The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.
TIMMINS – Dan Gagnon held a captive audience of local business owners as he talked about the prospects of Lake Shore Gold’s “continuous improvement and growth” filtering down to the community.
“I think we’ve had an exciting couple of years, definitely a breakthrough year for us in 2013,” said Gagnon, who is Lake Shore Gold’s senior vice-president of operations. “We saw a steady increase in production. We started generating free cash flow, so we’re now a business that can fund its own projects … We’ve basically gone from 85,000 ounces a year in 2012, to 135,000 in 2013, to 160,000 to 180,000 (anticipated this year).”
Gagnon was the keynote speaker at a Timmins Chamber of Commerce luncheon held Thursday at the Schumacher Lions Den.
Asked if there were opportunities for small local businesses to prosper from the growth in operations at Lake Shore Gold, Gagnon replied, “Definitely. In 2012, for example, we spent $130 million locally. That was 60% of our spending which was basically local with all the suppliers that you see off Algonquin Boulevard. There is a big push for us to support the local, then the Northern and then Ontario.”
Lake Shore operates two mines at opposite ends of the city. Bell Creek is approximately 20 kilometres northeast of Timmins, while Timmins West is located near the junction of highways 101 and 144.
Lake Shore has committed about $10 million diamond drilling and development within the mine sites, said Gagnon. However, an additional multi-million dollar budget has been allocated to do further exploration.
“We are putting a lot of effort this year on exploration and not just in mine exploration but basically looking at our favourable targets to be able to find the next mine,” said Gagnon.
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