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Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Congratulations SMS Equipment along with Komatsu would like to extend our congratulations to Copper Mountain Mine on opening the first copper mine in British Columbia in over 13 years. Copper Mountain Mine has always been an excellent business partner to the mining industry and the town of Princeton since the first opening in 1926. We appreciate all the business and confidence that Copper Mountain Mine have entrusted with the purchase of Komatsu Equipment and SMS Equipment’s ability to support their service needs. We are looking forward to the continued growth in our business relationship over the upcoming years.




1.800.881.9828 Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011



Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


oceeds from book sales an r p l d Al rtising profits go dire c t e l y v to ad

thanks to all stakeholders for your contributions

The first new major open pit Copper Mine to commence production in British Columbia in over a decade


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Acknowledgment The official opening of the Copper Mountain Mine has engaged the very best of many, a tireless effort by proud employees, and selfless hard work from: suppliers, contractors, partners and countless individuals who were involved in the project. Since acquiring the property in 2006, the 4-year journey to production has been a persevering race to the finish line. This commemorative book is intended to share the story of the mine’s rich history and its recent development. Stories highlight many aspects of this project – the long-term legacy of this new investment, the technological innovation, the benefits to the community of Princeton, the province and the many partnerships forged along the way. People are our greatest asset. Skills and years of experience are the key factors that have allowed us to meet our aggressive production schedule. We have been very fortunate in assembling an experienced and dedicated operating team of people who play a critical role in making the operation a success. As a result, all of our targets were achieved to advance us toward being a mid-tier copper producer. Our corporate vision is to cultivate growth, and achieving commercial production marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Copper Mountain story. We are excited to watch the mine prosper on the momentum of this positive start. It has been an exciting journey to be part of this project from concept to reality. On behalf of the board and our partner, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, I would like to express our gratitude for all the invaluable contributions that have helped make this a success story.

J.C. (Jim) O’Rourke, P.Eng. Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Copper Mountain Mining Corporation

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011




Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011



Message from the Mayor of Princeton 10 Message from the former Minister of State for Mining


INVESTMENT Partners: Financing a Dream


Exploration: Trailblazing Technology


INNOVATION Construction: Moving Mountains


Technology: Thinking Big


Sustainability: Copper Goes Green


CONTRIBUTION Community: Economic Revival


Faces of Princeton: Frank Armitage: People Person


Harry Day: This Life of Mine


Brenda McLaughlin: Smooth Operator 78 The Praticos: All in the Family


Bill Van Damme: Keeps You Running 81 The C-Suite: Rod Shier: Man of Means


Jim O’Rourke: The Final Stretch




Copper Trivia


Images of the Copper Mountain Mine 58 Mining Process


The Vancouver Wharf


Published by Glacier Media Group for Copper Mountain Mining Corporation Vancouver, Canada 2011 PRINTED IN CANADA

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


A local Success Copper Mountain’s announcement to reopen the mine in 2008 was terrific news to the residents of Princeton as it signified the return of a thriving community. Shortly after the company began construction, the hearty welcome extended to Jim O’Rourke and his company by our community was generously reciprocated in the company policy of using local goods and services wherever possible. The strategy of no on-site construction camp brought a terrific boost to our local service industry with record occupancy in motels and restaurants during the construction phase. This August 2011, it will be my pleasure to help celebrate the official opening of the Copper Mountain Mine by congratulating and welcoming a great civic-minded corporate citizen to our community. The commissioning of the $438 million mine is a shining example of the benefits of mining and a proud showcase to our town. It will employ almost 300 workers and has a long-term life expectancy that will affect thousands of people in the area. With the mine being in full operation it will bring significant economic benefits to the region, while providing a worldclass model for environmentally responsible mining. As I observed throughout the signing and initial process, the environmental and safety experts seemed to outnumber the other corporate executives. They brought with them a comforting requirement for environmental and worker safety. On behalf of my council and the people of Princeton, I would like to congratulate Copper Mountain for achieving production and reinvigorating the economic life of our community.

Randy McLean Mayor of Princeton


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

What’s mined is yours The Copper Mountain Mine will create immense value for Canada and the Province of British Columbia, by producing and enriching thousands of jobs in different sectors. Over the life of the mine, we can expect to see millions of dollars of investment income and capital expenditures throughout the province and the country. With the success and new wealth that will be created, it will be exciting to watch the mine build on the momentum of this positive start. In April 2010, the company received its amended permit from the government of British Columbia and initiated construction immediately. The development schedule of this brownfield mine was extremely impressive, as commissioning started within one year. This A-team attitude continues to date and I would like to thank the numerous contributors to this immense success. Copper Mountain is the first new open-pit copper mine to commence production in B.C. in over a decade. I have every confidence that Copper Mountain will continue to prosper in the years ahead. Working with Copper Mountain to meet its needs while addressing regulatory requirements was both a pleasure and an honour to work with such a positive and co-operative group. Thank you, Copper Mountain, for what you will bring to British Columbia, and a special thanks to Jim O’Rourke for his vision and his drive to make this mine a reality. I look forward to the rewarding years ahead.

Randy Hawes Former Minister of State for Mining Province of British Columbia

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011



Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Investment: Partners

Financing a dream


n May 2010, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation made an announcement that verified the opening of the mine and was long-awaited in British Columbia: Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, 25 per cent partner, had successfully secured the project debt financing in the amount of US$322 million from Japanese banks and JBIC, the governmental credit agency for overseas investments.

Former president of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation Mr. Ide (centre) with Jim O’Rourke to his right, alongside executives from Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and Copper Mountain Mining Corporation

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


The ball mill shelles were fabricated in Brazil, shipped to Houston, Texas, and trucked to the Copper Mountain Mine in the summer of 2010


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Investment: Partners

The Mitsubishi agreement was tremendously important, both in its size and timing, as it demonstrated confidence in Copper Mountain’s management team and provided the funds to stay on track with the development schedule. Interestingly enough, this deal came through when conventional bank debt was not available and the financial markets were still riding the recession. Securing equity financing for Copper Mountain “was no slam dunk” recalls Ali Pejman, managing director, investment banking for Vancouver-based Canaccord Genuity, which was among the syndicate of underwriters since the early days of the company. The syndicate also included Wellington West Capital Markets Inc.; a BMO Capital Market team led by Jamie Rogers, managing director and head of BMO’s Vancouver investment and corporate banking office; Jennings Capital; and Raymond James Ltd.

Major milling equipment had an estimated delivery time of 30 months, so the company had to order the pieces prior to the completion of the feasibility study. Although the company had a cancellation clause, this ordering displayed the company’s commitment to staying on track with the schedule and the confidence the management had in the project from the early days

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011



Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Investment: Partners Canaccord had been involved with Copper Mountain’s early financing before the company went public in 2007. Pejman says Copper Mountain came to the financial arena in a period of depressed metal prices and worldwide banking turmoil that made the financing of any new mine difficult. Canaccord, he says, was drawn to Copper Mountain because of who was in charge. “Without the calibre of management at Copper Mountain, their superb track record, it would have been nearly impossible to achieve the necessary financing,” Pejman says. “It looks easy now, but without Jim O’Rourke it wouldn’t have happened.”

Rare opportunity Bill Washington, managing director of investment banking for Wellington West, which was part of the syndicate that completed the first major equity financing for Copper Mountain in September 2009 raising $50 million, says the rationale was “quite simple – an experienced team, a de-risked asset with a favourable geo-political risk profile, and what we viewed to be a very favourable valuation – in that order. While this is a simple formula, frankly, these sorts of opportunities are extremely rare.” Washington adds that, while the Copper Mountain team and its assets were strong, there were still market concerns on how the project would be financed. “At the time, the investment community had not seen too many large off-take financing deals with Asian smelter groups, so this potential was heavily discounted in the market,” he says. Steve Parsons, senior analyst in mining at Wellington West, gives full credit to the tenacity and talent of Copper Mountain's management. “From the outset, we knew the team was among the best in class,” Parsons says. “Jim [O’Rourke] has made a career out of building and operating copper mines, so we couldn't ask for a team with more relevant experience. We also really liked the team's resolve and unwavering focus on building the mine even in the face of the financial meltdown. Jim and his team took this to a whole new level and are now better positioned than almost all other copper development companies – set to benefit from high

Assembly of one of two 24-foot-diameter ball mills

metal prices, but not exposed to escalating costs for mine construction.” BMO Capital Markets first established a client relationship with Copper Mountain in mid-2009 and in September of that year BMO led the $50 million equity financing, Rogers recalls. “We were impressed by the quality and expertise of the Copper Mountain management team. The project itself was intriguing, particularly given its history of operation – meaning it could be restarted relatively quickly to take advantage of what we believed would be a robust base metal price environment. Indeed, Copper Mountain proved the investment community right.” O’Rourke, a University of British Columbia mining engineering graduate who has been involved in the startup of seven major mines on three continents during his 47-year career, had extensive experience with the Copper Mountain area. As president of Princeton Mining Corporation (1987–1997), he was responsible for the acquisition of the open-pit copper mine from Newmont in 1988. When the mine closed in 1996 due to low copper prices and the need for a large capital injection to upgrade the mill and a new mobile fleet, the town of Princeton was largely affected. O’Rourke suspected there was much more high-quality ore that could be accessed with improved technology and higher copper prices, and almost 10 years later he seized the opportunity to acquire the mine again, this time under the banner of Copper Mountain.

The best in the business “Jim O’Rourke is the best hands-on mining man in the province,” says Al Cloke, director of Copper Mountain Mining Corporation and once the owner of B.C.’s largest mine equipment dealer. “He is very strong in the processing side, which is important. You can find a rocky hill, but to get it through the mill and get the concentrate out the other end at the right cost, that is the trick. And Jim is the best in the business at it.” Adds Rogers: “Jim O'Rourke is a throwback CEO. He knows his project inside out and he also resonates with investors. They trust him and know that he can deliver.” Rod Shier, chief financial officer of Copper Mountain Mining Corporation, notes that prior to Copper Mountain, Huckleberry was the last B.C. copper mine that came into production. “Jim has started the last two major mines in

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Congratulations Statement


he close relationship between Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (MMC) and Copper Mountain Mining Corporation can be rephrased as the friendship between MMC and Jim O’Rourke, president and CEO of Copper Mountain Mining. It started with MMC’s purchase of the “old” Similco copper concentrates as one of MMC’s most important sources of clean raw material to its two copper smelters in Japan until the mine’s closure in November 1996. The next stage was the joint development of Huckleberry copper-molybdenum mine when Mr. O’Rourke provided MMC with valuable advice from his profound mining experience and insights. And now the ever-reinforced relationship has materialized with the redevelopment of Copper Mountain Mine today. “It is widely believed that the booming infrastructure investments in Asia, especially in China and India, will maintain the strong worldwide copper demand over the next decades. In order for MMC to secure a stable, long-term supply of copper concentrates for its two domestic smelters and an affiliate copper smelter in Indonesia, it must continue to seek the next investment opportunities in promising copper mines. A strong partnership with a reliable mining company such as Copper Mountain Mining is inevitable. “The trustful relationship between MMC and Copper Mountain has delivered a significant milestone with Copper Mountain Mine and a step forward to the next success in the near future.” – Mr. Yosuke Isoda, assistant general manager, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Vancouver


