The West Detour (formerly "Block A") near-surface gold deposit is located less than 1 kilometre west of the Detour Lake pit and contains a mineral reserve of 1.5 million ounces (48.8 million tonnes averaging 0.98 g/t).
On January 30, 2017, the Company announced that given the current uncertainties associated with the permitting process for the West Detour project, it is no longer reasonable to assume that the permits required will be obtained in time to allow mining to commence in January 2018 (as per the current mine plan). As a result, the Company is preparing an alternative mine plan and will be filing a new life of mine (“LOM”) plan and associated Technical Report under National Instrument 43-101 prior to the end of March 2017.
As explained below, the Company filed an Environmental Study Report (“ESR”) with provincial authorities today. However, the Company was recently notified by one of its Aboriginal partners that it had made a request for a federal environmental assessment process. While the Company believes that the ESR meets both the provincial and federal environmental standards, the provincial process typically takes one year compared to two to three years for the federal process.
As a result of these events, the Company is reconfiguring its mine plan to determine the optimal timing to commence West Detour. In the base case plan currently being developed, the mining of the West Detour pit would not commence before 2021 to reflect the timing of a federal process, while including flexibility to reflect a shorter provincial process by providing an option to start the adjacent North satellite pit in 2019. In both cases, annual mining rates are projected to ramp up to approximately 120 Mt from 100 Mt in 2017.
There is no change to the preliminary gold production guidance of 600,000 to 670,000 ounces for 2018. Gold production is expected to be lower in 2019 and 2020 as compared to the prior LOM plan due primarily to the delay of West Detour.
West Detour Draft Environmental Assessment
Detour Gold Announces Updated West Detour Development Plans