Artemis hires Ausenco for Blackwater build

Artemis Gold has chosen Ausenco Engineering Canada as the winning bidder for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a 5.5 million tonne per annum processing facility for its Blackwater gold project in British Columbia, Canada.

Staff reporter
Artemis Gold's Blackwater project in British Columbia, Canada

Artemis Gold's Blackwater project in British Columbia, Canada

Ausenco won a competitive bidding process providing for a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of US$236 million.

Blackwater said the Ausenco GMP was consistent with capital estimates in its 2020 pre-feasibility study.

Artemis is targeting about 60% of the initial development capital for Blackwater to be insulated from capital cost and schedule overruns once final EPC fixed price contracts for the facilities, electricity transmission line and potentially other site preparation and infrastructure have been executed.

"The Ausenco GMP bid serves as further validation of the initial capital costs estimated in the 2020 PFS with respect to the process plant and associated facilities, further de-risking the development of the project," said Artemis Gold chair and CEO Steven Dean.

Dean previously worked with Ausenco under an EPC/EPCM contract when he was at Atlantic Gold, using the firm to build the Moose River operation.

Artemis is conducting a competitive bidding process for a GMP for a fixed price EPC contract for the construction of the electricity transmission line and associated offsite infrastructure, which it expects to award in the June quarter.

The PFS detailed average production of 248,000 ounces a year during the first phase and initial five years of production, rising to 420,000oz/y in phase two in years six to 10 and then 316,000oz/y for the third phase in years 11 to 23.

A three-stage development approach aims to spread capital expenditure throughout the project's operating life with the initial 5.5Mtpa, $592 million phase one to be followed by $426 million for stage two and $398 million for stage three financed from free cash flow, which would bring the mine to a throughput of 20Mtpy.

Shares in Artemis Gold are trading at C$5.23, valuing the company at $649 million.


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