Photo by Whitehorse Star
Photo by Whitehorse Star
Goldcorp has resubmitted its proposal to bring the Coffee gold project into production.
The Yukon Environment and Socio-economic Assessment Board halted the project assessment last July after it determined the company had failed to satisfy the requirement to complete the necessary consultation with First Nations.
Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Roberta Joseph and Goldcorp president and CEO David Garofalo both wrote the board to say they supported continuing the project assessment while they continued to consult.
The board rejected the notion, indicating the rules stated the consultation was a necessary step to wrap up before moving on in the assessment process.
Goldcorp general mine manager Buddy Crill explained in an interview last week the company’s 1,700-page submission on consultation with the First Nations was filed earlier this month as part of the resubmission.
Rob Yeomans, a communication officer with the assessment board, explained last Friday the project assessment will start over, essentially from square one.
The board will begin conducting its examination of the material submitted by Goldcorp to determine if the information is adequate to begin a public screening of the project or if additional information is required, Yeomans explained.
Crill said the project proposal is approximately 19,000 pages, not including the consultation report.
The company expects there will be at least one request for additional information, he said.
Crill said the company is hoping to get through the assessment and have a recommendation from the board’s executive committee in 15 to 18 months.
Goldcorp is working toward pouring its first gold from the open pit operation in 2021, and not in late 2020 as originally planned, he said.
The Coffee gold property is located approximately 130 kilometres south of Dawson City, on the west side of the Yukon River.
Goldcorp, a Canadian company and one of the largest gold producers in the world, purchased the Coffee project from Kaminak Gold Corp. in 2016 for $520 million.
It estimates the cost of bringing the mine into production will require a further investment of $420 million.
Crill said they’re looking at building a previously approved 100-person camp this coming season to add to the existing 80-person camp, which is showing its age.
There are also plans to continue advanced exploration, he said.
The mine manager said the company is looking at expenditures in 2018 of approximately $50 million related to continued exploration, work at the site and the environmental and socio-economic assessment.
The company estimates there will be more than 400 people employed during construction and 320 during operations, with between 175 to 200 at the mine site on any given day once in production.
It’s expected employees will fly in from either Dawson or Whitehorse and work two weeks and then have two weeks off.
The project proposal also calls for significant upgrades to the existing road running south from Dawson into the placer gold fields.
There are also a couple of sections where a new road will have to be built.
As is the case with the Minto Mine, Goldcorp is planning to use barges to cross the Yukon River in the summer and an ice bridge in the winter.
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