Ascot begins milling at its Premier gold project in BC

Ascot Resources (TSX: AOT; OTCQX: AOTVF) has begun ore processing at the Premier gold project 25 km from Stewart, B.C. Rock was […]
The Premier gold project mill near Stewart, B.C. Credit: Ascot Resources

Ascot Resources (TSX: AOT; OTCQX: AOTVF) has begun ore processing at the Premier gold project 25 km from Stewart, B.C. Rock was introduced to the grinding circuit on March 31, and the first ore was fed on April 5, 2024.

The project is located on Nisga’a Nation Treaty Lands in the prolific Golden Triangle of northwestern British Columbia. 

Feeding waste rock into the grinding circuit padded the semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) and ball mill liners with barren material. When that step was completed, the grinding system was re-torqued and gold-bearing ore was fed into the circuit. Commissioning activities continue on the gravity and leaching circuits, the carbon regenerations circuit, the elution circuit, cyanide destruction facility, and the gold room.

The tailings storage facility, new water treatment plant, tailings thickener, and pipeline systems are all ready for operation.

"The start of ore processing is a momentous achievement for the whole team at Ascot and an exciting milestone for the company,” said president and CEO Derek White. “Most project construction activities are substantially completed, and commissioning activities are ongoing throughout the processing plant with the aim of pouring first gold this month.”

The Premier underground gold mine opened in 1918 and included four deposits mines – Silver Coin, Big Missouri, Premier, and Red Mountain. It was the largest gold mine in North America until the surface buildings burned down in 1956. The Premier mill was rebuilt in 1989 and mining resumed until the project was put on care and maintenance in 1996.

Currently, mining has begun from the Silver Coin and Big Missouri deposits to feed a refurbished 2,500 t/d processing plant. Mining of the Red Mountain deposit will begin in year three, and then from the Premier deposit. Low-cost longhole stoping is planned for most of the mines, and ore will be trucked to the mill and waste will be returned underground as rockfill and cemented rockfill.

The refurbished processing plant uses conventional crushing, grinding, and gravity circuits followed by a standard carbon-in-leach (CIL) process to produce doré bar. An energy-efficient fine grinding ball mill and an additional pre-leach thickener to facilitate a finer grind of the hard ore. The tailings dam was also raised to increase capacity.

Total gold production from the Premier project will be 1.1 million oz. of gold and 3 million oz. of silver. The resource estimate was made in 2020 giving the project a total of 7.3 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 7.85 g/t gold and 29.0 g/t silver. The total inferred material is 5.4 million tonnes grading 7.11 g/r gold and 27.1 g/t  silver. Proven and probable reserves – 6.2 million tonnes at 5.89 g/t gold and 19.7 g/t silver – are included in the M+I total.

Read more about the Premier gold project  on


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