The Mine

Project Facts & Economics

Project Details

The Copper / Gold Project is located south of the City of Kamloops and sits entirely within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD).

23 year mine life

Mine Output

65,000 tonnes-per-day (TPD) processing capacity

109 million pounds of copper annually produced

99,000 ounces of gold annually produced

Employment

KGHM is committed to hiring and training locally.

500 full-time positions ranging from technical to mining services to administrative to health and safety.

2-3 indirect jobs created or supported by a single mining job.

1,800 temporary jobs created in the initial 2.5 year construction phase.

55 current full-time Ajax Project staff in Kamloops.

Economics

A Significant Contribution to Kamloops
  • Upwards of $500 million in estimated tax revenue (based on current predictions)
  • Approximately $60 million in annual payroll
  • Opportunity for expanded mining education
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Our Team

Chris Wild

Chris Wild

Ajax Project Manager

Chris has more than 30 years of experience in mining and mineral exploration focused in BC, Africa, and South America. A geological engineer, educated at UBC, Chris has called Kamloops home for over 13 years, and brings local focus and international experience to Ajax.

Yves Lacasse

Yves Lacasse

External Affairs Manager

Yves joined the company in February 2013 after spending 27 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, having served the last eight years of his career in Kamloops where he proudly served and retired as Superintendent of the police detachment. Yves has been an integral part of the communication between the community and the Ajax mine project. He is committed to the well-being of Kamloops through his volunteer work with a number of organizations.

Nicola Banton

Nicola Banton

Environmental Assessment Permitting Manager

Nicola Banton understands the complexities – and vital purpose – of B.C.’s environmental assessment process. Nicola brings over 14 years of experience working with Canadian environmental regulations to the team. She has degrees in environmental chemistry and mineral engineering from Queen’s University in Ontario. She is also a Professional Engineer. Nicola has worked in environmental assessment at the project development stage as well as environmental management at operating mines.

Our Location

Map of Ajax Mine location in Kamloops

Project History

1858: Gold Fever Migrates North

Gold Fever Migrates North

Following the decline of the California Gold Rush and news of gold discoveries in several locations around British Columbia, the gold rush northward began drawing people from throughout the globe. Gold fever attracted more than 25,000 miners and prospectors to British Columbia’s interior in a single year.

1888 - Coal Hill Mined

Coal Hill Mined

The Guerin family apparently mined coal along the slopes of Coal Hill until more profitable minerals, such as copper, gold, silver, were discovered in the 1890’s.

1896 - 1900: Iron Mask Hill Mining Begins

Iron Mask Hill Mining Begins

Significant copper, gold, and iron mineralization was discovered by George Breeden, William Ford and Robert Lyons who staked and began significant exploration of the Iron Mask claims by building the first shaft on the north side of Iron Mask Hill. Although small, the first mined ore was sent to smelters in Wales, at a meagre profit of approximately $200.00. Approximately 100 tons was mined before its initial closure in 1900.

1906: Ajax Property Exploration Begins

Ajax Property Exploration Begins

Exploration and development activities began on the Ajax property in 1906. Although ownership of the Ajax group of claims is uncertain, records indicate that G.J. Rogers of Knutsford acquired the Ajax group prior to 1923. Exploration work was undertaken on an annual basis on Ajax from 1906 to 1914, and sporadically thereafter. Development included the construction of two exploratory audits.

1908: Kamloops Copper Company ramps up production at the Iron Mask Mine

Kamloops Copper Company ramps up production at the Iron Mask Mine

The Kamloops Copper Company, which purchased the mine in 1908, expanded production to 300 tons per day and significantly expanded their property ownership amassing 16 claims. Due to commodity price fluctuations and the increase in exploration and production costs, as mining shafts had to be sunk deeper, the mine became unprofitable and eventually closed in 1920. It opened again briefly between 1922-1924 and again from 1926-1929, but its glory days were well behind it leading to its permanently closure in 1929.

1928 -1967: Exploration Activities Continue on Ajax Property

Exploration Activities Continue on Ajax Property

Again operating under Cominco Ltd. an electromagnetic survey was carried out the Ajax property in 1954, follow-up geophysical work in 1958, and a comprehensive Magnetometer Survey in 1967. An assessment report was filed by Cominco in 1955.

