Canadian Mining Journal


GOLD-COPPER: AuRico’s Kemess underground gets environmental nod

The Kemess underground mine will take advantage of considerable infrastructure built for a previous open pit mine.

BRITISH COLUMBIA – After review the Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, has okayed the Kemess underground (KUG) gold-copper project. She said the mine may proceed as it is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

The KUG project is located 430 km northwest of Prince George in the Toodoggone River area, about 6 km from the former Kemess South open pit. AuRico Metals of Toronto is the 100% owner. The company estimates the project may generate a pre-tax cash flow of C$1.1 billion and after taxes at least C$746 million using the assumptions of the base case.

AuRico expects to spend C$603 million in pre-production capital expenses. The site already has about C$1 billion worth of infrastructure built for the open pit operation from 1998 to 2011.­ Average annual output over the life of the mine will be 106,000 oz. of gold and 47 million lb. of copper. All-in sustaining costs per oz of gold equivalent will be US$682 and over the life of the mine will be US$718.

Production at KUG is based on measured and indicated resources of 246.4 million tonnes grading 0.42 g/t gold and 0.22% copper, including proven and probable reserves of 107.4 million tonnes at 0.54 g/t gold and 0.27% copper. There is also an inferred portion of  21.6 million tonnes grading 0.40 g/t gold and 0.22% copper.

The property has additional potential 1 km away at Kemess East that contains 113.1 million measured and indicated tonnes at 0.46 g/t gold and 0.38% copper plus 63.8 million inferred tonnes at 0.31 g/t gold and 0.34% copper.

More information about both KUG and Kemess East are posted at

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