Gold Mountain (TSX.V: GMTN) is pleased to announce that the Ministry of Energy, Mines & Low Carbon Innovation Communications Office ("EMLI") has received final comments on the draft mine permit from both the local communities and the Mine Review Committee. EMLI will now draft the final permit and then submit it to the statutory decision maker for approval.
"This is an important milestone for Gold Mountain and marks the conclusion of the review and information request portion of the permit amendment process. All information is now in the hands of provincial regulators and based on our communications we anticipate delivery of the permit in the coming weeks," commented Kevin Smith, CEO and Director of Gold Mountain. "We'd like to thank the surrounding Indigenous communities for their input and guidance on how best to develop the project. We also recognize that this is just the first step of many and look forward to continued engagement and consultation as the mine transitions into production.
In the meantime, development is pushing forward at site. Our exploration contractor, HEG Explorations Services Inc, is continuing to aggressively drill out the property in our Phase 2 program. Construction is in full swing with Nhwelmen-Lake stripping waste rock, to develop our initial pit shell and expose the high-grade, shallow mineralization we will be targeting in the early years of the mine plan. Our timelines and company goals have always been considered aggressive, but we have shown our ability to execute and continue to deliver shareholder value as we build BC's next Gold and Silver producer."
The Mine Permit
By receiving all comments from stakeholders, EMLI is in a position to finalize the mine permit and submit it to the statutory decision maker. Gold Mountain's permit amendment application was submitted to provincial regulators in May ‘20. In total there have been three rounds of review and responses regarding components of the application, which the Company promptly answered to ensure it maintained its permitting timeline.
With this milestone, the Company's portion of the mine permitting process has concluded and will be notified once the permit has been submitted to the statutory decision maker. Gold Mountain is anticipating this process to take approximately two weeks and the Company remains on schedule for ore delivery to New Afton in October.
The Company anticipated the final permit to be received in June, however provincial regulators requested an extension to the permit review process given the recent residential school discovery in Kamloops, British Columbia. The Company was in full support of affording additional time and felt it was the only appropriate choice to allow for local Indigenous communities and governments to have a chance to properly review and make final comments on the proposed conditions of the permit.
The Company anticipates its final permit will be submitted to the statutory decision maker in approximately two weeks' time, followed by the approval of its final mining permit by the end of July. This timeline allows Nhwelmen-Lake to continue waste rock mining operations for the balance of August and transition to ore mining along the 1300 vein in September. This schedule is consistent with the Company's commitment of ore delivery to New Gold's (TSX:NGD) New Afton Mine in October with first revenue landing in November.
The Mine Permit is the most material authorization required for production and its receipt provides the Company with confidence that other ancillary authorizations will follow. Such authorizations include those related to the Explosives Storage and Use, Bulk Explosives Use, Road Use, Effluent Discharge, Industrial Access and Free Use (forest use). The Company is actively pursuing the receipt of all necessary authorizations and does not anticipate any delays in its production schedule resulting from the failure to hold any required authorization.