1969: Summary Report for the Ajax Property Published

Summary Report for the Ajax Property Published

The Summary Report for the Ajax Property, commissioned by Property of Pinnacle Mines Ltd., and published on January 30, 1969, indicated a deposit of 9,710,000 tonnes grading 0.5 per cent copper. This conclusion was drawn from extensive geological data obtained obtained from extensive diamond drilling on the property.; It is reported to total over 7620 metres spread among 56 holes drilled by Cominco from the beginning of their property ownership until the end of 1967. The vast majority of drilling was focused on the Ajax showings.

1980: Afton Annual Report Outlines Reserves

Afton Annual Report Outlines Reserves

According to the Afton Annual report (1980), continued drilling from 1973 to 1980 outlined a reserve of 5.9 million tonnes grading 1.55 per cent copper, 1.6 grams per tonne gold and 6.86 grams per tonne silver.

1988: Teck Drilling re-defines Ajax Deposit

Teck Drilling re-defines Ajax Deposit

A comprehensive diamond drill program under the direction of Teck Resources Corp. (Formerly Teck Cominco) in 1987 totalling 11,582 metres over 77 holes, provided sufficient data to update, and augment, deposit figures. The deposit was reported as 95,245,500 tonnes at 0.51 per cent copper equivalent (Imperial Metals, 1987 Annual Report) or 24,673,120 tonnes at 0.46 per cent copper, 0.34 gram per tonne gold (Imperial Metals, 1988 Annual Report).

1989: Weak Copper Prices lead to 3 Year Hiatus

Teck Drilling re-defines Ajax Deposit

Production commenced until weak copper prices led to a three-year hiatus from 1991-1994

1994: Afton Operating Corporation Resumes Production

Afton Operating Corporation Resumes Production

Afton Operating Corporation, a subsidiary of Teck Resources Corp., resumed production in September, 1994 after a three-year suspension in operations because of depressed metal prices. Production resumed on the Ajax East pit, which contained approximately 3.63 million tonnes of ore grading 0.46 per cent copper and 0.34 gram per tonne gold, totalled 3600 tonnes of copper and 245 kilograms of gold from 931,000 tonnes milled at a daily throughput of 8700 tonnes. Reserves for the Afton-Ajax deposits estimated by the company at January 1, 1995 were 13.2 million tonnes grading 0.42 per cent copper and 0.34 gram per tonne gold (Information Circular 1996-1, page 7).

1995 - 1997: Ajax West Pit Reopening and Expansion

Ajax West Pit Reopening and Expansion

With approximately 9 million tonnes of similar grade as found in the Ajax East pit, grading 0.46 per cent copper and 0.34 gram per tonne gold, Afton Operating Corporation re-opened the Ajax West pit extending the mine life. Pushback stripping of the Ajax West pit began, with ore transported to the mill near the Afton pit. Production in 1995 from the Ajax East pit totalled 11,824 tonnes of copper, 830 kilograms of gold and 1559 kilograms of silver from 2,928,922 tonnes milled at a daily throughput of 8770 tonnes. In 1996, while mining continued in the Ajax West pit, much of the Ajax East pit was backfilled with waste rock from the West pit. In 1995, 11,824 tonnes of copper, 830 kilograms of gold and 1559 kilograms of silver were extracted from the Ajax East pit.

2002: Abacus Mining and Exploration Corp. options Afton-Ajax properties

Abacus Mining and Exploration Corp. options Afton-Ajax properties

Abacus Mining and Exploration Corp. (AME) signed option agreements with Teck and Discovery Enterprises Corp. to earn a 100% interest in 52 mineral claims and 20 patented claims encompassing the Crescent and Ajax pits.

April 2012: KGHM S.A. Increases Ownership in the Ajax Project

KGHM S.A. Increases Ownership in the Ajax Project

In April 2012, KGHM SA exercised their option to increase ownership in the Project to 80%.

September 2012: KGHM International Becomes Ajax Project Operator

KGHM International Becomes Ajax Project Operator

KGHM SA appointed KGHM International (a wholly owned subsidiary of KGHM S.A.) the Operator of the Ajax Project.