quarter,” Makuch told investors and journalists in an early May conference call.

A Healthy Balance Sheet The company’s first quarter production was 330,864 ounces. Cash costs were $440 an ounce, and allin sustaining costs averaged $776 an ounce. Excluding Detour, the numbers averaged $319 and $619 an ounce, respectively. The strong unit cost numbers are encouraging given the highly unusual circumstances in Q1. “We reported net earnings of $0.79 per share and $0.70 per share on an adjusted basis. That was a 30% increase from Q1 2019. It is cash flow where our business really showed its strength in Q1 2020. Excluding non recurring transaction and restructuring costs, we generated free cash flow of over $190 million, which is a quarterly record.” Page10 10 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Detour Lake made a significant contribution to free cash flow during the quarter, adding $78 million, and that’s in only two months of operations with Kirkland Lake. “And I think we’re probably the only gold producer with no debt on the balance sheet, which demonstrates our industry-leading financial strength and our extensive financial capabilities. We returned capital to shareholders. We used $330 million in the quarter to buy back almost 10 million shares and doubled our dividend. We gained about $180 million of cash from Detour. But I want to emphasize that we used much more than that by paying back Detour’s debt, closing out its head book, making changes of control and other payments and incurring transaction fees related to the deal.”

Macassa Number Four Shaft KL had total capital expenditures of about $110 million, most of it sustaining capital. In terms of growth capital, the company continued to invest in projects, specifically the

number four shaft project at Macassa. “We did suspend sinking of the shaft at the end of March due to the COVID-19 issue,” said Makuch. “The suspension lasted about a month with the shaft sinking resuming near the end of April. The shaft project is going very well. In fact, with the progress we’ve achieved, we have now changed the scope and schedule for the shaft, with completion now targeted for late 2022, over a year earlier than initially planned. We also expect to save on capital costs.

Kirkland Lake Gold Workers Recalled /Guidance Modified The company started to recall workers at Detour Lake and Macassa in early May. They expect it to be a slow process that may extend over the year. KL withdrew its guidance for the year in early May, due to uncertainty around COVID-19. “These mines will not produce what was in the original guidance,” Cont’d on pg. 12


GOING FOR GOLD IN EVERYTHING WE DO We are a growing senior gold producer with industry-leading financial strength and three high-quality cornerstone assets: the Macassa and Detour Lake mines in Northern Ontario and the Fosterville Mine in Victoria, Australia. All three assets are highly profitable, cash flow generating operations with significant growth potential and exploration upside. Recent drill results at Macassa in Kirkland Lake included the continued expansion of the South Mine Complex, as well as the identification of a new large corridor of high-grade mineralization along the historic Main Break.

Proud to celebrate Mining Week, and especially proud of our workforce and their families, management and staff, contract workers, suppliers and the communities in which we operate, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kirkland Lake Gold is an industry leader in profitability and financial strength, which supports its efforts to invest in the communities where it operates and to create value for all stakeholders.

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New Virtual Expo Platform As the world slowly attempts to return to everyday life, Canadian Trade-Ex CT-EX has been proactively adapting to the new normal. CT-EX was has hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. “As the organizer of two of Canada’s largest trade events and a number of other shows throughout Ontario, including an event for the Forest Industry, we knew we needed to adapt,” said Glenn Dredhart, President. “We were deeply disappointed that we had to postpone both of our events for 2020 into 2021, but on the positive side, we have used the time to develop enhanced technology platforms that will provide unprecedented engagement between our clients and their customers”. “We will be enriching the mining community with our print magazine (Mining Life and Exploration News) which promotes Northern Ontario Mining News to the world, our reenergized Mining Portal (Mining Cont’d from pg. 10

said Makuch. “We will continue to assess how quickly they can ramp up, which will determine the guidance we eventually provide. And, it is important to understand that the disruptions from COVID-19 also impact our operating costs, capital expenditures and exploration spending. We have also withdrawn our three-year production guidance while we assess the long-term impact of COVID-19 pandemic on our business and as we work to incorporate Detour Lake into our longterm business plan.” “When we discuss COVID-19, we don’t talk about returning to normal because we are not sure what normal will be in the future. There are Page12 12 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Life Online), which is a mining community platform made to fill the gap between our mine producers and its stakeholders and our enhanced event platform for the trade shows called VIRTex.” As event organizers for the past 35 years Canadian Trade-Ex was able to learn what it takes to have success producing Expos. Knowing the steps to take from the preparation and promotion of an active agenda, the promotion and sales of exhibit space, to the delivery of an enthusiastic and engaged delegate base, is the foundation to delivering VIRTex, the new virtual trade show platform. “VIRTex is being custom-built by our development team from scratch. After looking at other platforms, we have decided to tailor ours to meet the unique needs of the mining community and the current list of clients we serve.” Canadian Trade-Ex is commita lot of moving parts. There is no question that there will be some impact on how our business is done. This is a key reason why we have suspended our three-year guidance. The world is going to be a different place because of COVID-19 particularly if there are additional waves of virus that occur. We’re going to take some time to consider what work is likely going to look like in the future and what impact it will have on our operations. In everything we do, our priority will remain to protect our workers, their families and our communities, and also to ensure the sustainability of our business long after this period of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

ted to be the industry’s preferred communication medium, delivering meaningful content to the Mining Community, while at the same time, allowing the community to engage with each other. Some of VIRTex’s features that will be rolling out in the next few months will be our proprietary Stay Connected, Enhanced Search, Launch PAD, Network and Share, Take Notes, Ask Questions, participate in live presentations and culminating with attending a Virtual Trade Show. Plans for the inaugural event hosted on the Mining Communities new VIRTex Platform include combining the CME and CENCAN Expo exhibitors within the Virtual Resource Expo. “It is our intention to enhance our client’s exposure so that when they do attend the two physical events, they will have had the opportunity of engaging prior to meeting in person.” Virtual Resource Expo Canada is scheduled for late fall 2020. The event will allow exhibitors to set up virtual booths that will showcase their products and services. Booths will contain, video, images and live interactivity so attendees can either text or speak directly with company representatives. Other components of the event will include a virtual job fair, investment conference and technical presentations. “From day one our business was built to serve the needs of the resource sector, and we have been working with some of our clients for close to three decades. We believe we owe it to them to deliver a world class event whether it be virtual or in person. We are all having to adjust and we at Canadian Trade-Ex are making the necessary investment to ensure that our customers have a platform to meet their clients,” stated Dredhart.

Kirkland Lake

A Proud Sponsor of Mining Week in Ontario Stake your claim on the Mile of Gold.

Page 13 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page Visit www.discoverkl.ca

Building Canada’s Next Mid-Tier Gold Producer The Wesdome Gold Mines Kiena gold mine near Val d’Or, Quebec. By Kevin Vincent

Wawa, Val d’Or, Thunder Bay. If you owned a family restaurant in those three communities, chances are, you’d be on a first-name basis with the men and women who work for Wesdome. Wesdome Gold Mines has had over 30 years of continuous gold mining operations in Canada. The Company is 100% Canadian focused with a trio of projects in various stages of development. The company’s strategy is to build Canada’s next intermediate gold producer, bringing to market 200,000+ ounces from two mines in Ontario and Quebec. President and CEO Duncan Middlemiss says the start to 2020, like it was for mining operations around the world, was unique. “It’s certainly been a challenging time, if anyone had ever asked me if they had been through a pandemic, no one really has. We are very fortunate that we had no incidents,” he added. The company instituted strict protocols at its operations and was able to avoid any dramatic events related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Wesdome conducted external temperature testing on everyone coming to site at the property one and a half hours away from Wawa. The Eagle River Complex in Wawa is currently producing gold from two mines, the Eagle River Underground Mine and the Mishi Open pit, from a central mill. Wesdome is actively exploring its brownfields asset, the Kiena Complex in Val d’Or, Quebec. The Kiena Complex is a fully permitted former mine with Page14 14 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

a 930-metre shaft and 2,000 tonne-per-day mill. The company has further upside at its Moss Lake gold deposit, located 100 kilometres west of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The company announced positive results from an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 at the 100% owned Kiena Complex in Val d’Or. In an exclusive interview with Mining Life & Exploration News (see our YouTube channel), Middlemiss says the company lost about seven weeks of the advanced exploration program at Kiena. In the meantime, the company was able to maintain market guidance by forecasting production of 90,000 to 100,000 ounces in 2020 at Eagle River, up from an average of 50,000 ounces in prior years. The narrowvein, highgrade mine has been operating for more than 20 years. The increased gold output is largely a reflection of higher grades. The company is enjoying about 14gm (.5 ounces) per ton thanks to targeted production efforts. Historically, Wesdome did not spend a lot of money on exploration, but now with the price of gold in a stable, high-profit price range, Wesdome, like other mining companies is spending the dollars to expand reserves. “We didn’t get very far out of the mine’s footprint, about 300 metres, and we hit another zone which actually connects to the mine,” said Middlemiss. “So, it’s looking good, it’s been very good.” The company has seven drills turning at Eagle River Cont’d on pg. 16

Congratulations “Ontario Mining Week� Our commitment to Mining Customers Is to provide world class services that all our customers value today. Our mission is to effectively manage your fleet & to lower down time. We strive to increase tire performance, maximize vehicle utilization & asset management; We are driven by our passion to ensure every single one of our customers get the maximum value for all the services and tires they invest in to. At the end of the day our reward is knowing we achieved what we set out to accomplish day one, lowering your operating cost!

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We are proud of what you do!

Page 15 SPRING 2020 Page A salute to our frontline workers for their dedication to serving ML&EN our northern communities.



