Proposed diamond mine shows progress

Proposed diamond mine shows progress

By Jeff Labine


June 28, 2017 – 4:35pmUpdated: June 29, 2017 – 8:21am

Shore Gold FALC aerial

Shore Gold Inc. now owns 100 per cent of the Star-Orion South Diamond project.submitted photo


Shore Gold Inc. now owns 100 per cent of the Star-Orion South Diamond project, a move the president of the Saskatchewan Mining Association calls an important development.

The mining company made the announce last week that Shore Gold has taken over Newmount Canada FN Holdings participating interest in the Fort a la Corne joint venture, which resulted in full ownership of the proposed diamond mine project.

Shore Gold also announced a partnership with Rio Tinto Exploration Canada to further develop the project, which is located 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert. This was all good news for Pam Schwann, president of the Saskatchewan Mining Association.

“This is a really big, earth-moving project and really, it is going to require a company with both financial and technical resources to work with Shore to develop it,” she said. “With Rio Tinto coming forward, that’s a real win. Not only do they have the technical expertise and the funding to carry out the bulk sampling and hopefully, the development of the project but they also have expertise in diamond mining.”

Development of the Star-Orion project has been slow ever since Shore Gold started exploration into the area back in the mid-90s. Back in 2013, a major hurdle was cleared when then Conservative Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said the project wouldn’t likely cause significant adverse environmental effects and was given the go-ahead at the federal level.

The project is now awaiting approval from the provincial environment minister.

In February, the province committed to spend $137,000 to cover the consulting process for James Smith Cree Nation and Shore Gold. The Indigenous community has voiced concerns about the project especially given its close proximity to the Fort à la Corne provincial forest, which is used by James Smith members for trapping and hunting.

The community was given six months to voice any and all concerns.

Given the current economic situation the province is facing, Schwann said adding a diamond producer to Saskatchewan’s portfolio would do a lot to diversify the economy. She argued the diamond mine will generate more revenue for local businesses and provide a boost in the labour market.

While the diamond market isn’t high at the moment, Schwann said it’s not always prudent to wait for an upswing to develop. She added it’s sometimes better for companies to have everything in place for when the market turns positive.

“Optimally, if you are developing a mine, now is the time to do it,” she said.

paNOW reached out to James Smith Cree Nation for a comment for this story but no one was readily available prior to publication.



About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on June 29, 2017, in diamonds, economic impact. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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