Evolution resumes Red Lake operations as forest fire contained

Evolution Mining has restarted the Red Lake gold mine in Ontario, Canada, after the company was forced to suspend operations last week due to the threat of a nearby forest fire.

Executive chairman, Jake Klein, confirmed to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today that all Evolution employees and contractors are safe following the evacuation, which was staged during the evening of Monday, August 10.

“Due to the outstanding efforts of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, together with strong support from the local community, the fire was safely contained before reaching the townships,” Klein said in the statement to the ASX.

“All residents of the broader Red Lake community, including our Evolution employees and contractors are safe.

“There has been no damage to any of the operation’s infrastructure and, due to the diligent work of Evolution’s site team, re-entry into the underground and processing areas has been progressing smoothly.”

Earlier this month, Evolution released the results of the December 2019 mineral resources for the Red Lake operation, indicating an estimated reserve of 48.08 million tonnes grading 7.1 grams per tonne for 11 million ounces of gold.

Red Lake’s financial year 2021 production is expected to be 125,000-135,000 ounces at an AISC of $2,050-2,100 per ounce.

The forest fire, which was dubbed “Red Lake 49” was burning only two kilometres from the local community, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

However, thanks to the team of forest fire fighters and the help of 50 millimetres of heavy rain on Friday, the status of the fire was changed to “under control” by Sunday morning local time.

The order restricting access to Red Lake was lifted by 7am local time on Sunday, clearing the way for residents and the Evolution workforce to return to the area.

Fire restriction activities are ongoing to identify any hot spots and the local brigade is urging residents and workers to be mindful of fire crews still working in the area.

Evolution Mining thanked everyone involved in containing the fire and who provided frontline support to its workers and the community.

The company intends to continue working with the local municipalities and communities to provide ongoing support.

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