Ascot Resources (TSX: AOT) announced on Tuesday it has obtained the Mines Act Permit for construction and operation of the Premier gold project located in the Golden Triangle of northwestern British Columbia.
Premier is a past-producing underground gold mine with significant existing infrastructure, including a tailings facility, process plant, hydro-electric power plant and underground workings.
With the Mines Act Permit in hand, Ascot will now evaluate and prepare for an optimal transition from early works to full-scale construction. Project construction is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete.
The company had originally anticipated being fully permitted to restart operations at Premier in the third quarter, which would place the mine on track for a late 2022 production.
Due to high snowfall levels in BC, the company is adjusting its project development plans throughout this winter season, which would push the target date for initial gold production by one quarter, from Q4 2022 to Q1 2023.
In addition, Ascot is expecting to receive imminently its Environmental Management Act Permit, for which there are no further outstanding information requests.
“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,” Derek White, Ascot’s president and CEO, stated in a press release.
“This project will be a welcome source of employment for hundreds of people who live in the Northwest,” Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, added.
Based on the 2020 feasibility study mine plan, the project is expected to employ a peak of approximately 140 people during the construction phase, and in operation, the mine would directly employ approximately 280 people.
The study outlined a low capital (C$146.6 million) restart plan to feed the Premier mill at 2,500 tonnes per day, producing approximately 1.1 million ounces of gold and 3 million ounces of silver over an 8-year mine life.
Over the course of production, the mine is 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.