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

B.C.,” Shier said just days after Copper Mountain started commissioning the mine in June of 2011. O’Rourke and Shier had bought the property that is now Copper Mountain in late 2006 and initiated one of the most aggressive and extensive exploration programs in B.C. history. The company used the Titan 24 Deep Earth Imaging system, the most advanced electrical imaging technology available, to identify drill targets across the 7,300-hectare mine site. The subsequent drilling covered 107,000 metres and confirmed the economic viability of the creation of a “super pit” by merging the three existing pits into one deeper and wider pit. In 2009 the company announced a 45 per cent resource increase. Says O’Rourke: “We were ecstatic.” The indicated resource was now at five billion pounds of copper, nearly 500,000 ounces of gold and 4.5 million ounces of silver. O’Rourke’s successful experience with Huckleberry, a joint venture with Imperial Metals Corporation and a Japanese group that included Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, proved vital to the financing of Copper Mountain. In 2009, when O’Rourke and Shier approached Mitsubishi with their updated resource and feasibility study, the Japanese conglomerate signed on as a 25 per cent partner. Shier remembers the signing at the Vancouver office of Copper Mountain’s lawyers. “It was an important day as we had been working on it night and day for nine months.” As well as a partner, Mitsubishi Materials agreed to purchase 100 per cent of Copper Mountain’s copper concentrate for its Japanese copper smelters. Shier, a chartered accountant with extensive experience in all aspects of corporate finance, says the initial feasibility study for Copper Mountain was based on copper selling at $1.80 per pound, but the bank dropped it to $1.60 per pound to be conservative. When the mine opened in June 2011, copper was selling at close to $4 per pound, providing a very healthy margin. Shier says 75 per cent of the mine is financed through debt borrowed from Japanese banks at a very attractive low interest rate. “The Japanese do that because it’s strategic to their country. They want the concentrate for their smelters and Mitsubishi was able to access some of that money and we went directly to some of those banks,” he explains.

Investment: Partners A perfect storm The investment rode a perfect storm of high copper prices, soaring demand – copper is a vital metal in electronic and telecommunications equipment – and the relatively low cost to get the mine back into action, because of the infrastructure already in place from prior operations. “If we were starting up this same size property in a greenfields location, we’d be looking at twice the cost, up to a billion dollars or so,” O’Rourke says, adding, “This is the first mine site in B.C. where I could use a cell phone.” It is also probably the first where a paved road led right to the mine gate, all water licences were in place, permits were in hand and there was full electrical power from a 138-kilovolt power line. As well, since Copper Mountain is only 20 kilometres from Princeton – and just three hours from Vancouver – there was no need to build camps for the construction or mine workers, the number of which peaked at 550 early in 2011. “The proximity to Princeton is a huge benefit,” Shier says, noting that most B.C. mines can be hundreds of kilometres from any town, requiring workers to remain on site, often for weeks at a time. “At Copper Mountain, workers can drive home at the end of the shift and spend time with their families,” he says. “This is a very exciting project,” says O’Rourke, even topping his experience starting up the Gibraltar mine in B.C.’s Cariboo, where the entire costs were recovered in 18 months, nearly six years ahead of projections. Still, even with the infrastructure and the impressive drilling data in hand, it required an investment of $438 million to bring Copper Mountain to production. The expenditures included modern new milling and processing equipment, a new five-bay truck shop, new primary crusher and new concentrator building. More than $85 million was spent on a brand-new mobile mining fleet consisting of 13 Komatsu 240-ton haul trucks, along with a pair of PC8000 hydraulic shovels – the biggest Komatsu makes – and the WA1200, the world’s largest mechanical loader, as well as a number of other support machines, including drills, bulldozers and cranes.

In 2008, Jim O’Rourke met with Mitsubishi executives to solidify the relationship and was received by the Mitsubishi Materials Corporation president, Mr. Ide, and executives in their Tokyo office

Roaring to life Copper Mountain came to life on schedule in June 2011 and is targeted to produce 175,000 tons of concentrate a

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


year. All of the concentrate is hauled by specially built nine-axle B-train freight trucks to the Port of Vancouver and shipped to Japan every three to four weeks in 12,000-ton shiploads. In addition to copper, Copper Mountain will generate approximately 15 per cent of its income from the extraction of gold and silver that is also in the concentrate. O’Rourke is quick to credit the team that helped bring Copper Mountain to prosperity. The team, he says, represents many top mining people in B.C. “We needed experienced hands – people who know what to do, how to do it and are committed to getting it done.” “Many people here worked with Jim O’Rourke at Princeton Mining,” says operations manager Art Pratico, who was born and raised in the Princeton area and worked at the old mine site. Pratico says some veterans came out of retirement to join in. “It’s fantastic,” he says. “It’s been years since this mine shut down. It’s great to see it going again.” ♦


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Timeline Initial exploration undertaken of the porphyry copper deposit, with further exploration since the 1890s.

Granby extracts 31.5 million tons of ore with a grade of 1.08 per cent copper, primarily from underground excavations, in and below what are now the Pit 1 and Pit 3 areas.

Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power Company acquires the property and builds a milling facility in Allenby near Princeton.

1884 22



Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

1925–1930; 1937–1957

Mining operations are suspended, partly due to low metal prices and partly due to transportation charges on the ore by the owners of the rail line.



Additional production from Pit 3.

Modern exploration activity – geological mapping, soil sampling and geophysics – begins when Newmont Mining Corporation of Canada options claims opposite the historical Granby Mine on the west side of the Similkameen River. Subsequent drilling defines sufficient resources to contemplate production.

Production commences from the Ingerbelle deposit discovered by Newmont while exploring on the western side of the Similkameen River.

Princeton Mining Corporation purchases Similco Mines Ltd., which owned the property. Production continues with mining from pits 3 and 1.

Development of mineable reserves on the Copper Mountain side of the project commences with the installation of a new primary crusher and conveyor system. Initial production on the Copper Mountain side is from Pit 2.

Newmont purchases Granby’s entire mining interest in the district, including the tailings impoundment area. Exploration continues.

Open-pit mining begins and continues, intermittently, through to late 1996.








Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Low copper prices, rising production costs and necessary capital expenditures, and change in corporate focus results in the mine closing down in November of 1996.

Open-pit production by Princeton Mining Corporation. The mine closes down in late 1993 and stays on a “care and maintenance” basis until copper prices improve in mid-1994.

A small exploration drilling program is carried out; thereafter the property lies dormant.

Drilling in the Ingerbelle area in 1994 and 1995 defines additional resources. Similco Mines carries out diamond drill programs. The period between 1992 and 1996 is marked by fluctuating and falling copper prices and rising costs.

1988–1996 24

1989–1991; 1994–1997

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011





January – July: The ongoing exploration program provides encouraging drill results and continues to give the company confidence in its resource. Since the start of the year approximately 100,000 feet (30,000 metres) of drilling has been completed, making it one of the largest drill exploration programs in B.C. for 2008. February: Faced with a 36-month lead time for the SAG and ball mills, Copper Mountain orders the grinding equipment and takes a giant leap of faith in the project. July: A positive feasibility study provides basis for production decision. The study describes the scope, design features and economic viability of bringing back into production a conventional open pit-mine with a 35,000-ton-per-day mill. September: Copper Mountain receives an upgrade to list its common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange. October: Copper Mountain concludes a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, one of the world’s largest diversified materials companies, which has agreed to purchase a 25 per cent equity interest in the project for $28.75 million, arrange a $250 million project loan, and contract to purchase all the copper concentrate from the mine. October: Copper Mountain board authorizes management to proceed with the development of the project. The company orders the balance of long-lead major equipment items, including critical loading and hauling mobile equipment. December: Mitsubishi advances a bridge loan of $28.5 million during challenging economic circumstances and allows for Copper Mountain to stay on schedule.

January: Copper Mountain Corporation acquires the property, and immediately commences a drill program for a total of about 44,000 metres by year-end. March: Definitive drilling commences. Drilling confirms mineral continuity of areas between the existing open pits which show a merged “super pit” is possible. May: The company launches its initial public offering on the TSX Venture Exchange. October: The Titan 24 geophysical system, the most advanced electrical earth imaging technology currently available, commences at Copper Mountain and identifies several large target areas for follow-up drilling. November: A positive independent preliminary assessment on the Copper Mountain project recommends that a feasibility study be undertaken. December: Hatch Ltd. engaged to complete the feasibility study, a key component in making a production decision on the Copper Mountain project.



Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


February: Positive drilling results show a significant (45 per cent) increase in the resource estimate. Copper Mountain delineates a total of five billion pounds of copper. July: Mitsubishi Materials Corporation signs definitive agreement to join project. September: Copper Mountain completes a $50 million equity financing to fund its share of the project equity capital. September: Merit Consultants International Inc., the construction manager for the Copper Mountain project, awards Gisborne Industrial Construction Ltd. the contract to start mill foundation work. September: Copper Mountain receives special approval from the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to proceed with the new mill foundation construction work. Crews are mobilized and equipment initiated to commence work immediately. October: The first pour of concrete for the mill foundation completed. Concrete will continue to be poured through to mid-December 2009, to complete the building foundations in preparation for the erection of the building steel in the spring of 2010. November: Komatsu awarded contract for more than $85 million worth of mobile mining equipment.

February: Construction continues on schedule and as planned. April: Copper Mountain receives amended mines act permit from province of B.C., approving the mine plan and reclamation program and authorizes the company to proceed with the construction and operation of the mine. April: Copper Mountain closes a $34.5 million bought deal equity financing. May: Project debt financing completed in the amount of US$322 million with a consortium of Japanese banks. July: Impact Benefits Agreement signed with local First Nations group, Upper Similkameen Indian Band, respecting the development, operation and reclamation of the project. August: Delivery of ball and SAG mills to site. August: 2010 exploration program commenced. November: Preproduction mining activities begin, as company’s main loading unit, the Komatsu PC8000, becomes operational.

2009 26

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

February: Copper Mountain closes $40 million bought deal equity financing. March: Encouraging drill results highlight possibility of future pit expansions. April: Copper Mountain commissions the new primary crusher and overland conveyor system; starts to crush ore in preparation of mill startup. May: First ore is processed. June: Commissioning the process plant with first concentrate on June 30th. July: Concentrator processing ore with tune up progressing to full production. August: Official opening of Copper Mountain mine.



