Engineering & Mining Journal

APR 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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58 E&MJ • APRIL 2019 www.e-mj.com MINING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA AND YUKON Their goal is to develop a land use plan with the government where some areas are open for business and others are not. The determining factors will be assessing wheth- er mining negatively impacts species, water and the environment, and preserves cultur- ally significant areas. In 2017, BC saw its first increase in ex- ploration spending since 2012, reaching C$246 million, compared with C$205 mil- lion in 2016. About C$37 million of that in- crease was in gold exploration, an interesting statistic considering the province's strength in copper resources. One of the gold-focused juniors to have continued extensive explora- tion is Aben Resources, having drilled 45 holes between 2017 and 2018 at its flagship Forrest Kerr property. Jim Pettit, president and CEO, elaborated on Aben's exploration re- sults: "The first hole of 2018 blew the market away: we ended up with four separate distinct high-grade zones from our first hole alone. We hit 10 m of 38 gr/mt and, within that, we had a section of 6 m of 62 g/mt, which was spectacular." Boom times on the horizon for Yukon mining In November 2018, the Conference Board of Canada released a ter- ritorial outlook economic forecast that points to Yukon having the fastest growing economy in Canada in the next few years, anchored by three new mines moving into production: Western Copper and Gold's Casino project in 2025, Goldcorp's Coffee project in 2021, and Victoria Gold Corp's Eagle Mine, which expects its first gold pour in September 2019. The Eagle Mine will be the largest gold mine in Yukon history and, to tackle the im- pending HR challenge, Victoria Gold Corp has developed a program to retain talent, in collaboration with the government's appren- ticeship programs: "There are many Yukon- ers who have left to work in other provinces because they could not find a job locally. We are starting a campaign to attract and recruit Yukoners across Canada, and give them an opportunity to come back home to work," revealed John McConnell, Victoria Gold Corp's director, president and CEO. Western Copper and Gold Corporation's Casino project is currently in the permitting phase, but when in operation will initially produce over 100,000 mt/y of copper and 400,000 oz/y of gold, with an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of over 20%, and a Net Pres- ent Value (NPV) of close to C$2 billion at today's commodity prices, according to Paul West-Sells, Western's president and CEO. "The Casino project's revenue distribution will be approximately 50% from copper, 40% from gold and 10% from molybdenum. Finding such a large amount of gold in a single deposit, approximately 18 million oz including the reserve and inferred resource, is quite rare," he added. Shawn Ryan received PDAC's Prospector of the Year award in 2010 and appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine in May 2011, dubbed "the king of a new Yukon gold rush" after his prospecting led to the discovery of Goldcorp's Coffee project. Now serving as White Gold Corp.'s CTO, Ryan is bullish about the district-scale potential of White Gold's 439,000 hectare land pack- Edie Thome, president and CEO, AME.

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