The Magino Gold Mine project, proposed by Prodigy Gold Incorporated, a subsidiary of Argonaut Gold Incorporated, can now proceed, due to federal government environmental approval.
The announcement was made by Sault MP Terry Sheehan on behalf of Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre Thursday.
The Magino project, located 14 kilometres southeast of Dubreuilville, Ont., involves construction, operation, decommissioning and abandonment of an open-pit gold mine and metal mill.
Mining would occur over 10 years with an ore production capacity of 45,200 tonnes per day. The on-site metal mill would have an ore input capacity of 35,000 tonnes per day and would operate for approximately 12 to 15 years.
The project, valued at $427 million, could create up to 550 jobs during construction and 350 during operations over the life of the project.
“We now have the first permit of many that will be needed for mining. We are hopeful by the first half of this year we’ll be able to complete the municipal and provincial permits...we’re hoping this year there’ll be a conclusion to that,” said Peter Dougherty, Argonaut Gold president and CEO, speaking to SooToday.
“It’s great news. It’s some of the biggest news this area has seen as it relates to resource development and jobs... good paying jobs,” Sheehan told us.
“There’ll be a lot of construction. People from Sault Ste. Marie’s construction industry are definitely going to be able to go up and down there. It’s very close, so they’ll still be able to live here and travel back and forth, however they manage their shifts,” Sheehan said.
“There’ll be a lot of skilled labourers needed, welders and so on.”
“Back in the day we were a big service centre for the mines. Sault Ste. Marie’s going to get a good share of those jobs. For the people working up there, we’re the natural centre for people to come down, stay at a hotel, go shopping, buy a truck... it’s going to be a major development,” Sheehan added.
“They (tradespeople from the Sault) can go in there with new technology and mine and extend the life of the mine, and once it’s done they shut it down and they return the mine to a very beautiful area,” Sheehan said.
“We’re trying to assess what type of supplies and services they’ll need moving forward, and that’ll be unfolding over the next couple of years. We did some outreach with Argonaut Gold a couple of years back, giving them some idea of the type of technical companies we have to offer them from our community,” said Dan Hollingsworth, Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) executive director.
“I can see fabrication, professional technical services, engineering, electrical services from the Sault getting involved. It’ll definitely have a good impact on the community of Sault Ste. Marie,” Hollingsworth said.
Kim Powley of Métis First Nation of Ontario, Dubreuilville Mayor Beverly Nantel and Wawa Mayor Ron Rody joined Sheehan and Dougherty for Thursday’s announcement, Powley expressing her appreciation for the federal government taking First Nations and environmental issues into consideration regarding the mine project, Nantel and Rody both speaking enthusiastically of the economic benefits the project will have for their communities.