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Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Investment: exploration

Trailblazing Technology


he mining and exploration history of the Copper Mountain area extends back more than 100 years, with mineralization first discovered in the 1880s and the first attempts at mining in the early 1900s. In spite of this long history of mining, current exploration using stateof-the-art technology indicates a treasure chest of untapped copper. The Copper Mountain property is host to a large alkalic porphyry, copper-goldsilver system. Recovered metal from historical production totals approximately 1.7 billion pounds of copper from 1927 to 1996 when names like Grandby Mining and Newmont Mining and, later, Princeton Mining operated the mine, first as an underground operation and later as an open pit operation. Soon after acquiring the property in 2006, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation embarked on an ambitious exploration program to determine the remaining resource, which to date has risen to five billion pounds of copper. Using a Titan 24 deep-penetration geophysical survey, the survey data were interpreted with the aid of recently available three-dimensional inversion programs, and outlined several large areas of high chargeability, both near surface and at depth, providing several target areas for follow-up drill testing. Exploration drilling at Copper Mountain

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


The Titan 24

Copper Mountain used geoscience technology to assist in expanding the resource


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

The Titan 24 Deep Earth Imaging system is among the most advanced electrical earth imaging technologies available, explains Peter Holbek, the company’s vicepresident, exploration. The nature of the mineralization at Copper Mountain is well-suited to the Titan 24 technology so they have had a relatively high success rate when drill testing the geophysical targets. “Having had past experience at Copper Mountain in the 1990s and with assistance from Mineral Deposit Research Unit at the University of British Columbia, it allowed us to hit the ground running, with respect to exploration,” says Holbek. Copper Mountain engaged Quantec Geoscience Ltd., a leading global provider of geoscience solutions, to complete the Titan 24 geophysical survey over the central part of the mine site, including the past-producing, nearsurface ore bodies. The Titan employs distributed-array technology for data acquisition pioneered in the oil and gas industry, similar to 3-D seismic interpretation. By measuring 24 or more stations simultaneously, Titan is able to efficiently record and process a vast amount of data. By sampling more data faster and simultaneously, it provides increased reliability and accuracy of information compared to other methods. The method also employs a larger array (generally a 2,400-metre spread), delivering much deeper capability than traditional means and airborne methods. Measuring parameters of DC (resistivity), IP (chargeability) and MT (magnetotelluric resistivity), the Titan 24 measures to depths of 750 metres with IP and to depths of more than 1.5 kilometres with MT data. These depths and multi-parameter data make the system one of the best options available for obtaining subsurface information related to geologic structure and for the direct detection of mineral deposits. “The Titan Survey is a deep-penetration inducedpolarization (IP) system,” explains Holbek. IP works, in very basic terms, by putting an electrical charge into the earth and turning it on and off. Electrical sensors measure changes within the electrical/magnetic fields during this process. In particular, the sensors measure the decay of the electrical charge during the ‘off’ cycle.” Disseminated sulphide minerals become polarized

Investment: Exploration (positive and negative) during the current-on cycle and it is the decay of this polarization that is measured. “In theory, the response is somewhat proportional to the amount of sulphide minerals present, but shape, distribution, size and type of sulphide minerals also affect response, as do numerous other factors such as ground water, salinity of the ground water, porosity and permeability of the rocks, fault and fracture patterns, etc.,” says Holbek. Not all sulphide minerals contain copper. Pyrite, for instance, is just iron and sulphur and it has the strongest IP response (and is the most common) of all the sulphide minerals. Fortunately there is a spatial relationship between pyrite and copper sulphide minerals, albeit not yet fully understood within the mineralizing system. So the connection between copper grades and IP response can be tenuous, requiring extensive drill testing and constant revision of the three-dimensional interpretation of the mineralization.

More accurate surveys While IP systems have been in use since the late 1960s, general advances in electronics (from transistors to

micro-chips) have resulted in more accurate and more efficient surveys over time. “More recently, advances in computer processing have improved both the collection of geophysical data and the interpretation thereof,” Holbek says, adding that it wasn’t until the late 1990s or early 2000s that computer programs were developed that could model geophysical data in three dimensions and incorporate a variety of different readings into the model. “This modelling, known as 3-D inversion, is a vast improvement on previous data presentations as it puts the data in a format that makes sense to geologists and can be used in conjunction with other geological data and viewed in 3-D with the help of computer graphics.” These changes in data processing, he says, in turn lead to refinement in how the electrical current is used and measured in the IP surveys, resulting in greater accuracy. Holbek says the Titan Survey has been extremely useful to Copper Mountain’s exploration efforts, not in terms of precisely indicating where mineralization is (because it doesn’t actually do that) but by giving its geologists a very large 3-D model of the deposit area, which resulted

Copper Mountain up and running

ABB proudly delivered and commissioned its first three low speed synchronous dual pinion mill drive systems (2 x 8500 hp) for the Copper Mountain super-pit mine. These variable speed drives, with frozen charge detection and remover functions, for the mine’s SAG and two ball mills, enable Copper Mountain to operate their grinding process with greatest flexibility. ABB also delivered the main substation transformers and distribution transformers for the entire plant, low voltage motor control centers and a plant-wide automation system. Congratulations to Copper Mountain for having successfully started production with ABB’s energy efficient systems. ABB state-of-the-art solutions maximize return on project investment through extensive know-how and experience – allowing Copper Mountain to achieve industry leading productivity. Visit us at

ABB Switzerland Ltd ABB Inc.

Phone: +41 58 586 84 44 Phone: +1 604 412 28 63

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Peter Holbek, vice-president of exploration

in a “paradigm shift” in how they understood what lies beneath the ground. “It was much bigger and more interconnected in the subsurface than we had interpreted from surface data,” he says. “In essence, it helped us to think big and adjust our exploration plan accordingly.”

Creation of a super pit The company subsequently completed one of B.C.’s largest drill exploration programs in 2007 and 2008 by drilling approximately 107,000 metres. The goal of the program was to test and possibly expand the reported resources between the three existing pits to identify a new merged pit – known as the “super pit” – that would be bigger, wider and deeper to provide access to additional mineralization at depth. The company was successful in identifying a potential super pit. Current resources and metal prices are suggestive of another pit expansion beyond what is currently in the mine plan, Holbek says. “The ultimate depth of the pit is determined by economics: the price of copper versus the costs of extraction, including the waste rock or non-ore material that has to be moved to get at the ore. We have modelled pits on our current resource base that are economically feasible at current costs and prices, which extend the super pit to depths of more than 750 metres below surface.” Holbek says the company’s current mine plan has reserves that are sufficient for 17 years of production and the ultimate pit only extends to depths of 350 metres; however, the resource base is much larger.


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

“The difference between resources and reserves is that reserves are those resources which have sufficient engineering studies to demonstrate both practical and economic viability at reasonable metal prices. “These studies have not been completed on the full resource base, but sufficient work has been carried out to indicate that at a $2.50 copper price, there is a high probability that reserves could be increased to provide up to 30 years of mine life at the 35,000-ton-per-day processing rate,” he says. “Continued exploration success, which is a reasonable assumption, could add even more years.” However, this is predicated on costs, particularly fuel, electrical power and labour, remaining in line with the copper price. Copper Mountain began life as an underground mine, primarily because there was no equipment available, at that time, to move the amount of rock required to mine by open pit methods, Holbek says. “At some point in the future, it is possible that the most economical methods of extraction of deep, highgrade zones will be by underground methods,” he says. “However, at this point in time, we do not have any such zones fully delineated by drilling, and we have not yet determined the economic limits of large open pits.”

More to come Holbek is confident there is substantial exploration potential remaining at Copper Mountain. “There still remains a number of near surface zones of mineralization that have not been fully tested as well as a number of outlying geophysical anomalies that have not yet been explored,” he says. “All known mineralization remains open to depth. It will take time to fully explore the potential, and the costs of exploring at greater depths are tied to business requirements and therefore will probably be semi-continuous throughout the entire mine-life.” In general, Canadian exploration and mining companies are among the most innovative in the world, says Holbek, although he adds he does not believe that Copper Mountain Mining is particularly special within the Canadian spectrum of companies. “We have used the best exploration technology available to us as we have been trained to do,” he says. “Senior management at Copper Mountain has been very encouraging and supportive of innovative exploration which is key; however, as a small startup company we did not have financial or scientific wherewithal to drive innovation, but we have made good use of the tools that were available to us.” ♦

Uniting technology, products & people Congratulations to Copper Mountain Mining Corporation for the completion of the new processing plant and their commitment to responsible mining! For over a century, the mining industry has relied on FLSmidth to deliver exceptional technology, products and services. We are proud to have supplied Copper Mountain with one high performance RaptorŽ XL900 cone crusher, one 34-ft diameter Fuller-Traylor™ SAG Mill and two 24-ft diameter Ball Mills. Our continued relationship with the management and employees at Copper Mountain shows the great success that we can achieve in working together. For more information, visit us at


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Innovation: Construction

Moving Mountains


t Canada’s newest major copper mine, the Copper Mountain Mining Corporation staff and contractor crews know how to get things done, so much so that they’ve encapsulated their entrepreneurial spirit in a mine site motto that goes to the very core of what drives them. “At Copper Mountain we can do anything, the impossible just takes a few days more,” it reads. This project morphed from concept to reality in under three years, in the midst

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Construction of the base of the concentrator building Foundation for the base of the concentrator building progressed in a cost-efficient manner with the company’s onsite concrete batch plant


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Innovation: Construction of a global recession during which several other projects failed to get off the ground. This says a lot about the people who built Copper Mountain. “In terms of developing the concept at an early stage, where the crusher would be, where the mill would be, what the distances were to the Super Pit and everything, that whole conceptual development if you will, to me, was key,” says Jim O’Rourke, the company’s chief executive officer. “We developed that in mid-2007 and stuck with it right through to production.” O’Rourke set an ambitious and aggressive timeline to get the former producing copper mine roaring back to life again, churning out 35,000 tons of ore per day. By 2008, even without the completion of a feasibility study that provides the basis for the viability of a project, O’Rourke, with Mitsubishi Materials Corporation as a partner and customer, forged ahead with the project, ordering long-lead major equipment items, including critical loading and hauling mobile equipment and the SAG mill and ball mills. “He’s a bit of a renegade in the industry that way, a good renegade,” says Jay Collins, president of Merit Consultants International Inc., the construction manager for the project. “It was a chance, but a good opportunity, and these days copper prices being where they are and gold prices being where they are, most of these projects that have come through pre-feasibility are going to be successful because the commodity prices support it.”

Breaking ground Many people consider the workings of an open-pit mine as simply being dusty old shovels and haul trucks digging for and carting away rock from which metals such as copper and gold are extracted. As the Copper Mountain experience shows, there’s often much harder work and effort that goes into building a mine than meets the eye. As a past producer, the mine purchase came with several bonuses, mainly the existing facilities, including an administration building, a fresh-water-pumping facility from the Similkameen River and a power line connected to the BC Hydro grid. The other aspect is the existing tailing management facility, which holds what’s left over from the processing of the ore, containing non-copper-bearing rock. “Because it was permitted before, having been able to utilize it again

is a great saver of a lot of work and a lot of time and a lot of cost,” says O’Rourke. But that’s just a very small part. Copper Mountain added a new truck shop and then built a brand new crusher as well as a conveying and processing system – essentially a brand new mine. To keep costs down, Merit didn’t hire a contractor for the early work on site during 2008 but put the construction equipment already there, and a local population of operators out of the Princeton area, to work. “We managed Jim’s operators and used his equipment and we did all the bulk earthworks and rock movement,” recalls Collins. “We managed that work for the first year and a half and took a large load off the project.” The crack crew also prepared the access roads and the site platform on which the concentrator was to be built. “We actually carried on all the way through winter doing as much as we could wherever we could.”

