Endako Mine to expand

Endako Mine has been issued a Mines Act permit amendment which will increase production, create approximately 160 new jobs

  • Mar. 15, 2012 12:00 p.m.

FRASER LAKE – Endako Mine has been issued a Mines Act permit amendment which will increase production, create approximately 160 new jobs and sustain a total of 400 employees in the north, announced Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman.

Endako is a molybdenum mine owned by Thompson Creek Mining Ltd., and Sojitz Corporation. The mine is located 100 km west of Prince George near Fraser Lake. It has been in continuous production since 1965.

The expansion of the mine will amalgamate the three pits. It will also result in a major upgrade to the mine’s 42-year-old mill and will create a new facility that will nearly double the current processing capacity to 55,000 tonnes.

Molybdenum is a type of coal ore which is used in the production of steel, particularly stainless- and construction-grade steel.

Nechako Lakes MLA, John Rustad registered his enthusiasm for the news by saying, “Endako Mine has been a rock of support for Fraser Lake and the surrounding area as it’s one of the longest-operating mines in Canada,”

“I’m very happy to see this will extend the mine’s life by another 16 years, and that it will continue to be a cornerstone of the economy in this area of the province.”

The expansion’s projected capital cost is approximately $600 million, and it is believed that the mining reserves are sufficient to continue operations until approximately 2028 and this expansion will generate approximately $90 – $100 million annually in economic activity such as direct wages, purchases and taxes.

The Endako expansion is possibly another employment opportunity for the 36 displaced mill workers who were negatively affected by the recent fire and explosion which closed the Babine Forest Products mill.

The workers will help to start up the new mill, and these jobs may lead to permanent employment.

Mineral exploration and mining is an important economic driver for B.C. Kevin Loughrey, chairman and CEO Thompson Creek Metals weighed in with his perspective on the expansion.

“Our employees, contractors, and suppliers have performed an outstanding job meeting the many challenges necessary to reach operational and commercial production so quickly. We continue to make significant progress and ramp up production, and we anticipate full production will be achieved in the second quarter of 2012. Once at full production, the Endako mine is expected to increase molybdenum production from approximately 10 million pounds per year to approximately 16 million pounds per year (100 per cent basis).”

The provincial government noted they’re trying to help to ensure a profitable mining sector through the provision of a variety of industry incentives which include: a Mining Exploration Tax Credit providing a 20 per cent refundable tax credit for companies, by a Mining Flow Through Share Tax Credit which provides a non-refundable 20 per cent tax credit. This incentive makes the cost of eligible exploration the second-lowest in the country.

New Mine Allowance provides the equivalent of a 133.3 per cent deduction of capital costs for mines that commence or expand production before January 1, 2016.