Kinross Gold’s Great Bear Project Undergoes Federal Impact Assessment

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) has initiated a federal impact assessment for Kinross Gold’s (TSX: K) Great Bear Project, a step in the scrutiny process for one of Red Lake’s next generation gold mines.

Following a notification in March, IAAC has deemed a federal impact assessment necessary after reviewing the detailed project description and considering feedback from Indigenous communities, federal authorities, provincial ministries, and the public.

Kinross Gold acquired the promising gold project in February 2022 and plans to construct an open-pit mine approximately 23 kilometers southeast of Red Lake, near Highway 105. The proposed project outlines the development of three pits over an anticipated 20-year operational span, with the capacity to extract up to 60,000 tonnes of ore daily. Additionally, an on-site mill is projected to process up to 15,000 tonnes of ore daily.

Initial estimates suggest a resource base of 2.7 million ounces of indicated gold and 2.3 million ounces in the inferred category, with ongoing exploration efforts aimed at expanding this resource.

In tandem with project development, Kinross is conducting its environmental baseline study of the site. The company tentatively aims for gold production to commence in 2029.

Public feedback compiled by IAAC last fall revealed varying degrees of concern regarding the project. While some expressed outright opposition, others sought further details on Kinross’ mitigation strategies to protect wildlife and the aquatic environment.

Of particular concern were potential impacts on provincially endangered species such as the Little Brown Myotis and Tricolored bat, as well as the wolverine population. Air quality, alongside potential adverse effects on the traditional activities of local Indigenous communities, including hunting, gathering, and trapping, were also cited.

Great Bear’s location in northwestern Ontario has seen opposition from some communities, particularly within the Land Defence Alliance, regarding the pace of claim-staking, exploration, and mine development. Additionally, Cat Lake First Nation is embroiled in a legal dispute with First Mining Gold over consultation matters concerning a mine project access road.

IAAC’s jurisdiction over fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, and Indigenous peoples allows it to address these concerns, prompting the decision for an impact assessment.

Currently, IAAC is 60 days into the 180-day assessment process, culminating in a final decision and compliance orders to be issued to Kinross. The company is expected to provide a response outlining plans to address identified issues.

Kinross Gold last traded at $8.36 on the TSX.

Information for this briefing was found via Timmins Today and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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