A project to expand a construction camp to serve the Blackwater Gold open-pit gold mine 160 kilometres southwest of Prince George is now complete.
Work on a wastewater treatment plant is finished and the camp can now serve as many as 420 workers, with more accommodation dormitories expected to be built over the next month to expand capacity to more than 500.
A 280-hectare site has been logged and cleared to allow mine construction and road access. The existing road network has been upgraded to allow better access for heavy construction equipment.
“Site activities at Blackwater Mine continue (according) to plan,” said Artemis Gold chairman and CEO Steven Dean. “We are pleased with the progress of our team, and the milestones achieved so far.”
When it opens in 2024, Blackwater Gold is expected to create 457 permanent full-time jobs annually over the expected 22-year lifespan of the mine, as well as 825 direct jobs per year during the construction/expansion phase.
There are 200 staff and contractors currently working on the site. At the end of March, close to 30 per cent of Blackwater Gold personnel on the site were female workers and 31 per cent of on-site personnel identified as Indigenous.
Recruitment efforts have been focused on hiring heavy equipment operators and key workers needed to conduct earthworks activities.
The $2.58 billion mine project gained final approval in March when it received its BC Mines Act permit.
The Vancouver-based company has cleared land for its fleet of construction vehicles and to provide space to build maintenance facilities and construction offices that will serve as the staging area for earth-moving activities during the construction phase. Additional rental equipment has been added to the fleet of excavators, backhoe loaders, compactors, graders, telehandlers and a lube/fuel truck.
Construction of facilities for subcontractors on the site is underway. The first concrete pour for the foundation of the ball mill is complete and excavations for concrete civil works and the concrete batch plant have begun.