Gold Field’s Canadian Explorations CEO Ross Sherlock put on a public information forum at the Horsefly Community Hall at 7 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 9.
This was a well-attended meeting, with 39 local residents attending.
Coffee and treats were provided by Gold Fields.
Sherlock gave the usual company profile: 120 years in operation, fifth largest gold/copper mining corporation in the world, etc.
Sherlock outlined the company’s exploration investment in drilling to date, as well as the amount of dollars spent in and around Horsefly for accommodations, labour, and sponsorships of local events such as Art’s on the Fly, the Horsefly Follies, and the 4-H auction.
Gold Field is currently concentrating its drilling primarily in the Woodjam Mountain area, with one venture around Tisdall Lake, and to this point, assay results are positive.
The company will make a decision this November on next year’s Horsefly exploration or development budget.
There is no doubt their decision will impact Horsefly.
There are currently about 30 — 40 employees of Gold Fields involved in drilling, clearing, working in the core processing, renting accommodations, etc. in and around Horsefly.
When Sherlock asked if there were any questions or comments, a Star Lake resident mentioned that they could hear the drilling operation from their home 24-hours a day.
Sherlock hadn’t been aware of this, and promised to arrange for a system of baffles to mute the sound.
My immediate thought was that if the mine ever goes ahead, the noise will be far greater than it is now.
This would be an open pit copper/gold mine with large vehicles, possibly a huge rock crusher like I have seen on Texada Island.
It would have a huge impact on our town, the surrounding environment, roads, school, business, etc.
I can’t speculate on the number of employees, or road improvements that would most certainly have to be made.
Horsefly began as a town 152 years ago as the result of the gold mining industry.
Other than Chinese Ovens, a trench/ditch here and there along the 108 to Ratdam (Augustine) Lake, the flats where the spawning channel is, and the old mine site on the Horsefly River, there is virtually no sign that it ever happened.
The Bullion Pit is back to nature.
Sherlock stated that if they went ahead next year, and everything went smoothly with no hang-ups, it would still be 2020 before the mine would be in operation.