Building Canada’s Next Intermediate Gold Producer EAGLE RIVER MINE


Steadily increasing production profile (2020 – 90,000 – 100,000 ounces)

New discovery in permitted, constructed former producing mine

High grade operations

Low risk mine restart opportunity

(14.0 g/t reserve grade)

Stable jurisdictions – Ontario and Quebec, Canada

Excellent exploration potential – property size 65 square kilometres

Excellent exploration potential

PEA demonstrated 102% IRR

(416) 360-3743 INFO@WESDOME.COM

Cont’d from pg. 14

235,000 metres of drill-core to the assay labs throughout the year. At Eagle River, contractor Manroc did some specialized stoping for Wesdome. The company had a sub-vertical highgrade pipe and Middlemiss said Manroc did an excellent job of delivering the results they wanted on that project. On the Quebec side, Kiena’s restart is important to the company. “The nice thing about Kiena is it was a past producing mine, it’s fully permitted, and the infrastructure is in great shape, so the only thing missing was an orebody.” Middlemiss says Wesdome was fortunate to find some very high grade ore – giving them about 750,000 inferred and indicated ounces to target – numbers they released in September of 2019. The company has since released a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA). “You look at the numbers and they are pretty compelling,” said Middlemiss. “We have a $416 million net present value and for a very minor investment of $35 million to kickstart Kiena back into production.” The company will bring the inferred reserves into the indicated category, launch a pre-feasibility study, and make a restart decision from there. Wesdome (at the time of this interview) had $49 million in the bank and a similar line of credit with their bank, so they expect to easily restart the mine when the time comes. Page16 16 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page






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TIMMINS 2090 Riverside Dr. Unit 33 Timmins, ON P4R 0A2

VAL-D’OR 249, 7 ième rue Val-d’Or, QC J9P 0B9

TOLL FREE 1-800-268-5350 sales@carriereindustrial.com

www.carriereindustrial.com Page 17 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

CANADA NICKEL turning heads with

nickel-cobalt play northeast of Timmins By Kevin Vincent

For the city’s first five decades, the most prominent word in the world-famous Timmins mining camp was gold. Then, in the 1960’s that changed when the staggering zinc-copper Kidd Creek Exploration drilling at Crawford deposit was discovered. ToProject, north of Timmins. day, notwithstanding 100plus years of gold, copper and zinc production, Timmins is staring at the possibility of yet another mineral upsurge, nickel, cobalt and surprisingly, palladium and platinum as well. Pictured : Canada Nickel President, Mark Selby proudly displays core That’s all thanks to junior exeral kilometres to the west. plorer, Canada Nickel Company. “We are very pleased with the latest significant nickel The company turned heads this spring when they mineralization step-outs – extending our Main Zone released exploration results highlighting their efby 1.5 kilometres and our East Zone discovery by forts at the Crawford Project, just northeast of Tim400 metres. Importantly, this is the second of three mins. holes on the East Zone with a higher grade interval In fact, based on company data released in con(0.37% nickel over 38 metres) that also contained junction with that news release, Canada Nickel beelevated palladium and platinum grades,” said Mark lieves it may be sitting on one of the top 12 nickel Selby, Chair and CEO of Canada Nickel. deposits in the world. “Our latest drilling results further reinforce our belief Canada Nickel Company bills itself as advancing the next generation of nickel-cobalt sulphide projthat Crawford is one of the leading next generation nickel-cobalt sulphide and palladium projects. “ ects to deliver nickel and cobalt required to feed the high growth electric vehicle and stainless steel Selby says the markets. timing is perfect The company is anchored by its 100% owned flagfor another major ship Crawford Nickel-Cobalt Project in the heart of source of nickel the prolific Timmins-Cochrane mining camp. given the projectCanada Nickel followed up that news release later ed demand for in the month with another spectacular announceminerals that will ment that their mineralization extends significantly. play a significant Those results include a third hole, CR20-33, into role in the EV or the newly discovered East Zone, which extends electric vehicle nickel mineralization a farther 400 metres east, market. Accordand the nickel assays from the previously reporting to Selby, eved hole CR20-32, which extend Main Zone nickel ery 15-20 years mineralization by 1.5 kilometres to the north. world markets The new East Zone discovery has been tested for have seen a nick2.1 km of its overall 2.8 km interpreted strike length el “super-cycle”. and the original Main Zone remains open for sev“Nickel has alPage18 18 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Delivering the Next Generation of Nickel Sulphide Projects TSX-V: CNC


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ways been a very high demand growth metal,” said Selby in a recent television interview. Selby and other nickel producers are hopeful that as the demand for nickel grows, so too will the price. Canada Nickel consolidated the project from two other junior companies in late 2019 to pursue this project, Noble Minerals and Spruce Ridge. The company’s Exploration Manager, Bill MacRae has been with the project since 2018 when they drilled their first set of holes by Spruce Ridge Resources. The Crawford Project site, which straddles highway 655 between the Kidd Creek Mine and the town of Cochrane, was first drilled by INCO in 1965 and 1966. “INCO was looking for a large nickel deposit because of the large magnetic anomaly they were aware of at that time,” MacRae told Mining Life. “The grade was low for them at that time, so they didn’t do anything about it.” When the assays came back, Spruce Ridge was able to reproduce the same values that INCO uncovered more than five decades earlier. As of mid-May, the company was approaching 50 drill holes according to MacRae. Financial markets were encouraged by what

Proud to be part of Timmins Mining Week! they saw. The company went to market to raise $2.5 million and they ended up raising $4.4m. MacRae says Canada Nickel is planning a series of large-diameter drilling that will help better define what is in the ground. As for the palladium and platinum content, the company is still modeling what they’ve discovered before they can include it in the resource estimates. MacRae says the company expects to finalize another resource estimate by the summer, or at the very latest, the fall. “I think we will move well up on that chart,” said MacRae, referencing the company’s estimate that it sits with the 12th largest global nickel deposit. Interestingly, in its most recent presentation, the company references market data supplied by Glencore as well as identifying the proximity of the Glencore-owned, Kidd Creek Metallurgical Complex. Exploration Mgr., Bill MacRae

Page 19 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

PAN AMERICAN SILVER Timmins Gold Assets Shine! By Kevin Vincent

If every dark cloud has a silver lining, then the dark cloud of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic of 2020 for Pan American Silver, has been golden. In the words of Pan American’s Canadian Country manager, Dave Bernier, the performance of the company’s Timminsbased gold operations has resulted in a positive spotlight from the board. Pan American operates the Timmins West, and Bell Creek gold mines as well as the Bell Creek mill that processes the company’s ore. At one point during the pandemic, of the ten mines the company owns, Timmins was the only one operating. Unlike many jurisdictions around the world, Canada considered mining an essential service, and the already hyper-safety-sensitive industry was allowed to continue operations. Page20 20 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

“Almost immediately we set up an advisory team with our health and safety team, our managers and really led by our occupational health nurse,” said Bernier. “We’re lucky to have Laurie Dagg-Labine join us from the Porcupine Health Unit right at the beginning of the year, so it couldn’t have come at a better time. She had a lot of history with the health unit and was great for us.” In addition, the company collaborated with Glencore Kidd Operations as well as Newmont Porcupine representatives. “We had a roundtable every week just to share best practices – what are they seeing – what are we seeing. It proved very beneficial and kept us on the same page and we learned from each other.” Site screening, temperature checks, and enhanced cleaning all factored into the company’s protocols which managed (at the time of

this writing) to prevent any positive cases from turning up in the two mines or the mill. The company, like others, also took advantage of relationships with the Ontario Mining Association and the Mining Association of Canada. The protocols put in place during the pandemic outbreak are now the new normal for mining companies. “We stagger shifts, we try and move people around to minimize the number of people in main gathering or entry points.” The company also allowed voluntary layoffs for those who had vulnerable family members who had health conditions that might be compromised by the virus. Thirtysix employees took advantage of that offer and most have either returned to work or are returning to work gradually. “I think sometimes mining gets a bad rap, especially outside mining Cont’d on pg. 22


Proud of the dedication of our miners, key staff members, contractors, service crews, their families and the communities in which we operate!

Proud to to be part of Mining Week in Ontario. The Timmins operation consists of two underground gold mines, the Timmins West & Bell Creek mines, which both feed the Bell Creek mill and are all located in one of the world’s most prolific gold camps. At the Timmins West mine, primary mining methods include longitudinal and transverse longhole mining. The Bell Creek mine is mined using underground longhole mining methods. Ore from both mines is processed at the Bell Creek mill via single-stage crushing and single-stage grinding, with a portion of the gold recovered by gravity methods, followed by pre-oxidation and cyanidation with carbon-inleach and carbon-in-pulp recovery.

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Lake Shore Gold anxious to expand Bell Creek Mine

Cont’d from pg. 20

communities, that it’s a reckless business, or it’s not safe,” Bernier told Mining Life. “But I think in times like these it shows we are well prepared, whether it’s a virus or a bad ground situation, we attack them the same way. We do risk assessment, we put controls in place, we get employees involved, and because of that, mining has fared pretty well through this.” “It’s important that we recognize our employees for their patience

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and diligence throughout all of this – all it would take is a few bad apples and that didn’t happen which allowed us to keep operating,” said Bernier. “We thank them all the time and we can’t thank them enough,” he added. Pan American’s Q1 results did not disappoint. In the company’s quarterly filing, they reported gold revenues of $358 million and net profits of $114 million – hence the “love”. Gold production for the first quarter remained on target and with the

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Pan American Silver, Canadian Country Manager, Dave Bernier

early year bump in the price of the yellow metal and a favourable exchange rate – it was an impressive start to the year. Pan American estimated that the impact on production would be about 10% heading into the pandemic – Bernier says that estimate proved accurate. “Our goal was to get back on track by Q3 – we are still aiming for that. But we also understand that could change because there’s a lot of uncertainty out there.” In the meantime, the company is anxiously waiting for the permit to expand the Bell Creek Mine so they can test at a higher throughput at the mill. With the higher price of gold and the appetite to pursue other projects, the company wants to add capacity to the mill circuit to 250 tons an hour. At the time of this writing, Bernier and the rest of the Timmins management team were waiting for government approval to pursue what they are calling the Wetmore Deposit. Those plans include a 40,000 metre drill program that would expand the Bell Creek footprint.


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Kidd Life of Mine hasn’t budged, However... By: Kevin Vincent

Employees, contractors and community leaders continue to wait patiently as Glencore determines whether the historic Kidd Creek mine will continue production. In the meantime, the company’s massive Highway 101 metallurgical complex is drawing strategic attention, thanks to a study Glencore is undertaking with Monarch Gold, a small, Quebec-based gold miner. As it stands now, Kidd Creek, the deepest base metals mine in the western hemisphere just north of Timmins, is officially slated to stop production some time by the end of 2022. That announcement was made by the company several years ago. However, the timeframe took a different turn in mid 2018 when news broke that exploratory drilling in the deepest part of the mine had turned up promising mineralization, including gold – but Glencore isn’t a gold miner. Company officials quickly confirmed that the deep exploration program was real – but they remained tight-lipped on any details. At the time, Mining Life reported that the mineralization was impressive - enough (according to multiple sources) to suggest the life of mine (LOM) could be extended for another 6-8 years of production. The challenge, however, continues to include a number of obstacles, Page24 24 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

not the least of which is engineering, extending the massive ventilation system to an even greater depth, and the economics of commodity prices. The official response from company officials on Life of Mine is as follows: “Kidd Operations is continuing to focus on optimising their operations to ensure that they can safely operate in the most cost efficient manner. At this time there is no official change to their Life of Mine, which is still officially end of 2022,” said the company in a written response to Mining Life. Which still begs the question, if the orebody is indeed open at depth, but it contains gold, who, or which company might take an interest in the entire complex? The Kidd Creek mine and metallurgical complex has gone through a slate of owners over its lifetime. The original orebody was discovered in 1963 by the Texas Gulf Sulfur Company. After a series of mergers and acquisitions that saw the profitable, multi-billion dollar copper-zinc operation change hands to the Canada Development Corporation, then Falconbridge, followed by Xstrata, and finally Glencore in 2013, it has reached a tipping point where the multi-billion dollar concentrator complex now holds the keys to the kingdom. Can part, or all of the complex be

converted to gold production? One clue might be in the answer provided to Mining Life in the written response we received for this publication. Question: Given the MOU with the Quebec gold miner to study the possibility of processing their ore at the Kidd smelter, is the company, (Glencore) now, going forward or in the recent past, exploring other smelter agreements for the circuit that is apparently idle? Answer: While Monarch Gold is funding 100% of the Wasamac study, Kidd Operations is supporting the study by providing access to technical information and to the concentrator site. Glencore remains open to discussing business options that can optimize its Kidd Operation assets. They have participated in opportunistic conversations in the past and will continue to do so. Any gold miners in the area, which include multiple companies, would not lose sight of the fact that the Kidd concentrator has access to a rail system, water, gas, hydro, oxygen and more importantly, a tailings infrastructure to support ongoing production. As for the Kidd mine itself, Mining Life wanted to know if the project has been given a specific name. “This exploration project is targeting Cont’d on pg. 26


