Artemis Gold Inc. (TSX-V: ARTG) has received the final permit needed to commence major construction activities at its flagship project in central British Columbia and expects to have its initial gold pour there by June next year.
On Thursday, the Vancouver-based gold producer announced that it had received a B.C. Mines Act Permit required for its Blackwater gold mine in the province’s Cariboo region.
Artemis estimates the project will create 825 jobs per year during its upcoming construction and expansion phases and that it will contribute $13.2 billion to B.C.’s economy over the course of its life.
Big news! Artemis Gold’s new Blackwater mine brings First Nations in as partners, will help meet BC’s climate targets with the use of clean electricity, and will generate significant economic activity in the region. https://t.co/Rd5fNiVxsM pic.twitter.com/o70Cc4WXyv
— Josie Osborne (@Josie_Osborne) March 9, 2023
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Artemis collaborated with the government and First Nations groups throughout the mine’s permitting process. The company has engaged in environmental initiatives with the Indigenous groups to protect caribou, fish and wetlands.
The province’s premier offered his congratulations to the company on Thursday.
“Congratulations to Artemis Gold, the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, Ulkatcho First Nation, and Carrier Sekani First Nations, and communities in the area for their work together to advance this critically important project through the mine permitting and review process to final approval and construction.” said David Eby, Premier of B.C.
Artemis has ordered the initial fleet of construction equipment from Finning International Inc (TSX: FTT) for the project. The site will eventually be connected to the province’s hydro grid, which Artemis says will provide it with a sustainable source of renewable energy.
Representatives from the First Nations groups also voiced their approval of the Blackwater project and its newly acquired permit.
“The Blackwater Mine represents a significant opportunity for Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation and we are pleased that it has received its B.C. Mines Act Permit,” said the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation Council.
“We are pleased to hear the major mines permit has been approved. A lot of hard work has been done by all parties involved,” added Chief Lynda Price of the Ulkatcho First Nation.
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The Blackwater project is one of Canada’s largest gold mines and is estimated to have eight million ounces of gold reserves and 60 million ounces of silver. The mine had a cash balance of $230 million at the end of October last year which is being put toward the first phase of the site’s construction commencing this year.
The news follows B.C.’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation announcing that the province had spent $740 million on exploration in 2022 on Tuesday, the largest amount since 2012 when B.C. collectively spent about $681 million.
Other gold companies operating in central B.C. include Osisko Development Corp. (NYSE: ODV) (TSX-V: ODV), American Eagle Gold Corp. (TSX-V: AE) and Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX: CG) (NYSE: CGAU).