Following a competitive bid process, Artemis Gold (TSXV: ARTG) has executed binding agreements with Finning (Canada), a division of Finning International (TSX: FTT), for the supply of a primary and ancillary mining fleet for the company’s Blackwater gold project in central British Columbia.
Through the agreement with Caterpillar, Artemis has the option to place orders for Caterpillar’s zero-emissions haul trucks, currently under development, for shipments beginning in 2029. The fleet transition signifies a key milestone of the project and will substantially reduce the carbon footprint of Blackwater’s operations.
The project will be powered by clean electricity through the company’s planned 135-km long, 230 kV electricity transmission line which will connect to the BC Hydro grid.
Under the supply agreements, Finning has secured equipment pricing for the primary fleet until Dec. 31, 2024, subject to minor index and foreign exchange adjustments. Finning has further agreed to delivery dates for the primary and ancillary fleet in order to support mine development for Blackwater. The supply agreements secure the supply of equipment, as well as the supply of parts and labour, the latter of which will support the equipment availability guarantees provided by Finning.
The company has also concurrently executed a credit-approved commitment letter for an equipment lease facility with Caterpillar Financial Services associated with the primary and ancillary mining fleet, as well as an agreement with Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) regarding the supply of a future zero-emission haul fleet.
The credit-approved equipment lease facility with Cat Financial provides for up to $140 million ($109.3m) in equipment financing on terms consistent with the assumptions contained within the company’s 2021 feasibility study technical report dated Sept. 10, 2021. The equipment lease facility remains subject to customary conditions precedent, including the finalization of the master lease agreement and related documents.
“The execution of these agreements provides Artemis certainty of equipment pricing and equipment availability for Blackwater’s planned mining and construction activities,” said CEO Steven Dean in the media statement. “Of equal significance, partnering with Caterpillar provides the project with a pathway towards decarbonization of Blackwater’s haul fleet.
“With access to BC Hydro’s clean power, the transition to an electrified fleet as soon as 2029 provides Artemis a pathway to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the project. This is consistent with Artemis’ ESG goals to responsibly develop the Blackwater gold project, identify innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment while providing generational opportunities in the communities in which we operate,” he added.
The company recently inked a $312 million ($243.5) engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPC) contract with Sedgman Canada for the processing plant and associated infrastructure at Blackwater.