Eagle gold mine set to break ground

The Yukon government has granted Victoria Gold Corp. a quartz mining licence for the Eagle gold mine. With that licence, construction can begin. But first the company must find a way to pay for it.

The Yukon government has granted Victoria Gold Corp. a quartz mining licence for the Eagle gold mine.

With that licence, construction can begin. But first the company must find a way to pay for it.

“We are highly encouraged by this major milestone as we work to advance the Eagle gold mine,” said CEO John McConnell in a press release. “With the granting of the (licence), Eagle is now one of the few major gold projects in the world in a first-class jurisdiction that is shovel ready, pending financing.”

Victoria Gold needs $430 million in construction and working capital to get the project off of the ground, according to the company’s website.

As of June, the company had approximately $33 million in cash, accounts receivables and marketable securities, according to a press release.

Attracting investment for mining projects has become more challenging over the past couple years as mineral prices have fallen.

Mines Minister Scott Kent said he is hopeful that Victoria Gold will find the financing it needs to get Eagle up and running.

“It’s always a challenge, as the company knows,” said Kent. “I think they’re down in Colorado now trying to drum up some investors.”

The company must also receive a water licence before major construction can go forward.

Also, some uncertainty remains about how the mine will be powered.

In April, the company’s CEO told the News that it plans to tie into the Yukon grid.

But Kent said that no decision has been made as to where the power will come from.

“It’s a conversation that’s ongoing with Victoria Gold. We want to, obviously, make sure that what we decide won’t have a negative impact on Yukon ratepayers, and also is in the best interest of the mine.”

The mine is expected to chew through close to 100 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year.

According to the company’s most recent timeline, construction will begin in 2014 and production will begin in 2016.

That timeline was pushed back just a few months ago. In April, when the company received its approved environmental assessment, it said it could begin construction in early summer of 2013 and start production in 2015.

The mine is expected to create 400 jobs during construction and 200 during production.

“I’m obviously pretty excited about some of the economic opportunities that exist with the mine,” said Kent.

Victoria Gold did respond to an interview request by press time.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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