Quebec govt approves Canadian Malartic openpit expansion – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – April 20, 2017)

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VAANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – The Quebec provincial government, under the leadership of Quebec Liberal Party premier Philippe Couillard, has approved the proposed $200-million expansion of the Canadian Malartic mine, owned and operated in a 50:50 joint venture by Agnico Eagle Mines and Yamana Gold. The expansion will see the diversion of Highway 117 at a cost of $53-million.

Preliminary work will start in the coming weeks after obtaining the required authorisations, including the relocation of public services. Deforestation and the construction of a temporary bridge over Highway 117 are among the first steps.

The highway diversion will allow the mine to access the Barnat zone, which has softer ore and could allow for higher throughputs. The 203-million tonnes, on a 100% basis, of reported reserves as at December 31, include the Barnat zone and could allow the mine to continue production for a further six years to 2027.

The provincial government announced the project approval on Wednesday, essentially allowing the footprint of the significant openpit mine, located on the doorstep of the town of Malartic, to double.

“Canadian Malartic worked with the local community to ensure that the project was well understood and in line with the strategic vision for mineral development, which aims to enable Quebec to strengthen its position as a leader in responsible mining development, prevent and mitigate environmental impacts and promote citizen participation and transparency,” the provincial government said in a statement.

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