Concrete solutions To help reduce costs further, an on-site batch plant was set up in 2009 to prepare, screen, crush and wash aggregates used to make concrete, rather than paying around $1,500 a cubic metre for the supply and pouring of concrete, as well as the related work such as putting in reinforced steel bars and excavating. At the time the budget called for around 20,000 cubic metres of concrete, although 38,000 cubic metres of concrete was eventually poured with the help of the general contractor, Gisborne Industrial Construction Ltd., to form the foundations of the grinding mills. “Ours came out to about $1,000 per cubic metre, so we made a substantial saving by doing what we did, which was to set up a plant on site, process our own aggregates and make our own concrete,” says Collins. “We had such a large overage on concrete quantity that one of the major offsets is we did it for less money.” When one looks at project costs, one looks at budgets and forecasts and does not really appreciate what goes in there to offset any overruns, he says. “That was a major, major offset and a very good one.” From a construction viewpoint, the project presented some challenges, although the concentrator building happened to be in a good location with good rock. But a large part of that concrete overrun, about 6,000 cubic metres,

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Construction of the concentrator building Once the company received its permits on April 1, 2010, erection of steel for the concentrator building began immediately, and the exterior frame was complete in an impressive five months


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Innovation: Construction “If you want to really push the envelope, that’s where the edge of the envelope is,” says Collins. “You can pour concrete up to ground level but not beyond; nothing goes beyond. So we ended up with a lot of the steel ready to go up and we waited for a few weeks for the permit amendment to come through. It wasn’t forthcoming as quickly as we thought.” To get around that conundrum, the crews begin to think outside the box – quite literally! “We started to fabricate the steel panels on the ground. So the walls we started to put together on the ground,” says Collins. “So eventually when the permit came [on April 1, 2010] we had a crane large enough we could lift whole panels of structural steel bit by bit. That was kind of neat because we really did not lose any great amount of time as a consequence of that. We just kind of worked around that.” All the steel was up in about five to six months; the cladding in another three to four months before the start of winter to enable crews to work on the interior.

Crusher at work was to make up for the poor, weathered rock that the crews excavated down to, and it continued to be weathered as they went down. “We were trying to establish a good basis to build the concentrator which was never anticipated,” says Collins. It took all of nine months to pour the concrete for the main foundations. “It was continuous work. You really want to get the concrete out of the way as soon as you can so you can get in there and do the rest of it – the piping, the electrical and the mechanical,” he says. “Fortunately, by starting the concrete work before the winter of 2009 it gave us a really good jump on the 2010 work.”

The steel With pouring of concrete for the concentrator building foundations complete, Copper Mountain eagerly awaited its permit from the BC Government approving the mine plan and reclamation program and authorizing it to proceed with the construction and operation of the mine. But with no permit in sight by early 2010, the crews on site were not able to put up any of the 3,000 tons of steel that had been delivered, which meant that none of building structures could be erected.

The pre-engineered concentrator building, which is as high as a 10-storey building and as long as one-and-a-half football fields, was put up, along with those for the primary crusher and pebble crusher. The new 60-inch primary crusher, housed in a 100-foothigh (30.5 metres) structure, receives the run of mine (ROM) ore that’s brought down from the open pit by haul trucks. Ore is crushed down to a predetermined size (nominally six inches) and sent through the system to the SAG mill which pulverizes it a little more. It’s then sent to the two ball mills for more pulverizing. That whole system from crushing through grinding is called comminution, the most energy-intensive part of the mining industry, and a lot of testing is done to determine the amount of horsepower required to crush down to a certain size. Without a proper calculation of how much pressure is needed to release the gold or copper to flotation, things would go awry. “Over-crushing can mean that you lose copper in the tailings, and insufficient crushing means that you do not get enough copper liberated. So it’s quite a science, and that’s why there’s so much test work that goes on before,” says Collins. “People think you just beat this stuff and

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Equipment Assembly The mobile equipment was delivered according to schedule and assembled on site


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Innovation: Construction

Cyclone classifiers are used to size the ground ore prior to flotation

copper comes out. It isn’t quite as easy as that.” Comminution is the front end of a plant while metallurgy, the study of the physical and chemical behaviour of metallic elements, is the process side at the back end of a plant. Once through the primary crusher, the material is dropped down to the new overland conveyor which conveys the material to a course ore stock pile and from there, to another belt that takes it into the mill. “The conveyor on this project is pretty substantial; it’s about a kilometre and a half,” says Collins. Interestingly, the embankment to the conveyor was made from waste rock from the mine. “Normally waste rock from the mine during the pre-strip operations goes to the waste dump where it’s stored permanently, but in this case we also used a lot of that material for backfilling the crusher and behind the crusher, and we constructed the access road to the crusher out of it,” says Collins. The new five-bay truck shop was given priority so that new equipment could be assembled and then maintained while being used for construction, as well as operations.

The facility will also be used for the warehousing, the administration, a machine shop, an ambulance and the “dry” – where miners go to wash up and change before they go home.

Big designs O’Rourke was the real authority on the design of the plant, says Collins. “He really wanted to build a mill that looked in essence and felt in essence like Huckleberry [the copper/molybdenum mine southwest of Houston, B.C., that he brought into production before retiring in 1998]. That was his mandate. He went so far as to take a group of the design engineers up to the Huckleberry plant, showed them around and said, ‘Look guys, that’s the efficient design that I want.’” And the nice thing about Huckleberry, adds Collins – his firm was involved in that project as the construction manager – is that it’s a fairly compact plant with not a lot of wasted space inside, and the process layout is fairly simple. “The other, more unique thing about it is that it had an

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Construction of the Primary Crusher and overland conveyor system The company commissioned the new primary crusher and overland conveyor system in April 1, 2011, to begin stockpiling the crusher ore


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Innovation: Construction access right onto the operating level from ground level outside; it was cut into rock essentially, with a rock face forming one side of the mill.” “We did to some extent model it on the Huckleberry template but in reality it’s not a lot different from any template that we use for any open-pit project,” says Collins. While the 35,000-ton-per-day plant is considered fairly small compared with some other mines, there was a very specific reason Copper Mountain’s management stuck to that design: it supported the existing infrastructure including the tailings facility, which meant that if it had tried to design a larger process plant, it would have had to modify the existing infrastructure and get new permits instead of amend the ones already in place. “The key, from my point of view, is to have a good, solid, experienced team that sets out the design criteria at a very early age, like we selected a 35,000-ton-a-day rate for many reasons, and we did that in mid-2007 before we’d even finished the drilling,” says O’Rourke. 45251_BMO_2011_MountainClimbers.pdf 1 7/14/11 12:45 PM







O’Rourke and chief financial officer Rod Shier were always on top of things and were at the site every week looking at costs, keeping a tab on things, says Collins. “It’s great working with an owner who is really interested in the details of a project; that’s a pleasure.” The crew on site during construction peaked at around 550, and the entire project took about a million construction man-hours. Starting early construction work at the beginning of the global economic recession allowed Copper Mountain to source lower prices for both steel and labour. Luck, too, was on its side, with Mitsubishi providing a loan in the form of debt during the time of malaise in the financial and equity markets. That helped the project keep to its construction schedule, while the mild winter weather played its part as well, meaning there weren’t many lost construction days. All the major construction was essentially complete by the end of 2010, says Collins. “A year – that’s pretty impressive.” ♦

Mountain climbers Having helped Copper Mountain raise significant capital for the development of their mine, we congratulate the company on reaching new heights of success.



CAPITAL RAISING • MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS • RISK MANAGEMENT • RESEARCH • INSTITUTIONAL SALES & TRADING BMO Capital Markets is a trade name used by BMO Financial Group for the wholesale banking businesses of Bank of Montreal, BMO Harris Bank N.A. and Bank of Montreal Ireland p.l.c., and the institutional broker dealer businesses of BMO Capital Markets Corp., BMO Nesbitt Burns Trading Corp. S.A., BMO Nesbitt Burns Securities Limited and BMO Capital Markets GKST Inc. in the U.S., BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. in Canada, Europe and Asia, BMO Nesbitt Burns Ltée/Ltd. in Canada, BMO Capital Markets Limited in Europe, Asia and Australia and BMO Advisors Private Limited in India. ® Registered trademark of Bank of Montreal in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

BMO Capital Markets_MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS_ Code# BMOCMCB-1159 Copper Mountain Commemoritive Book Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011 Prepared by Condon+Root, LLC contact Jim Root o 847.381.6575 c 847.971.4950



Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Innovation: Technology

Thinking big


hen the first of the stateof-the-art mobile fleet and equipment began arriving at the Copper Mountain site near Princeton in 2010, it marked the start of a new era of modern operations for the historic mine, which first began production in the early 1920s. For one thing, milling and mining equipment is much larger than was the case in the previous mid-20,000-ton-aday operation. “We’re operating at 35,000 tons a day, so we’ve got bigger milling equipment and bigger haul trucks, and all of that makes the project larger and more efficient per unit ton,” notes Peter Campbell, the company’s former vicepresident for environmental affairs who

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


construction of the new truck shop The new five-bay truck shop was given priority on the schedule to assist with maintenance of the mobile fleet


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Innovation: Technology is now an environmental consultant to the company. “This isn’t just about opening up an old mine; it’s about rejuvenating an old mine into a new mine, so in a lot of cases we’re starting afresh,” he says. It’s the mobile mining equipment fleet that stands out amid the landscape of the open-pit copper-gold mine, providing a sharp contrast to the vehicles of days gone by. Equipment worth more than $85 million was ordered, to be delivered in stages over a period of 18 months with half arriving on site in time for preproduction startup in late 2010.

Largest in North America To load ore onto the trucks, Canada’s newest major copper mine will turn to its two brand-new Komatsu PC8000 hydraulic front-loading shovels with huge 42-cubic-metre buckets. With a price tag of $14 million each, these units are the largest of their kind in North America. The equipment package also included a $3.3 million Komatsu WA1200 front-end loader, the largest mechanical loader in the world, as a third loading unit. The so-called “Mountain Mover” is equipped with the largest bucket in its class at 20 cubic metres. Copper Mountain has 13 240-ton Komatsu 830E-AC diesel electric-drive trucks to haul the ore – these cost $3.8 million each – as well as two Komatsu D375-6 track dozers, the latest in the series, and one Komatsu WD600 wheel dozer. “They’re the latest and greatest,” notes Bill Dodds, the mine’s general manager. The shovels are hydraulically operated using electric motors. “Normally these things are bought with diesel, but we bought the electric ones, so there’s a fuel saving there for sure,” he says. Lightweight and mobile, the shovels can be moved quite easily and, fitted with high-efficiency motors, they make for very efficient use of electricity. The haul trucks, too, have high-efficiency diesel engines, and in a bid to incur further savings, they have microchips and transmitters embedded in each $40,000 tire. “We’re able to remotely monitor, in real time, the pressure and the temperature in the tire, so there’s a tremendous potential to save costs,” says Dodds. Copper Mountain plans to change about 80 tires a year, making for an annual tire replacement bill of approximately $3.2 million, so the steps taken are to ensure they

Several board members from Copper Mountain review the high-tech control centre

get the longest possible tire life. The innovation extends to the soft-start technology on all the drills, which enables them to ramp up to desired speed slowly thereby resulting in a major saving in energy. “In the old days, you would basically turn the power on, engage the clutch and away you’d go, but there’s a huge surge in energy when you do that,” says Dodds. “Now with the soft starts, we can start the motors very slowly, and ramp them up to full speed over a period of like 15 minutes or so. So it avoids peak loading on the power grid.”

