By Scott R.G. Parsons
Since acquiring the Lynn Lake Gold Project in 2016, Alamos Gold was eager to establish a case for one of Canada’s highest-grade proposed open pit gold projects located near the Town of Lynn Lake and the community of Marcel Colomb First Nation in northwestern Manitoba. After extensive and ongoing exploration and community engagement, we are more enthusiastic than ever.
The project consists of two primary gold deposits – the Gordon and the MacLellan deposits – which are both past-producing gold mines, and based on Alamos Gold’s 2017 Feasibility Study (FS), are considered as one of the highest-grade proposed open pit gold projects in Canada. Alamos intends to construct, operate and eventually reclaim open pit gold mines at both of these historical mine sites.
The project has the potential to bring significant long-term value to local communities, the Northern Region, the Province of Manitoba, and to Canada. The project is anticipated to deliver annual average gold production of 143,000 ounces per year over a 10-year production period, with significant additional exploration potential across the underexplored Lynn Lake Greenstone Belt.
Not only will we employ local workers – and we aim to hire locally and regionally first – but we are pursuing training opportunities to develop local talent. During the project construction phase, on average there will be 406 and up to a maximum of 555 jobs. Similarly, during the 10-year period of operations, there will be an average of 412 and up to a maximum of 547 direct jobs. The project will also have a positive effect on the tertiary economy as well as local infrastructure improvements. This is welcome after a prolonged absence of mining operations in the region, particularly given the uncertainty of this current COVID-19 period.
We have an experienced and high-skilled exploration team with a proven track record who are focused on exploration on the Lynn Lake Gold Project, with the objective of expanding existing Reserves and Resources, and the discovery of additional gold deposits on the Lynn Lake Greenstone Belt. In addition to our current FS Reserves and Resources at MacLellan and Gordon, we have a pipeline of highly prospective exploration targets at various stages that we are actively exploring and advancing.
We submitted an Environmental Impact Statement to the Federal Government in May 2020, which is currently in the public consultation and technical review stage. We are anticipating an approximate two-year time frame to complete all federal and provincial permitting, which would allow us to proceed with making a construction decision.
Developing, operating, and ultimately reclaiming the mine with the highest safety and environmental standards, and securing the ongoing support of local communities is essential to Alamos Gold.
We have been working closely with Marcel Colomb First Nation for over five years, well before we started our drilling program. As part of our engagement we have collected feedback, documented and responded to potential issues and concerns. As part of the environmental assessment process, we have been considering and incorporating knowledge and insight from Indigenous communities, stakeholders, the public, and regulators. We will continue to do this.
We will also continue to build partnerships and share information on local economic benefits, including job opportunities and youth summer work experience.
We are excited about the future for the Lynn Lake Gold Project and the significant opportunity it represents in terms of its exploration potential, and the direct and indirect benefits for local communities, the Province of Manitoba, and for Canada.
Scott R.G. Parsons is the vice-president of exploration for Alamos Gold.