Imperial Metals Corp. (III-TSX) has released 2021 third quarter production numbers for the has Red Chris copper-gold mine in northwestern British Columbia.
The company said Red Chris produced 17.2 million pounds of copper and 15,249 ounces of gold in the third quarter, compared to 17.6 million pounds of copper and 15,451 ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2021.
Imperial’s 30% portion of the third quarter production was 5.2 million pounds of copper and 4,575 ounces of gold. It said higher throughput and recovery for the quarter were offset by lower grades of 0.39% copper and 0.34 g/t gold, compared to 0.40% copper and 0.35 g/t gold in the second quarter
Imperial formed a joint venture with Australian partner Newcrest Mining Ltd. [NCM-ASX] at Red Chris in March 2019, after agreeing to sell a 70% stake in the mine to Newcrest, which is now the operator. Imperial continues to hold a 30% stake in the joint venture, which aims to leverage the Australian company’s technical expertise in block caving operations.
In keeping with that goal, they are developing a plan to mine the deep resource beneath the current open pits in a bid to exploit high grades in the deep East zone.
In an exploration update, the company said drilling at the newly discovered East Ridge continues to expand the extent of mineralization in this zone. East Ridge is adjacent to the East Zone and outside the current Red Chris mineral resource estimate.
The company said drilling has demonstrated the continuity of the copper gold mineralization over dimensions of about 400 metres high, 400 metres long and 125 metres wide. Contained within this zone of mineralization is a higher-grade portion with dimensions of approximately 300 metres high, 300 metres long and 100 metres wide. East Ridge remains open to the east and at depth, the company said.
Diamond drill hole RC727 intersected 346 metres from 1,046 metres to 1,392 metres, grading 0.79% copper and 1.1 g/t gold. This intercept included 56 metres of grade 1.8% copper and 3.5 g/t gold, the highest-grade intercept to date from East Ride.
“The results from ongoing drilling in East Ridge continue to demonstrate the potential for significant growth in the copper/gold resource at Red Chris,” said Imperial Metals President Brian Kynoch.
During the third quarter, there were up to eight diamond drill rigs in operation. A further 29,388 metres of drilling was completed in 24 holes, with all drill holes intersecting mineralization.
Meanwhile, the company said results from the recently released Red Chris Block Cave pre-feasibility study have confirmed Imperial’s long held belief that Red Chris had the potential to become a long-life, low-cost block cave copper-gold mine.
The exploration decline for the proposed block cave development has progressed to 393 metres as of October 20, 2021, the company said.
On October 27, 2021, Imperial shares closed at $4.00 and trade in a 52-week range of $6.25 and $2.99.