From left: Councillor Lucy Taylor, Councillor Barry Banford, Councillor Bill Haring, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Councillor Lynne Frizzle, Councillor Lyle Mackenzie and Councillor Shelley Sim. (District of Clearwater photo)

From left: Councillor Lucy Taylor, Councillor Barry Banford, Councillor Bill Haring, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Councillor Lynne Frizzle, Councillor Lyle Mackenzie and Councillor Shelley Sim. (District of Clearwater photo)

Vavenby mine could open in three years: mayor

Construction of an open-pit copper mine southwest of Vavenby could begin in three years, according to Clearwater’s mayor.

Mayor Merlin Blackwell said the proposed Yellowhead copper project could eventually employ 600 people. “Taseko says they have one project to complete in Arizona, after that it will be Vavenby,” he said.

According to the Taseko website, the Yellowhead property has the potential to be one of the largest open-pit copper mines in North America. The project would include a 90,000 tonne per day open-pit mine with a 25-year mine life.

Taseko acquired the property from Yellowhead Mining Inc., a smaller mining development company, in 2018. A significant amount of technical and environmental assessment work has already been completed, including a 2020 technical report.

According to the report, the mine would produce a total of 4.4 billion pounds of copper, 440,000 ounces of gold and 19 million ounces of silver.

The report, by Taseko’s chief engineer, reads: “Due to the project’s positive and robust economics, the author recommends that the project advance through the environmental assessment process as soon as practical and that identified performance opportunities be more fully evaluated.”



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