Ascot Resources Ltd. has obtained the mines act permit for construction and operation of the Premier Gold Project located in the Golden Triangle of northwestern British Columbia. The British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation has issued the Mines Act Permit, enabling the restart of operations at the project. In addition, Ascot anticipates the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to issue the Environmental Management Act Permit.
With the benefit of having the Mines Act Permit in hand, Ascot will now evaluate and prepare for an optimal transition from early works to full-scale construction. The receipt of the final permits is one of the key conditions to draw down the remaining $75 million under the company’s project finance facility.
“Receiving the Mines Act Permit for PGP is a momentous milestone for Ascot, and the culmination of extensive collaboration and consultation with Nisga’a Nation and the provincial regulators,” President and CEO Derek White said. “We are grateful that our community-centered approach to responsible mine development and environmental stewardship was a vision shared by all parties involved in the permitting process.”
During the approximate 12-month construction phase, Ascot expects the project to employ approximately 140 people. Once operational, the mine will employ approximately 280 people.
Over the initial right-year mine life, Ascot expects to invest C$353 million in initial and sustaining capital and incur C$884 million in operating expenses, the vast majority of which would be spent locally and in the province. The mine is also expected to generate approximately C$403 million in provincial and federal taxes and C$746 million in after-tax free cash flow based on current spot metal prices.
Ascot will pour doré gold-silver bars on site, the shipping of which will emit much less carbon than would a concentrate product. The company is currently undertaking a review of the 2020 feasibility study mine plan to estimate life of mine Scope 1-2 emissions, which will be included in Ascot’s inaugural sustainability report planned for 2022.
In Ascot’s currently contemplated underground development sequence, by starting in April, initial ore could potentially be accessed by October, enabling process plant commissioning by the end of 2022. As a result, the target date for initial gold production has shifted from Q4 2022 to Q1 2023.