Yellowhead Mining Inc is welcoming a recent statement by Premier Christy Clark in support of a new power transmission line into the North Thompson Valley.
As reported in last week’s Times, during her keynote speech on Sept. 28 at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Victoria, Clark said, “We believe in companies like Yellowhead Mining in the North Thompson, and that’s why we’re working with Hydro to connect them to the power that they need.”
The company has long said that a major obstacle in developing its proposed Harper Creek copper-gold-silver mine has been the absence of adequate and secure electricity.
In a media release issued following Clark’s statement, the company announced that it expects shortly to appoint a financial advisor for the overall debt financing.
Arranging financing has been another obstacle to the project. Estimated cost to construct the mine is over $800 million.
The release also said that the company believes that construction will commence in the third quarter of 2013.
The media release included quotes from Ian Smith, Yellowhead president and CEO, in an interview with the editor of the Clearwater Times.
“I’ve always said our biggest asset is the support we’ve got from the North Thompson communities,” Smith said. “Now that we have support from the premier and her government, that’s the icing on the cake. With this commitment, we hope to connect before the end of 2015, with start-up shortly thereafter. Now that we have a target that we can work to, we can get into a position to break ground and create jobs … and that’s what it’s really all about, so there’s no need [for local residents] to drive 12 or 13 hours to Alberta to work.”
District of Clearwater Mayor John Harwood added: “This is really excellent news. I’m glad that Clearwater made it to the head of the table and that people are realizing how important this is.”
The mayor of Barriere, Bill Humphreys, echoed these sentiments: “I am very pleased that power for the North Thompson Valley has been recognized as the primary economic driver. Hydro power is the critical component needed to bring jobs and prosperity to our area.”
Yellowhead says it is on schedule to submit its Environmental Application in November and is actively engaged in discussions with potential strategic partners, equipment manufacturers, and financial institutions.
The proposed Harper Creek mine would be about 10 km southwest of Vavenby. The mine is expected to create about 600 jobs during construction and about 400 jobs during its operational phase. Expected lifetime of the mine is 28 years.