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Meetings over Coffee result in agreement

 

Last updated 5/11/2018 at 4:12am

White Gold District south of Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Shane Lasley

This section of the Yukon River between Dawson City and Goldcorp's Coffee Gold project flows through the heart of the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Traditional Territory.

Goldcorp Inc. and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in May 1 announced a collaboration agreement that represents a landmark in the development of a mine at Goldcorp's Coffee gold project in Yukon's White Gold District.

"Through strong collaboration, mutual commitments and respect for each other, together, we can create shared value with mutual benefits through all stages of Coffee's mine life," Goldcorp President and CEO David Garofalo said.

A significant milestone towards building a long-term relationship between Goldcorp and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, the collaboration agreement is considered a critical step towards delivering economic opportunities for the central Yukon First Nations band, including business development opportunities and future financial contributions.

The pact also outlines environmental protection commitments that combine traditional knowledge and modern technologies for the Coffee gold project.

"Our collaborative agreement provides for economic opportunities for TH, ensures we will be able to take the necessary steps with Goldcorp to protect the environment and establishes a solid relationship which addresses the values of our Treaty Rights and community recommendations, all of which taken together provides TH and Goldcorp with the certainty we each need for the project to move forward," said Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Chief Roberta Joseph. "We're very pleased and we look forward to working with Goldcorp throughout the life of the project."

Goldcorp said the agreement is one of many First Nation partnerships the gold mining company has entered into across Canada and the first in the Yukon.

"The completion of this agreement is a testament to our commitment to building strong, collaborative relationships based on open, honest communication and will lay a solid foundation for our ongoing partnership in TH's traditional territory," said Garofalo.

A feasibility study completed just before Goldcorp's 2016 acquisition of Coffee details an open-pit, heap-leach mine capable of producing 184,000 ounces of gold annually over an initial 10-year mine life. This plan is based on 63.7 million metric tons of indicated resources averaging 1.45 g/t (2.97 million oz) gold and 52.4 million metric tons of inferred resources averaging 1.31 g/t (2.1 million oz) gold.

Goldcorp sees the potential of expanding Coffee into a district-scale operation and has invested in expansion of the resource and exploration of other targets across the 60,000-hectare (149,000 acres) property.

The Vancouver, B.C.-based miner anticipates beginning production at the Coffee gold mine in 2021.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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