Newcrest Mining Limited has announced its initial mineral resource estimate for the Red Chris mine in British Columbia, Canada.
Red Chris is a gold-copper porphyry deposit located on the northern edge of the Skeena Mountains, approximately 1,700 kilometres north of Vancouver and 18 kilometres southeast of the town of Iskut in British Columbia.
The construction of Red Chris was completed in November 2014, with first commercial production from the open pit occurring in July 2015.
The mine site is located on 23,142 hectares and consists of 77 mineral tenures, five of which are mining leases.
In August 2019, Newcrest acquired 70 per cent of the Red Chris operation in a joint venture with Imperial Metals Corporation.
Since then, Newcrest, as operator, has embarked on an extensive work program to define the potential of block cave mining beneath the existing open pit operation.
Activities have included: Additional exploration and resource definition drilling; resource optimisation for both open pit and underground mining scenarios; commencing a pre-feasibility study to support the potential development of an underground block cave ; and commencing construction of the box cut for the exploration decline.
Sufficient work has now been undertaken to estimate Red Chris’ Mineral Resources in accordance with JORC and in line with Newcrest’s block cave strategy.
Newcrest’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, said the initial mineral resource estimate marks another milestone in the transformation of Red Chris.
“We remain on track to release the findings of our block cave pre-feasibility study by the end of September 2021 and continue to evaluate a number of early mining options which could enable an acceleration of cash flows prior to the development of a block cave.”
Newcrest expects to report ore reserves in accordance with JORC on completion of its pre-feasibility study.
Mineral Resource Estimate 
The initial Mineral Resource estimate for Red Chris assumes bulk open pit mining and bulk block cave underground mining.
Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources:
980 million tonnes (Mt) at 0.41 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 0.38 per cent copper for 13 million ounces (Moz) contained gold and 3.7Mt contained copper, including:
- Open Pit – 310Mt at 0.28 g/t gold and 0.34 per cent copper for 2.7Moz contained gold and 1Mt contained copper; and
- Underground – 670Mt at 0.46 g/t gold and 0.4 per cent copper for 10Moz contained gold and 2.7Mt contained copper.
Inferred Mineral Resources :
190Mt at 0.31 g/t gold and 0.3 per cent copper for 1.9Moz contained gold and 0.57Mt contained copper, including:
- Open Pit – 11Mt at 0.23 g/t gold and 0.27 per cent copper for 0.084Moz contained gold and 0.031Mt contained copper; and
- Underground – 180Mt at 0.32 g/t gold and 0.3 per cent copper for 1.8Moz contained gold and 0.54Mt contained copper.
The full announcement can be found here.
 The development of a block cave mine at the Red Chris Project is subject to the completion of a successful exploration program and further studies, market and operating conditions, regulatory approvals and Board approvals.
 Represents 100 per cent of the Mineral Resource for Red Chris. Newcrest’s joint venture interest in the Mineral Resource is 70 per cent.
 Data is reported to two significant figures to reflect appropriate precision in the estimate and this may cause some apparent discrepancies in totals.