Workers are being sent to the old Mon Mine site to start exploration work, in the hopes of restarting the old site.
The Mon Mine was shut in 1997, after 15,000 ounces of gold was dug out of the area. Sixty North Gold Mining is starting the exploration project by mining between 4 and 6,000 tonnes of ore sample to test if past estimates about the quality of the gold in the area are accurate.
“We have a management team skilled in underground mining in the Yellowknife Gold Belt and at the Mon Mine in particular,” Dave Webb, President & CEO of Sixty North Gold Mining.
“We are excited to have within reach our goal of bringing the permitted Mon Gold Mine back into production.,” he added in a statement.
If all goes to plan, the company hopes to mine up to 40,000 tonnes of material 20 metres below where it had been previously mined.
Mon Mine first opened in 1989 and was operational for eight years. The gold source is “hosted in the same rocks” as the gold veins that were mined at Con and Giant Mine for many years.
The Mon Mine project comes as the GNWT looks to kick start investment in the mining industry.
Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek boosted funding for the GNWT’s Mining Incentive Program in December in the hopes of kickstarting several exploration projects in the territory. Nineteen projects received funding last year.
“We want to restore our mineral development sector – not just our mines but also exploration companies with early and advanced projects – to ensure we have projects and mines in the future to drive economic growth and prosperity,” she said in a previous statement.
The mining industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Operations at Ekati were suspended for months in 2020, the future of operations at Diavik are looking uncertain amid Dominion’s financial struggles and the sector as a whole is struggling to find a market, which is leading to losses in the territory’s revenues, according to Wawzonek.
But operations are starting at the Nechalacho Rare Earth Metals Project, with exploration finding better than expected metal deposits at the NICO Cobalt Mine north of Yellowknife and at the previous dormant Pine Point Mine Site in the South Slave Region.