State-of-the-art automation The plant itself is highly automated. All of the mills, with the exception of the regrind mill, use soft-start technology as well, and all the instrumentation ties into a central control room. “The computerized control system for the whole property is state of the art,” says Jim O’Rourke, Copper Mountain’s CEO. “In the control room, we have eight big-screen monitors that control everything on the property – the water system, the primary crusher, the total mill process – grinding, flotation, everything.” The use of variable speed motors has proven to be a wise investment, he says. “We have a 34-foot-diameter-by-20-foot-long SAG mill which is the main mill. It has two variable-speed ABB motors that are both 8,500-horsepower dual-drive, and it

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Bill Dodds, general manager at Copper Mountain, inspects steel chains employed to protect the $100,000 loader tires from rock cuts

Did you know? • The $85 million in mobile mining fleet equipment includes two electric hydraulic shovels that are the largest in North America. • Copper Mountain has the largest mechanical loader in the world. • A haul-truck tire costs around $40,000 and has a microchip embedded that relays temperature and pressure data remotely. • A sophisticated computerized control room is the nerve centre for the entire mine operation.


can be varied from virtually nothing to 78 per cent critical speed,” says O’Rourke. “The two ball mills are 24 feet by 40 feet long, and those also have dual drives, and each of them has the same motors. “We have six 8,500-horsepower variable-speed motors on the three mills so they’re all interchangeable. I guess what’s unique is to have a variable speed motor on a ball mill, but this does give us the flexibility that if we do need more ball mill capacity we can speed the mills up without changing the pinions. “If we lose a motor, for example on the SAG mill, normally that would put us down, but what we can do is take a motor from one of the ball mills and we could still continue to operate probably at 70 per cent of our full capacity while the motor is being repaired. So it just gives us more flexibility.” Dodds says latest innovations have been incorporated throughout

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

the mill, and a multimillion-dollar installation of harmonic filters on the main power line to the mine complex will further help control costs. “We want to make sure we’re not wasting energy – we want to make sure we’re using all the power that’s being supplied by BC Hydro,” he says, adding that Copper Mountain is also working with BC Hydro on its Power Smart program to try to find ways of reducing energy consumption further. “Since I started 35 years ago, the method of open-pit mining hasn’t changed very much. It’s still that you create a mine design, you drill it, you blast it, you load it and haul it to the mill,” Dodds says. “But what you’re seeing is a huge improvement in the equipment, the reliability of the equipment, and the use of more sophisticated systems. All of these things being incorporated into the mines now make them overall more efficient.” ♦

Meeting rising demands for minerals and metals is not just a matter of producing more. The real challenge is to deliver more tons, while improving safety, lowering costs and reducing environmental impact. It’s a balance; one that Finning can help you achieve. With the industry’s broadest line of mining equipment, technology and services, we have solutions that are right for you. Contact your Finning representative today for details.

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Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Innovation: Sustainability

Copper goes green


ustainable development has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (United Nations-convened Brundtland Commission in 1987) Since that time, it has been reinterpreted and redefined many times to suit specific circumstance, but has always held true to the basic concept, says Peter

Photo of refurbished reclaim water barge at Copper Mountain. Approximately 76 per cent of the total water requirements for the mill process is recycled from the tailings management facility

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Fast facts


variety of environmental management systems are in use at the mine site. They include: • proven state of the art technology is used to treat air emissions, potable water and sewage; • a water-reclaim system is used to maximize recycling of water and minimize fresh water use; • recycling of used oil, batteries, greases, antifreeze and other potentially hazardous materials. The company is also developing a variety of environmental management plans for reclamation, hazardous materials, petroleum, explosives, emergency preparedness, occupational health and safety, traffic management, wildlife, water, soil salvage, surface erosion and sediment control, landscaping, invasive weeds and biosolid storage and monitoring. Through efficient design, Copper Mountain reclaims and recycles approximately 76 per cent of the total water requirements for the mill process from the tailings facility, thereby minimizing the requirements for fresh water from off-site sources. Copper Mountain was the first mining property in B.C. to investigate and demonstrate, in conjunction with the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the successful use of biosolids in reclamation. Following reclamation, the mine site will look very much like the surrounding undisturbed areas.


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Campbell, formerly vice-president, environmental affairs, and now an independent environmental cnsultant, who has helped Copper Mountain Mining Corporation develop strategies to make its mine more efficient and sustainable and, ultimately, to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible. “We’re really aren’t expanding our footprint, hardly at all,” says Michelle DesJardins, the mine’s environmental supervisor who will implement those plans and strategies. That’s because, unlike a greenfield mine, a substantial part of Copper Mountain consists of existing infrastructure from previous operations. “As a socially and environmentally responsible mining company and as a member of the Mining Association of B.C., Copper Mountain sees its role in committing to and achieving sustainable mining practices while meeting society’s needs for mineral and metal products,” says Campbell. “We achieve this, in the first instance, through diligent design and engineering of the project in order to ensure profitable operations and the efficient recovery of the resource,” he says. “Copper Mountain has invested heavily in new state-of-the-art equipment to achieve economies of scale to allow mining and processing of the lowest-grade material to become economically practical in order to maximize resource extraction and mine life.” Copper Mountain also engages the services of various qualified professionals to advise it on areas requiring specialized expertise. These include independent geotechnical engineers to design, inspect and oversee construction and operation of the tailings management facility. “These experts develop an operation, maintenance and surveillance (OMS) manual for the facility that specifies construction techniques and operating parameters,” says Campbell, “including the installation of modern monitoring equipment, to ensure the physical stability of the structures, as well as assigning accountability and responsibility for tailings management. These same engineers conduct annual reviews of the tailings management facility and update the design and OMS manual accordingly.”

Reclamation Efficient design of the tailings management facility allows Copper Mountain to reclaim and recycle approximately 76 per cent of the total water requirements for

the mill process from the tailings management facility, thereby minimizing the requirements for fresh water from off-site sources. Moreover, Copper Mountain was the first mining property in B.C. to investigate and demonstrate, in conjunction with the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver), the successful use of biosolids in reclamation. Beginning in 1992, biosolids have been applied to disturbed areas at the mine site, which have been successfully reclaimed through the application of grass and legume seed mixes. From 1992 through 2008, successful reclamation using biosolids has been carried out on 100 per cent of the historical Allenby tailings deposits near Princeton, 71 per cent of the formerly operated Ingerbelle side of the property and 21 per cent of the Copper Mountain side currently under redevelopment. Since then, numerous other mining companies in B.C. have also partnered with the Metro Vancouver biosolids program to enhance their reclamation efforts. Copper Mountain also partnered with Envirogreen Technologies back in 1996 to operate a modern thermal treatment facility on the Ingerbelle side of the property for the treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils to provide remediated soils for reclamation purposes, adds Campbell. “Copper Mountain has engaged regularly and continually with local communities and First Nations throughout the mine development process. Engagement has taken the form of numerous presentations to Town of Princeton, First Nations and regional district councils, open houses and family or public days at the mine site.” In 2010, the company entered into an impact benefits agreement (IBA) with the Upper Similkameen Indian Band, in whose asserted traditional territory the mine is located. The company and the USIB meet regularly through an implementation committee to oversee the goals of the IBA.

Conservation The overall objective of Copper Mountain’s reclamation plan is to return the surface of the land to premining productivity and capability conditions for use as wildlife habitat and to re-establish opportunities

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for traditional use of the land by First Nations. This will include the re-establishment of water courses and revegetating disturbed areas to a self-sustaining state using appropriate grass, legume and woody tree species, explains Campbell. “In order to achieve this goal, disturbed areas will be contoured to approximate local topographic conditions consistent with the end land-use objective and to ensure the physical stability of surface structures.” The final closure plan will be developed well in advance of mine closure, and opportunities will be given to representatives of the local communities to review and provide input into closure methods. “This will include opportunities to identify specific native plant species for use in the reclamation program and to incorporate specific habitat values for targeted wildlife species,” says Campbell. “This will enhance opportunities for present and future generations of local residents to effectively and safely use the reclaimed areas.” The Town of Princeton and other local communities were founded and thrived on mining activity since the 1800s, he says. “Local residents are very familiar with the results of reclamation efforts undertaken both at Ingerbelle and at the historic Allenby tailings deposits. As a result, they are very knowledgeable of the success of reclamation activity to date and confident in the ability of the mine to return disturbed land to a productive state.” To ensure reclamation will be completed, the company prepares and submits an annual reclamation report that documents mining activity undertaken over the course of the preceding year. It includes the current status of the mine plan, reclamation obligations and outstanding liability and associated costs to complete the reclamation and closure activities in accordance with the approved reclamation plan, and all monitoring, including water quality and relevant ongoing maintenance activities. As well, every five years the company prepares and submits a revised reclamation plan providing an update of the mine plan and reclamation obligations, a compilation and interpretation of all monitoring data, any changes to the reclamation program that affect long-term mitigation, contingency plans, a schedule for completion of reclamation works and a breakdown of outstanding liabilities and associated costs. Based on the annual reclamation reports, the reclamation


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

plan and the associated reclamation cost estimates, the company deposits funds to be held under a safekeeping agreement with the government as reclamation security. This ensures that sufficient money will be available at the time of closure to complete the approved reclamation plan.

Mitigation Campbell says water-quality sampling has been undertaken from around the Copper Mountain site and in the surrounding rivers and streams on a routine basis for upwards of 25 years. Sources of water on the mine site, originating from mine development areas dating back some 80 years, are consistently basic (pH 8). “Water quality is very good, generally well below receiving water quality guidelines,” Campbell says. “Water-quality monitoring stations on the Similkameen River upstream and downstream of the mine site show no significant impacts associated with the presence of the mine.” Despite the excellent history of water quality, Copper Mountain is increasing the number of monitoring stations and the frequency of sampling and is installing a network of groundwater monitoring wells to further improve its water monitoring system. The company is also undertaking a comprehensive materials characterization program to further document the nature of mined materials and to guide their disposal to ensure the long-term chemical stability of these materials. Following reclamation, the site will look very much like the surrounding undisturbed areas, says Campbell. “Disturbed areas will be contoured and regraded to conform with regional topography. Stable channels will be established to direct site surface water to natural drainages. Growth medium in the form of salvaged topsoil and/ or biosolids will be applied to the surface and seeded with a grass/legume mix, and trees will be planted.” The only area that will not be reclaimed in this manner will be the open pit itself, as the pit walls cannot be practically reclaimed and will remain as steep rock walls. “The reclaimed mine site will be safe for both humans and wildlife,” Campbell says. “Of interest, lots of wildlife used the mine site during the years in which it was shut down and, in fact, lots of wildlife use the site while it is in operation as well.” ✦


Construction Managers on the 35,000 tpd Copper Mountain Project

construction management contract management site supervision quality assurance cost control scheduling site safety cost reporting expediting purchasing document control Tel.: 604.669.8444

750 West Pender Street, Suite 401, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6C2T8

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Copper trivia Copper trivia • Copper is mankind’s oldest metal. Copper was the first metal mined and crafted by man and has been mined continuously for more than 10,000 years. • Copper properties include high conductivity, long life and resistance to corrosion. • About 80 per cent of the copper ever produced is still in use. It can be recycled over and over again without any effect on its properties. Copper’s recycle value is so great that premium-grade scrap has at least 95 per cent of the value of copper from newly mined ore.