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Kidd operation remains large economic asset to Timmins Cont’d from pg. 24

mineralization below 3km, below the current deposit known as Mine D, and has been unofficially referred to as Mine 5 exploration project,” said the company. In the meantime, on the longshot side of the race-track, city officials,

including Timmins Mayor George Pirie, the former President and CEO of Placer Dome Canada, continue to hold out hope for Noront and the Ring of Fire. “The Kidd metallurgical is and has been a significant economic asset for the Timmins region since it was

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first constructed in the late sixties,” Pirie told Mining Life. “Thousands of individuals were employed there, and it generated significant annual payroll which supported regional housing development and retail spend.” “Additionally, operation of the facility resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in local spend on goods, services and capital projects. The site also generated significant contributions to the City’s tax revenues. All these facts are widely known and accepted,” said Pirie. “What is less widely understood is that the site has similar potential to generate the same economic activity well into the future based on its status as a brownfield site complete with permitted tailings facility, power supply and water. The infrastructure also has a functional gold circuit as well as the base metal, zinc, lead, and copper units.” “It could be the eventual processing facility for many local and regional mines as it offers savings in both time for environmental approvals and capital for construction. It could be the regional processing home for many projects currently in active exploration or feasibility study,” he added. Pirie says Glencore management continues to seek partners for future use and the city looks forward to any future positive developments from the company. Unlike Quebec, where ore trucks on local and area highways are a rarity, northeastern Ontario miners, with the exception of Kidd Creek, haul their ore to the mills primarily by truck. The rail line system in the RouynNoranda and Val D’or regions of northern Quebec includes five northsouth lines built to accommodate the province’s mining industry. In the meantime, it remains to be seen if mining companies that operate in the Timmins camp are open to testing their ore at the Kidd concentrator.

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Page 27 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

A new lease on life! Call it, Hemlo 2.0 By Kevin Vincent

The overhaul of Barrick’s Hemlo property that began in early 2019 is continuing to outline a promising, results-oriented program into 2020 that will extend the life of the mine to 2028. The Marathon, Ontario operation was given a clear mandate to ‘right the ship’, or according to market-watchers, Barrick was going to unload the underperforming property to another operator. General Manager Adam Foulstone told Mining Life that Hemlo 2.0 is pointed in the right direction and 2020 may prove to be a watershed year for the operation, once Covid-19 restrictions are fully lifted and full-scale implementation of comprehensive upgrades and modernization plans

can begin. Heading into 2019, the company knew that its underground operations were underperforming. Total gold output was 22% below 2018 targets which landed the mine in the crosshairs of the corporate office. In addition, poor and inconsistent communications with the local indigenous communities, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and Netmizaagamig Nishnaabeg First Nations, allowed the relationship with Barrick Hemlo to become more transactional in nature, less transparent and reactive. Barrick Hemlo spent the year of 2019 engaging with the Rightsholders and building the relationships they now have today. A strong relationship that focuses on genuine partnerships and mutual benefit.


General Manager Adam Foulstone (right) displays Barrick Hemlo cheque donated to the Marathon Food Bank. Page28 28 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

And then, like the rest of the world, those plans were sideswiped by the coronavirus pandemic. The company immediately established a comprehensive COVID-19 plan in partnership with area communities and First Nations leaders. The plan, that began in late January, included screening Cont’d on pg. 30


Ontario Mining Week!


Investing $260k to Support Local Businesses Through Dollar Vouchers and Small Business Micro Loan Program In an effort to help restart the local economy following the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Barrick Hemlo announced today that the company would issue each of their 360 employees with $150 in Barrick Dollar Vouchers, totaling $60,000 dollars, to be used at businesses in Marathon, Manitouwadge and White River areas. Underground Mining Contractor Manroc of Manitouwadge have joined the initiative and have committed to providing their employees with Barrick Vouchers, bringing the total to $90,000 dollars. The program is designed to provide financial stimulus to local businesses in the neighboring communities of the Hemlo Mine. Hemlo Mine also announced the establishment of the North Superior Hemlo Fund which will provide $200,000 in partnership with Marathon, Manitouwadge and White River. The objective is to initially provide disaster recovery/relief loans to small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the communities of Marathon, Manitouwadge and White River. The second phase will be to provide capital needed to encourage economic growth and community development. Hemlo has partnered with the local Manitouwadge Economic Development Office to administer the low interest loans with approval from the lending committee made up of representatives from the three communities and the mine. Hemlo is encouraging other essential businesses to join them in contributing to the North Superior Fund. Hemlo General Manager, Adam Foulstone, said, “These are extremely challenging times for so many right now and I believe it is the duty of essential businesses, that have continued operating, to lend a helping hand in restarting our local economy. I encourage other businesses that have the means to consider a similar gesture. The more we can pull together and support each other, the stronger we will come out of this as a community. Hemlo is committed to the Northern Communities and First Nation communities surrounding the mine and recognizes that it is at times like these that true partnerships are built.� Hemlo Mine remains focused on diligently working to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our employees, business partners and community members, while still enabling operations to continue to keep our workforce employed, support our community and contribute to our local communities during this time of economic hardship,� added Foulstone.


Catherine Raw Chief Operating Officer, North America +1 416 307 5157 craw@barrick.com

Adam Foulstone General Manager, Hemlo Mine 1 807 238 1050 afoulstone@barrick.com

Kathy du Plessis Investor and media relations +44 20 7557 7738 barrick@dpapr.com Page 29 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Hemlo modernizes & streamlines

to secure future viability and extend mine life Cont’d from pg. 28

all employees for symptoms, mandatory 14-day isolation for travelers (with pay), site-wide social distancing measures, and a $230,000 community support program that included support for labour, food banks, victim services and First Nations’ needs. The pandemic plans included oversight and guidance from local health unit officials as well as the Ministry of Labour personnel to ensure proper protocols were both implemented and followed. As an example, the company conducted more than 17,000 health and temperature screenings in the first quarter of 2020. One of the strategies being implemented by Hemlo during the COVID pandemic, is to issue gift certificate vouchers specifically designed to be spent with local businesses hit hard by the global lockdown, in order to stimulate the local economy. “The community piece has been huge,” said Karen Osadchuk, Hemlo Sustainability Manager.

EXPANSION With the Hemlo Resource Expansion Project topping the to-do list, Foulstone and senior management are now focused on the plan to reinvent the way Hemlo pursues its production goals. “Our operations at Hemlo needed to be modernized and streamlined to secure the mine’s future viability and to extend its life of mine. This included a move to an underground contract mining model,” said Foulstone. Based on a series of detailed evaluation, feasibility and trade off studies, Barrick tendered for an underground mining contractor to partner with Hemlo in its transition to becoming a more modern mine. In March 2020, Barrick signed a letter of intent with Australia-based Barminco as the winning contractor. At the time, the company felt Barminco would provide contract mining services, “with the objective of improving productivity through industry-leading technology and more efficient mining methods at Hemlo’s underground operation.” Barminco’s directives included undertaking mine development, production and haulage, utilizing mining equipment provided by Barrick. Page30 30 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Worker gets temperature screening prior to working shift.

“Barrick recognizes the importance of changing the way we operate and committing to a more modern mining methodology to ensure Hemlo’s future profitability,” said Foulstone. Barrick and Barminco consulted closely with employees, the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and Netmizaagamig Nishnaabeg First Nations groups, as well as representatives of the Marathon, Manitouwadge and White River communities, ahead of signing the letter of intent. “To be blunt,” said Foulstone, “Canadian mining methods are probably 10 years behind the rest of the world in terms of technology and other approaches. We know that bringing in an international contractor may seem out of the ordinary – but the end result is that everyone will benefit from the modern, up-to-date expertise that Barminco brings together with a transfer of skills.” The expansion plan includes just over $19 million for exploration drilling. The company estimates the all-in bump in production costs will come in at $10/oz. 2019 production was 213,000 ounces and, at the time of this article, notwithstanding the Covid19 pandemic, the target for 2020 was 220,000 ounces. By contrast, 2018 was a disappointing 170,000 ounces. The company is waiting for corporate approval on the $25 million expansion budget plan, which will add an aggressive 1.9 million increase in reserve potential. Hemlo has produced more than 21 million ounces of gold, and has been operating continuously for more than 30 years. It consists of the Williams mine—an underground and open pit operation—located about 350 kilometers east of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Page 31 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

BARMINCO excited to enter North American Mining Market By Kevin Vincent When Barrick’s Hemlo management team started planning for an operational reset at their Marathonbased gold mine in northwestern Ontario, nothing was off the table – including a global scan for talent. Earlier this year, they awarded a major contract to Australian contractor Barminco. As one of the world’s largest underground mining service providers, Barminco is looking to establish a footprint in the Canadian mining industry.

Page32 32 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Barminco is owned by Perenti, the second-largest diversified mining services company in Australia. With 30 years’ experience Barminco employs more than 4,300 people at 21 projects in seven countries. The company offers expertise in high speed hard-rock mine development, underground mine production, underground diamond drilling, small diameter vertical development, a modern fleet of equipment, as well as mine design and planning. The majority of Barminco’s

work is currently located in Australia and Africa. The Hemlo contract with Barminco was a perfect match for the mine’s rebirth, according to General Mine Manager Adam Foulstone. “Barrick recognizes the importance of changing the way we operate and committing to a more modern mining methodology to ensure Hemlo’s future profitability,” said Foulstone. “Barminco is excited to be entering the North American mining market with our first operating contract for Barrick at Hemlo,” said Jim Gawith, Barminco General Manager Growth. “The North American mining market is a key pillar in Barminco’s expansion plans moving forward and we are committed to making our partnership with Barrick a successful one. Barrick at Hemlo have a long and proud operating history in Canada and this is something we recognize and are looking to build upon by integrating into Marathon and working with the local community and local First Nations,” Gawith added. “We know that bringing in an inter-

Barminco sees Ontario as ideal location for growth national contractor may seem out of the ordinary – but the end result is that everyone will benefit from the modern expertise that Barminco brings.” (See Hemlo 2.0 elsewhere in this Mining Life edition). Barminco has already established relationships with local First nations representatives in an effort to maximize job creation, training, and other benefits. “We truly look forward to working with the area’s First Nations groups and leaders,” said Gawith. “Ontario has a number of operating mines that are looking to expand and new mines on the horizon, which is why we believe it to be the ideal location to base ourselves moving forward. It is the ideal platform for Barminco’s mission in North America, which is to provide a mining contracting service that adds enduring value and delivers certainty for mine owners,” said Gawith. “Barminco is an underground mining organization, for us technology is about increasing the delivery of metres and tonnes, as safely and efficiently as possible” Technology and innovation are core components of Barminco’s value proposition. “Our ability to discover both internal and external trends, rapidly evaluate concepts and implement initiatives with short interval review cycles are intrinsic to the way we work,” states Gawith. This innovation capability helps differentiate Barminco from its competitors, keep pace with or lead technological change and deliver

significant value to it’s clients. Barminco acknowledges that innovation can occur anywhere, and this has led to an internal and external collaborative approach to the technology initiatives they undertake on their sites. The company’s approach to tech-

nology includes five key principles: Creating the safest working environment possible; providing people with short interval controls via prescriptive insights; augmenting through automation; converting unplanned to planned; and maximizing machine utilisation.

