Aug 8, 2013
Derek Penner, The Vancouver Sun
Crews at Thompson Creek Metals’ Mount Milligan project have started crushing rocks and are mere days away from turning on the milling machinery that will grind down the ore and start extracting copper and gold from the first new mine to open in British Columbia in more than a decade.
That development will turn the $1.57-billion construction project into an operating mine with the goal of commencing commercial production of ore sometime in the fall, churning out an estimate 40,369 tonnes (89 million pounds) of copper concentrate and 262,000 ounces of gold per year.
In the communities closest to the Mount Milligan site, the mine’s impact is already being felt. Emily Colombo, economic development officer for the District of Fort St. James, said the town was B.C.’s second-fastest growing community between the 2006 and 2011 census, and the mine development played a role in that — along with a resurgence in the forest industry.
“Right now, and for the last few years, anyone who wants to work in Fort St. James is working,” she said. “There is no shortage of jobs, which is great, it’s what every community hopes for in terms of employment.”