• The average North American home contains about 200 kilograms of copper for electrical wiring, water pipes and appliances, while an average automobile contains about 25 kilograms of copper. Hybrid cars require double the copper. • Copper sheathing is used in hospitals to enclose rooms containing sensitive equipment like CAT scan, MRI and X-ray units to prevent the entrance or emission of electromagnetic radiation. • The Statue of Liberty contains 179,000 pounds of copper. After more than 100 years, its copper skin has remained virtually intact. The weathering and oxidation of the copper skin to a thin


green layer is just .005 of an inch. • Researchers at Duke University have found a simple way to make tiny copper conductors that are small enough to be transparent, making them ideal for thin-film solar cells, flatscreen TVs and computers. “Imagine a foldable iPad,” said Benjamin Wiley, an assistant professor of chemistry at Duke. • Copper is a key component in billions of computers, cell phones and iPads and other communication devices worldwide.

Investment trivia • Copper prices? N e w Yo r k b a s e d Morgan Stanley looks for an average of $7,900 per metric ton (pmt) for copper in 2011, up from $7,300 for 2010. London, England-based Virtual Metals Group lists a September 2011 target of

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

$9,100 and a mid-2012 target of $8,500. Citigroup of New York City expects copper to hit $10,000 pmt by mid-2012. New York-based Barclays Capital looks for copper to average $9,950 pmt in the third quarter 2011. Goldman Sachs of New York looks for copper to hit $11,000 pmt by mid2012 on the London Metal Exchange. – Mining Commodity Market Prices, Copper Supply and Demand Outlook 2011

Copper Mountain trivia • Truck tires for the giant machines at Copper Mountain last about 6,000 hours and cost $40,000 each to replace. • The Copper Mountain Mine annual payroll runs from $25 million to $30 million and 50 per cent of the workforce comes from the local Similkameen Valley. • Exploration has uncovered a potential of five billion pounds of copper in the various ore bodies that make up Copper Mountain Mine. With its projected 17-year mine life, however, only 1.7 billion pounds will be recovered. If copper prices remain high, Copper Mountain has enough resources to extend its life for many, many years. ✦


A proud contributor to the Copper Mountain Mine Project


s a mining construction contractor with a reputation for safety, quality and cost effectiveness, Gisborne was selected by Copper Mountain as the General Works Contractor for their Copper Mountain Project. In this position, Gisborne was asked to assist with constructability reports, preliminary budgets and scheduling, prior to construction. During construction, Gisborne was responsible for the installation of building and machinery foundations, structural steel, conveyor systems, mechanical systems and process piping systems. The Copper Mountain Project showcased Gisborne’s abilities to erect three of the larger SAG and Ball Mills that have been installed in Canada in the past couple of decades. This achievement, combined with past projects successes, has evolved Gisborne to become one of the prime contractors of choice with many world class clients.

Vancouver 604.520.7300 Edmonton 780.447.3830

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


images of the copper mountain mine

Continuity of mineralization between pre-existing pits 1, 2 and 3 allow for the creation of what is called the “super pit�


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Top: The newly built five-bay maintenance shop showing one of the 240-ton-capacity haulage trucks Bottom: Mining activities at Copper Mountain started with a pushback on the western wall of pit 3


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Top: The Komatsu PC8000 shovel loading a Komatsu 830E 240-ton haul truck Bottom: Two of the 13 haulage trucks moving ore

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Top: A 240-ton haulage truck dumps ore into the new primary crusher that crushes 60-inch rocks into six-inch pieces Bottom: The 10-storey-high primary crusher and the approximately one-kilometre-long ore conveyor


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Top: One of two 24-foot-diameter-by-40-foot-long ball mills with 17,000 horsepower drive Bottom: The concentrator facilities are operated from a state-of-the-art control room

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


An interior view of a portion of the new process plant: SAG mill on the left, ball mill on the right, and concentrator thickener in the foreground


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Top: Flotation of the copper minerals in two-column flotation cells produce the final concentrate at 28 per cent copper Bottom: The final concentrate is filtered to eight per cent moisture and contains copper, gold and silver. Here it is being sampled by a laboratory technician before it is loaded into the concentrate trucks to be transported to the Vancouver wharf for ocean shipment to Japan 66

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Partners in Progress Copper Mountain Mining & Atlas Copco Canada

Bringing Sustainable Prosperity to the Similkameen Mining has been important to the prosperity of the Similkameen since the last half of the nineteenth century. The re-opening of the historic Copper Mountain Mine this year is aiding in bringing that prosperity back to the area. Atlas Copco is proud to be part of this great economic revival, and we would like to congratulate the Copper Mountain Mining Corporation, as well as the people of Princeton, BC, and their neighbours throughout the Similkameen as Copper Mountain Mine begins production once again. Atlas Copco is happy to support Copper Mountain Mining with the Pit Viper series of rotary blasthole drill rigs, as well as drilling rig parts, rock drilling tools, and quick, reliable service. We look forward to contributing to Copper Mountain’s sustainable growth for years to come.

Mining PRocess At the Mine Site

Three pre-existing pits that will be merged into the “super pit� by mining for copper

Ore is excavated with a hydraulic shovel and dumped into the haul truck. It takes three passes to fill a 240-ton truck

Inside the process plant

The SAG mill breaks the ore into pieces smaller than two inches by friction and impact with five-inchdiameter steel balls. It is powered with electric motors

Material and balls fall back down

Lifting plates carry the material up the side of the ball mill

Direction of rotation of the mill


After treatment and refining in the smelter in Japan, copper metal is produced


The concentrate is trucked to Vancouver and then shipped to Japan

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Copper concentrate, the final product at the mine

The haul truck dumps the ore into the primary crusher for reduction in size to approximately six inches

The crushed ore is carried by an overland conveyor to a coarse ore stockpile, ready for processing in the concentrator

The ball mills use three-inchdiameter steel balls to grind the ore as fine as salt

A reagent is added inside the flotation cells to coat the copper particles

The ground rock and water with no copper mineralization flows to the tailings management facility and then the water is reused

Copper mineral particles stick to the bubbles and float to the top The filter press removes excess water from the copper concentrate

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011



Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Contribution: Community

Economic Revival


he August 2011 official opening of the Copper Mountain Mine has meant more than hundreds of jobs, huge tax revenues and an economic boost to British Columbia. For the town of Princeton, 20 kilometres from the mine site, it has meant the difference between thriving and merely surviving. It also means the return of a way of life that has characterized Princeton’s 150-year history and has drawn some back to an industry they had reluctantly left behind. “I have died and gone to mining heaven,” jokes robust 71-year-old Frank Armitage, the human resources manager for Copper Mountain Mining Corporation, who ramped up the mine’s workforce from near zero to 270 workers in less than a year. Armitage has helped crew-up large mines in northern B.C. and Ontario during his 40-year mining career. Raised in Princeton, he had retired to nearby Tulameen when he got the call from Copper Mountain in 2010. “I love it,” Armitage says, relishing the opportunity to not only hire mining experts locally and from across the industry, but to see his hometown surge back to life. As a councillor on the Princeton town council, Armitage says that a year ago, the forestry town of 2,000 was a “sad and worried place” due to cutbacks in the lumber industry. “Now Princeton is bustling,” he says, pointing to the new Coopers Food store, a new museum, which received a generous donation from the mine, and new homes being built. As well, a referendum is being held in the fall for the construction of a public swimming pool. Copper Mountain had no trouble recruiting qualified workers for the first new copper mine in the province, Armitage says. Miners applied from northern B.C. mines, some of whom had previously worked in Princeton, hoping to relocate to the pleasant South Okanagan climate and live in a town rather than in camps. Others were specialists

Middle: In July of 2010, the company signed an impact benefits agreement with the local First Nations band – the Upper Similkameen Indian Band Left: Komatsu hosted a celebration at the mine to mark their commissioning of the 75th PC8000 shovel to be manufactured worldwide

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Mining’s Contribution to the province


rinceton is just the latest of 50 B.C. communities to see the positive effect of mining, an industry that helped build the province and continues as a backbone of its economy. British Columbia’s $6 billion annual mining industry represents 60 per cent of all exploration and mining companies in Canada. The industry employs 28,000 people directly and perhaps four times that number indirectly in the service sectors, according to the B.C. government. The success of the mining industry also provides benefits to all British Columbians by contributing approximately $800 million each year in direct taxation, fees and royalties to all levels of government. In 2010 alone, mineral exploration exceeded $320 million in B.C., the third-highest total in the


Randy McLean, mayor of Princeton

province’s history and double the spending from one year earlier. New mine development exceeded $1 billion in spending. “The mining industry in B.C. is undergoing a renaissance, with new mines and major mine expansions contributing to B.C’s economic recovery,” says Pierre Gratton, former president and CEO of the Mining Association of B.C. (MABC). There are more than 30 industrial minerals mines, including nine coal mines and eight metal mines in operation across the province. Eight mines opened or re-opened in the last five years, including the Copper Mountain mine, he noted. In 2011, the MABC named CEO Jim O’Rourke as Mining Person of the Year for his work on the

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Copper Mountain project. While coal and copper, the two major mine resources in B.C., are enjoying intense demand, particularly from Asia, gold and silver, often found in conjunction with copper and a key B.C. export, are also setting record-high prices in global markets. Speaking as Mining Week opened in Prince George in 2011, Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines, noted that mining is leading the provincial economy to full recovery and paying dividends to every citizen in B.C. “Mining affects all British Columbians, bringing jobs and prosperity to every region of the province,” Coleman said. “Mining helps pay for vital services that all of us rely on, such as health care and education.”

Contribution: Community from around the world, and there were longtime Princeton miners, some of whom came out of retirement to sign up. Armitage says he was impressed with the technical expertise and experience of many of the applicants. Copper Mountain also reached out to members of the local First Nations Upper Similkameen Indian Band, who now make up about 12 per cent of the mine’s workforce, including the first electrical apprentice. Copper Mountain’s team concept, he says, focuses on open and honest dealings with employees, competitive wages and “one of the best benefits package in the industry.”

A town’s transformation Copper Mountain’s presence has already transformed Princeton, says longtime mayor Randy McLean. “It is huge,” McLean says, noting that the town’s dominant forestry industry, hammered by the pine-beetle infestation, was struggling. When rumours began swirling that mining was returning to Copper Mountain, which has been mined since the 1920s, “you could feel the excitement,” the mayor says.

Just a few years ago, Princeton was the top of the list of forest towns in line for government assistance in B.C.’s Southern Interior. After the mine was approved, the town could be taken off the assistance list. From his hillside home, McLean can see the road from the Copper Mine site, and he says the steady stream of traffic, including huge freight trucks, is the best indication of the town’s rebirth. “Every day is like Friday now,” he says. “We even have mini traffic jams.” The mayor has noticed a promising new vehicle in Princeton: baby carriages. “A lot of young families are now moving into town, a positive sign for our future.” The town of 2,000 wasn’t prepared for the first rush of 300 construction workers as the Copper Mountain mine was built, the mayor concedes. Every motel and hotel room was booked solid, and some workers were even sleeping in trucks and campers. Others commuted from as far away as Kelowna. Now, with the mine in full operation, McLean can hear the ring of hammers as Princeton catches up with demand. Three new housing subdivisions are underway, with a total April 2010

National Bank Financial Markets and Wellington West Capital Markets, continuing the legacy of personalized service and sector expertise.