Page 33 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Mistango Resources formidable

player in Kirkland Lake camp

By Kevin Vincent

Even the name sounds mysterious. So how did a relatively unknown company suddenly emerge as one of the Kirkland Lake region’s most prolific, and potentially profitable landowners? If you ask president Stephen Stewart, the answer is simple. “We really believe that Mistango is analogous for Kirkland Lake, we are one of the biggest landholders there,” Stewart told investors at an April 15 (2020) corporate webinar. “I’m taking a calculated bet that that orebody still has a lot of gold in there,” said Stewart. The company began exploration of its Eby-Baldwin land package just west of the Macassa Mine in early June and if you listen to Stewart, he’s definitely expecting big results. “It was our first time on site as owners of the property – we’ve only been owner/operators of the site since November,” explains Stewart. “We spent a lot of time doing our homework, not only on with proprietary data but looking at the area. Page34 34 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

It’s been explored for 80-90 years so there’s lots of great work.” Stewart isn’t shy about comparing the property to Kirkland Lake Gold’s nearby Macassa Mine. “We certainly think it (Eby-Baldwin) is analogous to Macassa,” he said. “That’s easy to say of course,” he cautioned. “But there are a lot of compelling geological arguments. So now our task is to go and follow up on our thesis which is born out of 90 years of exploration there.” Stewart and Mistango investors are pointing to the recent discovery of the Macassa South project which had been sitting undiscovered in the middle of the Kirkland Lake camp for more than 100 years. Gold investor Eric Sprott, who owns a substantial piece of Kirkland Lake Gold, was gob-smacked when the maps of Mistango’s land position landed on his desk recently. “Stephen Stewart one time sent me a picture of the properties that he owned that were right beside the Macassa Mine that Kirkland Lake

(Gold) owns in Ontario, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, this guy’s got the extension of the amalgamated break and the extension of the main break,” Sprott told listeners on his May 1st SprottMoney podcast. “I think the market cap of the company at that time was like two million dollars or something, I couldn’t help myself, so I bought a fair piece of it – like, I might own 30 or 40% I’m not sure.” Sprott says it’s an area play and Mistango is sitting in a good position in terms of the prospectivity of his properties. Stewart told the audience that the company has two substantial land packages with lots of gold in the ground. The Kirkland Lake “Mile of Gold” has produced more than 25 million ounces since it was discovered more than 100 years ago. It is believed to be one of the top three gold mining region’s in modern history. The mines there include the Macassa, Teck-Hughes, WrightHargreaves and more. Both Barrick Gold and Kinross are former owners of the Macassa property. Mistango and their sister company Orefinders, is situated in the middle of two formidable players, KL Gold and Agnico Eagle, the Kirkland Lake camp’s largest landowner – as Stewart calls them, “good neighbours to have”. KL Gold is planning to open its #4 shaft in 2022 and Stewart says all indications point to a doubling of gold production in the area.


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Congratulations Ontario Mining Week!

Ontario Mining Week!

Thank You Frontline Workers for all that you do to keep us safe. Claude Laframboise President 331151 Hwy. 11N, Box 400, Earlton, ON P0J 1E0 Ph:705.563.8526 Fax: 705.563.2803 Cell:705.648.0573 claude@lafdrilling.com

Mistango’s claims are patented, meaning they aren’t obligated to perform any work on them. On April 7, Mistango announced it had closed its 100-percent acquisition of the Teck-Kirkland property from Hinterland Stephen Stewart: Metals, previously Director of Mistango announced on March River Resources. 26, 2020. The Teck-Kirkland property covers 2,105 hectares and encompasses the western boundary of Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa mine property and includes claims on the Amalgamated, Main Cadillac and Kirana faults. This expansion of Mistango’s Eby-Baldwin brings the property to a total of 4,300 hectares, making the company one of the largest landowners in the Kirkland Lake camp. “Mining is all about structures,” Stewart said. The Baldwin Mine, owned by Mistango is a small project with 4600 tons at nearly 22 gpt and has not been explored at depth. “Expect us to do a lot of work on the Eby-Baldwin

425 MaKay Clements Dr., Haileybury, ON P0J 1K0 Phone: 705-672-2488 Email: jplstorage@gmail.com property,” said Stewart. Mistango also owns the Omega Mine Project 30km east of Kirkland Lake near the old Kerr Addison Mine. Mistango says it is planning to get “boots on the ground” this summer to prepare an exploration program so they can discover an orebody. The company believes it has 600,000 shallow ounces at Omega. The groundwork at Eby-Baldwin meanwhile, is well underway. “Our plan is to get the truth machine out there by the end of the summer. We are quite anxious to drill although we want to do it right.” “There’s no place I’d rather be than on the Cadillac or the Porcupine (fault systems),” adds Stewart. “They’re hundreds of kilometres long – it’s a great jurisdiction and it’s high grade.” The company headed in to the summer with $4.5 million which Stewart believes is enough to deliver results. “But honestly, I don’t ascribe a whole lot of value to 43-101 reports to be very honest with you,” Stewart told Mining Life. “I know the retail (investor) community likes to see them and it quantifies things, but I have to be very honest with you, if we put a single drill hole in the EbyBaldwin which confirms our thesis that in fact the gold mineralization from, the Macassa, with grades like the Macassa does come on to our property, we’re not going to need a 43-101.”

Page 35 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page


Young-Davidson weathers COVID-19 with minor disruption By Kevin Vincent

Alamos Gold's Young-Davidson Mine in Matachewan, Ontario weathered the coronavirus storm better than most. The company has donated PPE (personal protective equipment) to three area hospitals, Kirkland Lake, Englehart and Temiskaming Shores, during the first half of this unprecedented year. "We were able to continue to operate throughout the pandemic," Mine General Manager Luc Guimond told Mining Life & Exploration News. "We lost a little speed during March and April, but we were able to maintain and keep our facility up and running." The Young-Davidson is one of the biggest employers in the northeast. The mine operates with 700 employees and 100 contract personnel. "In our case, most of our employees reside in their homes (as opposed to Alamos' Island Mine north of Dubreuilville which is a camp mine) so they were able to go back to their home communities," he added. Meanwhile, at Young-Davidson, the multi-year, multi-million-dollar lower mine expansion is in the final stages with the tie-in having commenced in February. Several critical path items have been completed, including the installation of the crusher, the breakthrough of the upper and lower mine ramp system, and connecting the upper and lower portions of the Northgate shaft. The company says the lower mine tie-in is now expected to be completed in July 2020, notwithstanding minor labour and productivity constraints related to COVID-19. In its June 2020 corporate presentation Alamos indicated the lower mine completion will deliver significant cost reductions and an increase in free cash flow. Young-Davidson produced 28,700 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2020, a decrease from the same period in 2019. That dip was due to lower tonnes mined and processed as a result of shutting down the Northgate shaft in early February to complete the lower mine construction and tie-in. Page36 36 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Ore was trucked to surface from the upper mine during the downtime of the Northgate shaft which resulted in lower tonnes mined during February and March. Underground mining rates averaged 4,290tpd in the first quarter, with January mining rates in line with the prior year period at 6,700 tpd, lowering to 3,000 tpd in the months of February and March using the ramp system. The good news is that tonnes mined in February and March exceeded budgeted rates of 2,500 tpd. Mill throughput was 5,107tpd in the first quarter, a decrease from the same period of 2019 due to the lower mining rates in February and March of this year. Mining activities in the first quarter focused on remnant stopes in the upper part of the mine to facilitate trucking up the ramp. The average mined grade was 2.17g/t Au in the quarter. Consistent with planned downtime and capital spending on the lower mine expansion, mine-site free cash flow at Young-Davidson was negative $18.9million in the first quarter. With declining capital spending following the completion of the lower mine expansion in July 2020, and a corresponding increase in gold production and lower operating costs as mining rates ramp up, Young-Davidson is expected to generate strong free cash flow starting in the second half of 2020. The Young-Davidson mine is located near the town of Matachewan just west of Kirkland Lake. The property consists of contiguous mineral leases and claims totaling 5,587 hectares and is situated on the site of two past producing mines that delivered over one million ounces of gold between 1934 and 1957. The YoungDavidson mine restarted commercial production in 2013. Guimond says the Young-Davidson has a full complement of employees right now but they are just now starting to look to fill a few vacancies that popped up during the height of the COVID pandemic. Pictured: Alamos Gold Inc., Young-Davidson Mine, General Manager, Luc Guimond

www.hepeng.com COVID-19 NOTICE TO OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS We thank all front line workers, food workers & truckers for their sacrifice in keeping us all safe and fed. We would like to express our gratitude thanks to our employees, customers & vital supplier groups, many who are working from home, in keeping the mining supply chain moving during these difficult times. Hepburn Engineering Inc., has remained open for business to ensure that our mining customers receive the reliable service and parts they expect. We remain committed to the safety of our employees and our customers.

