Artemis Gold (TSXV:ARTG) released news that the Blackwater gold mine remains on schedule for the first gold pour by the middle of next year. The project is located 160 km southwest of Prince George, B.C.
Artemis also noted that the project remains fully funded and within the planned preproduction capital budget of $750 million. Overall construction at the end of September 2023 was 45% complete, and approximately $280 million has been spent.
Earthworks were a priority in selected infrastructure areas. About 505 hectares of land have been logged and cleared. Over 90% of the access roads needed for the first phase of construction are operable. Construction of the site water management facilities, including the water management pond and Davidson Creek diversion, is well advanced.
Mill construction is progressing on several fronts, including the building foundation preparation, reagents building, ball mill pedestals, carbon-in-leach (CIL) tanks, and three crusher structures, as well as the reclaim tunnel civil works. Hydro testing of the first CIL tank has been completed.
The run-of-mine ore wall was 75% complete during the quarter and will be finished by the end of this month. Work on the dump slab civil works will begin shortly thereafter.
Artemis has expanded the construction fleet to include 60- and 100-tonne haul trucks and 150-tonne excavators to speed up the movement of material in key areas.
Initial deliveries of the mining fleet (to be owned by Artemis) are advanced, including 400-tonne hydraulic backhoe excavators and three 240-tonne rigid frame haul trucks. The mining fleet will be assembled by year end or early next year for the start of pre-stripping and earthworks. The remainder of the fleet will arrive in the first half of 2024.
At the end of September, the Sedgman EPC contract passed 61% complete overall, with engineering and design over 95% complete. Procurement is 96% complete. Fabrication of the electrical machinery control centre is complete and will undergo testing early in 2024.
The company's staffing numbers at the Blackwater mine topped 250 employees in the third quarter of 2023, with approximately 20% female and 30% identifying as Indigenous. Over 50% of the development team is from the local region and over 80% are B.C. residents. The total workforce at the Blackwater mine, including staff and contractors, was more than 500 at the end of September.
Watch the video of third quarter progress on YouTube.