Ascot Resources (TSX: AOT) has received the ball and SAG mills at its Premier gold-silver project in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle, putting the junior on track to restart production in late 2022.
The company, which anticipates being fully permitted for construction in the third quarter, placed the orders for the long-lead items last October.
“Ordering the ball and SAG mills last year was a prudent decision, and we are very pleased that they have now been delivered in a timely manner – especially amid increasing competitive pressures in procurement of long lead time equipment in the mining industry,” said Ascot president and CEO Derek White.
As it waits for its Joint Act permit amendment, expected within weeks, Ascot has been busy with pre-construction activities allowed under its early works permit. That includes preparation of the ball and SAG mill foundations for installation inside the mill building, the installation of temporary power line to the mill, and a temporary 150-person camp that will be ready to house construction crews by the end of September.
The company has also finalized the location of a new water treatment plant and has started to clear the land.
Once full construction begins, the company anticipates it will take 12 months to complete.
Premier is 22 km by road from Stewart, BC. The past-producing underground project has significant existing infrastructure, including a tailings facility, process plant, hydro-electric power plant, and underground workings.
An April 2020 feasibility study that looked at development of Premier and Ascot’s Red Mountain project, 15 km north of Stewart, outlined an initial capex of C$146.6 million and a mine life of eight years for the 2,500 t/d project. Production would average 132,375 oz. gold and 370,500 oz. silver annually at all-in sustaining costs of $769 per oz.
Reserves at Premier total 3.6 million tonnes grading 5.45 g/t gold and 19.1 g/t silver for 637,000 oz. of gold and 2.2 million oz. of silver. Red Mountain reserves stand at 2.5 million tonnes grading 6.52 g/t gold and 20.6 g/t silver, for 534,000 oz. gold and 1.7 million oz. silver.
The company is also conducting a 25,000-metre drill program at Premier this year that has found new high-grade copper, gold and silver mineralization.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)