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Page 37


The next big gold camp

By Kevin Vincent

A small group of companies are poised to be the next big gold mining region in Canada. Backed in large part by billionaire gold investor Eric Sprott, Wallbridge Mining Company, Balmoral Resources, and Great Thunder Gold Corp. have established the primary land positions in the mining friendly region of northwestern Quebec known as the Fenelon Property. In early May, Balmoral shareholders approved the company’s merger with Wallbridge Mining. The approval came shortly after Balmoral released a spectacular drill hole, they nicknamed Reaper. Balmoral said the near-surface Reaper discovery returned 1.06m at 858g/t gold, part of a wider 2.97m grading 307.89g/t from 100.9m. While the one-metre section is only a fraction of what it takes to define a potential orebody, the nearly 10-ounce per ton assay turned a lot of heads, especially Sprott’s. “As you know, Wallbridge that owns Fenelon with Balmoral and I think what it indicates is that the whole area, not just the Fenelon property, the whole area seems to be setting up to be a whole new gold camp. And when you start talking camps, you start talking multiples of tens of millions of ounces here,” Sprott told his weekly podcast audience May 1st. “The overwhelming support of the arrangement by Balmoral securityholders is a tremendous endorsePage38 38 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

ment of the strength of our to-be combined companies,” said Marz Kord, CEO of Wallbridge. “We would like to thank the Balmoral securityholders for their approval of this transaction. Wallbridge’s Management team is excited about the future and confident the Company is extremely well positioned to deliver meaningful value to all Wallbridge securityholders.” Cash-friendly Wallbridge resumed a $3 million/month exploration program for the Fenelon property in mid-May after the Quebec government gave the all-clear in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Balmoral sold the Fenelon property to Wallbridge in 2016. In early May, Balmoral also reported “The broadest, continuous zone of gold mineralisation” of 164.11m at 0.38g/t gold at the nearby Ripley gold zone which it uncovered in 2019. “Our team has put two more gold discoveries on the board, and in doing so have provided a third clear area of focus for the soon to be combined companies within this large gold system,” president and CEO Darin Wagner said in a news release. The all-stock transaction, worth C$110 million, had the support of Sprott, who is the largest shareholder of both companies. Notably, mid-tier producer Kirkland Lake Gold, also has a 10% interest in Wallbridge. In a May 7th web conference focused on the post-pandemic gold

market, Sprott and other participants were asked to recommend one stock to listeners. Sprott hesitated because he is well-known to be heavily invested in a significant number of companies. After encouraging listeners to also invest in royalty opportunities, Sprott singled out Wallbridge and the Fenelon project once again. Wallbridge is currently developing its 100%-owned Fenelon Gold Property, located proximal to the Sunday Lake Deformation Zone, in an emerging gold belt in northwestern Quebec with ongoing 100,000 to 120,000 metre exploration drill program in 2020 and a 33,500-tonne bulk sample and 75,000 metres of drilling completed in 2019. Wallbridge is also pursuing additional advanced-stage projects which would add to the Company’s near-term project pipeline. Wallbridge is also the operator of, and a 16.5% shareholder in, Loncan Canada Inc., a privately-held company with a large portfolio of nickel, copper, and PGM projects in Ontario’s Sudbury Basin. While Sprott is in the background, the company also has a number of other high profile directors including mining veteran Warren Holmes, Kirkland Lake Gold’s Tony Makuch, and former Toronto Maple Leafs star, Darryl Sittler – all of whom were re-elected to the company’s board in early June.

Page 39 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page


gets KL Gold vote of confidence By Kevin Vincent

It will come as no surprise to anyone in northeastern Ontario mining circles that KL Gold now has its fingerprints on West Timmins. On the heels of a terrific exploration news release in early May, Melkior Resources announced that Kirkland Lake Gold had agreed to invest $1 million into Melkior’s Carscallen Project. It’s a region that KL Gold President Tony Makuch is intimately familiar with. The west Timmins gold region is home to the Lakeshore Gold Mine, (now operated by Pan American Silver) a mine that Makuch helped build from the ground up many years ago. “We are extremely proud to announce this landmark equity investment and potential joint-venture agreement with one of the world’s most respected gold mining companies,” said Jonathon Deluce, Chief Executive Officer of Melkior Resources. “We believe this may provide our shareholders with the upside of discovery with limited share dilution to advance the property. Kirkland Lake Gold CEO Tony Makuch was President and CEO of Lake Shore Gold, from 2008 until its acquisition by Tahoe Resources in 2016. The operation was later acquired again by Pan American Silver, which shares a 9km border with our Carscallen gold project,” added Deluce. The market liked the announcePage40 40 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

ment as well. Melkior’s share price rose from 27 cents to as much as $1 by the middle of the month. Under terms of the deal, Kirkland can acquire an option on the Carscallen Property, which is 25 kms west of Timmins. KL Gold will have the right to earn up to a 50% interest in the Property over a five year period as long as they spend money on exploration. Upon completion of the earn in and formation of a joint venture, Kirkland would retain the right to acquire an additional 25% interest in the property over a subsequent five year period. “Mr. Makuch and his technical team have a comprehensive understanding of the geological setting within the Timmins gold camp, which we felt as a board made this the perfect fit,” said Deluce. “We will continue to focus on advancing our other assets while providing updates as they come available at the Carscallen Project. We want to thank our

long-standing shareholders as we look forward to welcoming Kirkland Lake Gold as a strategic partner upon completion of the financing.” The news, however, didn’t stop there. On May 21, just days after the KL Gold announcement, Melkior released more drilling numbers that took it into a world other than gold – silver, copper and zinc. Melkior said it believes it has discovered a new VMS (volcanogenic massive sulphide ) hosted environment in Carscallen in its recent drill program. The discovery occurred approximately 264 meters south of the current deep drilling program initiated in early March of 2020. The third drill hole, CAR-20-06 tested a mise-a-la-masse (MALM) conductor and encountered strong chalcopyrite (copper), sphalerite (zinc) mineralization, described as clots and disseminations, as well as arsenopyrite, pyrite and pyrrho-

Melkior intercepts high-grade gold veins


our March 2020 drill program,” said Deluce. “We are very encouraged to intercept high-grade gold veins in our 264-meter step-out hole with indications of metals found within a VMS environment. We believe the Carscallen Project has a lot of potential for both the high-grade gold system and the increased likelihood of being in a VMS environment as well. Hole CAR-20-06 demonstrated consistent anomalous mineralization over 447 meters, and that consistency combined with strong down-hole conductive readings supports us potentially being on the fringe of a VMS system.”

Support for Aboriginal Businesses in Northern Ontario

Melkior Resources is a Canadian exploration company focused on unlocking value by advancing its four projects located in gold-rich areas in Canada. Its projects include the Carscallen Project, Val d'or Project, Maseres Project and the White Lake Project. CARSCALLEN PROJECT

tite mineralization with visible gold hosted within lithologies such as a previously unknown massive rhyolite which typically hosts mineralization in VMS environments. Detailed results included: Drill hole CAR-20-06 intersected 5.6 g/t Au and 6.4 g/t silver over 9.5 meters from 486.5 to 496.0 meters, including 23.9 g/t Au over 0.5 meters from 486.5 to 487.0 meters and 67.9 g/t Au with 79.8 g/t Ag over 0.5 meters from 495.0 to 495.50 meters. The final interval from 495.5 to 496.0 also returned 0.62% copper and 0.27% zinc. In addition, CAR-20-05 which intersected 25.7 g/t Gold over 6.0 meters from 357.0 to 363.0 meters, ( Melkior press release, May 7, 2020) had previously not been analyzed for the 36 multi-element analysis and has recently returned assays of 3.6% copper and 27.8 g/t Silver over 0.7 meters from 360.5 to 361.2 meters in addition to the 205 g/t Au previously reported. Between 303 and 750 meters, 311 samples were taken, which returned 100% anomalous copper, 100% anomalous zinc, and 88% anomalous gold. Pyritic and pyrrhotitic mineralization was prevalent throughout the entirety of the VMS environment encountered. “We are excited with the last of our results from

Metals of interests: Gold Ownership: 100% Melkior Location: 25km west of Timmins, Ontario Surface area: 295 claim units, covering 47km2 Over 36,000 meters of drilling Samples up to 843.72 g/t gold


Metals of Interest: Gold Ownership: 100% Melkior Location: The Val-d'Or Property is located 35km east from Val d'Or Multiple gold and copper showings are present on and around the Property.


Metals of interests: Gold Ownership: 100% Melkior Location: 150 Km NE of Val d’Or, Quebec Surface area: 200km2 15 Km, along magnetic trend SE from Osisko Black Dog Deposit 121 ppb gold in soil within robust multi-element anomalies over co-incident EM and magnetic

To our frontline workers, their families, the mining industry and our northern communities.

for keeping us safe! W W W . M E L K I O R . C O M


Page 41 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Thunder Bay hosts Central Canada`s

Largest Ever Resource Expo Thunder Bay, where East meets West

By Kevin Vincent

Stakeholders and decision-makers in central Canada’s robust mining, forestry, and energy sectors are setting aside a stretch of July 2021 to be in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Canadian Trade-Ex, the company that produces the Big Event, Canadian Mining Expo in Timmins, one of the largest trade shows in Canada, is working with Thunder Bay officials to host another Big Event called the CEN-CAN Resource Expo. The event will showcase northwestern Ontario and Manitoba mining services and supply sectors, forestry, construction and energy industries all under one roof at one time. The event, originally scheduled for September 2020 at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Grounds has been rescheduled to July 7-9 in 2021. “It was a decision that was made after a great deal of thought,” said Canadian Trade-Ex President Glenn Dredhart. “CEN-CAN is Central Canada’s largest gathering Page42 42 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

of industry stakeholders under one roof at one time, and it wouldn’t be fair to the exhibitors and guests to host the event during these uncertain times,” he added. “We are excited to host this event in 2021. It will give us time to make sure the event is a success. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak we were already 50% booked and that jumped another 10% during the height of the COVID pandemic – we fully expect all booths will be sold before the end of 2020.” The excitement for CEN-CAN Expo 2021 is understandable. Canada’s resourcebased economy is experiencing incredible growth as the world grapples with the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy. “The anticipated impact of CENCAN is huge,” notes John Mason, Thunder Bay’s Project Manager of Mining Services. “As a new trade show with a resource industries focus, this is an opportunity for companies to showcase the newest equipment and state of the art tech-

nology for Thunder Bay and region to see!” he added enthusiastically. “The format of large equipment on display, interactive supply/service company displays, promotion of workforce growth and indigenous opportunities, all spell success for this event.” “Mining, forestry and the energy sectors contribute tremendously to the economic wealth of the region, including well-paying jobs in the Northwest,” added Mason. Northwestern Ontario is 526,417 km² roughly the size of France (547,030 sq. km). It extends north and west of Lake Superior, and west of Hudson Bay and James Bay. Manitoba forms its western boundary. About 250,000 people live in Northwestern Ontario. Thunder Bay, a city of more than 120,000 people, serves as the regional hub for Northwestern Ontario. The eastern boundary rests north of Sault Ste. Marie around the town of Wawa. Northwestern Ontario includes the districts of Kenora, Rainy River and Thunder Bay. In addition to Thunder Bay, other major communities include Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances, Sioux Lookout, Greenstone, Hearst, Red Lake, Marathon, and Atikokan. There are over 50 First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario and Thunder Bay is home to the head office of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) which represents all First Nations in Northern Ontario who are a part of Treaty 9. Thunder Bay, also referred to as the Lakehead, is strategically located and well connected with a transportation network that moves

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Northwestern Ontario’s mining industry on display at CEN-CAN Resource Expo in 2021 products and people consisting of the main east west TransCanada Highway (Highway 11 and Highway 17) and Highway 61 extending 32 miles south to the U.S. Both the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways pass through Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay’s airport is the third busiest in Ontario. Its port is the deepest on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes. From the Port of Thunder Bay grain and potash from the prairies is shipped to ports in Canada and the United States and to destinations around the world. Ontario Power Generation’s Northwestern Operations include one operating biomass and 11 hydroelectric stations. Together they provide about 900 megawatts (MW) of power, which accounts for 86%

of the electricity used in the Northwest. A transmission line expansion is currently underway by Hydro One spurred in part by several new mining projects being developed in the region. The 230 Kilovolt (KV) Waasigan Transmission line will extend from Thunder Bay, Atikokan and westward to Kenora and the Manitoba border. Although Thunder Bay has a diversified economy with health services, education and technology-based businesses, resource industries such as mining and forestry contribute significantly to the regional economy. In Ontario, the mining industry creates about 26,000 direct and 50,000 indirect jobs and is the third-largest private sector employer of Indigenous people in the

province. According to the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, Northwestern Ontario Mines produced approximately 900,000 ounces of gold and 234,000 ounces of palladium in 2017. There are now ten operating mines in Northwestern Ontario, nine of them are gold mines. There are several active junior properties in and around Northwestern Ontario. “We are looking forward to the expo and the added networking opportunities being held during the CENCAN Expo. From the looks of the bookings of exhibit space and the contribution from the three main industries the event represents, we are well on our way in producing a world class event here in Thunder Bay,” stated Mason.

