- Imperial acquires Red Chris project 2007
- mine construction May 2012-Nov 2014
- hydro transmission line completed 4Q 2014
- mine commissioning commenced 4Q 2014
- construction cost $661.9 million
- 30,000 tpd open pit conventional milling operation
- current mine life to 2043
- Aug 2019-Newcrest Mining Limited acquires 70%
On March 10, 2019, Imperial announced an agreement to sell a 70% interest in Red Chris to Newcrest Mining Limited. The agreement was finalized August 15, 2019. Imperial and Newcrest have formed a joint venture for the operation of Red Chris, with Newcrest acting as operator. Imperial retains a 30% joint venture interest in the Red Chris mine. The joint venture partnership will leverage Newcrest’s unique technical expertise in block caving operations. A plan to mine the deep resource beneath the current open pits will be developed to exploit the high grades in the deep East zone.
There are two drilling campaigns underway at Red Chris. The first is the East Zone Resource Definition Programme, designed to obtain geological, geotechnical and metallurgical data to support future studies for underground block cave mining. The second is the Brownfields Exploration Programme, which is searching for additional zones of higher grade mineralization within the Red Chris porphyry corridor. Drill activity increased during the 2019 fourth quarter with six diamond drill rigs in operation.
The 2019 metals production at the Red Chris mine was 71.9 million pounds copper, 36,471 ounces gold, and 133,879 ounces silver.
Red Chris production for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 21.7 million pounds copper, 12,155 ounces gold, and 45,508 ounces silver. These results represent 100% of production at Red Chris. All metals production increased in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2019. Mill throughput for the quarter averaged 27,784 tonnes per calendar day.
Imperial’s 30% portion of Red Chris production for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 6.5 million pounds copper, 3,646 ounces gold, and 13,652 ounces silver. For the year ended December 31, 2019, Imperial’s portion of Red Chris production, representing 100% for the period January 1 through August 14, 2019 and 30% of production for the period August 15 through December 31, 2019, was 50.3 million pounds copper, 25,177 ounces gold, and 90,577 ounces silver.
Metal production guidance (100%), provided by Newcrest for the period August 15, 2019 to June 30, 2020 (to conform to their annual year end of June 30, 2020) is in the range of 63-79 million poundscopper and 36,000-50,000 ounces gold.
Red Chris Development Company Ltd., a subsidiary of Imperial, holds 30% interest in the Red Chris copper/gold mine in northwest British Columbia, 80 km south of Dease Lake. The Red Chris property encompasses 23,142 hectares, and is comprised of the main and south claim groups, consisting of 77 mineral tenures, five of which are mining leases.
For additional information, refer to the Company’s New Releases, Quarter Reports & Annual Information Form.