The Quesnel Trough, also known as the Quesnel Terrane, is a Triassic/Jurassic-age arc of volcanosedimentary and intrusive rocks that hosts a number of alkalic copper-gold porphyry deposits with copper gold and silver values and sometimes molybdenum.
The Trough runs northwest some 1,000 km from the U.S. border in south-central British Columbia to close to the Yukon border. In addition to the copper-gold porphyry deposits, the Quesnel Trough, the longest mineral belt in Canada, is also known for several types of gold deposits.
The Teck Resources open pit Highland Valley Mine, which is, in fact, located about 50 km southwest of Kamloops, is expected to produce annual copper production of between 155,000 and 165,000 tonnes per year from 2021 to 2023.
Copper production is anticipated to average about 150,000 tonnes per year after 2023, through to the end of the current mine plan in 2027. As of 2018, the copper-molybdenum deposit has proven and probable reserves of 589,500,000 tonnes grading 0.30% copper and 0.007% molybdenum.
Other Quesnel Trough deposits are also very large. Centerra’s Mount Milligan Mine, located 156 km northwest of Prince George, has measured and indicated resources totaling 243,900,000 tonnes grading 0.30% copper and 0.2 g/t gold as of 2018.
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