Pine Point mine project could start construction within 3 years

Photo taken near the Point Pine mine sit, while it was owned by Darnley Bay Resources. (Photo courtesy: Darnley Bay Resources.)
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The Pine Point Mine could soon be up and running again.

Osiko Metals, the company who owns the mine, has submitted an Environmental Assessment Initiation Package to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board. The assessment will judge the environmental impact the project will have on the local environment.

The Pine Point Project is located on the south shore of Great Slave Lake, halfway between Hay River and Fort Resolution.

According to Osisko Metals’ estimates, if the appeals process goes as expected, the mine could begin construction within 3 years.

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The mine was first started in 1964, producing lead and zinc ores between 1964 and 1988.

The town of Pine Point was built by the company who owned the mine at the time, Cominco, but was abandoned and demolished when the mine closed in 1988.

This is not the first attempt a company has made to restart operations at Pine Point. In the early 2000s, Tamerlane Ventures Inc. bought the mine in the hopes of restarting it, but the “effort failed due to low metal prices at the time and the company filed for bankruptcy,” according to a CBC report.

The mine was then bought by Darnley Bay Resources Ltd. in 2016 for $8 million, who started doing exploratory work. But the project was sold to its current owners, Osisko Metals, in 2017 for $34 million.

The company expects to spend $550 million total constructing the mine and extracting the metals, using primarily an open-pit method.

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Pine Point would produce, on average, over 350 million pounds, or around 150,000 tonnes of zinc during its first 6 years of operation. 

This would make Pine Point the eight largest zinc mine in the world, according to Robert Wares, Osisko Metals’ chairman and chief executive.

The proposed mine would have a ten-year life.

Company documents claim construction will employ at least 280 people at the mine, with a peak of 500, while the operational mine will need about 460 people to operate.

A number of parties are being consulted as part of the review. 

The K’atlodeeche First Nation, Deninu K’ue First Nation, Northwest Territory Métis Nation, Akaitcho Dene First Nation, Dehcho First Nation, Salt River First Nation, West Point First Nation, the  Hamlet of Fort Resolution and the Town of Hay River were all copied on Osisko’s request for an environmental review.

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