Site preparation is expected to start "imminently" on a second gold mine outside Dubreuilville.
Argonaut Gold announced late last week that it's filed its mine closure plan for its Magino open-pit mine project.
Tree removal and site clearing is expected to commence very shortly with construction expected to begin as soon the site prep is complete.
A mine closure plan is a mandatory document prepared by the mining company and submitted to the provincial government on how land affected by activity will be rehabilitated after mining ceases. The company must also provide substantial financial assurance covering the costs of the environmental rehabilitation work.
Magino is 14 kilometres southeast of Dubreuilville and 195 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie. Argonaut acquired the project from Prodigy Gold in 2012.
Argonaut's neighbour to the east is Alamos' Island Gold Mine, currently undergoing a third phase of underground expansion.
Construction of the mine and processing plant buildings on the site will take two years. First gold production is expected to take place some time during the first half of 2023.
On the surface, the company will be erecting a 10,000-tonne-per-day processing plant. Ausenco Engineering will be building it.
This development will bring 550 construction jobs to town. When complete, the mine will create employment for 350.
Argonaut places a 17-year mine life on Magino, producing 150,000 ounces annually over the first five years. The mine's longevity is likely be extended as Argonaut continues to find new discoveries of high-grade gold below and beside the configuration of the proposed pit.
The 2,200-hectare property hosted a underground mine of the same name which was developed after the First World War. It operated sporadically over the decades, yielding 114,319 ounces of gold at 4.43 grams per tonne.
To date, the deposit contains an estimated measured and indicated 4.2 million ounces of gold with an average grade of 0.91 grams per tonne, but that will increase as exploration continues.
Magino will be the Toronto-headquartered mining company's first operation in Canada. Its other mining assets are Nevada and Mexico.
In a Jan. 21 news release, company president Pete Dougherty calls the filing of the closure plan a "significant milestone" on the path to start construction.
"By moving Magino forward, we are executing on our vision to transform Argonaut from a junior, relatively high-cost producer with short mine lives to an intermediate, lower-cost producer with long mine lives."
Environment and Community Relations Director Kyle Stanfield said the company is "humbled" by the support from area communities in order to reach this stage. "We will continue to coordinate closely with our Indigenous and municipal partners as we develop this investment into a world class mining operation."
Argonaut is raising $23 million for development expenses through a flow-through share offering. That offering is expected to close Feb.11.