$34,548,875 Common Shares Wellington West Capital Markets Co-Lead & Joint Bookrunner February 2011

Since April 2010, Wellington West Capital Markets has co-led all of Copper Mountain’s equity financings raising more than $70 million. $40,044,000 Common Shares


Wellington West Capital Markets Co-Lead & Joint Bookrunner


NBF.CA National Bank and Wellington West have joined forces to deliver enhanced value to clients and shareholders. Effective July 2011, Wellington West Capital Markets’ operations will be integrated with those of National Bank Financial Markets and will carry on under the National Bank Financial Markets name. National Bank Financial Markets is a trademark used by National Bank Financial Inc. under non-exclusive licence.

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Mining by the numbers 6 Billions of dollars spent on mining and exploration work in B.C. each year

41 Tonnes of copper used by high-speed trains, double the content of conventional trains


Number of B.C. communities that rely on the mining industry

16 Grams of copper in each of the one billon cell phones used worldwide

60 Pounds of copper in each electrical-powered bus

5 Billions of pound of copper resource at Copper Mountain Mine, Princeton

CG_CopperMtB_J21_Layout 1 11-06-27 11:04 AM Page 1

of about 24 lots, and two new townhouse projects are under construction – the most action in years. The town’s two building inspectors are so busy, McLean says, the town is looking to hire at least one more.

Boon for business Local businesspeople welcome the new tempo. Princeton realtor Judy Klassen says she has rented out 10 houses to mine workers and has seen multiple offers on houses for sale, especially for those priced between $275,000 and $300,000. She notes that 10 new executivestyle houses have already been built in the town’s Westridge subdivision, while a new development along Similkameen Avenue will have smaller ranchers priced in the $275,000 range. “There is a lot more optimism in town,” she says. The Cowboy Café in downtown Princeton is now opening at 4:30 in the morning to serve the first mining shift. “We have lineups every day,” says café server C.J. Oerleman. The Kal-Tire dealership in Princeton is going flat out, posting the best sales numbers in 15 years, says manager Jason Micalle. “The mine’s impact has rippled right through the community. It is a great new time for Princeton.” ♦


Global Metals and Mining Specialists Established global players and promising young companies trust Canaccord Genuity’s ideas, international perspective and sector expertise to further their growth and development strategies. Canaccord Genuity congratulates Copper Mountain for their success to date. Canaccord has been a proud supporter of Copper Mountain from the beginning. For more information on Canaccord Genuity’s Metals and Mining expertise, please visit our website at

Canaccord Genuity Corp., Member IIROC/Canadian Investor Protection Fund Canaccord Genuity Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC Canaccord Genuity Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority and a Member of the LSE


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Ali Pejman, CA Managing Director, Investment Banking T: 604.643.7617 E: Graeme Currie Director, Investment Banking T: 604.643.7405 E:

A GlobAl leAder in

Engineering Design, Manufacture and Supply

industrial equipment Manufacturing ltd. (ieM) was very pleased to do the detailed Engineering Design, Manufacture, and Supply of the conveyors for the Similco Copper Mountain Project, including the one kilometre long “Coarse Ore Stacking Conveyor� shown in the picture. IEM also supplied many smaller conveyors for the mill itself. IEM has been in the Bulk Materials Handling Business for over 50 years and has supplied equipment to projects all over the world for: mining, forestry, fertilizer, dock handling and many other industries. IEM specializes in Belt Conveyors, Chain Conveyors, Belt Feeders and Apron Feeders for mines.

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109 -19433 96th Avenue Surrey, BC V4N 4C4 Canada Tel: 604-513-9930 Fax: 604-513-9905 Web:

Contribution: Faces of Princeton

Frank Armitage: People Person


opper Mountain has been like a breath of fresh air for Princeton,” says Frank Armitage, human resources manager of the mine. The longtime resident has seen many changes to the town throughout a long mining career that has taken him and his family across Canada and back home again. At 71 years old, Armitage had retired, but he couldn’t say no when called to help the Copper Mountain mine as it prepared to re-open. “We’re very fortunate to have a good selection of qualified candidates to select from,” says Armitage. At full production, the mine employs 271 people. “The people we’ve hired are a good


mix of those with experience and apprentices they can help train,” adds Armitage. “And a good number of people who worked here before are with us again.” It’s Armitage’s many years of experience in mining, as well as his connection with the close-knit rural community, that make him an ideal choice as the company’s human resource manager. Thanks to the mine’s reopening, Princeton itself is enjoying a revival. “The area is a preferred location for people to work. In the last two years

since the mine has been reopened, there has been a great influx of young people that has brought a lot of renewed energy to the town and mine,” says Armitage. Since Copper Mountain has begun operations, the town’s Veteran Square has been revamped, the library has been renovated and new housing developments are being occupied by young families. “The area has been enjoying a vibrant community with the economic growth the mine is bringing,” says Armitage. “It’s wonderful to see.” ✦

"In the last two years since the mine has been reopened, there has been a great influx of young people that has brought a lot of renewed energy to the town and mine”

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Harry Day in front of his house – originally built at the mine site and later moved to Princeton

Harry Day: This Life of Mine


n 1938, life on Copper Mountain was far different from what it is today. For longtime local resident Harry Day, his first experience with the mine was a memorable one, especially as an impressionable high school student. "There was a forest fire and they took everyone out of the mine to help put it out,” he says. “Some of the guys were ‘water boys’ who filled canvas bags with water from the stream. My job was to be on fire lookout.” This meant that Day had to clamber up a large pine tower and consult with maps while spotting smoke and forest fires. “This was before there were helicopters,” he explains. If the men had not gotten the fire under control then, it would have burned the entire min-

“I always enjoyed working for the mine. There are so many good memories”

ing camp and endangered the lives of the miners. He still remembers his employee number: 575. “The crushing plant was at the bottom of the mountain, and I used to ride on a skip on the railway tracks,” says Day. Eventually he was trained to work in the engineering office where he drafted geological structures and tunnels for the mine. In 1956, Day got married and a year later the mine closed down. They moved to the nearby town of Allenby where there was work. “It was a small town. Everyone gathered in the com-

munity hall. It had a full-size basketball court and twice a week, they set up chairs and showed 35-mm movies,” he says. He worked in mining for 63 years before retiring. He now lives in the house that was originally built on the mine site in the middle of the last century and was later dismantled and moved to its current location in Princeton. (Shown in photo) “I always enjoyed working for the mine,” says Day. “There are so many good memories. I often just sit and dream about those days.” ✦

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Contribution: Faces of Princeton

Brenda McLaugHlin: Smooth operator


t’s safe to say that Brenda McLaughlin, a haul-truck driver, has heavy-duty trucking in her blood. After all, her childhood was influenced by her father and brothers, who work in the trucking industry. Since August of 2010, she has embraced life in Princeton with a new extended family, her co-workers. “I’m very happy at Copper Mountain. The people here make it great, and everyone has been warm and friendly,” she says. As a haul-truck driver at the Copper Mountain mine, McLaughlin is dedicated to making the drivers’ environment as safe as possible. Driving a


“I’m very happy at Copper Mountain. The people here make it great and everyone has been warm and friendly”

giant 240-ton truck up and down the gravel roads requires constant attention to the road and conditions. The drivers work in four separate crews on 12-hour shifts, day and night. The trucks run round the clock, 24 hours a day, through rain, sleet, snow and ice conditions. As a member of Copper Moun­ tain’s safety council, McLaughlin attends regular meetings and makes

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

sure the other drivers are up to speed on the latest safety processes. “We just want to make sure everyone makes it home after every shift,” she says. “I take my job very seriously and I truly enjoy what I do,” says McLaughlin. “I feel like the people I work with are my work family. It’s important that we look out for each other every day.” ✦

Art Pratico

The Praticos: All in the Family


hen I started working at the mine in 1988, I was assigned to the same crew as my father and grandfather,” says Rick Pratico, a haul-truck driver at Copper Mountain whose family roots are deeply entwined with Princeton and its mining history. While it’s common for people who share the same family tree to work at the mine, three generations working together on the same crew is not as common. In fact, Rick’s father, Art Pratico, mine operations manager of Copper Mountain Mine, ran a crew that his father was on. “My dad

worked for me back then,” he says. Rick had just graduated and, for a time, the three men from three different generations were joined by blood and ore. “My dad, Art J. Pratico, started working at the mine in the old days. He was hired as a blaster and then went on to the 60-R Rotary drills until he retired in 1992,” says Art. He notes that the mine’s crews are made of people who worked at the mine before, as well as a younger, less experienced generation learning the ropes as his father, himself and his son Rick have all done. “All the mine employees follow a natural progression of advancement as they learn each role. They can work

as a truck driver or an equipment operator trainee, loader and shovel or drill operator,” he explains. “They can bid on progressive positions as we hire and train from within.” Art manages mine operations and enjoys his work so much, each day flies by. “I look after the mining portion of the mine, managing the mobile equipment we use in the pit. I’m usually in meetings all day with managers from each department. At the end of the day it feels like I’ve only been there a few hours.” Every day at the beginning of his shift, Rick and the other drivers take part in the “toolbox meeting” and get their

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


assignments for the day. Often, his path crosses with that of his father. “We’re all like a big family anyway,” he says about the people who work at the mine. For Rick Pratico, driving the giant trucks is a daily thrill of which he never gets tired. The massive 830E Komatsu can haul 240 tons of material and when Rick stands next to it, he’s less than half the size of a tire rim. “I love driving,” says Rick. “From the sheer size of the trucks to their power, they’re very nice machines.” It’s a big responsibility to drive a big truck, and throughout each shift, everyone maintains radio control with everyone else. Every day, four driving crews work 12-hour shifts and haul millions of tons of material away to be carried down a conveyor belt and crushed down to a fine powder. It only takes

Rick Pratico three scoops by the gigantic PC8000 shovel to fill a haul truck with a load of 240 tons of rock. “It’s hard to imagine, but you sit really high up, but eventually you get used to it,” says Rick, who enjoys going home at the end of the day and

spending time with his own family. Rick’s grandfather, Art Pratico Sr., passed away in 1994 and left behind a legacy of miners. However, times are changing. Rick is father to an infant daughter and wonders if she’ll follow in her family’s footsteps. ✦

A proud supplier and partner to the Copper Mountain Project. 80

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Contribution: Faces of Princeton

Bill Van Damme: keeps you running


’ve worked in mining all of my life,” says Bill Van Damme, maintenance manager at Copper Mountain Mine. Although he had already retired, in 2009 Van Damme was asked to return and ensure various operations were fitted with the right equipment and the right people to get production started. “I couldn’t say no. I’m a great believer that when opportunity knocks, don’t complain about the noise,” he says with a laugh. That opportunity has led Van Damme to a key position at the mine that relies on him being a “morning person.” Every day, he arrives on site between 3:30 and 4 a.m. to talk to the night shift crew and get the latest updates before the shift change at 6 a.m.

