Northgate Minerals‘ board of directors has approved the development of a gold mine near the town of Matachewan in Ontario, Canada, which contains 2.8 million ounces of proven and probable reserves.

The board approval follows the positive results from the recently concluded AMEC Feasibility Study.

The Young-Davidson mine is expected to produce 180,000oz of gold per annum over a 15-year mine life at a $350-per-ounce net cash cost.

Dewatering at the mine’s existing shaft and driving of the existing exploration ramp have resumed at the project site.

For the mill facility, detailed engineering work will begin soon and the construction of surface and shaft facilities will commence this summer after receiving the necessary approvals.

In the coming weeks, the company will enter into engineering, procurement and construction management contracts and try to deepen the existing shaft along with developing a new production shaft.

The project is expected to generate 600 jobs during the 24-month construction period and 275 direct jobs during the mine life.

Construction work on the project is expected to start later this year, and the mine is likely to start gold production in 2012.

During the construction phase, $339m will be invested along with $50m for yearly expenditure on goods and services during the life of the mine.

The company said the project is an integral part of the company’s growth platform and is in line with its strategy to develop and manage operations in politically predictable, mining friendly jurisdictions.