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Kinross aims to make a positive and lasting impact in the Red Lake region

Dec 6, 2023

In February 2022, Kinross acquired Great Bear Resources Ltd. and its flagship Dixie project located in the renowned and prolific Red Lake mining district in Ontario, Canada. The world-class project is a centrepiece of the Company’s development portfolio and has excellent potential to become a top-tier deposit that could support a large, long-life mine complex and bolster Kinross’ long-term production outlook.
Kinross is proudly working in the traditional territory of the collective members of the Anishinaabe Nation within Treaty 3, and more specifically, their First Nation partners of Wabauskang and Lac Seul First Nations. Kinross has a strong and collaborative relationship with their First Nation partners and the communities in which they operate, and they are committed to operating responsibly prioritizing health and safety above all. Kinross believes in approaching every day with a high level of focus, implementing risk controls, training and leadership.
Although Kinross is based in Toronto, Canada they haven’t had operations in Canada since 2004-05 with operations at that time being located in the Timmins and Kirkland Lake gold camps.
The company is coming back to Canada in a big way with the acquisition of the Great Bear Project as they look forward to building the Great Bear as their flagship project in Canada. Kinross has operations in Africa, South and North America but Kinross’ focus right now is on the building of the Great Bear Project moving forward.
As the company looks to building the next great Canadian gold mine, Ian Russell, Site Manager for the Great Bear project said, “all the elements of a world-class gold deposit exist within the planning to make this our flagship Canadian mine. With the very high-grade mineralization that we’ve seen on this project, we’re excited”.
Through the Great Bear Project, Kinross aims to make a positive and lasting impact within the Red Lake region through job creation, local investment and a strong environmental stewardship. 

Ian Russell, Site Manager for the Great Bear project with Kinross
Ian Russell, Site Manager for the Great Bear project with Kinross recently gave a presentation during the CEN CAN Expo in Thunder Bay in September. The presentation given was on the very exciting and promising Great Bear project.

Kinross is currently evaluating very closely for the first time in the Red Lake region the opportunity to start mining through an open pit operation and continuing to underground. It’s barely been 21 months since Kinross acquired the project and they are moving forward very aggressively.
The company is currently focussing on the LP Fault Zone in building ounces and expanding on their resource.
In 2022 the company had a very large and aggressive diamond drilling program with 225,000 metres of diamond drilling having produced excellent results with an initial resource of 2.7 Moz of indicated and 2.3 Moz of inferred. Kinross also did 35,000 metres of grade control drilling with RC rigs which increased confidence in the resource model. Kinross is sitting currently on just over 5 Moz of gold. 
“It’s a very robust lithology alteration structural model, and it really is an exciting project to work on. As a geologist, I could spend hours up here,” Ian explained to the audience.
With the project's initial mineral resources (2.7 Moz of indicated and 2.3 Moz of inferred) at this stage the bulk of that essentially is sitting in their open pit with an inferred resource at depth for the underground portion sitting at roughly 1.6 Moz of the total 5 Moz.
Kinross had a very aggressive drill program again in 2023 with over 200,000 meters of drilling and to date they’ve successfully continued to expand the resource and are looking forward to having another exciting resource estimate released sometime early in 2024.
Kinross - Great Bear Project in the Red Lake region

Geologically speaking there are similarities out there for the main resource. Kinross knows that what they are seeing is something different than what has been seen historically in the Red Lake mining region. The closest similarity that they can come up with is the Hemlo Gold Camp where the camp has mined to date more than 20 Moz of gold. Kinross is looking at this as their opportunity to advance this project from an open pit operation as well as an underground one later.
On the underground side of things, Kinross has their deepest drill hole to date at a little over 1,200 meters and with the style of mineralization, the grades of what they’re seeing are continuing at depth. The initial resource is just the beginning and intercepts below 1,000 metres indicate the potential of a long underground mine life. 
The underground project is starting off with an advanced exploration program in conjunction with advancing their permits for their main project.  They have submitted a number of permits to apply for an advanced exploration permit and they are looking to start this in the middle of 2024 with their initial ground break work while starting off with the decline work and the actual breaking of mine rock in early 2025.
Kinross emplyees

This work will allow the operation access at depth for an underground exploration platform, allowing them to continue drilling and continue expanding on the resource, and an opportunity for a bulk sample to fine tune their metallurgy as they move things forward.
In terms of a targeted path to production, the Great Bear project is aggressive, and they have all the support corporately within the Kinross team to move this forward.
With early 2025 scheduled for the decline start up, the company is looking at around 10,000 meters of development for that phase. They will continue with the ongoing process with their baseline studies, not just for the advanced exploration project, but also the main project as a whole. Kinross has already started to prepare their impact statements; they have already submitted their Initial Project Description (IPD) to the Impact Assessment Agency Canada (IAAC).
What’s next for the balance of 2023 and into 2024? Kinross will continue on the project study, work for the external PEA that is scheduled for early 2024, continue working on their baseline studies and analyze, review, and continue working hand in hand with their partners in the region. 
Exploration activities will continue on an aggressive path moving forward as Kinross has 11 exploration drills on site right now, and next year they are looking at having the same aggressive exploration program to expand the mineralization at depth


This article first appeared in the Northern Mining Report, Mining Life Magazine. To get your digital copy click on the front cover below.

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