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Sabina formally commits to building C$610m Nunavut mine

Canadian company Sabina Gold & Silver has formally committed to building the C$610-million Goose mine in Nunavut, with full construction set to start in 2023 and first production in 2025.

The Goose mine is Sabina’s first mine on the 80-km long Back River gold district, a multi-generational mining district already with a high-grade world-class gold endowment.

Over the past few years, Sabina has been steadily advancing logistics, civil works, engineering and procurement. All pre-development activities are complete.

Sabina says all major equipment and materials required for construction have been either procured, marshalled at its east and west transportation hubs, have been delivered or are in transit to the Port Facility in Bathurst Inlet, Nunavut.

In addition, the underground ramp has been progressed to first ore access sublevel and will be sufficiently completed to enable underground drilling of the V2 zone in the fourth quarter.

“This is a milestone decision for the company,” commented president and CEO Bruce McLeod.

He reported that Sabina had been fortunate that its strategy of preplanning and accelerating procurement efforts had reduced its exposure to inflationary impacts and supply chain issues, and that the company was sufficiently funded for construction.

“This is an exciting time for the company as we move to develop what we believe will be the first mine on this prolific gold district,” he said.

Sabina earlier this year raise about C$800-million of project financing, which allowed for significant procurement, engineering and civil work to be completed at the mine site and port.

Of the C$610-million capital expenditure estimated, about C$218-million was identified as direct equipment and materials purchases.

Sabina has procured, or has committed agreements to procure, just over 75% of these identified purchases. Reconciliation on purchases have seen an average overall inflationary escalation of 14% since March of 2021, with a 20% escalation on the purchases made in 2022. Sabina states that it continues to monitor, with a strategy of pre-planning and accelerating procurement efforts to reduce exposure to inflationary impacts. Efforts now focus on securing the remaining 25% of materials required.

The company has also successfully increased its human-resources team, from 30 full-time employees in March to 142 currently.

Meanwhile, Sabina has submitted a regulatory package to the Nunavut Planning Commission and the Nunavut Impact Review Board focused on the advancement of the Back River Alternate Energy Center. This proposal could allow Sabina to install up to 13 wind turbines, each with a power capacity of up to 4.5 MW, a solar panel array with a power capacity of 5 MW and a battery storage system with a capacity of 50 MWh.

If approved and constructed the Back River Alternate Energy Center will significantly reduce project greenhouse gases emissions, reduce traffic on the winter ice road, and reduce the number of ships required.