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PureGold Mining, Ontario’s newest bullion producer

Jan 19, 2021

“This is one of the world’s highest-grade gold mines – it’s higher than 95% of gold mines, anywhere on this planet. With the pouring of first gold, PureGold will join an elite group of gold producers who own multi-million-ounce deposits located in tier-one mining jurisdictions.”
When it comes to writing an autobiography, no junior miner has done it better than Pure Gold Mining.
And the story, is just getting started.
The company poured its first gold bar in December, much to the delight of company directors and investors.
“It’s a really exciting time for us. It’s a culmination of many years of hard work, and I’m super proud of the team and where we’re at today. To build a mine in a pandemic is, I think, quite an achievement and to do so on schedule and on budget.”
Labrenz gives full credit for the company’s success to teamwork. “I think we’ve built one of, if not the preeminent team with respect to understanding of Red Lake and a particular understanding of Red Lake geology. I worked for Placer Dome for about half of my 30-year career and got an opportunity to work in the Red Lake area at the Capital mine.”
Labrenz was chief geologist when he left there, and it gave him a good understanding of the geology and importantly, the opportunity in Red Lake itself.
Co-founder Mark O’Dea got his start in Red Lake as well. “He was in fact, second place finisher in Rob McEwen Goldcorp challenge back in the day, and that kick-started his career. And so, we put together a team that includes six individuals that really cut their teeth in Red Lake.
Once we acquired Madsen, it allowed us to apply that understanding, we had a bit of a breakthrough geologically, in terms of understanding the deposit, and with 300,000 meters of drilling, we’re able to build up a pretty significant resource and disclose our first reserves, which we’re just starting to work on now.”
With ore delivered and first gold production now completed, commissioning activities will transition into full scale ramp up of the mining and milling operations over the coming quarter.
“The introduction of ore to the milling facility reflects the successful culmination of our project build, and signals the commencement of the next chapter in our Company’s evolution as Canada’s newest gold mine. Just last year, we announced our intention to become a producer and we are delivering on that promise. We have taken the PureGold Mine from our first drill hole to production in less than six years. Bringing a mine on-stream in 2020 is a firm testament to our incredible team, the support we have received from our First Nations partners; Wabauskang First Nation and Lac Seul First Nation, the Province of Ontario, Municipality of Red Lake, and the entire Red Lake community.” We look forward to the transition to commercial production and continuing to build and expand the PureGold Mine into an iconic Canadian producer in the heart of Red Lake.”
“We are very pleased with the development and the ongoing progress we continue to make in our relationship with PureGold,” said Chief Doug Riffel of Wabauskang First Nation. “Chief Clifford Bull of Lac Seul First Nation added:  “Built on the principles of Environmental Stewardship, Resource Sharing and Mutual Respect, we look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship.”
As the second operating mine in Red Lake, the PureGold mine is a major contributor to the economy of the region. The mine currently employs over 200 people and the workforce is expected to average 350 individuals during the 12-year phase one mine operation with approximately $470 million in life of mine salaries projected over that period.
And if that wasn’t exciting enough, Labrenz sees the company growing. “We see the project just having a really strong organic growth opportunity. We’ve got a 2.1 million ounce resource in the indicated category at 9 grams, there’s a half million ounces inferred. We carved a portion of that out in a feasibly studying and generated a million ounce reserves and 9 grams per ton. But we’ve made several discoveries over the last few years, things that we call fork zone, wedge zone, Russet South Zone, these are at surface, they’re part of the same mineral system, but they weren’t considered in the feasibility study.”
Labrenz says PureGold has always looked at the project as a scalable asset, and the company is working to continue to grow those resources and study opportunities for expansion and organic growth.
“So, we’ll be looking to improve the confidence of the resources. And ultimately, at the end of the day, what we’re looking to do here is extend the mine life and build on the production profile. And I think there’s a real strong opportunity to do that.”
Hiring isn’t over yet either. The Red Lake region has seen a boom in the past 24 months and PureGold is in the heart of it.
“We will be hiring more people. We’ve got about 200 employees now at site, and that will grow to about 250 towards the end of Q1 this year. So, we are looking at people, we’re looking at particular the trades. They are getting a little bit more difficult to source. We do benefit being in Red Lake in Northwestern Ontario, such as rich history in the mining sector. There is a lot of capacity for labour in the area. But as we see gold push up again towards $19,100 an ounce and exploration is growing, it’s going to get more competitive for sure to attract skilled people.”
Even though vaccines have been rolling out across the globe since mid-December, the company is still taking COVID-19 precautions.
“Obviously, that’s number one.
I mean, safety of your workforce, safety in the communities that we work in, and live in is the most important thing. And so, it’s something that we’ve taken, obviously, extremely seriously right, from the beginning of the year. And so, we benefit, again, from being in Red Lake. Most of our staff live in Red Lake. They work in Red Lake. And while it has fantastic infrastructure, it’s somewhat insulated from the impacts of COVID-19 to date, which is fantastic.”
On site, the company isn’t taking any chances. “If they feel sick at all, we demand that they don’t show up at work, and that’s been working pretty well. Safety protocols, when you arrive at site include questionnaires in terms of whether you’re feeling any symptoms, where you’ve been, have you traveled. We do temperature checks at the gate. We keep our physical distance and work from home where we can, you know, masks in areas where we can’t maintain that distancing. So, all of these things are in place. And again, we benefit from having a hospital 10 kilometers down the road from our site, where we can rapidly test people if the need arises.”


Exploration activities continue at the Company’s 100%-owned, 47-km2 property. Within a robust, open seven - kilometre gold system, and strong potential to expand at depth, exploration drilling is designed to expedite the growth of mineral resources and aggressively expand new high-grade discoveries. Exploration drilling outside of the existing mine plan continues, with two surface drill rigs and results will be released during the course of activities. Additionally, underground drilling designed to infill and expand mineral resources continues, with the goal of optimizing and expanding the near term mine plan. Results from underground will be released on a quarterly basis.
The company continues to revise the mine plan and timing of staff hires and equipment purchases as the development unfolds. From the announcement of a construction decision in August 2019 through September 30, 2020, the company has spent a total of $102 million on the Mine Project and as of September 30, 2020, forecasts a further $37 million to be spent on the Project.

Tags: Northern Ontario / New Projects / Gold / All Articles