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Northern Neighbors

Imperial Metals Corp. Feb. 6 reported that commissioning is underway at the Red Chris gold-copper mine in northwestern British Columbia. The company Feb. 2 received approvals needed to start up the processing plant at Red Chris and began testing the grinding circuit Feb. 3. Mining in both East and Main zones continues, providing a selection of ore styles for mill optimization. Imperial said it is continuing to work closely with the Tahltan First Nation, whose cooperation has been instrumental in construction of Red Chris. The company called commissioning of the mine an important milestone for the Tahltan, Imperial and the Province of British Columbia.

North Country Gold Corp. Feb. 5 reported that Auryn Resources Inc. has signed a letter of intent to earn a 51 percent interest in North Country's Committee Bay gold project, located roughly 180 kilometers northeast of Agnico Eagle's Meadowbank gold mine in Nunavut.

Under the terms of the agreement, Auryn will have the option to earn the majority interest by spending C$6 million over 30 months.

A technical committee will be formed to jointly plan and oversee exploration.

Auryn, however, will have ultimate discretion over the nature and manner of exploration undertaken during the earn-in period and will become the operator of the ensuing joint venture.

North Country will provide staff, equipment and consumables as the contractor to implement programs.

Upon execution of a definitive agreement, Auryn will purchase 10 million North Country common shares at price of C5 cents as part of a C$1 million non-brokered private placement of 20 million shares at the same price.

Completion of these transactions is subject to negotiation of definitive agreements and TSX Venture Exchange approval.

Lawson Lundell LLP Jan. 27 reported that the Canadian federal government has accepted the Nunavut Impact Review Board's recommendation to approve Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.'s plan to develop a mine at the Meliadine gold project in the territory's Kivalliq region.

"It is evident that the board met its primary objectives … to protect and promote the existing and future well-being of the residents and communities of Nunavut, to protect the eco-systemic integrity of the Nunavut settlement area and to take into account the well-being of residents of Canada outside of the Nunavut settlement area," Bernard Valcourt, minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, wrote in a Jan. 27 letter to NIRB. According to the most recent available resource calculation (Dec. 21, 2013), Meliadine has 12 million metric tons of probable reserves grading 7.4 grams per metric ton (2.8 million ounces) gold; 19 million metric tons of indicated resources at 5.1 g/t (3.1 million ounces) gold; and 11.7 million metric tons of inferred resources at 7.2 g/t (2.7 million ounces) gold.

Meliadine will consist of one underground mine and five open pits.

During its construction phase, the project would employ about 1,000 people, and about 750 people during operations.

Following issuance of the NIRB Project Certificate, Meliadine will proceed to the operational permitting phase.

Lawson Lundell was counsel to Agnico Eagle during the environmental assessment process.


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