Commercial production is officially starting at Doris gold mine and mill, an exciting milestone for the Hope Bay Project established by TMAC Resources (TSE:$TMR) that began almost four years ago. With production starting, Hope Bay is now the home of Nunavut’s second operating gold mine, and the very first in the western area of the Territory.
To celebrate its step up towards full production after workers poured the first gold bar at the mine, TMAC is flying in around fifty people — including Inuit landowners and mining executives — to the remote site and conducting a ceremony and tour, according to CBC News.
For TMAC, the production of the mine has been a long time coming. After the company acquired the project in March 2013 from Hope Bay Mining, a subsidiary 100% owned by Newmont Mining (NYSE:$NEM), it has been working hard to get the mine into production.
Besides officially starting production, one of the project’s latest milestones was obtaining a water sampling, or test mining, from the Nunavut Impact Review Board and the Nunavut Water Board. The sampling will be done at the Madrid north and south deposits of Doris North mine.
Compared to TMAC, other companies who hope to start a mine in the area isn’t faring as well. For example, the Black River Project established by Sabina Gold and Silver Corp. (TSX:$SBB) has faced numerous opposition from local citizens. The project, located in the western Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut, is said to be on caribou populations grounds. Thus it is argued that industrial development should not be allowed in the area.
The mine by TMAC Resources, on the other hand, is seen as a positive development. The Kitikmeot Inuit Association could earn millions, as they receive 1% royalty payments from all gold sold. The mine also employs many of the locals. Additionally, the Inuit own 1.4% of TMAC Resources.
High hopes are on the Hope Bay project as it officially begins production, having proven and probable reserves of 14.2 million tonnes grading 7.7 g/t gold, or about 3.5 million ounces of gold.