Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. on Dec. 6 announced that the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada approved a recommendation to advance the company's Back River gold project in Nunavut to the regulatory and licensing phase.
The regulatory and licensing phase will involve the completion of all necessary permits to start mine construction.
In July, the Nunavut Impact Review Board, or NIRB, completed its review of the environmental assessment on Back River and recommended to the minister that the project be given approval to obtain the required permits and licenses for mine construction and operation.
The NIRB plans to hold a workshop shortly to review terms and conditions for a project certificate for Back River, with the certificate expected to be issued within 30 to 45 days thereafter.
Sabina Gold & Silver also reported that it submitted Type A and B water license applications to the Nunavut Water Board, with a review pending.
The Type B water license will enable the start of initial work to further de-risk the project and is expected in the first quarter of 2018, while the Type A water license will enable full construction and operation and is expected by the fourth quarter of 2018.
An updated September 2015 feasibility study on the Back River property defined a posttax net present value of C$480.3 million, using a 5% discount rate. The proposed mine is expected to produce 198,100 ounces of gold per year for nearly 12 years.