Thompson Creek Metals Co. launched its Mt. Milligan project in Prince George, B.C.; dignitaries included British Columbia Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett and other government officials. Thompson CEO Kevin Loughrey noted the project would create 400 permenent jobs. “Mt. Milligan is valuable not only to our company, but all of British Columbia,” said Loughrey. “We remain committed to foster future prosperity in the region.”

Thompson officials previously announced that phased start-up began on August 15, followed by copper and gold concentrate production in September; on Septermber 24, concentrate movement to the Mackenzie load out facility began.

Concentrate will continue to be accumulated and stored onsite and the load out facility until transported for off-site smelting and refining, company representatives added. The first rail from Mackenzie to Vancouver is forecast for this month, followed by the first ocean shipment to a smelter later in Q3.

Through September 30, meanwhile, the mill produced 1,600 tons of concentrate with a specification of 24% copper and 31 grams of gold per ton. The average throughput rate is 1,500 to 2,000 tons per hour. The second ball mill’s startup, along with its flotation circuit and pebble crusher are expected this month, while full throughput rate is expected at 60,000 tons per day (tpd).