Premier Gold wants Geraldton mine project on the construction fast track – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – December 15, 2020)

Orion Mine Finance joins Greenstone Gold joint venture partnership in US$330-million deal

Premier Gold Mines is picking up a new development partner that should pave the way for the start of construction of an open-pit gold mine near Geraldton.

The Thunder Bay-based miner announced Orion Mine Finance Group has purchased the 50 per cent stake held by Centerra Gold in the Hardrock Mine Project for US$225 million cash, plus some staged contingency payments of US$75 million as the project progresses.

The deal, expected to close in January, appears to resolve a legal fight between Premier and Centerra – the two joint venture partners in the Greenstone Gold Mines Partnership – over whether the Hardrock Project met all the criteria of reaching a positive feasibility study stage, a technical report that shows the resource potential and providing the economic impetus to proceed with mine construction.

Once the deal closes next month, Orion intends to support a positive feasibility decision for Hardrock project based on the feasibility study conducted in 2019. All the legal actions and counterclaims between Premier and Centerra will be dismissed.

Premier considers the Hardrock Project “shovel ready” with both federal and provincial environmental assessment approvals, an updated mine closure plan filed, and consent from local First Nations with relationship agreements already signed.

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