Centerra Gold Inc. announced that the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office has approved an amendment to Mount Milligan’s environmental assessment certificate to permit access to additional sources of surface water and groundwater. Once the company receives the relevant water licenses, it will be permitted to obtain water for use in Mount Milligan’s milling operation from Philip Lake 1, Rainbow Creek and Meadows Creek until November 30, 2021, at rates that are protective of the environment.

The company will also be permitted to access water from groundwater sources within a radius of six kilometers (km) of the Mount Milligan mine for the life of the mine. The company has begun the process of upgrading its water pumping infrastructure at Philip Lake 1 and Rainbow Creek and expects to be in a position to pump water from such sources prior to the spring melt, which is expected in April. The company also expects the additional water captured during the spring melt will be sufficient to allow Mount Milligan to return mill processing operations to full capacity and that, following a ramp up of milling operations, Mount Milligan’s mill throughput will average approximately 55,000 metric tons per day through the remainder of 2019.

“We are delighted that Mount Milligan has received these crucial approvals for water access over a three-year period, which will allow processing operations to return to full capacity and pave the way for Mount Milligan to realize its full potential,” Scott Perry, Centerra president and chief executive officer, said.

Centerra operates two flagship assets, the Kumtor mine in the Kyrgyz Republic and the Mount Milligan mine, and is building its next gold mine, the 100% owned Öksüt gold mine in Turkey.