GBN: TSX Venture Exchange
SASKATOON, June 24 /CNW/ - Golden Band Resources Inc. (GBN: TSXV) was
advised by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) on June 20, 2008 that because
fish now occur within the Mallard Tailings Management Facility (TMF), the
Company's Jolu Central Mill Gold Project requires a federal environmental
screening under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), to be
followed by a Schedule 2 listing under the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations
(MMER). While this listing process will delay the use of the TMF for tailings
storage, Golden Band is developing alternative plans to using the TMF during
the federal review period that will still allow the Company to continue with
development of the project while it proceeds to comply with these federal
Rodney Orr, Golden Band President & CEO, said "While the DFO's decision
is certainly not what we expected, I am confident that we will still be able
to achieve our goal of producing gold in the La Ronge Gold Belt in a timely
manner given the alternative plans that we have developed. Our target remains
to achieve production in 2009."
DFO has advised the Company that it is committed to initiating the
screening process as soon as it receives the Company's completed EIS, and that
the screening process would be completed within three months of its receipt.
Golden Band intends to submit its EIS in August 2008. Golden Band has also
been advised that the federal screening process will be aligned and
coordinated with the provincial environmental assessment (EA) process that was
initiated by Golden Band in July 2007. The provincial EA process should be
completed along with the required provincial approvals by spring 2009, which
is when a final production decision would be possible. DFO further advises
that, under normal circumstances, the MMER Schedule 2 process takes eight to
twelve months to complete after conclusion of the federal EA. The successful
completion of the two federal regulatory processes would again allow the
Mallard TMF to be used as a tailings management facility.
It is the Company's plan to proceed as soon as possible with financing
for the mill refurbishment and to expand the underground exploration and
development of the Bingo deposit. Exploration programs are planned for the
Jolu mine and area to ascertain potential remaining resources, as well as the
further drilling of the Decade deposit, both being adjacent to the Jolu mill.
Rodney Orr also notes that "A very important factor throughout the
discussions with DFO has been the support provided by the Lac La Ronge Indian
Band, and I am especially thankful for their involvement and interest in our
development plans. With the Band's continued encouragement, our ability to
achieve our Company's goals is that much stronger."
Modified Development Plans
As a result of DFO's decision, Golden Band is developing modified plans
to using the Mallard TMF during the MMER scheduling period that will still
allow the Company to continue with development of its La Ronge gold project
while it proceeds to comply with Federal requirements. These plans, that
include the use of above ground tailings storage and possibly in-pit tailings
storage, must still undergo more-detailed assessments by Golden Band. However,
the Company had identified two sites that would not be subject to a Federal
assessment as part of its risk and contingency planning and is now proceeding
diligently to assess how these options can be brought forward for inclusion in
Golden Band has commenced detailed planning for a Jolu Above Ground
Tailings Management Facility that would provide up to two years of tailings
disposal. This area was already being planned for longer-term expansion of the
Mallard TMF, and the Company will now develop this area as the initial
tailings management facility for the Jolu mill operations.
The Company is also assessing the viability of establishing an open-pit
very near to the Jolu mill for subsequent tailings disposal after the Jolu
above ground TMF has reached its capacity, should it be required. This pit
would be created from the mining of a potential, near-surface, gold resource
that the Company's geologists have identified in the records of the Jolu mine.
It could provide an additional two years of tailings disposal.
This change in strategy for tailings disposal will be included in the
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) once the Company has completed an
environmental assessment of the revised plan.
Gary Haywood, Golden Band's VP Operations and COO, stated "This revised
operating plan for the La Ronge gold project will enable Golden Band to
continue on its strategy of commencing mining operations at the Bingo and
Komis/EP gold deposits, and undertaking refurbishment of the Jolu mill in
preparation for accepting ore from those deposits. While the temporary
unavailability of the TMF for the immediate use of tailings storage requires a
change in our plans, we believe that our contingency plan will be acceptable
to the Province, and that we will have our permits and license to operate to
allow gold production in 2009."
