Centerra Gold became the 100% owner of the Kemess project in B.C. with its acquisition of AuRico Metals in January 2018. The deal included the former open pit mine and a 25,000 t/d conventional mill, road, power, tailings facility, rail load-out, camp and airstrip together valued at about $1 billion.
AuRico produced a feasibility study in 2016 for an underground mine 6 km away from the processing plant, and this undoubtedly played a large part in Centerra’s offer. The study examined the development of a low cost panel caving mine.
The study projected a life-of-mine annual production rate of 106,000 oz. of gold and 27 million lb. of copper.
Normal course permitting is soon to be complete, and development of the decline is slated to begin next year. First production is targeted for 2022. Pre-commercial capex is pegged at $450 million plus an additional $153 million in capitalized operating costs net of revenue.
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