Vancouver-based Imperial Metals has announced higher copper and gold production in the second quarter of the year, driven by increased output from the Mount Polley and Red Chris mines in British Columbia. The TSX-listed firm reported production of 11.18 million pounds of copper and 14,289 ounces of gold for the three-month period, with 7.06 million pounds of copper and 10,185 ounces of gold coming from Mount Polley, and 4.12 million pounds of copper and 4,104 ounces of gold from its 30% share of the Red Chris mine production. This represents a total increase in production compared to the previous quarter, which saw 10.16 million pounds of copper and 13,129 ounces of gold.
Imperial Metals owns Red Chris as a joint venture with Australia-based major Newcrest, and the company revealed that the Red Chris block cave feasibility study is expected to be completed in the second half of the year. As part of the study, Imperial Metals is assessing various optimization opportunities to unlock additional value, including options for the initial extraction level of the first block cave and alternative plant expansion options.
Newcrest is actively reviewing different options to mitigate any potential inflationary cost pressures on future capital expenditure and operating costs. The progress towards block cave mining is promising, with the exploration decline reaching a depth of 3,245 meters as of July 20, and the ventilation fans have been commissioned in the first ventilation raise.
The exploration program at Red Chris is focused on discovering additional zones of higher-grade mineralization within the Red Chris porphyry corridor. During the quarter, the company had up to four diamond drill rigs in operation, completing a total of 6,947 meters of drilling from 11 drill holes.
As Imperial Metals reports positive production results and advances its Red Chris block cave feasibility study, the company continues to make significant strides in its mining operations in British Columbia. The ongoing exploration efforts and optimization assessments hold the promise of further enhancing the value and potential of its mining assets.
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