With permits now in place, Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. (BGM) is set to restart operations at its Bonanza Ledge mine site near Quesnel, creating around 90 jobs in the region, Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett announced today.
“The restart of operations at Bonanza Ledge will provide well-paying jobs and an economic boost for families and communities in the Cariboo Region,” said Bennett. “Gold mining built this part of the province and, more than 150 years later, continues to support economic growth in this region.”
A Ministry of Energy and Mines statutory decision-maker has authorized BGM’s application to amend its Mines Act permit, allowing the company to start underground operations at the Bonanza Ledge gold mine site. The mine previously was an open pit operation from June 2014 to March 2015.
“Having the Bonanza Ledge gold mine back in operation along with the QR mill near Quesnel will have a positive impact on our local economy and this is welcome news for communities in the Cariboo,” said Coralee Oakes, MLA for Cariboo North and Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch. “This project will provide direct jobs at the mine and mill and will likely result in spin-off jobs at many businesses in the region.”
BGM estimates its operations at the Bonanza Ledge Underground Mine will produce approximately 54,000 ounces of gold over the mine’s initial three year mine life. Under the conditions of its amended Mines Act permit, BGM is authorized to produce up to 150,000 tonnes per year.
Ore from the Bonanza Ledge operations will be processed at BGM’s Quesnel River (QR) Mill located at the company’s QR Mine, 80 km east of the City of Quesnel.
“We are proud to take this first step towards rebuilding the gold mining industry in the historic Cariboo Gold District,” said president and CEO of BGM Chris Lodder. “We would like to express our sincere appreciation and recognize the people of Wells, the Lhtako Dene First Nation, the provincial agencies and all of our employees and contractors for their support and contributions throughout the permitting process. It is BGM’s commitment to explore, develop new projects, mine and reclaim old mines, in a responsible manner which achieves the lowest environmental impacts with the greatest socio-economic benefits.”
The Bonanza Ledge gold mine is located approximately five kilometres southeast of the District of Wells and 80 kilometres east of the City of Quesnel. The mine is situated on the southwest flank of Barkerville Mountain, about three kilometres northwest of the Barkerville Historic Townsite.
“The Bonanza Ledge mine represents a real boost for businesses in our community,” said Quesnel Chamber of Commerce president Michelle Daniels. “From mine suppliers to restaurants, we all benefit from Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd.’s operations in our region.”
Approving the restart of Barkerville Gold Mine Ltd’s Bonanza Ledge Underground Mine is one of the key ways the B.C. government is supporting economic growth to help strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities. This project builds on the immediate and the long-term action plan outlined in B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy that is expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to the provincial GDP.