Mallard Tailings Management Facility
The following is a brief summary of the history of the Mallard TMF and
the process that lead to the DFO's decision. The trigger for the decision by
DFO that the Mallard TMF now represents "water frequented by fish" is that
fish were found by Golden Band in the TMF in 2007 during the course of the
Company's environmental baseline studies in 2006-2007. DFO's interest in the
project was previously disclosed by the Company most recently in the May 7,
2008 Operational Update.
The Company believes that fish were able to enter the TMF after the
barrier structure was inadvertently damaged in 2006 during the removal of a
beaver dam that was causing high water levels in the TMF. The province
requested the work to mitigate the risk of damage to the interior berms of the
TMF and disturbance of deposited tailings materials. The Province of
Saskatchewan required the Company to repair the barrier structure on April 28,
2008 and the work was competed by May 2, 2008.
The creation of the TMF in 1988 was pursuant to approvals from the
Province of Saskatchewan after completion of an environmental assessment and
all other regulatory requirements for the original Jolu mine and mill
development. DFO states that when the control structure was breached, this
water body became connected to a water system, fish entered and fish habitat
was caused, and it is therefore no longer a TMF. This then invoked the federal
Fisheries Act, which protects fish habitat.
The Mallard TMF has remained licensed continuously by the Province since
1988 and most recently, in March 2008, Golden Band received an Approval to
Operate Pollutant Control Facilities (Approval No. IO-233) in accordance with
the Provincial requirements.
Prior to activating the TMF in 1988, the 1987 Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) provided for a fish salvage program, the draining of water
within the basin, and the construction of a series of dams and berms to
isolate the tailings facility from the natural environment by diverting runoff
and controlling effluent discharges. A habitat compensation plan was approved
by the Province and undertaken as an integral part of the process. The
approved EIS stated that this activity would "result in the permanent loss of
Mallard Lake as a natural resource and the associated fisheries resource."
The Lac La Ronge Indian Band also questions the DFO's determinations, and
maintains that the TMF: (i) does not support commercial, sport or sustenance
fishing; (ii) is not fish habitat; (iii) is not a natural water body; and (iv)
that it is a tailings management facility that should continue to be managed
as such. All of Golden Band's activities in the La Ronge Gold Belt are within
the traditional lands of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment's position is that the TMF
should be exempted from the federal assessment requirements because it is a
tailings impoundment area that is confined by engineered structures and is not
part of a natural water body frequented by fish, as described in section
5(1)(b) of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations. Provincial officials have
been actively working with Golden Band throughout and are seeking to
facilitate the process going forward in a harmonized manner.
It remains the Company's position that the TMF is neither fish habitat
nor a natural water body and that Schedule 2 is not applicable to pre-existing
industrial sites. The TMF remains a fully permitted facility with the Province
of Saskatchewan and the Company has adhered to all associated regulatory
requirements including the on going monitoring of water quality.
About Golden Band
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 ten
known gold deposits, four 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, 2007 (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.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Golden Band Resources Inc.,
"Rodney G. Orr"
Rodney G. Orr, P.Geo.,
President & CEO
All of Golden Band's exploration programs and pertinent disclosure of a
scientific nature are prepared and/or designed and carried out under the
supervision of Frank Hrdy, P.Geo., Golden Band's VP Exploration, who serves as
the qualified person (QP) under the definitions of National Instrument 43-101.
All of Golden Band's development-related programs and pertinent disclosure of
a development nature are prepared and/or designed and carried out under the
supervision of Gary Haywood, P.Eng., Golden Band's VP of Operations and COO,
who serves as the qualified person (QP) under the definitions of National
Cautionary Statements on Forward-Looking Information: The statements made
in this News Release may contain certain forward-looking information. Actual
results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such
statements. Certain risk factors may also materially affect the actual results
achieved by the Company. Potential and current shareholders are cautioned not
to place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company undertakes
no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking
information whether as a result of new information, future events, or other
such factors that may affect this information, except as required by law.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept
responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information:
For further information: Rodney Orr, President & CEO, Golden Band
Resources Inc., Phone: (306) 955-0787 x7123, Fax: (306) 955-0788, Email:
email@example.com, www.goldenbandresources.com; Motivia
Communications: Roger Francis, (306) 242-0694 x5, Toll free: 1-866-501-5651,