Mining Journal Americas editor Paul Harris speaks with Western Copper and Gold president and chief executive Paul West-Sells about the company's plans to develop the massive Casino copper and gold asset, which returned a $2.3 billion after-tax NPV (8% discount) over a base-case 25-year life within a PEA published last month (August).
Western Copper and Gold is solely focused on developing the world-class Casino project, located in the politically stable Yukon Territory.
Western has been developing the Casino project since 2008. Historically, two pre-feasibility studies and a full feasibility study were published on the project. In 2020, an updated resource on the project was released and most recently, in June 2021 a Preliminary Economic Assessment was published showing robust economics, the report is available here (link to tech report).
A Project Proposal for the Casino Mine was submitted to the executive committee of the Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Board (YESAB) in January 2014 and underwent several rounds of adequacy review information requests from 2014 through 2016. On February 18, 2016, the Executive Committee determined that the Casino Mine Project requires a Panel Review, the highest level of environmental and socio-economic assessment administered by YESAB.
The Casino porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum deposit is located in west central Yukon, in the northwest trending Dawson Range mountains, 300 km northwest of the territorial capital of Whitehorse.
To the west, Newmont is developing the Coffee Project. To the north and to the west, White Gold Corp. has a large number of claims and is actively exploring. Approximately 100 km to the east, Minto Explorations Ltd. operates the Minto Mine, which produces copper concentrate.
The project is located on Crown land administered by the Yukon Government and is within the Selkirk First Nation traditional territory and the Tr'ondek Hwechin traditional territory lies to the north. The proposed access road crosses into Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation traditional territory to the south. The White River First Nation and Kluane First Nation are downstream from the project.
The Casino Property lies within the Whitehorse Mining District and consists of 1,136 full and partial Quartz Claims and 55 Placer Claims acquired in accordance with the Yukon Quartz Mining Act. The total area covered by Casino Quartz Claims is 21,126.02 ha. The total area covered by Casino Placer Claims is 490.34 ha.
In mid 2019, the Company acquired the adjacent property to the west referred to as the Canadian Creek property from Cariboo Rose Resources Ltd.