Columbus Gold Corp. takes pleasure in providing an update on the Montagne d’Or gold mine project development. The site is located in French Guiana, France.
The Montagne d’Or joint venture (Columbus 44.99% and Nordgold 55.01%) proved to be a major permitting achievement last November by conveying the official decision to French authorities to proceed with permitting and development of the Montagne d’Or gold mine after the conclusion of the public hearings carried out under the mandate of the French National Commission of Public Debate (the CNDP). The decision considers the CNDP’s recommendations to execute certain project improvements and modifications.
In January this year, the CNDP nominated two guarantors who were responsible for the public participation in developing the project till it gets the opportunity to make the public inquiry for the permit applications. The Montagne d’Or joint venture has prepared for tenders and planned for complementary studies for the dedicated project modifications on the following technical components:
- Waste rock storage design to avoid acid generation
- Detailed water management/balance
- Tailings storage facility redesign for the lowering of retainment dams
- Feasibility level study for onsite hybrid solar energy production
Following is the current Montagne d’Or development timeline:
- 2017: Bankable Feasibility Study completion
- 2018: Public debate is part of permitting procedures, mine development decision
- 2019: Project improvements and modifications according to the CNDP recommendations, detailed engineering of certain technical components required by regulations, like water management and tailings storage facility
- 2020–2021: Environmental, mining, and construction permit application submission and processing by the State services
- In July 2018, the French government formed an interministerial mission to estimate the social and economic benefits, as well as the effects, of the development of the gold mining industry in French Guiana, particularly considering Montagne d’Or, the most developed large gold project in French Guiana. The mission is a joint ministerial task force under the direction of the French Ministers of Environment, of Economy and Finance, and of Overseas Territories. The Montagne d’Or joint venture worked closely with this task force.
- The report of the mission recommended to the French government on the conditions for the progress of the gold mining industry in French Guiana. Yet, the report has not been announced to the public.
- The France Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, announced in the local newspaper on March 25th: “the Government will soon appoint an official in charge of the gold industry in French Guiana,” “the Government is deeply convinced that it is possible to develop the resources on Guyanese soil in the best conditions on the environmental level, with the agreement of the Guyanese,” and “a text on the reform of the mining code should also be presented to Parliament at year end.”
- The Minister of Environment, François de Rugy, is likely to move to French Guiana in June to report the official position of the French government on the gold mining development in French Guiana.