Red Chris block cave project, Canada – update

Image of Red Chris mine project

Photo by Newcrest

4th August 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 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
The Red Chris block cave feasibility study will be completed in the second half of the year. Several optimisation opportunities to unlock further value are being assessed as part of the study, including options for the initial extraction level of the first block cave and alternative plant expansion options.

Newcrest is reviewing various options to offset any inflationary cost pressures on future capital expenditure and operating costs. Progress towards block cave mining is advancing, with the exploration decline at 3 245 m as of July 20, 2023. The ventilation fans have been commissioned in the first ventilation raise.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

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

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Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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