Page 43 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Gold Price

continues encouraging yet confounding pace

By Kevin Vincent

On the balance of news during the first half of 2020, you’d be hardpressed to find anyone who might shy away from the thought that gold was sitting pretty. Gold-backers could hardly be blamed for their enthusiasm when the price per ounce closed 2019 at US$1514.75. That excitement continued through the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 all the way to March 6th when it hit US$1683.65. North American producers were thrilled – those with all-in sustaining costs of less than $1000/oz were enjoying the shortterm bump in profits, while higher cost producers above $1000/oz were equally happy to tell shareholders that better, more profitable days were ahead. Canadian producers also enjoyed the spread between the Canadian and US dollars that added even more to the bottom line. But after that March 6th high, the price dropped like a stone for nearly two weeks, coming to rest at US$1474. Depending on who you were listening to at the time, fingers were pointed in all kinds of directions including the paper-gold promoting COMEX (Commodities Page44 44 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Exchange) that specializes in futures – massive institutional bets on gold’s future price. Major banks have been losing hundreds of millions – mostly because they were betting on gold – rather than buying physical gold. In the meantime, multi-million dollar computer programs continued to spit out data throughout the first half of 2020 suggesting that gold companies, juniors and majors alike, were not only poised, but in fact leading the recovery in the markets around the world. The price rebounded to more than US$1700 an ounce in early June before pulling back once more. Across the markets, companies like Barrick, Newmont, and FrancoNevada were enjoying fresh interest from institutional investors. High profile billionaire hedge fund managers like John Paulson turned their attention to gold and it paid off. Mid-tier producers like IAMGold, Kirkland Lake Gold, and others have been added to a number of high profile buy lists. In early May, gold-champion and billionaire mining investor Eric Sprott told his weekly podcast audience that “the big boys” are late to the party.

“There’s obviously a move here to move into these stocks,” said Sprott about major gold companies long ignored by large institutional investors. Sprott mused, “The computers (of large investment firms) keep spitting out “what’s the best performing group?” Well, of course it has been the gold stocks and who has the best earnings? Well it’s the gold stocks.” Sprott told his audience that anecdotally there are a lot of investments happening in the majors. “The people selling those shares are going to be moving down into the intermediates and the juniors and the explorers,” he added. The one place that physical gold is always welcomed is China. China’s physical gold demand rebounded further in April. Gold’s trading volume and gold withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange were 356t and 96t respectively. According to some analysts, jewellery manufacturers were preparing for the widely expected Labor Day Holiday and Mother’s Day sales spike in early May, lifting China’s physical gold demand in April as a result.

Word on gold for balance of 2020 may

rest with how much paper money is printed If gold is the darling of the markets, then why hasn’t the price spiked closer to $2000? One suggestion is that institutional investors, including banks, continued to short the price into June and their short contracts forced them to cover their bets while they lined up again to buy even more paper-gold contracts through August. Despite the volatility and unpredictability of gold, average investors and massive hedge funds continue their love affair with the yellow metal. Open interest, the total number of outstanding contracts held by market participants, measures the flow of money into the futures market, remains high – in fact, if you measure it against the global supply of physical gold, the demand outranks supply. And the final word on gold for the balance of 2020 might rest with how much paper money is printed (out of thin air) by central banks around the world. Historically, there are those who recall that US President Richard Nixon closed the gold window in August 1971. The economic downturn that followed led to the “crisis of confidence” that President Jimmy Carter had to struggle with. In 2020, the same conditions are emerging. Central banks are printing fiat currency, all while the Covid-related economic collapse does lasting economic and psychological damage. “What does this mean for you?” wrote SprottMoney.com analyst Craig Hemke in a recent blog. “Well, there’s one last bit of history that you need to recall. Even as nominal interest rates rose in the 1970s, they were outpaced by the price-inflation brought about by too much fiat chasing too few goods.

Thus the “stagflation” of the 1970s was a boom period for precious metals and the companies that mined them.” Hemke reminded readers that the gold price moved from the Bretton

Woods peg of $35/ounce in 1971 to $185 in 1975. It then pulled back to near $120 before soaring to $800 by the end of the decade, he wrote. The balance of 2020, and 2021 looks like a wild ride continues.


Congratulations Ontario Mining Week and thank you to our Frontline Workers for keeping us safe!

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Page 45 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Core Photo: Great Bear Resources

RED LAKE IS RED HOT! Kevin Vincent

There are many, many theories about trying to find gold. The simplest, most tested, and clearly the most successful method is to look where gold has been found in the past. Nowhere does that ring more true than in Red Lake, Ontario, the inconspicuous yet prolific gold mining district where nearly 45 mining companies are either operating or exploring. Yes, 45. It seems that the appetite for the area is growing daily. The area’s Resident Geologist, Bill Paterson, took over the position in March, just after the annual Pros-

pectors and Developers Convention (PDAC). There was certainly no shortage of work to tackle for the former District Geologist and Red Lake Gold Mine geologist. It seems that every day mining news releases hit the industry wire services, the Red Lake mining region is mentioned. “It surprised us too,” said Paterson. “A lot of my colleagues (other resident geologists) around the province are working with their old clients, but for us, our usage here in our office has gone exponential in the last couple of years.” Is it the price of gold? “The geology has been the same for 2.8 billion

Photo: Great Bear Resources drilling the Dixie Project in 2017 Page46 46 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

years, so yes, it probably has something to do with the gold price,” Paterson told Mining Life. He adds that Red Lake has been isolated from the rest of the world when it comes to the impact of things like the 2008 financial crisis, or the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. “Probably the big source of interest in Red Lake has been the discovery of Great Bear Resources about 15 minutes south of town,” he said. Great Bear has a 90,000 metre drill program underway. They raised $33 million and are fully-funded all the way through 2022. “That’s been the catalyst for probably a 200-250% increase in the areas under claim in the entire Red Lake Belt and renewed interest with a large group of juniors and new companies and private companies coming into Red Lake,” he added. Paterson says Red Lake has largely been ignored by large-scale exploration for the past 20-30 years. Between the junior exploration companies already drilling and producers doing surface or infill drilling, Paterson estimates there are about 15 companies with active Cont’dfrom on pg.the 48 drill programs, a big leap

Congratulations Ontario Mining Week!

Proud of our Frontline Workers The term “frontline workers” often conjures images of doctors in Hazmat suits and soldiers in uniform. But during the coronavirus outbreak, workers across a vast array of industries have found themselves essential parts of the machine that keeps the world in motion, required to do their jobs despite great risk. We would like to recognise those who are putting their lives on the line to help others during COVID-19 by saying THANK YOU!

More than 53 years of operation in the drilling industry

A salute to Great Bear Resources. Proud to be a part of your success!

Bill Paterson, Regional Resident Geologist ENDM, Red Lake & Kenora Districts

past few years. Great Bear took advantage of a now-defunct provincial in early 2018 government program called JEAP, the Junior Exploration Assistance Program. To qualify for the $100,000 fund, you had to be a company with a market cap under

$5 million and Great Bear qualified in early 2018. At the time of this writing, the company was valued at over $600 million. The increase in enquiries through Paterson’s office are significant. “Right now, we are helping a lot of companies get access to information that isn’t readily available through our website, we will help to go look at some core, and a lot of companies are contacting me specifically to know if we know anyone who can come and work on these projects.” “Pretty well anyone with a pulse who has an inclination to work in the bush is working in the bush right now,” he added. Companies that had been idle in the Red Lake region for several years are also kickstarting efforts to get the drills turning – that includes geophysical surveys, mapping, and geologists as well as prospectors. A few of the companies with their fingerprints on the region include: ALX Resources Corp., AurCrest

Gold Inc., Benton Resources Inc., BTU Metals Corp., Confederation Minerals Ltd., Conquest Resources Ltd., Crown Mining Corp., Cypress Development Corp., Frontline Gold Corporation, Golden Share Resources Corporation, Golden Tag Resources Ltd., Great Bear Resources Ltd., International Montoro Resources Inc., MetalCORP Limited, Newmont, Nexus Gold Corp., O3 Mining Inc., Pacton Gold Inc., Planet Ventures Inc., Premier Gold Mines Ltd., Pure Gold Mining Inc., Red Lake Gold Inc., Redstar Gold Corp., Rubicon Minerals Corp., Rupert Resources Ltd., Sabina Gold & Silver Corp., Tri Origin Exploration Ltd., and West Red Lake Gold Mines Inc. There are a limited number of hotels in the area for out of town contractors and there have been several homeowners who have also started renting out rooms or their entire home to take advantage of the influx of workers and companies looking for gold in the region.

