Ascot Resources’ Mines Act permit for the construction and operation of the Premier gold project in northwestern British Columbia has been approved, allowing it to move forward toward what will now be an early 2023 restart.
With the M-179 permit in hand, the Golden Triangle site now expects to imminently see the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy issue its Environmental Management Act Permit PE-8044. In the meantime, the former permit’s approval now allows the operator to transition from early works to full-scale construction.
Crews have already been notified that a cargo ship travelling from China to Vancouver and carrying a majority of its clarifier and thickener components, lost its cargo at sea in a major storm event. The incident will delay the overall project schedule, Ascot officials said, because of the additional time to fabricate and ship replacement components.
“This combined with abnormally high snowfall levels associated with storm events on the west coast of B.C. has led Ascot to revise the project development plans throughout the winter season and into 2022,” the company said.
“For these reasons and in order to prioritize the safety of our workforce, the company is now planning to scale back most outdoor construction activities and delay the commencement of underground development until snowfall levels subside.”
Using Ascot’s current contemplated underground development sequence that starts in April 2022, initial ore could potentially be accessed by October of next year and enable the commissioning of the process plant by the end of 2022.
Thus, Premier’s target date for initial gold production has shifted by one quarter from the final quarter of next year to the first quarter of 2023.