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West Red Lake Gold, a new contender in the prolific Red Lake camp

Updated: May 14

by Gwen Preston, Director of Communications

After several years defining new gold at the Rowan project, in 2023 West Red Lake Gold bought the shuttered Madsen mine because Madsen deserves another chance to be a great modern mine. 

The 2020 build did not go well but the deposit is incredible, the mill is brand new, and there is very real potential to find more gold. That this all exists in Red Lake, a region with deep mining history and knowledge, amplifies the opportunity. 

The goal is to get back to mining as soon as we can develop and enact a robust new mine plan that addresses the errors made during the build and sets Madsen up for years of reliable, profitable operations. 

We want to do this for everyone involved: the First Nations of Treaty 3 on whose Traditional Territory the Madsen mine and Rowan project exist, all the people in the Red Lake – Ear Falls region who can enjoy life here when there are more good jobs available, and our shareholders who understand the potential in these rocks, this region, and our plan. 

In the last year, we bought the mine, learned the asset inside and out largely by relying on deep knowledge from all the people who have worked at Madsen over the years, restarted underground development, drilled from surface and underground to confirm the known gold and find new resources, and raised roughly $60 million from investors excited to be part of the rebirth of the modern Madsen mine. 

Over the next year, we will do all the rest of the work needed to get Madsen running again, including more drilling to define new gold zones, ample underground development to have mining flexibility, alterations to make the mill more efficient, and studies on adding other nearby gold deposits to the mine plan. 

The company has 100 employees with 90 of them at the Madsen Mine and a plan to hire over 100 more people over the next 12 -16 months.  Our goal is to hire locally. The low unemployment rate in the Red Lake - Ear Falls region will necessitate the establishment of a small camp.   

Locally, WRLG is following in the positive footsteps of previous owners of the mine by engaging with the Madsen community.  Managing safety, noise, water and dust are all critically important at any mine but increasingly sensitive when you are on the doorstep of a community.  There is a formal Madsen Community Working Group that meets regularly to provide mine-community updates and gather any concerns.   We are looking to plan the annual community clean-up in the coming weeks. 

The Madsen Mine has a Project Agreement with Lac Seul and Wabuaskang First Nations.  The Agreement outlines how we can collaborate on environmental permitting and monitoring along with how to maximize the community members participation in the mine.  As we continue to advance at Rowan, it is our expectation that a similar agreement will be developed to support the consent and development of Rowan.  

WRLG is committed to supporting the broader community through employment, economic development, and participation in community events.  To date we have supported and participated in a range of community events from the annual Pow-Wow, the hockey arena and teams, and youth events like the Young Anglers.   As we grow, our participation in the regional communities will as well. 

The team at WRLG is committed to developing the next producing mines in Red Lake. 

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