New Silvertip Mine in northern B.C. set to start construction

Silvertip's mining activities to-date on the Project have included over $40 million in exploration work, comprising approximately 2.4 km of underground workings and over 71,000 m of surface and underground drilling. Image from JDS Silver.

[News release from BC Ministry of Energy and Mines]

The Province has given the go-ahead to JDS Silver to begin construction on the Silvertip Mine in Northern B.C, creating more jobs for British Columbians and an economic boost to the Kaska First Nation.

The company anticipates that – including the construction phase – the mine could operate for up to 21 years and create 150 to 200 new jobs once full production begins. The Silvertip Mine site is situated approximately 16 kilometres south of the Yukon border and 90 kilometres southwest of Watson Lake.

The Mines Act permit issued by the Ministry of Energy and Mines to JDS Silver will allow the company to move into the construction phase, which is expected to take 15 to 18 months to complete.

The company estimates the capital costs for the project will be approximately $50 million. The mine is located on a high-grade, silver-lead-zinc deposit, which the company plans to extract using underground mining methods.

JDS Silver has signed a social economic partnership agreement with the Kaska First Nation that will allow the Kaska First Nation to benefit significantly from the successful operation of the mine.

Once construction is complete and all permits are in place, the mine site proposes to operate 150 days per-year and will temporarily shut down each winter. The mine will use a combination of dry stack tailings storage for its non-acid generating tailings and underground storage for its acid-generating tailings.

Silvertip is located in Canada, 85km SW of Watson Lake. Silvertip is considered to be a sedimentary exhalative deposit. Image from IntelligenceMine.

"Since June 2011, six new mines have opened in British Columbia and with the Mines Act permit issued for Silvertip Mine, this means seven new mines open or under construction since 2011 – this investor confidence in mining is unprecedented in Canada,” says Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines.

“After a thorough study of our proposed Silvertip operation by the Ministry, JDS Silver is extremely pleased with the outcome of the Mines Act Permit review.," says Kevin Weston, chief operating officer, JDS Silver.

"The company and the ministry’s personnel, along with support from the Kaska First Nation, worked diligently to ensure that the Silvertip Mine will be one of the most environmentally responsible operations in the province.

“JDS Silver has committed to dry-stack tailings versus a conventional tailings pond, resulting in very little post-closure impact on the environment. The company intends to leave the land with minimal impact while maximizing benefits to all of our stakeholders and our partners, the Kaska First Nation.”