Artemis Gold has secured a BC Mines Act Permit for the Blackwater gold mine project in central British Columbia (BC), Canada.

Located within the territories of Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation and Ulkatcho First Nation, the Blackwater Project will involve the extraction of gold and silver from an open-pit mine, as well as include ore processing facilities.

The latest permit clears the final hurdle for the firm to start major construction works at the mine in Q1 2023. The initial gold pour at the mine is anticipated in H2 2024.

Artemis Gold chairman and CEO Steven Dean said: “The Blackwater Mine has been designed to have one of the smallest carbon footprints for an open-pit gold project in the world, with a defined path forward to substantially reduce that footprint further and potentially achieve net-zero carbon emissions through the integration of a zero-exhaust-emission haul fleet by 2029.

“This approval is further evidence that Blackwater meets world-class standards for responsible mineral exploration and development in British Columbia.”

The project will see mining 334 million tonnes (Mt) of ore, 584Mt of waste rock and 83Mt of overburden.

British Columbia Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Josie Osborne said: “Artemis Gold has designed a world-class mine that supports the economic needs of the local region; brings First Nations in as partners in training, business development and jobs opportunities; and helps to meet provincial climate targets with the use of sustainable, clean electricity.”

The Blackwater Mine is expected to be BC’s largest gold mine development project in more than a decade. It has the potential for extension via further exploration.

Artemis Gold plans to connect the Blackwater project to the BC Hydro grid, which is powered by hydroelectricity to offer renewable energy.

Artemis said: “This provides the foundation for Blackwater to be developed into one of the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting open-pit mining operations in the world.”