An underground mine on Barkerville Mountain near Wells has received the support of the B.C. Government to expand.
In an Oct. 27 news release, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation announced it had amended permits to expand the existing Bonanza Ledge underground mine while the Cariboo Gold Project undergoes environmental assessment through the province’s Environmental Assessment Act.
President of Osisko Development, Chris Lodder, said the receipt of the permits for the Bonanza Ledge II project is an important milestone in the development of their company in the region and shows their dedication to environmental performance.
“This new permit enables Osisko to operate two new water-treatment plants, which will substantially improve our overall water management plan and allows us to meet more stringent water-quality criteria and stewardship toward best environmental practices,” he said.
Lhtako Dené First Nation and Osisko Development have worked closely during the application process.
Chief Clifford Lebrun said the permits mark another milestone in what has turned out to be a beneficial partnership illustrating First Nations and industry can work together with community growth for Wells, Quesnel and the Lhtako Dené Nation.
“It’s more than jobs and contract opportunities or training, it’s the development and growth of all three communities, and all the ones in between that is important here,” Lebrun added.
“The Lhtako Dené Nation looks forward to working together with Osisko Development in the future to move these values forward.”
Production will increase from 150,000 tonnes per year to 215,000 through the amended permits that will support the ongoing employment of 127 workers at the mine.
Ore will be trucked from Bonanza Ledge II to the Quesnel River Mill for processing and tailings storage.
The anticipated mine life of Bonanza Ledge II is approximately 18 months, according to Osisko Development that said the expansion of it allows for continuity of mining while the Cariboo Gold Project environmental assessment proceeds.
If approved, the $433-million Cariboo Gold Project will extend mining by an additional 16 years and employ 459 people, the company noted.