Discover, Develop, Operate


  • Imperial acquired Red Chris project in 2007
  • mine construction May 2012-Nov 2014
  • hydro transmission line completed 4Q2014
  • mine commissioning commenced 4Q2014
  • construction cost $661.9 million (Dec 31/14)
  • 30,000 tpd open pit conventional milling operation
  • current mine life to 2043

Red Chris Development Company Ltd. (RCDC), a subsidiary of Imperial, is owner/operator of the Red Chris copper/gold mine in NW British Columbia, 80 km south of Dease Lake. The mine site is located on 23,142 hectares, and the property is comprised of the main and south claim groups, consisting of 77 mineral tenures, five of which are mining leases.

Imperial acquired the Red Chris project in 2007 and over the ensuing five years conducted a program of deep diamond drilling to over 1,500 m depth over the projected open-pit footprint which resulted in refinement of the block model. Deep drilling was also initiated in the Gully zone, intersecting long intervals of mineralization, with improving grade with depth. Exploration was suspended when construction of the 30,000 tpd open pit conventional mine began in May 2012.

Mine site infrastructure was completed in late 2014 at a cost of $661.9 million.Commissioning of the mine lead to commercial production being achieved July 1, 2015.

In July 2015, RCDC and the Tahltan Nation signed an Impact, Benefit and Co-Management Agreement which provides the basis for a working partnership between the Tahltan people and RCDC for the life of the Red Chris mine.

Annual Production

Years Ended 2018 2017 2016
Copper - 000’s pounds 60,349 74,636 83,614
Gold - ounces 41,935 33,416 47,088

Open pit mining activities are focused in the Main zone. Annual metal production for 2019 is targeted in the range of 72-76 million pounds copper and 36-38 thousand ounces gold.

2018 Exploration

A review by Golder Associates of the potential for utilizing block cave methods to mine the deep mineralization, recommended five geotechnical holes, one of which was completed in early July 2018. The remaining four geotechnical holes are being deferred to a later date as their locations are not impacted by 2018 mining operations.

The completed hole (RC18-588) was drilled using orientated core diamond drilling to gather geotechnical information regarding the proposed block cave mine also intersected significant copper and gold mineralization below the East zone pit. The drill hole was designed to test an area where the proposed block cave infrastructure may be constructed and more rock quality information was needed. Preliminary results indicate that the rock quality and strength in this area tested for development is very positive.

Drill hole RC18-588 was collared from the ramp near the bottom of the current East zone pit. It was directed to the northeast at -65° to pass through the upper part of the planned block cave target and test the ground for geotechnical information down to the proposed production level. As expected, the hole intersected good chalcopyrite-pyrite mineralization in leucodiorite at the start before crossing a projected fault at approximately 155 metres after which grade decreased. The intensity of quartz veins mineralized with chalcopyrite and minor bornite gradually improved at approximately 380 metres depth as the hole entered the northeastern part of the main block cave target. Continuous copper-gold values were intersected to approximately 750 metres, except for minor post-mineral dikes. The remainder of the hole went through a mixture of Stuhini Group country rocks and Red stock intrusives close to the northern margin of the stock, returning low to moderate grades.

Significant assay intervals tabulated below:

Drill Hole # Total
Length (m)
From (m)
To (m)
Length (m)
RC18-588 1,057.67 12.2 896.0 883.8 0.34 0.33
including 381.9 748.5 366.6 0.53 0.60
including 448.5 616.0 167.5 0.70 0.84

Jim Miller-Tait, P.Geo., the designated Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved this disclosure relating to drill hole RC18-588. A full QA/QC program using blanks, standards and duplicates was maintained for all samples submitted to the Red Chris laboratory where the core samples were analyzed.

Refer to the Company’s New Releases, Quarter Reports & Annual Information Form for additional information.

Update Feb | 2019