The Blackwater gold project that TSX-listed New Gold is proposing in British Columbia has been issued an environmental certificate by the provincial government.
According to British Columbia government’s media statement, the responsible Ministers are confident that the openpit gold and silver mine, which will have a footprint of 4 400 ha, could be built and operated in a way that will not have an adverse impact on the environment.
New Gold will be bound by 43 conditions that form part of the Blackwater environmental assessment certificate, as well as design requirements that are specified in the certified project description.
The project in April gained federal environmental approval which established 172 conditions that New Gold has to fulfil throughout the life of mine (LoM).
The mine is one of three medium-term gold projects that are in the pipeline for British Columbia, the others being Seabridge Gold’s Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell mine and Taseko Mines’ New Prosperity project.
The provincial media statement outlines the economic impact that the new Blackwater project will have on the British Columbia economy, noting that it will create 2 436 person years of direct employment during the two-year construction period, with C$1.29-billion in project expenditure, contributing C$312-million to British Columbia’s gross domestic product.
During operations, the mine will support direct employment of 396 full-time equivalent jobs a year, with expenditures other than labour amounting to $161-milion a year, contributing C$258-million a year to the province’s gross domestic product.
The Blackwater technical report states that the mine will operate for 16 years. Over the first nine years of operation, the average feed grade will be 0.85 g/t gold and the average gold production will be 485 000 oz/y.
Total LoM metal production, including lower-grade stockpiles will be seven-million ounces of gold and 29.6-million ounces of silver. The average LoM cash costs, net of royalties and silver credits, is $670/oz.
Investors reacted favourably to the news, with the Toronto-headquartered company’s stock closing nearly 9% up at C$1.10 a share. The miner operates the New Afton and Rainy River mines, in Canada, as well as the San Pedro mine in Mexico.