Artemis Gold is taking a different approach with the Blackwater Project.
Artemis is proposing three phases. In Phase 1, the company will start with a 15,000 tonnes-per-day mine capacity, ramping up to 33,000 tonnes-per-day in the sixth year (Phase 2), followed with 55,000 tonnes-per-day in year 11 (Phase 3), the company said in an emailed statement to the Express.
New Gold on the other hand had proposed to build a 60,000 tonne-per0day mine which was to operate under full capacity right after construction.
“As a result of starting smaller, the mine is expected to operate for 23-years based on the 2020 feasibility study, compared to the 17 years proposed by New Gold,” the statement said.
Steven Dean, CEO and Director of Artemis Gold said the company is excited about the phased approach.
“The pre-feasibility study shows very robust economics without sacrificing any of the environmental protections that New Gold committed to during the environmental assessment, and the longer mine life will create more community benefits over a longer period,” Dean said.
The 2020 pre-feasibility project is expected to have up-front development costs of $592 million. “The project proposed by New Gold had up-front developmental costs of more than $1.9 billion, an amount of capital which is difficult to attract in any environment,” the statement read.
With the study now complete, the company is focused on engineering, environmental work, engagement and negotiations with Indigenous groups.
Artemis Gold will directly employ up to 580 people during the initial construction period which is expected to last 18-24 months, and up to 740 people during operations.
Meanwhile, by November this year, the engineering work including geotechnical drilling will start at the project site. This work is scheduled to continue until June 2021.
The company is also planning to conduct an ore grade control drilling program during that time.
“So while we aren’t yet building the mine, there will be quite a bit of activity at site. We will work with our partners, Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation and Ulkatcho First Nation, whose traditional territories overlap the planned mine site, with member employment and business development opportunities to help execute the planned programs. We also plan to use local area contractors and local labor as much as possible for the programs,” officials said.
Major mine permit applications will be submitted by the company mid next year, and are hoping to have approvals by the end of 2021.
Artemis Gold plans on starting construction in mid-2022, and pour the first gold in 2024.
The average gold production at Blackwater will be 248,000 ounces in Phase 1, 420,000 ounces in Phase 2 and 316,000 ounces in Phase 3.
Artemis Gold is a gold development company based out of Vancouver, B.C. The company, which was spun out of Atlantic Gold prior to be bought by St. Barbara Ltd., was formed in 2019. Artemis Gold’s current asset portfolio includes — 100 percent ownership in the Blackwater Project in central B.C., a 39 percent strategic stake in Velocity Minerals Ltd. which is a gold exploration and development company focused in Bulgaria, as well as the right to earn 100 percent of the GK property, which is a copper-gold porphyry and epithermal target located within northwestern B.C.’s prolific Golden Triangle.
The company has an office in Vanderhoof and plans to run its operations for Blackwater through their office here. Due to COVID-19, the Blackwater Project office remains closed to the public at this time. However, the office staff are still available during this time at 250.567.3276 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.