“I stand at the door and wish people a good morning or have a good sleep as they come in or go home. They’ve started calling me the Walmart greeter,” Van Damme laughs. Because of this, Van Damme is well known by employees from every department across the mine. In his position, it’s important for Van Damme to remain in close contact with crew from different levels of operations and be aware of equipment issues as well as know the people who work in each area. From making sure the right equipment is used for the mine’s immediate and changing needs to ensuring the right people are chosen to operate the specialized equipment, Van Damme is responsible for everything running smoothly.

“The people we have working at Copper Mountain are unbelievably skilled and friendly,” he says. “They’ll go the extra mile for you when you need it.” Throughout the years, Van Damme has developed relationships with other miners in the industry; valuable connections that have lasted for years and are still relevant. “We have several people working here today that I worked with in the past. I’ve worked with one of them for 20 years and a number of managers and general foremen as well. The mining business is a very close community,” he says. “I’ve really enjoyed working at Copper Mountain,” says Van Damme. “It’s a pleasure seeing it become what it is today.” ✦

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


The C-Suite

Rod Shier: Man of Means


hen Rodney Shier graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree at the age of 24, he had little idea he would one day be involved in the building of what would become Canada’s third-largest copper mine. Having articled with one of the big five accounting firms as a young UBC graduate and then gone into the mining industry in the early ’90s, he has seen good times and bad. Shier, now 49, is finding the prospect of pulling copper from the ground in his home province of British Columbia most appealing. Not that he is rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty, but it’s the crucial behind-thescenes work at Copper Mountain Mining Corporation that gets his adrenalin pumping. In a notoriously cyclical industry, bringing a mine into production at the right time is like the “perfect storm,” says Shier, the company’s chief financial officer. “You want to make sure that when you bring a mine into production you can at least get a couple of good metal cycles in the mine’s life, and we’re certainly off to a very, very good


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

start by hitting a good metal cycle at the start of the mine’s development.” By metal cycle, Shier refers to the demand for a commodity like copper that has a direct bearing on the price it fetches and, in turn, whether it’s feasible for a company to extract it from the ground. Shier says the preliminary financial evaluation for the project was based on long-term copper prices of US$1.80 a pound, whereas it is currently trading at around US$4.30, making the project not only feasible but very lucrative for the shareholders.

A perfect pair Shier, who has been with Copper Mountain since its inception in 2006, is a key member of its management team. He’s involved in the company’s financial side, dealing with the corporate structure, interacting with analysts and brokers and making sure there’s a good market to raise money when that is what’s needed. Shier and Copper Mountain Mining’s chief executive officer, Jim O’Rourke, are described as being the “perfect duo” – both very hands-on and complementing each other’s skills, using those skills and much of their own money to start the company when no one else was keen on investing. “We put our own money in. Jim and I put, I think, the last $100,000 in because nobody else wanted to buy the shares,” recalls Shier. The pair then went out and raised the additional money from investors and with institutions and commenced spending $25 million exploring the Copper Mountain property. Exploration proved up the five-billion-pound resource and then brought in Japanese company Mitsubishi Materials Corporation as their partner, securing the required

equity and debt financing to build the mine to the tune of $438 million. “And here we are today,” says Shier. “We’re now in production.” After graduating in 1986, Edmonton-born Shier articled with Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and earned his chartered accountant designation three years later before getting transferred to the firm’s offices in Australia for a couple of years. He returned with his family to Canada in 1992 and entered the mining industry, crossing paths with O’Rourke. The pair has followed the same course ever since. “We were involved with another mining company; from scratch we built that up to about 500 people and it was time to move on,” says Shier, adding he and O’Rourke had also worked on several other mining projects together before establishing Copper Mountain Mining Corporation in 2006. “It’s a brand new mine,” says Shier of the company’s Copper Mountain project. “We used some existing

Japanese company played a very integral role in securing the debt financing. Mitsubishi got involved through its relationship with O’Rourke, as both parties also helped build the Huckleberry mine in 1996 – the last hard rock mine to be built in B.C. “All along, the whole plan here was to fund this 75:25 [debt:equity] and we did it,” says Shier. “A lot of people said we weren’t going to be able to do that, but we borrowed US$322 million at roughly two per cent [interest] for 12 years, so that’s a very attractive financing for any project.” To put that into perspective, that equates to interest of about US$6.5 million a year, relatively small considering the $300 million project cash flow expected from the sale of 105 million pounds of copper a year at around US$4.30 a pound. With everyone casting a watchful eye over the construction costs, there have been no major overruns. “We’re very much on target for the project from a cost perspective,” he says. The copper concentrate will

“This concentrate is very, very clean; it makes a very good blend concentrate so it’s even more valuable that way”

infrastructure, power, water and the road infrastructure, but other than that, you’ve got a brand new mine.”

Smart financing Startup mining outfits sometimes find it difficult raising the funds needed to build a mine, but Shier says good projects always get financed. For Copper Mountain, the strategic alliance with Mitsubishi was key as the

be trucked down to the Port of Vancouver and shipped to Japan, where Mitsubishi has two smelters. “This concentrate is very, very clean; it makes a very good blend concentrate so it’s even more valuable that way,” says Shier. “We expect to be profitable in the third quarter once we get operating at full production, and look forward to a very long and prosperous mine life.” ✦

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


The C-Suite

Jim O’ROurke: The final stretch


opper Mountain Mining Corporation, which has breathed life into one of British Columbia’s oldest mines, might be the new kid on the block, but the man at the helm is an old hand at the game. Veteran B.C. miner James O’Rourke has not only dusted the cobwebs from the idled copper mine near the town of Princeton in southern B.C., he has effectively rebuilt it. And contributing to the building of half a dozen mines across the province over the past 47 years makes the Copper Mountain CEO one of only a handful of British Columbians who have been building mines in the province for nearly half a century. O’Rourke, who has been involved


in the last two hard-rock mines to be built in B.C., was very familiar with the project as he was president of Princeton Mining Corporation from 1987 to 1997 when that company had owned the property and continued operations until 1996 when copper hit a low of US$0.70 a pound. Copper Mountain Mining scooped up 100 per cent of the former openpit copper mine in late December 2006 just as prices began to firm up again. Following permit amendment approval in April 2010, the old mine (renamed Copper Mountain Mine) started the commission process in May 2011, and the Copper Mountain employees geared up for full pro-

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

duction rate of 35,000 tons per day after the massive $438 million construction of a new processing facility and new mining equipment. Once in production, it will be the third-largest copper mine in Canada. For O’Rourke, who thrives on the excitement and the challenges of building mines, planning is crucial. “You want to have a good plan, good concept and then go forward with it and stick to it,” he says. “Developing mines is my main focus but I’ve always enjoyed working with people. I’ve definitely enjoyed the excitement and the challenges of starting new projects because that is where the innovation comes in and there’s a lot of problem solving, so it’s exciting.”

O’Rourke played a vital role in arranging a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, an international diversified materials company. But what’s the skill set, mind set and drive that it takes to put that plan into reality? “Well I guess number 1, you have to have the skills to pick a strong team that can do it,” O’Rourke says. “And number 2, I think, you probably have to be a bit of an optimist and keep driving. The key is people, optimism and keep driving forward.” Copper Mountain will add 272 jobs to an industry O’Rourke has dedicated himself to since the early 1960s. Originally from Prince George, he was prodded by his grandmother and mother to go to university, so he moved to Vancouver and earned a University of British Columbia mining engineering degree in 1964. “Mining appeared to be fairly romantic, with all kinds of different disciplines – mechanical, civil – so I chose mining,” he says. O’Rourke then joined Placer Development Ltd., the predecessor to Placer Dome Inc., and in 1965 was part of the team that would build the Endako molybdenum mine 190 kilometres west of Prince George. Placer, he says, was growing steadily at the time, and in 1969 he was sent to the Philippines to help develop a copper mine. He stayed there until 1972, when he returned to B.C. to help develop the Gibraltar copper mine, which Taseko Mines Ltd. still operates today. He would later be involved with Quinsam Coal in Campbell River and the Cassiar underground mine in northern B.C., all the while working his way up the corporate ladder. “I think the early years with Placer

Development were invaluable in the sense that they gave me a good background as to what was required for developing mines,” he says. “I think it’s pretty easy to look at a project and decide whether it’s a potential mine or not, and I think maybe that’s the key.” O’Rourke, who is “about 70,” went on to develop the Huckleberry coppermolybdenum mine near Houston, B.C., before retiring, briefly, in 1998. “There isn’t a person in anyone’s book who would top Jim in terms of his ability to get things done, and move a project forward,” says Pierre Lebel, chairman of Vancouverbased Imperial Metals Corporation, which has a 50 per cent stake in the Huckleberry mine. Lebel says O’Rourke is the only person who could have brought the mine back to life. “Without Jim, that thing would simply be sitting there.” O’Rourke’s lifelong contribution to mine development has earned him several awards and accolades, including the Edgar A. Scholz Medal for Excellence in Mine Development

career in mining in B.C. “I’ve got a job that I have to do and I tried my best to do the job and I guess if those things come along that’s a bonus,” says O’Rourke, whose son Joc and grandson Jimmy have followed in his mining footsteps. O’Rourke is also chairman of Compliance Energy Corporation and a director of numerous public and private mining companies. Outside of work, he enjoys outdoor recreation and has a B.C.-themed log cabin in Whistler, where some of his furniture and fireplace fittings make for good conversation pieces as they’re made from cathode copper he bought as rough, raw sheets from the Gibraltar mine. O’Rourke’s advice to the next generation of mine builders: go out and learn all aspects of developing a mine as much as you can and also respect the people who are going to be working with you. “In our case, we’ve got the local native bands, we’ve got the local community, we’ve got the regional

“Mining appeared to be fairly romantic, with all kinds of different disciplines – mechanical, civil – so I chose mining”

in British Columbia and the Yukon in 2005, and he shared the Mining Association of B.C.’s Mining Person of the Year Award for 2010. The affable, unassuming mining executive has also been nominated for induction into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments and contribution to the economy and social fabric of B.C. during his (so far) 47-year

district, we’ve got our contractors, our engineering firms, our suppliers,” he says. “I mean, all of these people are part of the team, and I guess my advice to any young guy is you have to have these people and you have to have good relations with them. “And you’ve got to be honourable. You can’t squeeze anyone too hard. Everyone has to be a winner in the project.” ✦

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


The Vancouver Wharf

Copper concentrate is trucked to the Vancouver Port in 50-ton specially built nine-axle B-train trucks


Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011

Once at the port, the trucks unload on the newly built truck tipper. Then the concentrate is stored and ready for shipment to Mitsubishi’s smelters in Japan

Copper mountain Commemorative book 2011


Partners in progress Bringing a mine like Copper Mountain back to life is no easy feat. It demands commitment, skill and experience — from every person and every organization involved. At Hatch, we’re proud to have been a key partner with the Copper Mountain Mining Company. Together, we’ve delivered a project that we all can be proud of — one that’s delivering jobs and prosperity to those who call the Southern Interior home. We’re engineers. We’re consultants. We’re construction and project managers. And together, we’re writing the next chapter in Hatch’s legacy of excellence.

C O N S U LT I N G • E P C M • T E C H N O L O G I E S • O P E R AT I O N A L S E R V I C E S

Copper Mountain Mine Commemorative Book 2011  

The commemorative book for the Copper Mountain Mine