Considering the lengthy permitting process, Moneta Gold aims to start construction of the mine in early 2029
A new gold mine at the works is a great opportunity for Moneta Gold and for the region, says the company’s CEO.
This week, Gary O’Connor provided an update on Moneta Gold’s Tower Gold Project at the Timmins Chamber State of Mining event.
Located east of Matheson, the Preliminary Economic Assessment of the proposed underground and large scale open pit gold mine has recently been completed. It shows that the deposit has a mine life of 24 years.
“It’s really big for us and it’s big for the area. This will be the size of the current largest operations here and the resource base could last for 50 years,” said O’Connor after the presentation.
It will be years before construction begins on the site. The next step for the company is the pre-feasibility study. In addition, there is the environmental impact assessment, engineering studies and financing.
The goal is to start construction on the site in early 2029, which is about a 1.5-year process, O’Connor said. That would put Tower Gold into production around 2030.
He said the company sees “no major issues” in terms of geotechnical or metallurgical challenges. They have also been monitoring possible wildlife habitats and endangered species in recent years.
The permitting process will be the longest-coming process, with the environmental impact study expected to take three to five years, he said.
Overall, he said one of the biggest challenges is the approval timeline. Looking at other companies, he said the process is lengthy and causing delays. “It’s just about the overall process and responsiveness in resolving issues and getting in touch with you. I understand that people type things in and then wait six months, a year, months for someone to reply. There just doesn’t seem to be enough response time,” he said. At the provincial level, he noted that some of the rules have changed.
“They tried to create a one-stop shop so that there aren’t different ministries, things didn’t go smoothly. The idea was to speed up the process, but I’m not sure that was the case,” he said.
To be proactive, Moneta Gold is examining what other companies have been doing to ensure they “check those boxes” to avoid similar delays.
Due to the size of the Tower Gold Project, O’Connor also anticipates that the mine will be outside of provincial jurisdiction and will trigger the federal permitting process.
Tower Gold is about 100 kilometers east of Timmins. Moneta has seven gold deposits covering a distance of 12 kilometers with resources extending to depths of more than one kilometer (1,100 meters).
Average annual gold production will be 261,014 ounces for the first 11 years of production with peak production expected in the sixth year.
The Company is headquartered in Timmins and has core storage and processing facilities in Timmins and Garrison. It employs 28 full-time staff in addition to contractors, with most of its services currently under contract.
The project is expected to employ 500 people directly and 3,000 people indirectly. Around 1,100 jobs will be created during the construction period.