Huckleberry Mine

  • open pit copper mine
  • mill processes 14,000 tonnes per day
  • commenced operations 1997
  • current mine life to 2021
  • copper concentrate trucked to Port of Stewart
  • mine located 123 km SW of Houston, BC
Claim Map: Huckleberry Mine
Imperial has a 50% interest in Huckleberry Mines Ltd., owner/operator of the mine. The other 50% is held by the Japan Group, comprised of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Dowa Mining Co. Ltd. and Furukawa. Co.

Huckleberry is an open pit copper mine located in west-central British Columbia. The Huckleberry property covers 19,780 hectares, which consists of two mining leases covering 2,422 hectares and 39 mineral claims encompassing approximately 17,358 hectares.

On February 26, 2014 the SAG mill bull gear at Huckleberry mine failed. This resulted in an interruption of operations until April 6, 2014, when the SAG mill was able to continue operating with the damaged bull gear rotating in the opposite direction. Installation of the new bull gear on the SAG mill was completed in December 2014, and the mill has been operating well since.

Imperial's share of copper production from Huckleberry in 2014 was 17.0 million pounds copper and 91.6 thousand ounces silver, 94.5% and 105% respectively of the targeted production. Imperial's share of the targeted production for 2015 is approximately 22.0 million pounds copper.

Huckleberry Annual Production(1)

  2014 2013
Copper - lbs 34,017,340 41,212,818
Gold - oz 2,702 2,983
Silver - oz 183,221 238,028
(1) production stated 100% - Imperial's allocation is 50%

Exploration at Huckleberry

Plans for 2015 have not yet been confirmed.

Geological Setting

The Huckleberry mine is a typical porphyry copper/molybdenum deposit. It is characterized as a calc-alkalic copper/molybdenum type mineralization. These deposits are typically hosted in intrusive rocks, usually of granodioritic or quartz monzonitic composition, and in volcanic rocks surrounding intrusives.

Huckleberry Mill Infrastructure

Ore from the pit is delivered to a 42"x 65" gyratory crusher and after crushing is conveyed to a stockpile. Ore from the stockpile is ground in two stages prior to flotation, firstly in a single 10,000hp semi-autogenous (SAG) mill, and secondly in two 5,000hp ball mills. A bulk copper concentrate is floated from the ball mill product. The bulk copper concentrate is then reground in a 1,500hp regrind mill, and then floated again to produce a final copper concentrate grading approximately 27% copper. Molybdenum concentrate is floated out of the copper concentrate.

Both final concentrates are thickened and dewatered prior to shipment. A Grinding Improvement Project (SAG pebble circuit) was completed by mid-2000. This circuit consists of a vibrating screen that removes critical size rocks from the SAG mill discharge conveyors then transports this material to a pebble crusher where the rocks are crushed and then returned to the SAG mill. Final copper concentrate is trucked to the Port of Stewart, British Columbia and then shipped by bulk carrier to Asia. The molybdenum concentrate is trucked to and sold in Vancouver under long term contract.

For additional information refer to the Company's Quarter Reports & Annual Information Form.

Forward Looking Information