Artemis Gold Inc, following a competitive bid process, has executed binding agreements with Finning (Canada), a division of Finning International Inc, for the supply of a primary and ancillary mining fleet for the company’s Blackwater gold project in British Columbia, Canada, along with an agreement with Caterpillar that could lead to the deployment of zero-emission haul trucks at the project.
The company has also concurrently executed a credit-approved commitment letter for an equipment lease facility with Caterpillar Financial Services Limited associated with the primary and ancillary mining fleet.
Under the supply agreements, Finning has secured equipment pricing for the primary fleet until December 31, 2024, subject to minor index and foreign exchange adjustments. Finning has further agreed to delivery dates for the primary and ancillary fleet in order to support mine development for Blackwater. The supply agreements secure the supply of equipment, as well as the supply of parts and labour, the latter of which will support the equipment availability guarantees provided by Finning.
The credit-approved equipment lease facility with Cat Financial provides for up to $140 million in equipment financing on terms consistent with the assumptions contained within the company’s 2021 Feasibility Study . The equipment lease facility remains subject to customary conditions precedent, including the finalisation of the master lease agreement and related documents.
This study outlined Phase 1 throughput of 6 Mt/y, along with a Phase 2 expansion to 12 Mt/y and Phase 3 expansion to 20 Mt/y.
Through the agreement with Caterpillar, Artemis says it has the option to place orders for Caterpillar’s zero-emissions haul trucks, currently under development, for shipments beginning in 2029. The fleet transition signifies a key milestone of the project and will substantially reduce the carbon footprint of Blackwater’s operations, the company said.
The Artemis project will be powered by clean electricity through the company’s planned 135 km long 230 kV electricity transmission line which will connect to the BC Hydro grid.
Steven Dean, Chairman and CEO, said: “The execution of these agreements provides Artemis certainty of equipment pricing and equipment availability for Blackwater’s planned mining and construction activities. Of equal significance, partnering with Caterpillar provides the project with a pathway towards decarbonisation of Blackwater’s haul fleet. With access to BC Hydro’s clean power, the transition to an electrified fleet as soon as 2029 provides Artemis a pathway to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the project. This is consistent with Artemis’ ESG goals to responsibly develop the Blackwater gold project, identify innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment while providing generational opportunities in the communities in which we operate.”
Marc Cameron, Caterpillar Vice President, added: “We applaud Artemis’ commitment to sustainability and the planned path to decarbonization at Blackwater. We look forward to supporting their carbon reduction objectives through the future deployment of Caterpillar’s zero-exhaust emissions haul trucks once development is complete.”
David Primrose, President of Finning Canada, said: “We are pleased to partner with Artemis Gold and Cat Financial to deliver and support the primary and ancillary fleet for the Blackwater Project. The mining sector in Western Canada continues to represent a great opportunity for us as we support our customers in improving efficiencies, productivity, and safety of their operations.”