Franco-Nevada

Hardrock (Au)

Hardrock

LOCATION: Ontario, Canada
OPERATOR: Equinox Gold Corp. / Orion Mine Finance
ROYALTY: NSR: 3%

Franco-Nevada acquired a 3% NSR on Hardrock as part of its acquisition of a portfolio of approximately 20 royalties from Barrick in November 2013. The Hardrock property is being advanced by Greenstone Gold Mines L.P. (“Greenstone”), initially a 50/50 partnership between Premier and Centerra Gold Inc. (“Centerra”) In December 2020, Orion Mine Finance (“Orion”) agreed to acquire Centerra’s 50% interest in the project and Equinox Gold and Premier announced that they had entered into a definitive agreement whereby Equinox Gold would acquire all the outstanding shares of Premier. The Equinox Gold and Premier transaction closed in April 2021. Also in April 2021, Equinox Gold acquired an additional 10% interest in the project from Orion, increasing its stake to 60% with Orion holding the remaining 40% interest.

The Hardrock property is part of the larger Trans-Canada project with Hardrock representing the core project. The district has historic production of 4 million ounces of gold and is host to multiple gold deposits.

Premier released an optimized feasibility study in December 2020. The update contemplates the construction of a 27,000 tonne per day processing facility and open-pit mining operation with production over a 14-year mine life. Gold production during the first five years is expected to average 414,000 ounces per annum with an average head grade of 1.45 g/t gold. The economic study only includes the Hardrock open-pit Mineral Resource and does not include any potential from the large underground Mineral Resource on the property.

Premier announced an updated Mineral Reserve estimate on Hardrock with the optimized feasibility study which encompasses a total Proven and Probable Mineral Reserve of 5.5 million ounces of gold (135.3 million tonnes grading 1.27 g/t). Exclusive of Mineral Reserves, the Indicated Mineral Resource for the open-pit is 231,000 ounces of gold (6.0 million tonnes grading 1.21 g/t) with an additional 1.2 million ounces of gold (9.8 million tonnes grading 3.93 g/t) for the underground, for a total Inclusive Mineral Resource of 7 million ounces of gold at Hardrock.

The project is fully permitted for construction, with community and benefits agreements in place. A Definitive Agreement with Long Lake #58 First Nation was signed in 2018. In November 2019, Greenstone announced that it had signed a Long-term Relationship Agreement with Aroland First Nation, Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, and Ginoogaming First Nation, with respect to the development and operation of the Hardrock Project. The provincial Environmental Assessment for Greenstone was approved in March 2019 and the federal Environmental Assessment was approved in December 2018.

ASSET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Construction ready project in Ontario
  • New owners expect to make a near-term construction decision
  • Optimized feasibility study outlines potential 14-year mine life producing approximately 358,000 ounces per year

2020 2019 2018
Revenue to Franco-Nevada ($ million) $ – $ – $ –
Hardrock map