Golden Band Resources Inc. announced that it has submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its La Ronge Gold Project in northern Saskatchewan. With this milestone, Golden Band is another step closer on its stated path to achieving gold production. It is expected by the Company that the provincial Environmental Assessment process will be completed by spring 2009 which will allow for the planned start of gold production from the Bingo, Komis, and EP mines in late 2009.
Gary Haywood, Company VP of Operations and COO, noted that “We have achieved another significant milestone in our plan to put the La Ronge gold project into commercial production. The process of completing an Environmental Assessment for this type of operation with a central mill facility and three satellite mining operations is not a simple task given the areas of influence and the many aspects that need to be addressed for both environmental and socio-economic impacts. I believe we have put together an EIS that addresses the requirements for environmental stewardship and good neighbour practices with impact communities and traditional land users.”
Rodney Orr, President and CEO, noted “The successful submission of the EIS further demonstrates our strong commitment to persevere through adversity and to become a gold producer – notwithstanding the challenges and delays such as were presented to us by the Fisheries and Oceans Canada during the preparation of the EIS. Similarly, we have to proceed within the constraints the financial markets are presenting, but I believe that sitting back and doing little or no work to advance our goals is not what our shareholders, directors, and employees want to see how their investments are being used. Golden Band remains resolute in the execution of our plans to see us producing gold in 2009.”
The Company is also advancing well on other fronts. The preparation is progressing well for the full prefeasibility study. This prefeasibility is based on the positive expanded Preliminary Economic Assessment that was announced in February 2008 (see news release of February 26, 2008) and includes the first four years of operations using mill feed from the Bingo, Komis, and EP gold deposits. The prefeasibility study is expected to be completed by the independent consultants by end of October 2008. The current $3 million exploration program’s objective of confirming extended mine life opportunity and increasing our resource base is progressing very well (see news release of August 6 and September 10, 2008).
With respect to the environmental assessment process going forward, the regulators will now review the EIS and prepare Technical Review Comments. Once the EIS is considered technically complete by the province the public will be given the opportunity to comment on the EIS prior to the Minister’s decision on the project. Based on the Province’s Guide to the Environmental Assessment Process, it is anticipated that it will take at least four to six months to complete. It could therefore be April 2009 before the Saskatchewan Minister of Environment may be in a position to make a determination that will allow a production decision and actual start date to be made. As part of the EIS process, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is requiring the Company to negotiate a habitat compensation agreement for the loss of fish habitat in the Mallard Tailings Management Facility. It is the Company’s assessment that the TMF represents a negligible habitat as a fisheries resource. The Company has, nonetheless, presented a plan that it believes is more than commensurate with the fish habitat that the tailings facility represents. Discussions continue with DFO to achieve a reasonable agreement.
Golden Band Resources, already Saskatchewan’s leading gold explorer, is now poised to also become a gold producer. Golden Band is a well-financed, Saskatchewan-based, publicly listed company (GBN: TSXV) whose focus is the long-term, systematic exploration and development of its 100%-owned La Ronge Gold Belt properties. Since 1994, Golden Band has assembled through staking and strategic acquisition a land package of more than 750 km(2), including 12 known gold deposits, five former producing mines, and a licensed gold mill. Golden Band’s key value drivers are the methodical and systematic targeting of primary to advanced-stage exploration while progressing along a parallel path to becoming a sustainable gold producer. The Company is aggressively pursuing its near-term goal for the development and production of its 100%-owned Bingo, Komis, and EP deposits with processing at the 100%-owned Jolu mill – a project that received a positive expanded Preliminary Economic Assessment (scoping study) on February 26, 2008 (filed on SEDAR on April 10, 2008). Longer-term objectives include production from the Company’s other deposits and the continuation of its highly successful exploration and acquisition strategy.