Imperial began making plans to reopen it’s 100%-owned Mount Polley mine late last year, and the reopening is imminent. The pit has been dewatered, waste pre-stripped, and the mill restarted. About 4.5 million tonnes of ore were stockpiled in preparation for milling.
The mine suffered a large tailings dam break in 2014 and was closed for two years while the company spent C$70 million ($54.3m) on environmental rehabilitation. Hazeltine Creek, which flows into Quesnel Lake, needed extensive restoration.
Mount Polley reopened about the time the Huckleberry copper mine was placed on care-and-maintenance. When copper prices fell below $3 per pound, Mount Polley was again idled.
According to the first quarter 2022 financial report, Imperial spent C$2 million on the Mount Polley reopening during that time, which increased the company’s net loss by C$22.4 million. Once Mount Polley is again in production, Imperial plans to work on bringing the 100%-owned Huckleberry mine back online.
Mount Polley has proven and probable reserves of 53.8 million tonnes grading 0.34% copper, 0.30 g/t gold and0.90 g/t silver, which contains 3.0 billion lb. copper, 3.2 million oz. gold and 1.6 million oz. silver. The total measured and indicated resource (open pit and underground) is 194.3 million tonnes at 0.29% copper, 0.29 g/t gold and 0.73 g/t silver. The total inferred resource is 5.6 million tonnes at 0.37% copper, 0.28 g/t gold and 2.18 g/t silver.
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