The Eagle mine’s all-season camp near Mayo in central Yukon. Victoria Gold says it has secured $505 million that will fully fund the development of the Eagle Gold mine through to commercial production. (www.archbould.com/Yukon News)

Yukon’s Eagle mine secures funding to get it to production

Utility board signs off on mine’s power purchase agreement

Victoria Gold says it has secured $505 million that will fully fund the development of the Eagle Gold mine through to commercial production.

In a news release March 8, the company says the deal with Orion Mine Finance, Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. and Caterpillar Financial Services Limited is expected to close by the end of the month.

“With this project financing package, Victoria is in a position to continue construction activities and advance the Eagle project to first gold pour, which we expect in the second half of 2019,” said John McConnell, Victoria Gold’s president and CEO in a statement.

Victoria Gold began construction on the site, approximately 85 kilometres from Mayo, in 2017. The site is expected to be Yukon’s next operating gold mine.

If the deal is finalized Orion will own approximately 19 per cent of Victoria Gold and Osisko will own approximately 16 per cent, according to the statement.

Meanwhile the Yukon Utilities Board approved a plan March 7 for the mine to buy power from Yukon Energy.

According to the power purchase agreement, the mine is expected to spend at least $100 million on power over the first 10 years of its life.

How it gets that power is still up in the air. The mine could operate using the old power line for the first year or possibly two, Yukon Energy has previously said. The early stages of production are not expected to use as much energy.

The federal government has still not said whether it will fund upgrading the Stewart-Keno transmission line so that it can handle more power.

The Yukon government has applied to Ottawa for help covering a $75-million bill to upgrade the line from Mayo to Keno from 69 to 138 kilovolts.

Yukon Energy has previously said it is coming up with alternatives if the federal funding can’t be secured for the new transmission line by the end of September 2018.

For now, no one with the energy company is saying how confident they are that they will meet that deadline.

“All I can say is that we are working hard to secure funding,” spokesperson Janet Patterson said in an email.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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