Argonaut Gold has selected a contracting firm to start construction this year on the open-pit Magino Mine and processing mill outside Dubreuilville.
The Toronto gold miner announced Jan. 4 that Ausenco Engineering Canada, considered a leading engineering and construction management firm, has landed the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract to build the processing plant at the mine project.
The contract totals approximately 40 per cent of Magino's initial capital estimate of between $480 million and $510 million.
Magino is 14 kilometres southeast of Dubreuilville and 195 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie. Argonaut acquired the project from Prodigy Gold in 2012.
Argonaut has not provided a specific date for the start of the two-year construction period.
The mining company announced last fall that it has posted a financial assurance bond with the province as part of filing its mine closure by January. Once the plan is approved by the province, construction can start.
Argonaut anticipates doing the first gold pour at Magino sometime in 2023.
"Ausenco is an industry leader in the field of building high-quality processing facilities in the mining industry and recently did an excellent job with the Moose River project in Nova Scotia, Canada," said Argonaut president-CEO Pete Dougherty in a news release.
"We are excited for Magino to be one of the first projects entering construction in the current gold price environment, as we feel first mover advantage is critical when securing a construction team of the highest quality and with a superior track record."
Magino is located next to Alamos' Island Gold Mine in an expanding gold belt in the Dubreuilville-Wawa area. The project could create as many as 550 construction jobs and 350 mining jobs.
The mine is being projected as a "scalable, long-life asset," capable of producing 150,000 ounces a year over the first five years of an estimated 17-year mine life. Magino's longevity is likely be extended as the company continues to explore and find high-grade gold below and beside the outlined pit configuration.
Magino is Argonaut's only Canadian asset in the company's pipeline of mine development and exploration projects in Mexico and across North America.