Gold and Precious Metals

Artemis says expanded Blackwater gold mine would generate $370m annual cash flow

Artemis based its expansion study on the existing reserves and resources. The project has proven and probable reserves of 334.3 million tonnes grading 0.75 g/t gold (8 million oz.) and 5.8 g/t silver (62.2 million oz.) That equates to a gold equivalent of 0.78 g/t.

Using a 0.20 g/t gold equivalent cut-off, the measured and indicated resources are 596.8 million tonnes grading 0.61 g/t gold (11,7 million oz.) and 6.4 g/t silver (122.4 million oz.) The gold equivalent grade is 0.65 g/t, and it contains 12.4 million oz. gold equivalent. There is also an inferred portion of 16.9 million tonnes grading 0.45 g/t gold and 12.8 g/t silver, or 0.53 g/t gold equivalent.

Early in 2023, Artemis announced it was optimizing several facets of the mineral processing plant that will allow fast-tracking of phase two.

These changes included additional structural steel and increased conveyor belt widths, as well as variable-speed drives for the ball mill. Selected electrical components were upgraded, as were the oxygen plant and down-shaft-sparging for the pre-leach and carbon-in-leach circuits, along with creating a CIL layout that facilitates non-intrusive expansion. A full conversion of the detoxification process removed the need for tanker-supplied liquid sulphur dioxide.

The after-tax net present value with a 5% discount of the expanded Blackwater project is C$3.25 billion over its life, when a gold price of $1,800/oz. is used.

The calculation of the after-tax NPV included a BC mining tax minimum of 2% after the effective rate of 13% calculated on operating profit less applicable capital cost deductions. The provincial mining tax is deductible in computing provincial and federal income tax. The BC provincial income tax rate is 12% after deductions, and a federal income tax of 15% after deductions was considered.

The expansion study did not speculate on several additional opportunities that Artemis continues to evaluate – an increased mine life, exploration of resource extensions, alternative methods of transporting waste material, electrification of the haulage fleet, automation of hauling operations, and process engineering initiatives.

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