A major mining project just south of Vanderhoof is taking shape.
The Artemis Blackwater Gold project is slated to begin construction in 2022 where 825 people will be employed during that period to go along with 450 permanent positions once in operation.
Mayor Gerry Thiessen stated it comes at a good time for the community.
“We all know that timber supply is going to see a few years here that will be in the lower timber supply time and we’re really looking for projects over the next 20 or so years.”
“What Artemis has shown us on their timeline is they would like to do a phased-in project. To go in, get the project up and running and be able to expand once the project has been operating for a couple of years and go from there.”
Hundreds of workers are already in Vanderhoof working on the Coastal Gaslink Project.
Thiessen added Blackwater Gold will provide some sustainability for a long period of time along with economic diversity.
“It’s about a 20-year project, the reserves of gold that it has there, we are quite excited to see it go-ahead and it’s also very much diversification of what we are involved in, we have always been in a forestry town, with some manufacturing, logging lots of agriculture and some mining.”
“We have a shortage of tradespeople in the north as it is and we are always looking for people to move up here and be involved in trades. There are lots of tradespeople that now have employment with Coastal Gas Link project and they will continue to move further west as the months and years go on.”
Thiessen added the timing is perfect as the workers at the Coastal Gas Link camps will be departing as soon as construction on the mine is about to get going.
“For this project to come on in a year-and-a-half will be exactly perfect because there will be an opportunity for construction people to still stay here, be in the area, be close to home and their families to be involved in a project like Blackwater Gold.”
‘The gas line company that is going through will provide a lot of activity in our community but once that is over in the next two years, there is a real need to have something else sustainable for a long period of time.”
During the mine’s lifespan, over 2.3 billion dollars in government revenue will be generated.