Skip to content

Artemis Gold orders $134M mining equipment for Blackwater Mine startup west of Quesnel

Deal with Finning sets Blackwater Mine for 2023 startup
The Blackwater gold deposit is located about 100 kilometres south of Vanderhoof and about 100 kilometres west of Quesnel. (Photo courtesy Artemis)

Artemis Gold is buying a fleet of heavy equipment - to the tune of $134M - in anticipation of their Blackwater site opening soon.

The Blackwater gold deposit is located about 100 kilometres south of Vanderhoof and about 100 kilometres west of Quesnel.

Artemis said they have struck a bulk purchase deal with Finning “for the primary and ancillary mining fleet required for the initial Phase 1 of operations. The purchase order for the mining equipment represents another key milestone in the development of the company’s Blackwater Mine project,” said Steven Dean, chair and chief executive officer of Artemis Gold.

The list of items in the purchase order includes Cat 6040 hydraulic excavators, a Cat 6060 hydraulic excavator, and an argosy of Cat 793NG 250t haul trucks.

In addition, Finning will also supply the mining company with an ancillary fleet consisting of Cat 992 front end loaders, Cat 785 haul trucks, Cat D10 dozers, Cat D9 dozers and 18M graders.

“This fleet will provide the load and haul capacity for the initial years of operations and will be expanded as needed,” said Dean. “The 992 front end loaders and Cat 785 haul trucks will be utilized in a support loading role including ore rehandle on the run of mine (ROM) pad and from the low-grade stockpile, whilst also providing flexibility to the operation for events such as tailings storage facility raises. Further, Artemis Gold has elected to configure the Cat 6040 hydraulic excavators in a backhoe configuration to provide optimal ore selectivity.”

Dean said the delivery of the equipment should begin in the fourth quarter of this year. The first arrivals are expected to be the Cat 6040 hydraulic excavators and the Cat 793NG haul trucks.

“The delivery of the ancillary fleet will be arranged around the primary mining fleet to ensure schedule commitments are met and workforce and craneage requirements are optimized throughout the assembly period,” Dean said. “The entire fleet is expected be ‘shovel ready’ during the second half of 2024 (“H2 2024”), to meet Artemis Gold’s operational readiness objectives.”

He added that the equipment purchase order provides schedule certainty and ensures the mine will have the equipment needed to operate when they need it.

“It is another milestone in our plans to develop the mine and prepare for operations in (the second half of) 2024.”

The company is already planning for well down the road, in the life of the mine. Artemis has put in a purchase option on trucks that haven’t even been seen on the open market, yet: zero-emission haul trucks not expected to arrive until 2029.

“The transition to a zero-emission haulage fleet will substantially reduce the mine’s carbon footprint,” Dean said. “That, combined with the mine’s electrified processing facility and infrastructure, will create the potential to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.”

READ MORE: Northern B.C. gold mine gets provincial approval after 7 years of consideration

READ MORE: Blackwater Gold Project receives a thumbs up from the Environmental Assessment Agency

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About the Author: Quesnel Cariboo Observer Staff

Read more