[DEER LAKE, NL] — The company responsible for the Glover Island gold exploration project is undergoing a name change, but an executive said that will not stop the Grand Lake mining project from moving forward.
Mountain Lake Resources Inc. announced an agreement in which the Toronto-based Marathon Gold Corporation will acquire all outstanding common shares of Mountain Lake, forming a new company called Mountain Lake Minerals Inc., which would retain 100 per cent equity in the Glover Island project.
Paul Smith, Mountain Lake chief operating officer, said the move could push the timelines back slightly, but he said at this point work will continue in August.
Smith said his company’s objective is to get a million ounces of gold out of the project utilizing three, four or five pits, or sites, and then feed the product into a central processing mill.
“We’ve identified a nice resource out there, we’ve done calculations and the economics look very enticing,” said Smith. “And we’ve hardly scratched the surface, we have another 16 prospects to do development work.”
Marathon will also attain 100 per cent ownership of the Valentine Lake project in central Newfoundland, almost 100 kilometres southwest of Buchans. Smith said environmental issues are a concern, with a species of pine marten calling Glover Island its home.
“We’ve spent a lot of time working on surveys and our consensus is that the marten population is very healthy on the island,” he said. “We’re working closely with the Department of the Environment and we have a healthy relationship, I have no concern at all that we can continue to work on the island.”
Smith called Glover Island a rich, beautiful area. When the camp, which has already been set up, opens in August, workers will do basic exploration, which includes prospecting, geological mapping, taking soil samples and following up on previously reported anomalies.
They will then undertake a winter drill program to follow up on their findings.
Winter drilling, he said, would be preferred because it’s less intrusive and easier to travel. For the initial camp opening this summer about six workers will be on site. The importance of fresh water supply surrounding the island, which provides drinking water to several communities including Deer Lake, is not lost on the company, Smith said.
“We’ve been discussing this with council at Corner Brook and with the work we’re doing now it’s not a concern,” he said. “If we were to get to a (full blown) mining operation, which would be our intent, the risk of anything taking place is extremely low because the island is well contained and confined and measures would be put in place.”
The company recently stated that when the mine does eventually get up and running it could employ between 80 to 100 people, and include other spinoffs favouring the area.
Mountain Lake acquired a 100 per cent interest in the company in October, 2010.
The island is considered the 18th largest lake island in Canada.