Red Chris block cave project, Canada – update

Canada flag and periodic table symbols for copper and gold

7th July 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Red Chris block cave project.


Project Owner/s
Newcrest (70%) and Imperial Metals Corporation (30%), through an unincorporated joint venture.

Project Description
Red Chris is currently an openpit operation that produces about 10-million to 11-million tonnes of ore a year. The project has estimated ore reserves of 480-million tonnes at 0.52 g/t gold and 0.45% copper.

A prefeasibility study (PFS) has confirmed the potential of the Red Chris mine to transition to an underground mine using block cave mining to become a world-class, long-life mine.

The mine will comprise macro blocks (MBs) 1, 2 and 3, which will be sequentially mined.

The PFS includes upgrades to the existing processing plant to treat underground ore at a throughput of 13.6-million tonnes a year, which would require an additional coarse-ore stockpile, a new semiautogenous grinding mill, additional rougher flotation capacity using StackCell technology, an upgraded regrind circuit, a new cleaner-scalping Jameson Cell and the duplication of existing concentrate thickening and filtration equipment.

Total ore production from the project is estimated at 406-million tonnes, producing 4.9-million ounces of gold and 1.5-million tonnes of copper.

The project has an estimated 31-year mine life at an average mill throughput rate of 12.8-million tonnes a year.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at a real 4.5% discount rate, of C$2.28-million and an internal rate of return of 17%, with a payback of 3.2 years.

Capital Expenditure
The project will require an investment of C$2.63-billion for the development of the MBs, a process plant and infrastructure.

Planned Start/End Date
The underground mine is expected to start production from MB1 in the 2027 financial year, from MB2 in the 2036 financial year and from MB3 in the 2041 financial year.

Latest Developments
Newcrest Mining has reported that it may have enough gold and copper deposits at its Red Chris project to open an entirely new section and extend mining in the area for decades.

The gold producer, which is set to be acquired by US giant Newmont, will decide later this year whether to add underground block cave mining to its openpit operations at Red Chris.

Newcrest CEO Sherry Duhe has said exploration at the neighbouring East Ridge area is yielding “exciting” results: “We expect we might get an entire macro block cave just out of East Ridge that could change the whole sequence of the block cave that we’re developing.” This could lead to decades of production from the block cave.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Newcrest Mining, tel +61 3 9522 5333 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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