Waste rock-to-mill-feed operating strip ratios average 2.8 during the first ten years of operations, net of the capitalization of waste material costs. Waste material totalling 32.6 million tonnes ( $62.7 million) is excluded from operating expenses and capitalized during the mine life. Mined waste and overburden will be stored in nearby stockpiles or used in dike construction activities associated with the tailings management area.
At the peak of open pit mining (Year 7), a workforce of approximately 299 persons (staff and hourly employees) will be required.
For the underground mine, LH and CAF mining methods are proposed in a ratio of approximately 80:20 by reserves. LH mining will mainly follow a traditional transverse primary-secondary pyramid sequence, using cemented rockfill ("CRF") in the primary stopes and unconsolidated rockfill ("RF") in the secondary stopes. There are minor amounts of longitudinal stoping that will use CRF. The LH stopes are designed with a 25-metre sublevel interval and a hanging wall dip of 60 degrees. The primary stopes are designed to be an average of 10 metres transverse width (across strike) by 10 metres wide (along strike), and the secondary stopes are designed to be 10 metres transverse width by 20 metres wide.
The CAF mining method is proposed in shallower dipping areas that are above the cut-off grade. This method involves mining 5-metre lifts from the bottom up; the lowest lift of a mining zone is mined first. Once complete, this lift is backfilled with unconsolidated rockfill and then the next 5-metre lift above the backfill is mined.The mining areas are accessed by a main ramp that is 6.0 metres wide by 5.5 metres high with an average gradient of 15%. The underground mine will require main ramps, footwall accesses for LH stopes, and the infrastructure required to support mining activities such as a small underground shop, sumps, and ventilation drifts and raises. Mined waste will either be used as backfill, when possible, or hauled to the waste storage facility at surface. It is estimated that approximately 50% of the underground waste will remain underground as backfill.