Page 47 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Evolution Mining reinvigorating former Newmont/Goldcorp Red Lake assets By Kevin Vincent

Since taking over the Red Lake Gold Mine from Newmont Goldcorp Corporation in late 2019, the outlook for Evolution Mining at its new Canadian gold mine is getting better and better. The company expects annual production to top 200,000 ounces a year by the end of 2020 as they are making a significant investment over the next three years. The company owns five mines in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia. Executive Chairman Jake Klein says Australia-based Evolution had been actively looking for Canadian assets since 2017. “We believe the low geo-political risk and high geological prospectivity, strong mining culture and skills, make it an ideal location,” Klein told investors at the time. The company made an upfront payment to Newmont Goldcorp of USD$375 million. At the end of Q1, Klein reported back to shareholders that the COVID-19 pandemic did not impact the company’s financial performance. The company began infill drilling at the Red Lake complex and the company said the results were “particularly pleasing” at Couchenour where one hole intersected Page48 48 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

6.6m of 16.97g/t while another delivered 11.4gpt over 3.3m. Red Lake produced and sold 37,895 and 42,141 ounces respectively in the March quarter. Red Lake’s June 2020 quarter production is expected to be around 25,000 ounces at an AISC of A$2,100 –A$2,300 per ounce as the operation focuses on implementing the interim and transformation plans. Sustaining and major capital are expected to be A$5.0–A$7.0 million and A$15.0–A$17.0 million respectively. Exploration investment is expected to be A$3.0–A$4.0 million. Since the Red Lake acquisition was announced on 26 November 2019, all of Evolution’s executive team, in addition to many other senior leaders and technical experts, have spent a considerable amount of time on site to commence planning the turnaround strategy and to ensure a smooth integration into the Evolution portfolio. The company has a high level of confidence in the ability to substantially grow mineral inventory; confirmation of the belief that fixed and variable costs can be significantly reduced; very positive engagement with the workforce who acknowledge change is required to secure

the long term future of the operation; and validation of the scale of the turn-around opportunity. An interim plan is now being executed at Red Lake as part of the delivery of a longer-term operational transformation with key objectives of: Improving and maintaining the safety culture, reducing AISC to below US$1,000 per ounce▪ and increasing production to above 200,000 ounces per annum. In order to deliver a high return on their investment, Evolution has made several improvements at Red Lake including: Underground development rates increased to 755 metres in March. Development is expected to average 850 –900 metres per month in the June 2020 quarter as the operation ramps up towards sustained development rates of over 1,000 metres per month from the September 2020 quarter onwards. Development in non-core areas has been stopped. Decommissioning of redundant underground mobile equipment. Commenced procurement process for underground mobile equipment to increase capacity and efficiencies. Delivery of the equipment is expected by the end of FY21. Commencement of decommission-

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ing the #1 shaft. Decommissioning of the Campbell shaft is scheduled for the March 2021 quarter. Refurbishment of the Campbell mill to improve reliability is underway and expected to be completed in the September 2020 quarter. Four diamond drills have commenced near mine resource definition and extensional drilling with a plan to increase this number to eight over the next 12 months. On the exploration side, during the March quarter, drilling was focused on expanding and converting resource to reserves for the near-term mine plan. It was con-

centrated at the Cochenour and the Balmer Complexes. A total of 47 underground diamond drill holes (7,104m) were drilled utilising four drill rigs, two at each complex. Balmer Complex drilled a total of 21 underground drill holes (3,219m) and Cochenour Complex drilled a total of 26 diamond drill holes (3,885m). Twenty-six diamond drill holes were started and/or completed at Cochenour for a total of 3,885 metres. All holes were drilled by two underground rigs drilling from 4485L Exploration Drift. Underground drilling at Lower Red

6/22/2020 9:53:23 AM Lake utilised two drills targeting the Deep Sulphides (DS), Hanging Wall 7 (HW7) and Twin Otter (TO) targets. The drilling programs were designed for resource conversion and expansion of known mineralisation. Significant results from infill drilling at Twin Otter include:â–Ş6.70 (5.78m etw) grading 5.70g/t from 164.3m (44L911)â–Ş7.00 (5.32m etw) grading 3.41g/t from 175.9m (44L911)Grades and widths are consistent with those predicted in the resource model and have increased confidence in grade continuity Twin Otter. The Red Lake camp has produced more than 25 million ounces of gold at an average grade of more than 20 grams per tonne. In 2018, the complex produced 276,000 ounces of gold at an all-insustaining cost (AISC) of US$988 per ounce. This year, Red Lake is forecast to produce between 150,000 and 160,000 ounces at an AISC of approximately US$1,600 per ounce.

Page 49 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

Pure Gold

on track to pour gold Q4 By Kevin Vincent

As the rest of the world struggled with the challenges of a global pandemic, Pure Gold Mining was oblivious to the chaos. The company has enjoyed a spectacular run through the first half of 2020 that started in January when they released drill intercepts from their Red Lake property that included 33.1 gpt. “The Pure Gold Red Lake Mine continues to produce significant, high-grade gold drill intercepts and today’s results from areas planned for mining this year highlight local opportunities for mine expansion”, said Darin Labrenz, President and CEO of Pure Gold. “Similar to the 2018 test mining program where the discovery of a new hanging wall zone resulted in 56% more ounces than predicted, these drill holes have identified both potential extensions to mine stopes and opportunities to test and develop new stopes.” Since announcing the commencement of construction in 2019, Pure Gold has rapidly built out operations team. An ongoing test mining program has provided development within reach of several planned stoping areas. Page50 50 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

“We understand the orebody well and we are now demonstrating the potential for it to grow. With construction well underway, we look forward to first gold production expected in late 2020.” Highlights of the drill program included numbers like these: 24.9 g/t gold over 1.0 metre; 34.1 g/t gold over 2.2 metres; 64.6 g/t gold over 1.0 metre; 33.1 g/t gold over 3.4 metres; 79.4 g/t gold over 1.4 metres; 13.2 g/t gold over 6.3 metres; and 26.3 g/t gold over 2.0 metres. From there, the company turned to equipment needs. A feasibility study contemplated leasing certain equipment for the first two years of production, however, further research done on the Company’s equipment needs and an analysis of current equipment costs demonstrated that significant savings could be achieved from the feasibility study over the initial two years by purchasing the underground mining fleet. Approximately $6.1 million in equipment has been purchased and delivered to site. The equipment includes two haul trucks, two LHD scooptrams, two jumbos, a scissor lift, a minecat, a boom truck, a mine

rescue/personnel carrier, and a telehandler among other mobile equipment. While this expenditure increases the initial capital requirements, total mine equipment expenditures will be reduced by approximately 30% over the first two years by eliminating the mobile lease payments. In the company’s first quarter report to shareholders, Labrenz painted an encouraging picture for the balance of 2020. “In August 2019 we announced a US$90 million project finance package and construction decision for the Pure Gold Red Lake Mine. This decision was based on our robust 2019 feasibility study which was completed at US$1,275 per ounce of gold and an exchange rate that translates to a Canadian dollar gold price of C$1,700/oz.” “Today, gold prices have rallied to a record ~C$2,300/oz, which translates directly to the bottom line, resulting in the potential to add nearly C$600 million in undiscounted pre-tax free cash flow over the life of mine,” he added. “Our team has rapidly come together to commence underground Cont’d on pg. 52

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Pure Gold

launches aggressive exploration program Cont’d from pg. 50

development safely and ahead of schedule. With surface work also well underway we look forward to opening a brand-new, high grade gold mine in Red Lake, marking the first step on our path to become Canada’s next large-scale, iconic gold producer.” The Pure Gold Red Lake Mine is fully funded to production and construction is well-advanced. Over the last year, the Pure Gold team has seamlessly shifted from exploration to development and today is on cusp of production with first gold pour only months away. In the process, the Company has completed an updated mineral resource estimate, a definitive feasibility study, formalized a relationship with our First Nation partners, executed a project finance package with enough flexibility to allow for risk-lowering capital investment decisions, and commenced both surface and underground construction. A summary of some of the key developments is highlighted below. The good news continued in late May when a familiar gold backer, Eric Sprott, offered to help finance Pure Gold’s operations with a $15 million investment. “PureGold has all the attributes I look for in a Company - locaPage52 52 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

tion, grade, size and growth,” said Sprott. “Pure Gold’s mine in Red Lake has over 7km of strike with known high grade shoots that have only been defined down to 1,200 metres compared to 2,500 metres in the neighbouring Red Lake mine complex. The ultra-high grade hits in the 8 zone remind me a lot of the HG Zone that built Goldcorp, as well as SMC at Macassa and the Swan Zone at Fosterville. These are the types of discoveries that have the potential to be company makers and tend to lead to a much higher production profile than originally given credit.” “Mr. Sprott is a cornerstone investor of Pure Gold and continues to be a strong supporter of our vision to becoming a high margin, long-life gold producer uniquely positioned in the Red Lake camp,” said Dari Labrenz. “We are fully funded and on-track to pour our first gold in Q4 2020 into a record high gold price environment for Canadian producers. This new investment in exploration enables us to concurrently ramp up our focus on aggressive resource growth without impacting our capital budget for final mine completion and first gold pour. We believe this combination of nearterm cash flow through production and organic resource growth

will create significant value for our shareholders in the near term.” The gross proceeds from the issuance of the FT Shares will be used for “Canadian exploration expenses” and will qualify as “flow-through mining expenditures”. In early June, drilling recommenced. “We believe strongly in the organic growth potential of our Pure Gold Red Lake Mine property. And we are confident that the mine plan outlined in our feasibility study is scalable and has the potential to expand,” said Labrenz. “We are now launching an aggressive exploration program designed to realize our vision for future growth at Canada’s next gold mine. Our drill program has been designed with the goal of: increasing indicated mineral resources through infill drilling, with potential to convert to future reserves; expand our gold resources through step-out drilling and make new high-grade discoveries through regional exploration.While we remain completely focused on our fullyfunded mine construction and ramp up, we strongly believe in the potential for our mineral reserves and mine production to grow, and our new program is designed to start building our future growth today.”




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Timmins Mechanical displays confidence in north

Pictured LtoR: Tony Porritt, General Manager Chad Tolonen, President and Ed Lamontagne, Director of Sales & Bus. Dev. By Kevin Vincent

West Timmins is on everyone’s exploration radar these days. That hasn’t escaped the supply sector either, as companies like Timmins Mechanical Solutions (TMS) have carved out a place to serve the mining industry. Company President Chad Tolonen and his affable General Manager, Tony Porritt were joined by family and staff members at the company’s Highway 101 West grand opening on June 1st. The new TMS facility is a $4 million investment. With their new location as the backdrop, TMS took the opportunity to announce their appointment as the Northern Ontario dealer for SANY Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of the SANY Group. SANY is a Forbes 1000, and Financial Times Top 500 ranked brand, and the third largest construction and heavy machinery manufacturer in the world. “With the expanded facility, we will be able to significantly increase our capacity to undertake large scale repairs and refurbishments of all makes and models of equipment while introducing customers in Northern Ontario to the SANY Page54 54 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

brand,” said company president Chad Tolonen. “This new dealership reflects a natural extension of the company’s mission, resources, and technical expertise into areas that complement our current heavy equipment repair and refurbishment services,” he added. “We’re excited to work with Chad and his team and be able to further expand the availability of SANY machines to companies and contractors in the Northern Ontario region,” said Suman Mukherjee, Sr. Vice President & Country Manager – SANY Canada. “Our partnership with TMS has come at the right time as we expand our investments and reach in Canada through the establishment of the Canadian subsidiary with the setup of the Canadian Head Office, Parts Warehouse Machine Yards and a local Canadian team focused on serving the Canadian customers. We stand

true to our motto, “Serving Canadians, In Canada, For Canada.” The new TMS facilities feature 7 bays, two 10-ton bridge/cranes, 24 ft door clearance and can accommodate large equipment such as Cat 785 trucks and 992 loaders. TMS offers expert level repairs, refurbishments, and maintenance to all types of heavy equipment across Ontario and Quebec. SANY is a global manufacturer of industry-leading construction and mining equipment, port and oil drilling machinery, and renewable wind-energy systems. Currently, SANY has built 25 manufacturing bases and Global R&D centers across China, India, the USA, Germany and Brazil. It sells and services its products through 6 sales regions and operates in 160 countries worldwide.




