Hope springs anew for Nunavut’s Hope Bay gold project
KIA, TMAC sign five-year commercial lease
Hope has sprung anew at the Hope Bay project in western Nunavut, with a renewed commercial lease for the gold project’s facilities.
TMAC Resources Inc., the new owners of Hope Bay, along with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, say they’ve agreed to a five-year renewal of the commercial lease for the Doris North mine as well as facilities at Robert’s Bay and the Doris North site.
At the same time, the Nunavut Water Board and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada have approved a renewal of the Doris North’s type A water license for a 10-year period.
“This allows TMAC to apply all available funds towards the aggressive advancement of the Hope Bay project,” said TMAC’s CEO, Dr. Catherine Farrow, in an Oct. 4 news release.
“The renewal of both the commercial lease and the type A water licence for Doris North allows us to begin production as soon as possible, thereby further de-risking the project.”
Farrow said the company hopes to develop the Hope Bay Greenstone Belt into “what we believe could be Canada’s next major gold district.”
The privately-held firm TMAC Resources acquired the Hope Bay project from Newmont Mining Corp. earlier this year, closing $50 million in financing.
That was a year after Newmont first put the brakes on the mining project, laying off about 150 jobs in the Kitikmeot region and putting the mine infrastructure into care and maintenance.
By the fall of 2012, work on the company’s small underground Doris North mine had ground to a halt and numerous vehicles, drills and supplies were being sold or removed.
Under the new deal, Newmont became a major shareholder in TMAC, which the mining giant viewed as the best vehicle for moving Hope Bay into production.
And that’s good news for the region, says Dr. Charlie Evalik, president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.
“This lease agreement and water license renewal lays the foundation for the future development of the Hope Bay project,” he said in the same release.
“The anticipated development and operation of Doris North will provide substantial employment opportunities within the Kitikmeot region for beneficiaries.”