Kemess Underground Copper-Gold Mine
AuRico Gold is proposing to start-up an underground mine and it is just 5 kilometers away from existing operational infrastructure and mill facilities at the Kemess South mine. Its strategic location in central British Columbia provides access to road, rail, power and experienced trades people. With an average annual production of 105,000 ounces of gold and 44 million pounds of copper during its 12 years in operation, it will provide plenty of jobs and opportunities for people in the region.
About This Project
The Kemess Underground Project is located approximately 5.5 km north of the past producing Kemess South mine in north central British Columbia. During its mine-life, the Kemess South mine produced close to 3 million ounces of gold and over 300 million pounds of copper. In March 2012, the Kemess South mine ceased operations and activities are currently focused on reclamation and remediation work.
The results from the Kemess Underground feasibility study outlined the development of an underground block/panel cave operation. Highlights of the study include(employs base case commodity price assumptions of $1,300/oz gold; $3.00/lb copper and $23/oz silver and F/X US$/Cdn$1.00):
• Average annual production of 105,000 ounces of gold at a net cash cost of $213 per ounce.
• Average annual copper production of 44 million pounds.
• An approximate 12-year mine-life.
The envisaged Kemess Underground block cave operation would leverage the existing infrastructure and mill facilities at the Kemess South mine, currently on care and maintenance, including a permitted area for tailings storage in the Kemess South open pit. In addition, analysis of the geotechnical data compiled during the 2010 drill season and previous drill programs indicate that the ore body is well suited to block caving.
As the Kemess Mine already has in place many of the permits required for the Kemess Underground Project, permitting is expected to be straightforward. All other infrastructure is in place and has been put on care and maintenance in anticipation of future use with the underground mine.
Estimated initial construction capital of $437 million and sustaining capital of $286 million, for a total estimated investment of $732 million.
Estimated Project Start Date
The Kemess Underground project is currently forming their environmental assessment application which is expected to be submitted to the BC Environmental Assessment Office by the end of 2014.A final decision from the Environmental Assessment Office is expe
Estimated Completion Date
A final decision from the Environmental Assessment Office is expected in late 2015. Operation start-up is planned for 2016.
Director of Government Affairs & Community Relations
Economic Development Contact
Economic Development Officer
Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association