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IAMGold decision on

Côté expected later this year

By Kevin Vincent

Workers, contractors, and communities that hug the Highway 144 corridor between Timmins and Sudbury may find out later this year what IAMGold plans to do about the Côté Lake gold project near Gogama. President and CEO Peter Gordon Stothart told investors and journalists at an early May conference

call that the company is doing well and spending for the Côté property planned for 2020 is up substantially. “In this uncertain environment caused by the global COVID-19 crisis, IAMGOLD is fortunate to be operating from a position of strength,” said Stothart. “We have a strong balance sheet to withstand operational and/or market disruptions.



Page56 56 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page


We have operations in diverse jurisdictions, which in turn diversifies our risk of exposure to the current crisis.” Stothart said their operational team enacted an effective multilevel crisis management process exceedingly early on in the outbreak, which has enabled timely implementation of strict protocols and a quick and agile response to a fluid situation. Using a sports metaphor, Stothart said IAMGOLD has “deep bench strength across the organization at both the operations and corporate level” to support the business, and the company has been successful in taking a collaborative approach to government and community relations. “At Côté, our planned capital expenditures for 2020 were increased by $10 million to $45 million to support progress on the early works phase, including site -- tree clearing work from the first quarter, access road development, advancement of the construction camp facilities and advancement of detailed project engineering.” The company continues to optimize its existing operations and derisk development projects. Stothart says IAMGold has several catalysts upcoming in 2020. “We are currently working on the NI 43-101 report for Westwood for mid-2020. This is expected to outline the details of a safe, profitable and longlife mine plan.” Analyst Joshua Wolfson, RBC Capital Markets, Research Division pressed Stothart on the Côté project even further. “With, I guess, 60% of the detailed engineering now complete, are there any sort of indications of directionally how the

IAMGold adjusts production plans for Côté regularly project is looking versus what expectations were beforehand?” “Certainly, there are some changes to the timing of what the schedule looked like versus where we’d looked at earlier -- the current situation has forced us to go back and sort of revisit timing. On a cost basis, we have seen, on a total basis, slightly a little bit of cost up just more from holding costs over the last while. However, going forward, we do see some real opportunities to maybe recoup some of those.” Stothart added, “And the go-forward cost is really not materially different from anything we’ve said previously. We can execute on this project pretty well within the budget. I mean one nice thing about advancing the engineering is it’s really narrowed the goalposts on what the size of the capital nut will be.” IAMGold is adjusting production plans for Côté regularly. “We have a lot of -- or not a lot, but we have a number of bids in hand already that help us understand rather than an engineering estimate, what a real-life estimate of those costs will be. So, we are adjusting our plans accordingly. And the other piece that we’re looking at in our favor over the next little while is our opportunity to perhaps do some hedge work on the Canadian dollar exchange rate and on the fuel price through the construction period, as our estimates to date have all been done at CAD 1.3 exchange rate and, I think, a $65 or $70 oil price. So maybe we can lock in some nice benefits on that side if and when we choose to move forward with Côté. And those will be pretty substantial. I mean the Canadian dollar exposure to the capital cost is around 80% to 85% of the capital cost. So, CAD 1.41 is hugely beneficial to us in U.S. dollar terms.” “And when should we expect an update either on the project or the strategic review?” asked Wolfson. “We’re just going through that analysis now. We had our Board meeting

yesterday (May 4), and we’re discussing the timing. I’m hoping certainly by the middle of the

year, we’ll be able to come out with a really clear message as to how we’re going to proceed.”


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The long and winding road to The Ring of Fire

LtoR: Bruce Sakakeep and Cecilia Begg from Big Trout Lake First Nation, Mayor Doug Lawrance, Municipality of Sioux Lookout, Russell Wesley, former Chief of Cat Lake, Darrell Morgan of Morgan Fuels and Ari Elo, Co-founder of Northern Community Solutions Social Enterprises Inc. and Liaison between Government of Finland and Sioux Lookout, ON

By Frank Giorno

The Ring of Fire is the most promising mineral development opportunity in Ontario in over a century. Located in Ontario’s Far North, current estimates suggest a multigenerational potential of chromite production, as well as significant production of nickel, copper, and platinum, with an estimated value of $60 billion. But before this vast untapped resource can be developed a number of issues must be resolved. Among them the need for a transportation corridor to access the minerals in the ground. The East-West Ring of Fire Coalition wants a road from the Ring of Fire to run westward to Pickle Lake where it would connect to the Ontario Provincial highway system.

A road needed

The East-West Ring of Fire Road Coalition (EWRFC) contends that an east-west road to the Ring of Fire is the best route for benefiting the greatest number of Ontario communities, providing all-season road access, increasing the range of economic opportunities,” said Vicki Blanchard, the manager of economic development for Sioux Lookout. The EWRFC was established to represent municipalities, First NaPage58 58 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

tion communities and businesses in Northwestern Ontario supporting the building of an all year access road into the Far North; and built up on the current success of First Nation businesses in Sioux Lookout. According to Blanchard the route would benefit 17 Indigenous Communities. “Sioux Lookout is the hub for First Nation social services,” Blanchard explains. “It has an airport that sees 128,000 passengers yearly.” The East-West Ring of Fire Coalition consists of the municipality of Sioux Lookout, the First Nation communities of Lac Seul, Cat Lake, Slate Falls, and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug; and businesses such as Morgan Fuels and Perron Contracting. The community has educational, recreational, health and commercial activities to provide for a labour force from the area. Blanchard points out that an EastWest route would provide important services to the Ring of Fire like Morgan Fuels, a company with a long history of supplying the mining and forestry industries in Ontario’s northwest.

The need for electric energy

Bringing electricity to the Ring of Fire is as important need as building a road. Hydro One is currently

working to develop the Waasigan Transmission Line a proposed new double-circuit 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between Lakehead Transformer Station (TS) in the Municipality of Shuniah and Mackenzie TS in the Town of Atikokan, and a new single-circuit 230 kV transmission line between Mackenzie TS and Dryden TS in the City of Dryden. Hydro One is building the transmission line to service a host of mining and forestry activities in the region that play a key role in driving economic growth in the northwest and in the communities, who support them. Building the Waasigan Transmission Line will increase the amount of electricity that can flow through the system and provide local businesses and communities the electricity they need to grow. Waasigan is a critical link in the expansion of the transmission network in northwest and would be the closest source of electricity to the ring of fire. In addition, the Watay Transmission Project will bring electricities to 17 remote communities north of Dryden. This unprecedented Project is majority-owned by 24 First Nations in Cont’d on pg. 60

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Need for two roads to the Ring considering size of project Cont’d from pg. 58

partnership with Fortis and other private investors. The Project will build approximately 1,800 kilometres of transmission lines in Northwestern Ontario to connect 17 remote First Nations communities to the Ontario power grid. Pikangikum First Nation was the first community to be connected in December 2018. This transmission line brings electricity right to the door step of the Ring of Fire.

Coalition seeks government support for East-West Route

The Coalition is seeking government support for a route, which would extend from Highways 599 & 72 (extending north from the TransCanada Highway, approx. 250 km west of Thunder Bay) to the Ring of Fire. In a March 2, 2020 news release from the coalition, Darrel Morgan, president of Sioux Lookout-based fuel hauler Morgan Fuels, said an all-season east-west road, would likely follow the existing winter road network, the route chosen to deliver most of the fuel, food, building materials and other goods overland into many remote communities. “Important transportation assets such as rail, road connections to the TransCanada highway and air service can be accessed via an east-west alignment. The Sioux Lookout Regional Airport already serves as a key air access hub for 31 First Nations in the region,” he said. The East-West road route would optimize existing road alignments, piggyback on pending hydro grid construction and use existing logistics and supply networks. The route would lessen the environmental impacts (including wetland and peatlands) and avoid expenPage60 60 ML&EN SPRING 2020 Page

sive, problematic large-scale water crossings,” said Doug Lawrence, Sioux Lookout Mayor, speaking at the 2019 Prospectors and Developers Association. Originally proposed by mining company Noront Resources Ltd. The East-West all-season passes close to Cat Lake, Mishkeegogomang, Lac Seul, Webequie, Nibinamik, Eabamatoong, Saugeen, and Slate Falls First Nations. Other adjacent communities include Sioux Lookout, Pickle Lake, Ignace, and Dryden.

Two roads may be required because of Ring of Fire massive size

Blanchard says there is a need for two roads to the Ring of Fire. “Both our East-West route and the NorthSouth Route are viable considering the magnitude of the project,” said Blanchard. “We are not opposed to North-South road in combination with an East-West Route.” Having two ingress points makes sense. What happens for example if there is a mishap on the proposed North-South Route? It makes a lot of sense to have another route to minimize delays in mining production. The east-west road was one of two corridors initially proposed by the previous Wynne government in 2017 as an overland route into the Ring of Fire. But resistance to road development by a handful of First Nation communities along the path of the route swayed the province to fund the environmental assessment and preliminary engineering for a northsouth right-of-way, including the recently announced second leg of a proposed road between the communities of Marten Falls and Webequie.

Federal and Ontario Environmental Assessments

Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation are moving forward as proponents for Environment Assessments for their individual road projects. The representatives of Marten Falls and Webequie First Nation signed an agreement with the Ontario government at PDAC 2020 in Toronto to proceed as proponents for the North South Road. Earlier in February 2020, Jonathan Wilkinson, the federal Minister of the Environment and Climate change ordered a regional environmental assessment for the vast area to determine the impacts above and beyond the route specific Ontario Environmental Assessment process. Minister J. Wilkinson, The Minister of Environment and Climate Change received three requests for a regional assessment related to the Ring of Fire area in Fall 2019. The Minister determined that a regional assessment of the Ring of Fire region will be conducted pursuant to the Impact Assessment Act. The reasons for the Minister’s determination are provided in the Minister’s response. The Regional Assessment will be conducted in the area centered on the Ring of Fire mineral deposits in northern Ontario, approximately 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay and 1,000 kilometres north of Toronto. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada will work with the Province of Ontario, Indigenous groups, federal authorities, nongovernment organizations and the public to determine the appropriate activities, outcomes, and boundaries of the regional assessment.

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Profile for Canadian Mining Expo

Mining Life & Exploration News - June 2020  

Promoting interest, understanding and investment within the mining industry.

Mining Life & Exploration News - June 2020  

Promoting interest, understanding and investment within the mining industry.

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