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Imperial Provides Update on Mount Polley 2023 Production

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Imperial Provides Update on Mount Polley 2023 Production






Imperial Metals Corporation (TSX:III) reports that 2023 metal production from Mount Polley was 30.145 million pounds of copper and 41,834 ounces of gold. The mine achieved the low end of its target of 30–33 million pounds for copper production and exceeded the high end of its target of 35-40 thousand ounces for gold production.


Red Chris production will be released when the reconciled information is received from Newmont Corporation.


Mount Polley Mine


During the fourth quarter 1,567,491 tonnes of ore were treated (up 44.6% compared to Q4 2022), this increase is partially due to improved plant availability of 88.3% (up 22% from Q4 2022). During the quarter 8.348 million pounds copper (up 120.5% from Q4 2022) and 10,349 ounces gold (up 48.0% from Q4 2022) were produced.


With the damaged third ball mill returned to service in October, the November mill throughput averaged 19,609 tonnes per day, and from December 20th to 30th mill throughput averaged 20,076 tonnes per day. With all the mills operational the plant is nearing historic throughput highs and achieving better availability while maintaining strong copper and gold recoveries.


Approximately 2/3 of the tailings stored in the Springer Pit had been removed by year end and the remaining tailings are expected to be removed by the end of the first quarter 2024.


Mount Polley Mine Production Three Months Ended December 31   Year Ended December 31
  2023 2022   2023 2022*
Ore milled – tonnes 1,567,491 1,084,016   5,948,239 2,068,830
Ore milled per calendar day – tonnes 17,038 11,783   16,297 11,244
Grade % – copper 0.302 0.230   0.287 0.214
Grade g/t – gold 0.286 0.325   0.311 0.306
Recovery % – copper 79.9 68.9   80.0 63.5
Recovery % – gold 71.8 61.8   70.4 59.4
Copper – 000’s pounds 8,348 3,786   30,145 6,206
Gold – ounces 10,349 6,995   41,834 12,078

*production from restart of operations in late June to December 31, 2022


The 2024 production target for Mount Polley is 34–37 million pounds copper and 37-41 thousand ounces gold.


Red Chris Update


Newmont completed the acquisition of Newcrest Mining Limited during the fourth quarter of 2023 and holds 70% interest in the Red Chris mine. Newmont noted, in a presentation, that considerations for 2024 include “Taking time to assess and integrate the Newcrest assets; thoughtful approach to longer-term view”. Newmont has since taken over the block cave Feasibility Study with further details to be released by Imperial when the information is received from Newmont. Newmont’s reserve and resource estimates are expected to be released along with Newmont’s 2023 year-end results. Being a US listed issuer, the Newmont reserve and resource statement for Red Chris mine and will be reported in line with SEC reporting standards, not NI 43-101 standards.


During the quarter, diamond drill rigs continued to explore at Red Chris. Diamond drilling was focused in the East Zone block cave area gathering geological and geotechnical information.


Block Cave development continues with the second ventilation raise bore expected to be on schedule for completion within the first half of 2024. The ramp is now more than halfway to the extraction level elevation.


Brian Kynoch, P.Eng., Imperial’s President has reviewed the disclosures contained in this news release and is the designated Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101


About Imperial


Imperial is a Vancouver based exploration, mine development and operating company with holdings that include the Mount Polley mine (100%), the Huckleberry mine (100%), and the Red Chris mine (30%). Imperial also holds a portfolio of 23 greenfield exploration properties in British Columbia.


Posted January 21, 2024

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