Centerra Gold Provides Update on Mount Milligan Water Permitting Matters
As previously disclosed, the Company is taking steps to secure longer term, more stable sources of water supply for the Mount Milligan Mine. The Company has filed a formal request with the BC Environmental Assessment Office for an amendment to its environmental assessment certificate to provide additional short term water sources through to 2020, and to initiate the development of a longer term water supply plan for subsequent years.
With respect to short term water sources, the amendment request specifically seeks permission for Mount Milligan to access additional water from groundwater wells as well as from surface water sources at Philip Lake, Meadows Creek and Rainbow Creek, in each case, in a manner that is protective of the environment.
Amendment to Mount Milligan’s environmental assessment certificate and related permitting is subject to consultation with relevant regulatory bodies and Indigenous groups. The Company is in the process of carrying out such consultation and expects the process to be concluded in the fourth quarter of 2018. Although the Company is committed to working with regulators and Indigenous groups in this regard, there can be no assurance that Mount Milligan’s short and long term water needs will be satisfied.
In the short term, there is a risk that throughput levels at Mount Milligan may need to be reduced in the fourth quarter of 2018 if, among other things, the Company does not receive regulatory approval to access these further groundwater and surface water solutions on its expected timeline; the flows from presently permitted or new sources are not as great as expected; dry weather conditions experienced in the first half of 2018 persist in the second half of 2018; the Company is unable to recover significant amounts of water that has drained into sands and gravels within Mount Milligan’s tailings management facility; or actual water levels in Mount Milligan’s tailings management facility vary significantly from those predicted in the Mount Milligan’s water model, which is the subject of ongoing evaluation and refinement.