BRITISH COLUMBIA – Toronto-based Seabridge Gold has revised the pre-feasibility study for its KSM gold-copper project 65 km northwest of Stewart. The base case life of mine cash operating costs are estimated at only $148/oz of gold produced. The new study, prepared by Tetra Tech Wardrop, shows that net present value, internal rate of return and capital payback are substantially improved over a similar study done a year ago.
Seabridge has held extensive working group sessions with regulators, aboriginal groups and technical consultants over the last year and reports that in general, public feedback on the KSM project has been positive. However, a few changes were made to the design based on these talks:
- The Mitchel deposit will be mined by open pit and then underground block caving and the Iron Cap deposit by underground panel caving. This change reduces the strip ratio, waste rock and environmental footprint of the project.
- The road from Highway 37 has been re-routed to reflect feedback from the Nisga’a Nation and First Nations.
- The fine ore crushing and grinding facilities will be built at the Teigen site rather than the Mitchell plant site, meaning that ore will be conveyed through a tunnel rather than transported as a slurry in a pipeline.
- Seabridge will apply for International Cyanide Management Code certification, and a portion of the tailings management facility will be lined for placement of CIL sulphide tailings.
The KSM project will be a combined open pit and underground operation that has a mine life of 55 years. A 130,000 t/d mill will also be built to produce a gold-copper-silver concentrate for shipment to a Pacific Rim smelter. Metallurgical tests confirm that a clean, 25% Cu concentrate can be made.
Additional information from the PFS is available in the news release dated May 14, 2012, at the company’s website, SeabridgeGold.com.