PRETIUM Resources has poured the first gold from its Brucejack mine in northwestern B.C. saying it is advancing toward full production several months ahead of schedule.
The company made the announcement yesterday afternoon.
“The flotation and gravity circuits are now operational. In addition, gold-silver flotation concentrate is being produced and bagged, with initial shipments scheduled,” a company release indicated.
Located near Stewart, the Brucejack property has been extensively explored and reserves identified with activity accelerating in 2013 toward environmental approvals and acquiring financing.
Construction began in the fall of 2015.
Kevin Torpy, the mine’s general manager, told Terrace city council last week that its plan of hiring locally will continue.
“They do not have to relocate and we have done a much better job doing that in the last year and a half,” he said of hiring northwest residents.
The company is also using the Northwest Regional Airport as its staging facility for people coming up from the Lower Mainland.
As with many remote mines, workers spent several weeks on-site and are then rotated out for a rest period.
Brucejack has an anticipated mine life of 18 years and cost $811 million to bring to production.
”[Brucejack is] one of highest grade gold projects in the world, certainly in the top 10 in Canada,” Torpy told council.
He said the company is putting a lot of effort into safety and security at the location, including enforcing policies surrounding drugs, alcohol and contraband.
“We put in a lot of effort, not just around gold security, but in making sure people come into the site fit for work and are not a danger to themselves or others they’re working with,” said Torpy.