Anaconda Mining to file new EA application in coming months

By Helen Murphy    

GOLDBORO – Anaconda Mining says it will submit a new Environmental Assessment Registration Document (EARD) for the Goldboro Gold Project during the fourth quarter of 2019, the company said in a news release Tuesday. A new application was deemed necessary once the company’s plans for the project expanded because of higher-than-expected mineral deposits being identified during test drilling. Originally Anaconda planned to process ore from Goldboro at its mining operation in Newfoundland, but now it plans to do processing on site in Goldboro.

On September 16, 2019, the company submitted a request to the Nova Scotia Minister of Environment to withdraw the original Environmental Registration for the project, which had originally been filed with the Nova Scotia Department of Environment on August 1, 2018.

In an interview with The Journal Tuesday, CEO Kevin Bullock said work taking the 10,000-tonne bulk sample from Goldboro, as part of a feasibility study for the project, continues. Already 3900 tonnes have been transported for analysis in Newfoundland. Bullock said further news on the bulk sample process is expected this week.

Bullock said the expanded plans for Goldboro do mean more jobs at the site than originally projected, but the number of positions is not yet determined.

"We've had such tremendous growth in the resource," he said, noting that another report later this fall is expected to show still higher estimates for the site. The feasibility study report is also expected before year end, he said.

The new plan for the Goldboro mine will also have a smaller environmental footprint than originally forecast, he said, as most of the mining will now take place underground and transporting ore to Newfoundland is no longer required.

In the press release, Bullock said Anaconda Mining has been working with environmental and engineering consultants to optimize the design for the Goldboro Gold Project. "This work has included substantial environmental impact assessment studies, with the goal of designing a project that minimizes the surface footprint and overall environmental impact of the operation, while achieving robust project economics. The work completed to date has resulted in material changes and improvements from the original concept outlined in the initial EARD, including a modified project layout and a reduction in mining at surface.

"The new EARD will also contemplate a full processing facility at Goldboro which will produce gold doré bars, reflecting the growing mineral resource and the potential for a longer-life mining operation…We continue to move forward with an updated mineral resource and a Feasibility Study, both expected to be announced in the fourth quarter of 2019."

Prior to submission of a new EARD, Anaconda "will be initiating further engagement activities with community stakeholders and rightsholders regarding the new proposed project,” according to the release. "Anaconda continues to maintain active local community engagement and ongoing consultations with Mi'kmaq First Nations as the Company continues to progress Goldboro towards a development decision. The Company recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Nova Scotia Council of Mi'kmaq Chiefs regarding the development of a Mutual Benefits Agreement, which includes provisions for engagement on environmental matters. Anaconda also maintains consistent communication with the Community Liaison Committee and the Municipality of the District of Guysborough."