Value Through Gold

sustainability
RAMPING UP PRODUCTION OF THE HIGH-GRADE BRUCEJACK GOLD MINE
COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION ANNOUNCED JULY 2017

Sustainability

Sustainable Mining
Pretivm wants the people of northern British Columbia to participate in our success as a gold mining company. As we make the transition from construction to operations, our goal is to build on a foundation of good corporate citizenship for the long-term benefit of the region. We are committed to maintaining positive relationships with our neighbors, rigorous environmental stewardship and a high standard of health and safety. We view these commitments as interrelated, and the responsibility for their management and oversight is shared by Pretivm’s Board of Directors and senior management.

Environment

Environmental Stewardship
The Brucejack Mine has been developed in accordance with stringent federal and provincial requirements to protect the natural environment throughout the course of our exploration, mining, processing and closure activities. These requirements address our compliance with regulatory standards, mitigation measures, and the pursuit of optimal practices for operating our mine, camp and access road. Documentation related to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) review process for the Brucejack Mine, including the Decision Statement and Environmental Assessment Report, can be accessed from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry website

Environmental Management System
Pretivm has developed Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) to operate Brucejack in a manner in accordance with our corporate Environmental Policy and regulatory requirements.

The primary EMPs include plans for management of water quality and aquatic effects; air quality; metal leaching and acid rock drainage (ML/ARD); wildlife; vegetation; and heritage resources, as well as plans for emergency spill response; chemicals and materials storage and handling; waste management; invasive plants management; and chemicals management plans for the mine water treatment plant.

Monitoring
Water and air discharges from the Mine are closely monitored internally and through independent parties. Water quality and flows are monitored both at the points of discharge and at multiple locations in the downstream receiving environment. Additional aquatic effects monitoring of both the downstream environment and a reference site is conducted and assessed to confirm that the downstream aquatic receiving environment is not being affected by Mine activities. There is also monitoring in effect for impacts on vegetation and wildlife. The monitoring regime for the Mine extends through the mine life and closure stages.

Environmental Conservation – Design Choices
The efficient use of energy, resources and materials is integral to the design and operation of our facilities. Conservation efforts in the development of the Brucejack include:

  • Connection to the BC Hydro transmission grid to access hydro-electric and natural gas power resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions;
  • The use of electric heaters in place of traditional propane heaters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • The installation of variable frequency electrical drives to increase the efficiency of the mill facility and reduce power consumption;
  • The installation of a pebble crusher to further grind ore in order to increase efficiency of the ball mill;
  • The installation of LED high-bay lighting in the mill building to reduce energy usage; and,
  • The installation of a state of the art water treatment facility for construction and operations.

Continuous Commitment
We require that all employees, contractors and suppliers comply with our corporate commitments to protect the natural environment, and to that end we provide them with the resources and training necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. We encourage dialogue on environmental issues with all stakeholders concerning opportunities to improve our performance in this area.

Community

Community
Pretivm’s relationships with the citizens of northwestern British Columbia have been positive and mutually-beneficial since the earliest days of the Brucejack Mine, when we made it a priority to hire and source locally to run our exploration camp. During the subsequent permitting stage and into construction we found sustained support in the region for the development of Brucejack as an underground mine. We continue the community engagement which has earned us this support with continuous communication and by extending economic opportunities.

Pretivm’s Social Responsibility Policy describes the principles that guide our activities in the area of community relations, and the policy is framed by two detailed management plans that govern the formal aspects of relationship management. The Aboriginal Consultation Plan outlines our communication plans and commitments in the area of First Nations engagement, and the Economic and Social Effects Mitigation Plan addresses the scope of our initiatives for employment, training and contracting in the region.

Engagement
The design, development and construction of the Brucejack Mine has involved extensive and ongoing consultation with local Aboriginal groups, all levels of government in Canada and the state of Alaska, as well as the general public. This process of engagement and consultation ensures that the conduct of our Mine activities meets the expectations set out in our Environmental Assessment Certificate and related conditions, and has established the framework for ongoing dialogue to ensure community concerns are understood and addressed appropriately.

We maintain the dialogue with communities by:

  • Hosting community events and open houses to provide updates, respond to questions, promote job opportunities and offer insight into mine site work for the benefit of potential employees and their families;
  • Direct outreach to local communities and educational institutions by our Community Relations Manager;
  • Maintaining a local presence and central point of contact through our office in Smithers

Employment & Training
We are committed to hiring locally for all positions whenever possible, and work directly with community employment contacts to connect locals with job opportunities at Brucejack. Once Brucejack is in operation the mine will employ more than 500 people in underground mining, milling and a spectrum of mine and camp support roles through the 18 year mine life.

We are working in partnership with relevant government and educational institutions in northern British Columbia to identifying gaps in local labour force capacity where we can focus our training strategies. Our shared goal is to match or develop the skills needed at the mine in tandem with the development of the transferrable skills which will benefit the region for the longer term. We have begun the process of developing an apprenticeship program which will become established as we staff the mine for operations.

On-the-job training is continuously provided to Brucejack’s workforce, which has focused to date on supervisory skills, and health and safety.

Economic Benefits for northern British Columbia
Pretium has been a corporate citizen of northern British Columbia since it was first formed in late 2010 to advance the Brucejack Mine. As the project has grown in scope, so has the need for supplies and services, which has benefitted the businesses in the region. These businesses are based in the commercial centres of Terrace and Smithers as well as the district of Stewart, New Hazelton, and other surrounding communities. Local sourcing for the mine has included food and fuel for Brucejack camps, as well as office supplies and vehicle renting and leasing. We have engaged local companies who provide services related to road maintenance, transportation, medical response, electrical trades, environmental controls and monitoring, drilling, camp buildings and supplies, as well as construction-related contracting including steel supply and installation. We will continue to look first to local suppliers as part of our procurement strategies during operations.

Health and safety

Health and Safety
Human health and safety is the primary consideration governing our activities at the Brucejack site and our corporate offices. Pretivm’s safety management initiatives emphasize effective safety leadership, accountability, and a proactive approach to risk mitigation.

Safety awareness education is conducted at Brucejack on a daily basis to instill the competency in our workforce to identify, understand, and manage risk in the Mine’s operating environment. On-the-job training related to safety at Brucejack is continuously provided to Pretivm employees, including basic first aid, food safe, the workplace hazardous materials information system, mine rescue, avalanche training, and other relevant topics. The Brucejack Drug and Alcohol Policy forbids the consumption or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs at site, and supervisors are trained to identify drug and alcohol use on the job. Pretivm offers an Employee Assistance Program which provides additional health and wellness support on and off the Brucejack site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Operations

What kind of mine has been developed at Brucejack?

Brucejack is a high-grade underground gold mine. Commercial production was announced on July 3, 2017.

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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, covers 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 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?

Commercial production at Brucejack Mine was announced on July 3, 2017.

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Environment

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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Permitting

What is Brucejack’s permitting status?

Pretivm has been issued all of the major regulatory permits and commercial production at the Brucejack Mine was announced on July 3, 2017.

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 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 and commercial production at the Brucejack Mine was announced on July 3, 2017.

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Community

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

The Brucejack Mine 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 Mine 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 Mine. 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?

The high-grade gold underground Brucejack Mine is located in a remote area with a relatively small environmental footprint. One particular issue we have heard raised is how the Mine will contribute to the cumulative impacts of the traffic on Highway 37, as we truck concentrate to the Port of Stewart or to the CN railway near Highway 16. We have advised that our concentrate traffic will 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 Mine?

As a 2,700 tonnes-per-day underground mine, Brucejack has employed approximately 900 people during construction and will employ approximately 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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