Sabina Gold & Silver (TSX:SBB) reached another milestone at its Back River gold project in Nunavut on Wednesday (December 20).
The company now has the final project certificate for Back River in hand, meaning that the environmental assessment process for the project is now compete.
The document was issued by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB), and was provided on December 14 after a final project certificate workshop. Earlier in the month, Canada’s minister of indigenous and northern affairs accepted the NIRB’s recommendation to pass Back River through to the next stage of licensing and permitting.
“After a multi-year environmental assessment process, we are very pleased to end the year with the issuance of the final Project Certificate for Back River,” said Bruce McLeod, president and CEO of Sabina. He added, “[t]he Project Certificate is another milestone for Sabina shareholders.”
McLeod also noted that Sabina recently submitted its Type B and Type A water licenses for Back River. With the Type B license, the company will be able to begin some pre-development activities at the project in 2018, including onsite construction of service roads and laydown pads, and the transport of supplies to Back River’s Goose area. Sabina expects to receive that license late in Q1 2018.
The Type A license will allow for full construction and operation for Back River; the company is anticipating that license in the fourth quarter of next year.
China’s Zhaojin International Mining recently invested $66.1 million in Sabina via a private placement, and the company said it will use the money in part to move forward with other licensing and permitting activities at Back River. Zhaojin will gain a 9.9-percent stake in the company through the investment.
Nunavut is known for being a mining-friendly territory, and current mines in the area include Agnico Eagle Mines’ (TSX:ASM,NYSE:AEM) Meadowbank mine and the Doris mine at TMAC Resources’ (TSX:TMR) Hope Bay project. The area is also receiving increasing interest from exploration companies.
Sabina’s share price has made steady progress in 2017, and as of Wednesday it was sitting at $2.38, up 142.86 percent year-to-date and 155.91 percent in the last year.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.