Vancouver mining company Artemis Gold announced March 9 that it has received its long-awaited BC Mines Act Permit, the final hurdle needed to begin major construction activities in the first quarter of this year at its Blackwater Gold project 160 kilometres south of Vanderhoof, British Columbia.
“We would like to thank the Government of British Columbia, the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, Ulkatcho First Nation, and the Carrier Sekani First Nations for their substantial efforts during the consultation and review process for the BC Mines Act Permit,” said Artemis chairman and CEO Steven Dean.
“The Blackwater Mine has been designed to have one of the smallest carbon footprints for an open pit gold project in the world, with a defined path forward to substantially reduce that footprint further and potentially achieve net zero carbon emissions through the integration of a zero-exhaust-emission haul fleet by 2029.”
Estimated to be the largest gold mine development in the Cariboo region in more than a decade, the open-pit mine will be powered by a new 133-kilometre BC Hydro transmission line which will allow Blackwater to build one of the mining sector’s first fully-electric ore processing plants.
The carbon-neutral setup will replace traditional diesel/propane fuelled processing.
A November 2020 economic impact study determined the mine will create 457 direct full-time jobs per year over its operating life and 825 direct full-time jobs created annually during the construction phases. It is expected to feed $13.2 billion into the provincial economy and $3.2 billion into provincial revenues over the multi-decade life of the mine.
A feasibility study predicts the mine will produce 321,000 troy ounces of gold annually over the first five years. With an expected 22-year lifespan, the company hopes to extract 11.7 million ounces of gold and 122.4 million ounces of silver. The company says it could be producing for 30 or 40 years.