The winter ice road (WIR) is the final critical infrastructure component to facilitate transportation of equipment and supplies to Back River following completion of the port facility in 2018. Transportation of equipment staged at the port to the Goose property is underway and will continue until the WIR is closed on or about May 15.
Building of the 170km-long WIR was the final step in de-risking transportation of goods and equipment to Back River and confirming wheeled vehicles could use the chosen corridor between the port and project sites.
"While this first time constructing was challenging, we have learned valuable lessons in how to better construct and improve the WIR for future years. It was important to have built this road prior to making a production decision as it enables us to evaluate execution plans, optimise the process and provide additional certainty that it can be built and operated once a construction decision has been made," said Sabina president and CEO Bruce McLeod in a statement.
Adjustments, including equipment selection, logistics support and final route alignment, will improve Sabina's ability to construct and operate the WIR in future years. Materials transported to the Goose site included construction equipment, steel and supplies for bulk fuel tanks and supplies for earthworks activities.
Sabina is working towards taking a construction decision for Back River, a high-grade openpit operation designed to produce about 200,000 ounces a year for 11 years. This is based on just 2.3Moz of the 7.3Moz global resource at a 6.2 grams a tonne grade. Sabina is looking to secure a fixed-bid EPC contract for the mine development.
Shares in Sabina (TSX:SBB) are trading at near year lows of C$1.02 valuing the company at $297 million. Its share price has fallen almost 18% so far this year.