Premier and Centerra’s Greenstone Gold Mines has received environmental approval from the federal government for its Hardrock project.
Premier Gold Mines (TSX:PG) and Centerra Gold’s (TSX:CG) joint venture Hardrock project has received environmental approval (EA) from the federal government, the companies announced on Monday (December 17).
The approval marks a significant milestone for joint venture company Greenstone Gold Mines (GGM) as the project is expected to produce approximately 288,000 ounces of gold a year.
“The Ministers’ approval of the EA is a significant milestone for the Hardrock project. Our engagement with representatives of the local Indigenous communities, local communities and the various government agencies has been very positive throughout the process and we look forward to continued advancement of the project,” said John Begeman, executive chairman of Premier.
The proposed project consists of the construction, operation, decommissioning and abandonment of an open-pit and onsite metal mill near Geraldton.
Greenstone Gold Mines, a 50/50 joint venture between Premier and Centerra, has worked closely with both the federal and provincial authorities since initiating the EA back in 2014. The company submitted a draft EA in February 2016 followed by the final EA in July 2017.
“Much of the technical work and consultation carried out prior to the submission of the final EA helped to facilitate the timely approval of the federal EA, which confirms that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects considering the implementation of key mitigation measures and follow-up program measures,” Premier added.
Additionally, the miner revealed that work on construction permit applications are in the advanced stages and would be submitted for review once the federal and provincial environmental assessments were officially approved.
The company also said that a definitive agreement with Long Lake #58 First Nation had been signed earlier this year and noted that GGM is currently negotiating agreements with other local Indigenous communities.
Looking over to financing, GGM has begun engaging with several advisers in order to determine the various options that could potentially be available for the Hardrock project.
According to a 2016 feasibility study, the C$1.25-billion project is expected to process 141.7-million tonnes of gold at an average grade of 1.02 grams per tonne. Hardrock is likely to produce 4.2-million ounces of recovered gold at an average all-in-sustaining cost of C$780 per ounce over its 14.5-year mine life.
As of 10:44 p.m. EST on Tuesday (December 18), Premier was down 0.96 percent, trading at C$1.55. Meanwhile, Centerra was down 0.90 percent, trading at C$5.49.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.