Imperial Metals (TSX: III) is aiming to reopen its Mount Polley copper-gold mine in British Columbia, Canada, before the end of June, buoyed by high prices for the metal and a looming deficit.
Work to reopen the mine began late last year, with hundreds of former and new employees focused on removing water from the pit, pre-stripping waste rock to expose ore bodies and preparing the processing mill for a restart.
Since then, the company has stockpiled about 4.5 million tonnes of ore for milling, which it plans to get under way this quarter.
Mount Polley was first shut down in 2014, after a massive tailings pond collapse. Imperial Metals had to rebuild the mine’s tailings and spent more than $70 million in environmental rehabilitation focused mainly on restoring Hazeltine Creek, which flows into Quesnel Lake.
Operations resumed two years later, around the time the company had to place another of its BC-based copper mines — Huckleberry — into care and maintenance.
Mount Polley was shut down again in 2019 due to a slump in copper prices that placed the metal below US$3/lb., the figure the company needed at the time to make a profit.
In its first quarter results report, Imperial Metals said that once Mount Polley is up and running again, work will shift toward bring Huckleberry back online
Restart of Mount Polley has come at price tag of $2 million as of the end of March, which increased net loss by US$22.4 million, the company said.
Imperial Metals owns a 30% of another copper mine in B.C., Red Chris, which has been its only source of revenue since 2019.
This article originally appeared on www.Mining.com.