February 25, 2016 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Exploration at New Afton Mine will continue throughout 2016 as the feasibility of an extension is decided on by New Gold.
After a strong 2015 mining gold and copper just south of Kamloops, mine owners New Gold are exploring options around the current active area for future operations.
New Afton environmental manager Scott Davidson says the company is still drilling to find the edge of a mineral zone it’s considering mining.
“There’s this band or extended area of mineralization,” he says. “The goal is to do some drilling to see if we can continue to define the ore zone.”
A report from New Gold last week had promising numbers when discussing a new section of the mine which would extend operations past 2022.
“As indicated its a few years to build it and get it online,” Davidson says. “We’re hoping in 2017 to get a go decision on it. The sooner we know about it the sooner we can get going.”
Davidson says information still needs to be collected before decisions are made about whether the company will go forward with it and what it’s lifespan might be, but that there is serious interest in doing so.
“We want to extend the mine life. We want to extend the work for our workforce,” he says.
The decision doesn’t just stand with New Gold though, as some environmental permits would need to be updated with the government.
“There are permit amendments that we would need to do. We’ll start to look later this year,” he says. “We’d need to extend our tailings pond permit.”
The company is also doing exploration drilling at sites previously worked at the old mine.
“A lot of it was small little pits because there was surface copper,” Davidson says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016