Artemis Gold raising $175 million for B.C. mine

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Artemis Gold Inc.  [ARTG-TSXV] said Wednesday it is raising $175 million from equity offerings with proceeds used to fund permitting and development costs at the company’s Blackwater Gold Project in central British Columbia.

The company said in initial $86 million is being raised from a bought deal offering, under which the underwriters have committed to buy 19.1 million shares priced at $4.50 each.

In addition, the company said certain management, insiders and shareholders will participate in a separate non-brokered offering, whereby up to 19.7 million common shares will be issued at the offering price for gross proceeds of $89 million. The offering is expected to close on October 14, 2022.

On October 4, 2022, Artemis shares rose 5.7% or 25.5 cents to $4.75. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $7.93 and $3.70.

The Blackwater project is located in central B.C. approximately 160 kilometres southwest of Prince George and 446 kilometres northeast of Vancouver. It is accessible by a major highway and access/service roads.

Artemis bought the Blackwater Project from New Gold Inc. (NGD-TSX, NYSE American) in August, 2020.

The Project schedule maintains an estimated first gold pour date of the first half of 2024, consistent with the updated feasibility study dated September, 2021.

The company has said it plans to develop the project in three stages, a move that would entail targeting a higher-grade zone of near surface mineralization in the southern half of the open pit in the first seven years, supporting a shorter payback period and higher IRR. It said this approach would reduce the initial capital expenditures to $592 million.

The phased approach provides the opportunity to build the Blackwater project into a new 250,000 ounce per year gold operation, growing to more than 400,000 ounces annually with growth financed from free cash flow, the company has said.

Artemis said an economic study indicates that Blackwater could deliver $2.3 billion in provincial government revenues over the life of the project and provide 825 jobs during the construction and expansion phases.

The study envisages $13.2 billion in added value in B.C. from an operation that is expected to consist of an open pit gold and silver mine that will begin life with a nominal milling rate of 15,000 tonnes per day or 5.5 million tonnes per year.

“The results of the economic impact study confirm what the development of the Blackwater Gold Project will deliver as a new economic engine for central British Columbia and Canada,’’ said Artemis Chairman and CEO Steven Dean. He said the project has the potential to economically contribute to local, provincial and federal levels for more than 25 years.

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