New Afton mine is an underground copper-gold mine located on the site of the historic open pit Afton Mine near Kamloops, BC. New exploration began around that pit in 2000; construction began in 2007; and the first ore from the underground mine was processed on June 29, 2012.
New Afton utilizes the block caving mining method to recover ore, a special type of mining that involves undermining an ore body, allowing it to progressively collapse under its own weight. The ore is conveyed to the mill on the surface and recovered via froth flotation. The mill is designed to process 11,000 tpd (4 Mtpa) of ore at full capacity, recovering copper, gold, and silver. This mine is expected to produce, on average, 85,000 ounces of gold and 75 million pounds of copper per year over a 12-year mine life.
New Afton employs ~ 430 people who come mostly from Kamloops and the surrounding area. The workforce includes underground miners, geoloigsts, engineers, laboratory staff, surveyors, human resource staff, millwrights, electricians,undergound equipment operators, mechanics and more.
The visit will include a presentation on New Afton, plus a tour of underground workings, surface infrastructure and the mill. This is a unique opportunity to meet the operators and learn firsthand about block cave mining, the milling processes, waste rock disposal, markets, and impacts on the region.
1) Individuals with limited mobility are advised that the underground part of the tour involves significant walking on rough ramps in steel toe boots, as well as climbing in and out of pickups.
2) Visitors are advised that the underground workings are surpisingly warm, so dress should include a light layer to wear under the coveralls prodivded. For the outdoor portion of the tour be prepared for the weather and temperature.
3) Site safety requirements apply to visitors:
- Long sleeved tops (no hooded tops and/or jackets) and long pants must be worn;
- Contact lenses are not permitted for Underground Tours, and prescription eyeglasses, if necessary, must be worn;
- All men must be clean-shaven to go underound. In case of an emergency undergound, masks need to properly fit. See the photos of accpetable and unacceptable Facial Hair Examples from New Afton to determine what will be permitted.
Depart: 7:45 a.m. (sharp!) at Dufferin Elementary Parking Lot (1880 Hillside Dr, Kamloops)
Return: ~ 2:45 p.m. (same location)
Transportation: Bus transportation from Dufferin Elementary and around the mine will be provided.
Lunch: Please bring your own lunch, snacks and water bottle to keep hydrated during the walking portions of the tour.
Registration is through Eventbrite.
Deadline: Noon March 15 2019 Note: The number of confirmed participants by March 15th will determine if this mine tour will go ahead.