Premier gold project, Canada – update

12th November 2021 By: Sheila Barradas - Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

Premier gold project, Canada – update

Name of the Project
Premier gold project (PGP).

British Columbia, Canada, adjacent to the border with Alaska, in the US, in the Golden Triangle gold mining district.

Project Owner/s
Gold and silver explorer Ascot Resources.

Project Description
An independent feasibility study has outlined a low capital restart plan for the PGP, based on a proven and probable reserve of 6.2-million tonnes grading 5.9 g/t gold and 19.7 g/t gold.

The study is based on four underground mining operations – Silver Coin, Big Missouri, Premier and Red Mountain – feeding a centralised 2 500 t/d processing facility at PGP. The mining operations will be sequenced over eight years to initially produce 1.1-million ounces of gold and three-million ounces of silver.

Mining will start from the Silver Coin and Big Missouri deposits, which will be followed by the Red Mountain deposit in Year 3, and then the Premier deposit.

In the four planned operations, access for production will be through new and existing adits (side hill portal access) using a combination of new ramp development and the refurbishment of existing underground infrastructure.

Mining methods will largely comprise low-cost longhole stoping for most of the ore, with limited use of inclined undercut longhole, room-and-pillar and cut-and-fill mining methods in specific shallow or flat-lying stopes. Ore will be trucked to the processing facility and mining waste will be used underground as a combination of rockfill and cemented rockfill.

The existing processing facility will be refurbished within a construction period of about 40 weeks. The process plant will use conventional crushing, grinding and gravity circuits, followed by a stan­dard carbon-in-leach process to produce gold doré.

The plant refurbishment will comprise a com­bi­na­tion of existing, new and repaired equipment and supporting plant infrastructure. Prior to ore from the Red Mountain project being treated, the plant will add an energy efficient, fine grinding mill, as well as an additional preleach thickener, to accommodate the processing of harder-ore feed and the finer grind required for recovery purposes.

PGP has an existing tailings storage facility and water treatment plant. The independent feasi­bility study has two key enhancements to the exist­ing infrastructure:

• the tailings dam will be raised using centreline lifts throughout the mine life, with about 1.2-million cubic metres of nonacid-generating rock excavated from a nearby quarry; and

• the water treatment plant will be modified to nearly double the existing capacity to accom­modate additional water treatment from the Big Missouri and Silver Coin operations, and will also include an ammonia treatment plant, a water clarifier and a lime high-density sludge system.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The April 2020 feasibility study highlighted an after-tax net present value (NPV), at a 5% discount rate, of C$341-million and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 51% at $1 400/oz gold.

The project has an estimated after-tax NPV, at a 5% discount rate, of $546-million and an IRR of 73% at current gold prices of $1 740/oz gold.

Capital Expenditure
Ascot Resources has revised the initial capital estimate for the project from C$147-million to C$176-million, adding 20% to its estimated expenditure.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
The permitting process to restart the Premier gold mine is nearing completion.

Ascot recently received draft permit conditions from the provincial regulators, and CEO Derek White has said that conditions will be negotiated and accepted over the “next several weeks”, followed by final permit issuance.

Receipt of the final permit will allow for full-scale construction activities, including portal preparation and underground development.

Ascot has made much progress in advancing the project in the past quarter. It announced the signing of an updated benefits agreement with Nisga’a Nation in July and reported positive exploration results, including 21 g/t gold over 7 m in a step-out hole at the Premier deposit, in August. The ball and semiautogenous grinding mills were delivered in September.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Sacre-Davey Engineering (overall coordination, infrastructure and the economic evaluation in the independent feasibility study); InnovExplo Inc and Mine Paste (mining); Sedgman Canada (metallurgy and processing); Knight Piésold (tailings and water management); SRK Consulting (water treatment plant); Paul Hughes Consulting (site geotechnical); McElhanney (access roads); Prime Engineering (electrical substation); Palmer Environmental Consulting Group (geochemistry, hydrology and water quality modelling); Falkirk Environmental Consultants and EcoLogic Consultants (environmental studies); and Farnell-Thompson Applied Technologies SAG ball mills and related parts).

Contact Details for Project Information
Ascot Resources, tel +1778725 1060 or email