Kutcho, First Nations cooperate on permits
Last updated 9/27/2019 at 5:03am
Kutcho Copper Corp. Sept. 17 announced the start of permitting for its Kutcho copper-zinc project in northern British Columbia.
The three deposits that make up the Kutcho project – Main, Esso and Sumac – host 17.26 million metric tons of measured and indicated resources averaging 1.85 percent (703.9 million pounds) copper, 2.72 percent (1.03 billion lb) zinc, 0.49 grams per metric ton (272,000 ounces) gold and 33.9 g/t (18.8 million oz) silver.
These measured and indicated resources, published earlier this year, are similar to those included during a prefeasibility study that was updated just before Kutcho Copper acquired the northern B.C. property from Capstone Mining Corp. in 2017.
The 2017 PFS considers the development of a 2,500-metric-ton-per-day operation that would produce 378 million lb of copper and 473 million lb of zinc, plus by-product precious metals over a 12-year mine life.
A feasibility study is slated for completion in the first half of 2020.
In the meantime, Kutcho has submitted the final project description to the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office, which initiates the provincial Environmental Assessment process.
With the passing of the Canadian Impact Assessment Act (Bill C-69) and associated threshold regulations, the Kutcho project is not required to undertake a federal environmental assessment.
The Kutcho project is located within the overlapping territories of the Kaska Dena and Tahltan nations.
Kutcho Copper said it has been working closely with these First Nations while preparing the Project Description for the proposed copper mine.
"The opportunity to develop and review the project description collaboratively with the Kaska Dena and Tahltan nations was of utmost importance to the Kutcho project, and is key to building our relationship with the two nations," said Kutcho Copper President and CEO Vince Sorace. "The time and effort they put into this work is greatly appreciated by the company and we look forward to working together with the Kaska Dena and Tahltan nations as the project progresses."
The company said its work with the Kaska Dena (represented by Dease River First Nation) and Tahltan includes the First Nations writing certain sections of the document.
"The Tahltan Nation is encouraged with the early engagement and collaborative process on the Project Description for the Kutcho project," said Tahltan Central Government President Chad Day. "This approach embodies the spirit and intent of the new environmental assessment legislation in British Columbia, and the Tahltan look forward to working with Kutcho Copper in the future."
Kutcho Copper had previously entered into exploration agreements with the Kaska Dena and Tahltan nations, which include clauses to negotiate impact benefit agreements.
"The collaborative approach Kutcho Copper has taken with our nation is appreciated and recognition by the company of the importance of our input at the early stage of the project will benefit both Kutcho Copper and the nation as the project progresses," said Dease River First Nation Chief Myles Manygreyhorses.