The district may see its first gold mine in production in a long time by 2015 if things go as planned with Rainy River Resources’ gold exploration in the west end of the district.
“Rainy River is very positive for the fact that it’s potentially large,” enthused Rainy River Resources president and CEO Raymond Threlkeld.
“It’s a new district in Canada, and I think we’re drawing a lot of awareness to development of the mining out in that area,” he added.
The company continues to drill at its site in Richardson Township, and will get final assays probably in the first week of January or so, Threlkeld noted.
“And then we will produce what they call a 43-101 report, which is a resource analysis, so it will calculate what the tonnes and grade of the gold mineralization out there is,” he explained.
That report possibly will be out in mid-February.
The next step from there will be to do what Threlkeld called an advanced scoping study.
“In that scoping study, we’ll try and define what the project will look like,” he said. “Whether it’s going to be an open pit, an underground or a combination of both, and what are the project economics.”
These include capital costs, operating costs, and the possible timeline for the project.
“That will give us a guideline to what the next activities are,” Threlkeld said, which include producing a feasibility study, financing, permitting, and “hopefully” construction.
“If everything works right, I think we can move into a feasibility study that would be completed somewhere at the second half of 2012,” he remarked, noting that permitting also is done pretty much in the same timeframe.
“We’ll start the permitting of the project and the process probably mid-2011.”
Once both the feasibility study is done, and the required permits acquired, then the company will “go out and finance the project and move towards construction.”
Threlkeld gave 2015 as the estimated date when a mine could be production.
“We put in our website, [and] various presentations that I’ve given, that an open pit mine could be up to 15,000 tonnes per day of ore, and with an underground mine of about 1,000 tonnes per day concurrent to the open pit, so that kind of gives you an option for a combination,” Threlkeld said, referring to the size and type of mine it could be.
“We don’t know which way it’s going to go yet, but I think that’s probably what’s going to happen.
“We’re very positive, and I think if you look at our share price, the investors are very positive that Rainy River is the real thing and we’re going to build a mine,” Threlkeld enthused.
“And we’re certainly building the right group and the right team to do so,” he added, citing how the company has been working with the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat to identify areas where they can contribute and work together on the development.
This past May, Rainy River Resources and local First Nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning mining developments.
Then in October, the company officially opened an office in Emo.
“We use that as a place where people can come in and drop off résumés, and get information about the company, so that we’re communicating with the local communities and neighbours as much as we can,” Threlkeld noted.
The exact figures when it comes to future employment the mine might bring to the area is difficult to say, he admitted, as the exact size of operations hasn’t been determined yet.
“I would say during construction period, between 500 and 1,000 people would be needed to construct a mine of this size,” he predicted.
“Permanent employment might be in the 250 range for operations.”
Overall, Threlkeld sees the future as very positive for mining in Rainy River District.
“I think, finally, Western Ontario’s getting a very good look from the mining community, I think it’s fairly positive,” he remarked.
“There’s a great workforce in that area,” he noted. “The infrastructure is very good for development, and we look forward to working with the communities to develop this.”