First Mining Gold Corp (TSE:FF) (OTCQX:FFMGF) said it is making good progress on the pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Springpole gold project in Ontario, which is on track to be delivered in the first quarter of 2021.
Springpole is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in Canada, and in a wide-ranging update, First Mining said that throughout the PFS process, it had carried out a number of so-called 'trade-off' studies to optimize the project, reduce the overall footprint, mitigate environmental risks, and improve its economics.
READ: First Mining Gold says its Pickle Crow partner is poised to upsize drill program to 45,000 metres
One such study looked at comparing thickened tailings and dry stack tailings solutions, it said, and both were found to be viable, while significantly reducing the environmental risks and overall project footprint.
Mine plan optimization has also been completed and is currently under review, the firm noted, while the metallurgical test program is also nearly complete.
Estimating the capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) for the project is also underway with major equipment quotes being received for process, infrastructure, and mining, the firm added.
On environmental matters, the firm recently hired Wood PLC's Environment and Infrastructure Solutions group to support the preparation of the federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the provincial environmental assessment (EA) report for Springpole, it said.
Wood's CV includes the permitting of several of the largest and most significant gold projects in Ontario, including Côté Gold, Rainy River Gold Mine, Detour Lake and Goliath, noted First Mining.
Over the past year, First Mining said it had made significant progress on collecting the data it needs to complete the environmental assessment statement, complementing nearly 10 years of continuous environmental baseline monitoring and study of the aquatic and terrestrial environment in the region of Springpole.
Also in today's statement, First Mining said it plans to undertake further regional exploration at Springpole, initially at the Satterly Lake property, which lies to the west and a small drill program of four to six holes is being planned.
"We are very optimistic and remain encouraged with the progress First Mining is making in advancing the Springpole gold deposit through PFS and through the environmental assessment processes," said Dan Wilton, CEO of First Mining in Tuesday's statement.
Shares added 2.27% to C$0.45 in Toronto.
---Updates for share price---
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org