Sabina Gold & Silver Reaches Major Milestone to Advance Back River Gold Project with Positive Decision from Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
December 06, 2017
Vancouver, BC – Sabina Gold & Silver Corp (SBB.T), (“Sabina” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has received a positive decision from the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (the “Minister” or “INAC”) that the Back River Project (the “Project” or “Back River”) may move forward to the regulatory and licensing phase which would include completion of all necessary permits to commence mine construction.
In July 2017, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (“NIRB”) completed its review of the environmental assessment of the Project and recommended to the Minister that the Project should be given approval to obtain the required permits and licenses for mine construction and operation. In a letter dated December 5, 2017, the Minister on behalf of the five responsible federal Ministers, accepted NIRB’s recommendation. The NIRB will now work towards issuing a Project Certificate for Back River, which will attach the terms and conditions for mine development, construction, operation and eventual closure.
“This letter is a significant milestone event for the Back River Project and for Sabina as it is the most important decision in the permitting process,” said Bruce McLeod, President & CEO. “After a multi-year environmental assessment, we are extremely pleased that Back River now has the green light to move ahead to the final phase. The issuance of a Project Certificate for Back River enables us to start preparing in earnest towards our goal of becoming a mid-tier gold producer in one of the world’s best mining jurisdictions, and now enables us to formalize our budget and work plans for 2018. In addition, the recent execution of a binding term sheet with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association has strengthened our relationship with our stakeholders and we look forward to creating a long-lasting legacy of environmental stewardship and sustainable economic development for the people of the Kitikmeot Region and Nunavut.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of INAC stated that “Sabina can now proceed to the regulatory phase of project development. The mining industry plays a key role in the development of Canada’s North: helping with the transition to a wage economy, strengthening the capacity of northern people to participate in the mining sector, and contributing to community and infrastructure development. The growing prosperity of northern Canada is reliant upon vibrant and sustainable resource development and Sabina is now poised to play a significant contributing role in the Kitikmeot. The other responsible Ministers and I look forward to working closely with Sabina while ensuring that environmental protections are implemented and that the socioeconomic benefits of the project are fully realized.”
The file is now with the NIRB who will be holding a workshop in the coming weeks to review terms and conditions for the Project Certificate, following which a Project Certificate would be issued in approximately 30-45 days.
In the interim, Sabina has submitted Type A and Type B water license applications to the Nunavut Water Board. The Type B water license will enable Sabina to commence initial activities to further de-risk the project, and is expected in Q1, 2018. The Type A water license will enable full construction and operation and is expected by Q4, 2018. We anticipate review of these applications to commence in the coming weeks.
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. is a well-financed, emerging precious metals company with district scale, world class undeveloped assets in one of the world’s newest, politically stable mining jurisdictions: Nunavut, Canada.
In September, 2015, Sabina released a Feasibility Study on its 100% owned Back River Gold Project which presents a project that has been designed on a fit-for purpose basis, with the potential to produce ~200,000 ounces a year for ~11 years with a rapid payback of 2.9 years. At a US$1,150 gold price and a 0.80 exchange rate, the Study delivers a potential after tax internal rate of return of approximately 24.2% with an initial CAPEX of $415 million.
The Project has advanced through the environmental assessment process with a positive decision from the federal government received December 5, 2017. The Project is now in the final regulatory and licensing phase.
In addition to Back River, Sabina also owns a significant silver royalty on Glencore’s Hackett River Project. The silver royalty on Hackett River’s silver production is comprised of 22.5% of the first 190 million ounces produced and 12.5% of all the silver produced thereafter.
The Company had cash and equivalents of C$38.5m at September 30, 2017.
For further information please contact:
Nicole Hoeller, Vice-President, Communications: 1 888 648-4218
Bruce McLeod, President & CEO
Suite 1800 – Two Bentall Centre
555 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V7X 1M9
Tel 604 998-4175 Fax 604 998-1051