Springpole gold project, Canada – update

Image of tables filled with ore from the Springpole project

Photo by First Mining Gold

8th March 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Springpole gold project.

North-western Ontario, in Canada.

Project Owner/s
Gold developer First Mining Gold.

Project Description
The Springpole project is one of the biggest undeveloped openpit gold projects in North America. The project has proven and probable reserves of 3.8-million ounces of gold and 20.5-million ounces of silver.

A prefeasibility study (PFS) has supported the construction of a 30 000 t/d openpit mining operation over an 11.3-year life-of-mine (LoM).

The mine will be developed in phases within the ultimate pit, with a maximum depth of about 350 m.

The deposit is planned to produce 121.6-million tonnes of plant process feed and 287.5-million tonnes of waste (2.36:1 overall strip ratio) over the LoM.

The operation will include a process plant that will, in turn, include crushing, grinding and flotation, with fine grinding of the flotation concentrate and agitated leaching of the flotation concentrate and tails. This will be followed by a carbon-in-pulp recovery process to produce doré bars. The processing plant also features a filtered tailings plant.

Average yearly payable gold production is estimated at 335 000 oz in years 1 to 9 and 287 000 oz over the LoM.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a pretax net present value, at a 5% discount rate, of $1.5-billion and an internal rate of return of 36%, with an after-tax payback of 2.4 years.

Capital Expenditure
Initial capital costs are estimated at $718-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
First Mining has received construction permits for a temporary winter road to the exploration camp site, which will allow for the safe transport of supplies and people overland.

The permits allow for the construction of an 18 km temporary winter road from the existing Wenasaga forestry road to the camp.

First Mining requested the authorisation in early 2023 after reviewing exploration camp resupply options that would significantly reduce the risks to employees, contractors and the environment. 

However, in February 21, 2023, First Mining received notice from litigation counsel to Cat Lake First Nation (CLFN) that it intends to challenge the permits issued to First Mining.

The lawyers for First Mining, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and CLFN met on February 23 for a scheduling hearing, during which the judge issued an interim order staying the authorisation of MNRF, consequently pausing the temporary winter road construction activities.

"Warm winter conditions are impacting [on] all who live and operate in the north," First Mining CEO Dan Wilton has said.  This temporary winter road will  enable First Mining to keep its focus on operating in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. 

Wilton lamented that while it was disappointing that CLFN chose to oppose these important, temporary safety activities, it continues to listen to the concerns of indigenous communities and is always willing to meet with community leaders to discuss these and any other matters regarding the company’s activities in their traditional territories.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
AGP Mining Consultants Inc (PFS).

Contact Details for Project Information
First Mining Gold, email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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