Project - Proposed Mine
Casino Deposit on Patton Hill
Casino Mining Corporation’s copper-gold-molybdenum-silver deposit is located in the Dawson Range Gold Belt about 300 km northwest of Whitehorse, Yukon. The conventional open-pit, truck and shovel operation is expected to process about 120,000 tonnes of copper ore per day over a 22-year mine life, with an additional 25,000 tonnes per day of gold oxide ore processed at the heap leach facility.
The main components of the mine include the Open Pit, processing plant, Heap Leach Facility, Tailings Management Facility, temporary ore stockpiles, ancillary support features (e.g., admin, offices, warehouses, etc.), power plant, 1,000 man accommodations camp, water supply and distribution and communications infrastructure.
The mine will produce copper concentrate, molybdenum concentrate, and gold-silver doré bars. Concentrates will be shipped by truck to Skagway, Alaska where they will be loaded onto tankers for transport to overseas smelters to produce usable metals. The gold-silver doré bars will be shipped by truck to markets.
Access to the area will be from Whitehorse via a network of existing paved highways linking Northern British Columbia and the Port of Skagway in Alaska. From Whitehorse, the paved Klondike Highway affords access to the Village of Carmacks. From Carmacks, the access road will follow the existing gravel Freegold Road for 83 km, which will be upgraded to accommodate Project requirements. An 120 km extension will be constructed from the Freegold Road to the mine, generally following the existing historic Casino Trail alignment.
The Access Road will be constructed, owned and operated in accordance with agreements between Casino, and the Yukon, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and Selkirk First Nation Governments.
Employees and workers will be flown directly to the site from Whitehorse and outside the Territory. The on-site airstrip will provide access for Hawker Sidley 748 or Dash 8 sized aircrafts, which can seat 39-50 passengers. Over the four-year construction period, it is estimated that direct employment requirements will peak at 1,000 people per year and the operating workforce over the 22-year life of the mine will average 600 people annually.
An on-site liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant, an efficient and low emissions fuel option, will be used to generate the needed 150 megawatts of power for mine operations. The LNG will be trucked to site from northeastern British Columbia.
Freshwater will be supplied from the Yukon River, via a 17 km long pipeline with four booster stations at a rate of 3,400 m3/hr.
The Open Pit will ultimately occupy an area of approximately 300 hectares and will extend to a depth of approximately 600 metres. The mine has a total of 965 million tonnes of proven and probably Mill ore reserves and 157 million tonnes of proven and probably Heap Leach reserves. Additionally, 658 million tonnes of waste material will be excavated during the 22-year mine life, and co-disposed in the Tailings Management Facility.
The Tailings Management Facility will be located southeast of the Open Pit, in the valley formed by the headwaters of Casino Creek. The Tailings Management Facility will be a 1,120 hectare area formed by the construction of two earth/rockfill/cyclone sand, zoned embankments. The facility will store 947 million tonnes of tailings produced by the processing plant, and 658 million tonnes of potentially reactive waste rock generated through mining. The main embankment will be 286 m high at the deepest section of the Casino Creek valley, and will be sequentially raised throughout operation by cyclone sand made from the tailings, to reduce the volume of tailings requiring storage. The facility will retain the tailings and waste rock in a sub-aqueous state to ensure geochemical stability of the waste material. The Tailings Management Facility is designed in accordance with guidelines from the Canadian Dam Association, and will be constructed and operated in accordance with guidance from the Mining Association of Canada.
The Heap Leach Facility is on a southeast facing hill-slope south of the Open Pit and will stack and leach 157.5 million tonnes at a nominal rate of 9.125 million tonnes per year. The Heap Leach Facility has been designed with special design and operational consideration to account for the cold climate, and the presence of extensive permafrost. The Heap Leach Facility will be developed in five stages by loading in successive 8 m lifts upslope from a confining embankment to provide initial stability and minimize initial capital costs. Operations will irrigate a weak cyanide solution over the ore lift and the recovery of pregnant solution through solution collection pipes and pumps. A composite liner system will be constructed and will include leak detection and recovery systems for intercepting any leakage through the inner liner.
More details on Project Infrastructure can be found in Section 4 of the YESAB Project Proposal.
The project is expected to provide up to 1,000 direct jobs each year over the four-year construction period, and an average of about 600 jobs annually over the 22-year life of the mine. Currently opportunities can be viewed here.
Details on the proposed mine can be viewed in the Casino Project Proposal and supplementary information.
You can also visualize the project in this video.