The KSM project (named after the nearby Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell mountain peaks) is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in the world. Proven and probable reserves total 38.2 million ounces of gold and 9.9 billion pounds of copper.
An updated Preliminary Feasibility Study was released in May, 2012 by the company. The initial CAPEX cost is estimated at $5.3 B. The company envisions a 55 year mine life to sequentially mine each of the three deposits. Three iterations of the KSM Preliminary Feasibility Study have resulted in design changes based on feedback from Treaty, First Nations and the public.
KSM is located on salmon bearing waters in multiple First Nation territories. It is upstream of Misty Fiords National Monument in Alaska, close to the international border, and could affect downstream Alaskan native and fishing interests. It is currently in the preliminary stage of environmental assessment, and has substantial potential environmental impacts to the region’s wildlife and fish populations.
Seabridge Gold Inc.(ticker SEA on TSX) has a market cap of $815 M and trades at $17.90/share. It is headquartered in Toronto. It has another advanced exploration project at Courageous Lake NWT (near the diamond mines).
Ten of the top 50 undeveloped gold projects in the world are located north of 56, and this is one of them. The long time frame for the mine life is indicative of the size of the deposit. KSM is located close to the Pretium Valley of the Kings project. Altough the stars are aligning in favour of KSM being developed—the road and energy infrastructure is coming into place. It should be noted however that the project is environmentally sensitive, with close proximity to the international border, located in prime salmon habitat. Come May-2013 there could well be a new NDP government in BC.
The company would like to see project approval from federal and provincial regulators within 15 months of application submittal, but delays in this time frame are very possible.