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The project is expected to cost an initial $1.2-billion (U.S.), and $3-billion over the 33-year project life.

Brian Pieters

Royal Nickel is hoping to begin construction early next year on one of Canada's largest base metal mines after receiving the green light Thursday from the Quebec government. The project is expected to cost an initial $1.2-billion (U.S.), and $3-billion over the 33-year project life.

About 1,300 people will be employed during the two-year construction period and an average of 500 over the life of the mine. Chief executive Mark Selby says getting a certificate of authorization for the Dumont mine from the province's environment department is the most important milestone achieved to date.

The mine will initially produce 52,000 tonnes of ore per day. The output could double following an expansion after about five years.

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The company has appointed Swedbank as advisers for a $600-million senior bond financing. Some of the remaining initial funding is expected to come from selling a stake in the mine.

"Our objective is to complete the capital raising phase of the project in a timely manner to allow us to begin construction activities by early 2016," Selby said in a news release.

He said the government's permitting process and the company's sharing of information with various parties and community engagement have made Dumont a "more robust project."

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