- Imperial acquires Red Chris project 2007
- mine construction May 2012-Nov 2014
- hydro transmission line completed 4Q 2014
- mine commissioning commenced 4Q 2014
- construction cost $661.9 million
- 30,000 tpd open pit conventional milling operation
- current mine life to 2043
- Aug 2019-Newcrest Mining Limited acquired 70% interest
On March 10, 2019, Imperial announced an agreement to sell a 70% interest in Red Chris to Newcrest Mining Limited. The agreement was finalized August 15, 2019. Imperial and Newcrest have formed a joint venture for the operation of Red Chris, with Newcrest acting as operator. Imperial retains a 30% joint venture interest in the Red Chris mine. The joint venture partnership will leverage Newcrest’s unique technical expertise in block caving operations. A plan to mine the deep resource beneath the current open pits will be developed to exploit the high grades in the deep East zone.
Exploration drilling commenced during the third quarter, with the focus to expand the already large copper and gold resource at Red Chris. There are currently six drill rigs on site at Red Chris. Drilling to October 26, 2019 totalled 6,054 metres.
In the Gully Zone, one 1,356.5 metre diamond drill hole is complete, and two holes in progress. All three holes are testing the extension of a high-grade copper-gold zone intersected in RC12-580. RC12-580 drilled in 2012 and intercepted 660.8 metres grading 0.41 g/t gold and 0.37% copper starting at 280 metres down the hole. This interval included a smaller 50 metre interval grading 1.1 g/t gold and 0.90% copper.
In the Saddle zone, located between the Main and East zones, eight shallow holes up to 300 metres in depth are complete. This drilling was conducted in-fill a sparsely explored area between the main and east zones to provide information for the scheduling and design of the open pits.
At the East Zone, a deep in-fill resource definition drilling program is underway to provide additional geological, metallurgical and geotechnical data to support studies for future underground operations. Four rigs located in this zone are all drilling angle holes to cross the East Zone at depth and test the margins of the higher grade zones outlined by the historic vertical drilling.
Q3 2019 metal production was 19.5 million pounds copper and 8,419 ounces gold. These results represent 100% of Red Chris production. Copper and gold production were up 11% in the third quarter compared to the second quarter of 2019. Mill throughput for the quarter averaged 30,568 tonnes per calendar day.
Imperial’s portion of the Q3 2019 production was 13.1 million pounds copper and 5,634 ounces gold representing 100% of production for the period July 1 through August 14, 2019, and 30% of production for the period August 15 through September 30, 2019.
Metal production for 2019 is expected to be in the range of 72-76 million pounds copper and 36-38 thousand ounces gold. The target is to achieve 100% of design capacity, averaging 30,000 tonnes per calendar day.
|Copper - 000’s pounds
|Gold - ounces
Red Chris Development Company Ltd., a subsidiary of Imperial, holds 30% interest in the Red Chris copper/gold mine in northwest British Columbia, 80 km south of Dease Lake. The Red Chris property encompasses 23,142 hectares, and is comprised of the main and south claim groups, consisting of 77 mineral tenures, five of which are mining leases.
For additional information, refer to the Company’s New Releases, Quarter Reports & Annual Information Form.