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Blackwater gold mine near Prince George, B.C., nears completion

Artemis Gold expects to pour first gold by second half of this year at Blackwater mine
The Blackwater gold mine near Prince George takes shape.

The new Blackwater gold-silver mine being built south of Prince George is more than 70 per cent complete and the mine’s owners say they are on track to pour first gold sometime in the second half of this year.

Artemis Gold Inc. (TSX-V:ARTG) reports that the new Blackwater mine, 160 kilometres southwest of Prince George, is now 73 per cent complete. To date, Artemis has spent $523 million bringing the mine to that stage. The total capital cost of the new mine is expected to be $730 million to $750 million.

The project’s workforce peaked at 600 in March, the company said, and 320 workers continued to be employed on the project in the first quarter of this year.

The company said work continues on its tailings dam, processing plant and new transmission line.

As for the mine fleet, Artemis said two 400-tonne hydraulic backhoe excavators, six 240-tonne rigid frame haul trucks and two large mining front-end loaders are fully assembled.

“The remainder of the fleet to support initial operations is on site and nearing completion,” the company said in a construction update. “Additional units will be added to the fleet as operations ramp up.

“Looking ahead to Q2 2024, we expect to complete the construction and commissioning of the initial phase of the mining fleet, advance the tailings storage facility main dam wall, and move to the completion of the construction activity in the processing facility,” said Artemis COO Jeremy Langford. “At the end of Q1 2024, we remain on track for first gold pour in H2 2024.”

“The remainder of 2024 will be transformational for Artemis Gold as we progress the Blackwater Mine, a tier one asset in a tier one jurisdiction, into production,” said Artemis CEO Steven Dean.

The Blackwater mine will employ roughly 300 miners in the first phase of operation and up to 450 in later phase expansions.

(This story has been updated to correct the estimated date for pouring first gold.)

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