Value Through Gold


Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of mine will be developed at Brucejack?

Brucejack is being advanced as a high-grade underground gold mine.

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How big will the mine at Brucejack be?

The mine will process 2,700 tonnes of ore per day. The area of mine site itself, including the camp, will cover approximately 10 hectares.

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What will the mine produce?

Brucejack will produce predominantly gold with some silver. About 50% to 60% of the gold will be produced as gold-silver doré bars, and the remainder will be produced as a gold-silver concentrate.

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How will the ore be extracted?

The mining method planned for Brucejack is long-hole stoping. This bulk underground method was chosen because the deposit is characterized by stringers of high-grade gold disseminated throughout lower grade gold (0.5 to 2.5 grams per tonne) quartz stockwork. Horizontal drifts are driven along two sublevels, and rock is blasted vertically from the upper level to the lower level along strike. The stope void left behind is then back-filled with waste rock and tailings mixed with cement.

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How will the ore be processed?

The extracted rock is dumped into an underground crusher (which reduces dust and noise in the open air), crushed, and conveyed to surface. It is then put through a grinding circuit where it is ground to 75 microns. This material then goes through a gravity concentrator to extract the free gold, from which we will produce gold-silver doré bars. The remaining rock is processed in flotation cells and concentrated down to less than 10% of its initial mass. This is the flotation concentrate which is trucked from site and sold to smelters and metals traders.

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Where is the ore transported, and how?

The gold-silver doré bars are expected to be flown out from site and sold to refiners. The concentrate will be trucked out and either transported by rail or ship to end buyers.

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When do you expect the mine to be in production?

We are targeting commercial production to begin at Brucejack in 2017.

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Will the mine use cyanide?

No. In processing, the majority of the gold is liberated through grinding and gravity separation. The remainder is separated through a conventional flotation process.

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Where will the mine’s waste rock go?

During the initial development of the mine, waste rock (estimated at approximately 2 million cubic meters, subject to the feasibility study) will be deposited in Brucejack Lake, an approximately 100-meter deep lake with an estimated volume of over 30 million cubic meters. Once stope voids have been developed from operations, waste rock will be deposited back underground.

Waste rock from historic underground development at the property was deposited in Brucejack Lake as part of reclamation in 1999. Brucejack Lake is not fish habitat, and no fish have been captured there historically or in 2010 and 2011 surveys.

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What about tailings from the mine?

Up to 50% of the tailings from the Brucejack mine (estimated at approximately 6 million cubic meters, subject to the feasibility study) are to be deposited in the bottom third of Brucejack Lake, with the remaining 50% to be used for paste backfill and deposited back underground. Studies are underway to maximize the amount of tailings to be placed underground.

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Will the mine impact area waterways?

The mine at Brucejack is not expected to impact the area waterways. Brucejack Lake is a glacial lake with minimal turnover. Its outlet is Brucejack Creek, which flows west under Sulphurets Glacier, into Sulphurets Creek (~7 kilometers away), and then ultimately to the Unuk River (~20 kilometers away), where it has minimal contribution. The Brucejack Creek watershed comprises approximately 3.5% of the Unuk River watershed.

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Are there fish in the vicinity of the mine?

Brucejack Lake does not support fish and is not considered fish habitat. It is at high elevation and is covered by ice approximately 10 months of the year. Its outlet is Brucejack Creek, which flows west downstream ultimately into Sulphurets Creek. There is an approximately 200-meter barrier (waterfall) on Sulphurets Creek located approximately 20 kilometers from Brucejack Lake which prevents fish from moving upstream.

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Will wildlife be impacted by the mine?

The mine area itself is above the tree line in Alpine tundra at an elevation of 1,400 meters. It has minimal soil development due to its recent de-glaciation, so does not host significant animal habitat. The access road to the site traverses lower elevation areas with mature vegetation, and wildlife mitigation measures will be in place along it, as well as management measures such as gated control at Highway 37.

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What is Brucejack’s permitting status?

Pretivm has been issued all of the major regulatory permits required to begin development work towards commercial production at the Brucejack Project.

Brucejack has received:

  • Mar 27, 2015 - BC Environmental Assessment Certificate
  • July 31, 2015 – Federal Environmental Decision Statement
  • Sept 1, 2015 – Mines Act
  • Sept 1, 2015 – Environmental Management Act

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How long will it take to get a mine at Brucejack permitted?

As of Sept 1, 2015 Pretivm has been issued all of the major regulatory permits required to begin development work towards commercial production at the Brucejack Project.

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How does the permitting process work?

The federal and provincial governments provide the requirements for the Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) application, and advise of the data gathering and community consultation requirements. Once filed, the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has 180 days to assess, and the provincial Ministers then have 45 days to approve. From the date that the Federal Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) commences its assessment, the federal Minister has 365 days to make a decision. As of Sept 1, 2015 Pretivm has been issued all of the major regulatory permits required to begin development work towards commercial production at the Brucejack Project.

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What First Nations are in the area of the Brucejack Project?

The Brucejack Project access road traverses the asserted traditional territory of the Skii km Lax Ha First Nation, and where it crosses the Bell Irving River near Highway 37 it is located in the asserted territory of the Tahltan First Nation. The Brucejack Project access road is located in the Naas Area as defined by the Nisga’a Final Agreement.

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Has Pretivm been engaging with the local First Nations and communities?

Pretivm has been providing ongoing project updates to the leaders of several First Nations and northern BC communities in the general vicinity of the Brucejack Project. Representatives have visited the site, and many individuals have worked at site as Brucejack has evolved from its beginnings as a small exploration project. We will continue to provide project updates on Brucejack as it progresses, and will continue to extend employment opportunities and build commercial relationships in northern BC.

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What are their concerns about a mine at Brucejack?

Brucejack is located in a remote area and is being advanced as an underground mine with a relatively small environmental footprint. One particular issue we have heard raised is how the Project will contribute to the cumulative impacts of the traffic on Highway 37, as we plan to truck concentrate to the Port of Stewart or to the CN railway near Highway 16. We have advised that our concentrate traffic would comprise up to four to six 40-tonne trucks per day based on our processing rate at a concentration of 10%.

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How will local communities benefit from the Project?

As a 2,700 tonnes-per-day underground mine, Brucejack is expected to employ 900 people during construction and 500 people per year over the life of the mine for an array of technical and non-technical jobs in both surface and underground operations. We are committed to making local employment a priority, and will seek to engage in training partnerships with educational institutions and other organizations. We are also committed to sourcing local contractors and supplies from northern BC where possible.

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