Casa Berardi

La Sarre, Quebec

Hecla’s Casa Berardi Mine operates in a politically stable and mining friendly region in Quebec, with good geology and infrastructure. Its strong commitment to corporate social responsibility defines how the mine manages its business and its role in the community.

Underground & Surface

Mine Type

100%

Ownership

33.5 Koz

Silver

134.5 Koz

Gold

***All metals reflect 2021 production

Description & History

Hecla’s Casa Berardi Mine is an underground/open pit gold mine located in western Quebec. In 2021, the mine produced 134,511 ounces of gold. The mine is expected to produce 125,000 to 132,000 ounces of gold in 2022.

Community Partner

Hecla Quebec is one of the largest private-sector employees and taxpayers in the communities near the Casa Berardi mine

The Casa Berardi Mine is situated 95 kilometres north of La Sarre, Quebec and straddles a 37-kilometre section of the Casa Berardi fault.

The Casa Berardi gold deposits are located along a five kilometre east-west mineralized corridor. They include the East and West mines and the Principal Zones. The Casa Berardi gold deposits can be classified as an Archean sedimentary-hosted lode gold deposit. The gold mineralization is superimposed on a continuous graphitic mudrock unit corresponding to the Casa Berardi Fault plane. Gold occurs mainly south of the Casa Berardi Fault and occasionally on both sides of the fault.

The West Mine shaft deepening project, which included construction of loading pockets and other related infrastructure, was completed in 2014, improving mine operations by providing additional access to the 118 and 123 zones for transporting ore and waste from underground. Excavation of the 985 drift (previously referred to as 1010) from the deepened shaft is underway. This drift is expected to improve ventilation and material handling and also provide a platform for deeper exploration drilling.

The Company began producing ore from the East Mine Crown Pillar (EMCP) pit in July 2016. Located near the East mine, the capital for this shallow pit project is expected to be $39 million over 5.5 years. The project has an expected IRR of 90%.

Casa Berardi – A Day in the Life

Casa Berardi’s corporate responsibility is based on three pillars: health and safety for our workers, community involvement and respect for the environment.

Local Insights

Social Responsibility
Safety & Health
Environment
Operations
Reports
Contact
Careers
Exploration
Social Responsibility
Community
Liaison Committee

Social Responsibility

Our social responsibility is based in particular on the creation of partnerships in the local communities where we operate.

Hecla Quebec wishes to interact with the community, maintain a constructive dialogue with the community and allow citizens to participate in the continuous improvement of its operations.

Social Responsibility

Community

Our community implications

Well rooted in its community, Hecla Québec is particularly sensitive to the initiatives and efforts that revitalize the region and give it its unique color.

    1. Education
    2. Culture
    3. Health and Community
    4. Sport and healthy lifestyle
    5. Environment and Sustainable Development
    6. Economic development

UQAT Foundation

Contributing to the advancement of teaching and research in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, recognizing excellence, community involvement, but above all the perseverance of local students, are all incentives that led Hecla Quebec to sign a historic agreement with the Fondation de l'Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue in 2009.

  • $1 donated / ounce of gold produced at the Casa Berardi mine each year to the UQAT Foundation
  • Up to now $ 1,400,000 in the Hecla Québec Global Development Fund
  • Each year, Hecla Québec also awards nearly $ 50,000 in university, college and professional scholarships.
Community

Liaison Committee

Maintain a constructive dialogue with the community

The role of the Liaison Committee is to serve as a place of exchange to promote the sharing of information and the consideration of ideas and suggestions from the community with a view to the continuous improvement of the activities of the Casa Berardi mine.

The objectives of the Committee are:

Foster strong links with communities of interest:

  • By addressing subjects that affect them;
  • By allowing them to express themselves freely, share their concerns and contribute to the search for solutions;
  • By working together to establish and achieve common goals.

Solicit the opinions of communities of interest on the initiatives and commitments of the Casa Berardi Mine in terms of relations with the environment, environmental management and energy efficiency.

The role and objectives of the Liaison Committee were validated with the stakeholders present during the creation meeting, then adopted by the members during the first meeting of the Committee, held in January 2019.

Sector Municipality / Organization
Resident Abitibi-Ouest
Resident North of Quebec
Municipal Abitibi-Ouest
Municipal Resident
Indigenous community Abitibiwinni First Nation
Socio-economic Abitibi-Ouest
Socio-economic North of Quebec
Environment Abitibi-Jamésie Watershed Organization
Education and Formation UQAT - Abitibi-Ouest Center
Liaison Committee
Safety and Health
Health And Safety Policy
Health and Safety Committee
Honored Supervisors
Some Achievements

Safety and Health

Safety is an absolute priority for Hecla Quebec. The mining company has always aimed to innovate and invest for the benefit of the health and safety of its workers. The company has implemented an integrated health and safety management system throughout the company and attaches great importance to continuous improvement and innovation.

In 2018, the Casa Berardi mine was the first international mine to receive CORESafety certification from the US National Mining Association.

We achieved an OSHA* rate of 3.4 in 2018, down 15% from 2017. Our rate has dropped 50% over the past four years. These results are explained by even more rigor and management focused on the accountability of supervisors and workers.

* OSHA rate = (loss of time + temporary assignment + medical consultation) x 200,000 / number of hours worked

Safety and Health

Health And Safety Policy

At Hecla Quebec, our commitment to health and safety is the main value that guides all of our actions. We are committed to:

  • Continue to identify hazards and mitigate risks on our properties so as to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses to zero
  • Take a proactive approach to creating a safe work environment
  • Be responsible for continuing education and training in health and safety
  • Review the health and safety management system to identify potential areas for improvement
  • Ensure a detailed assessment of all incidents
Health And Safety Policy

Health and Safety Committee

The Casa Berardi Mine Health and Safety Committee meets monthly to discuss safety strategies, exchange information on potential risks and develop initiatives to reduce risks to workers.

Health and Safety Committee

Honored Supervisors

At the 55th Symposium on Occupational Health and Safety, organized by the Quebec Mining Association, seven of our Casa Berardi mine supervisors were honored for achieving exceptional health and safety results. The latter have achieved between 50,000 and 200,000 hours of supervision without a lost-time accident.


From left: Ronald Durham, Martin Quesnel (100,000 hours), Luc Darveau, Dany Girardin (200,000 hours), Ronald Bordeleau, Frédéric Tremblay (100,000 hours), Stéphane Gingras (100,000 hours), Sylvain Bisson ( 100,000 hours), Jean-Claude Lavoie (50,000 hours), Michel Desrivières (50,000 hours), Karel Raymond and Anthony Roy.

Honored Supervisors

Some Achievements

  • Creation by mine employees of an anti-corrosion harness that withstands 60 consecutive shifts underground
  • Implementation of environment, health and safety and quality management software, Intelex
  • Implementation of the lockout program for mobile and fixed equipment

Some Achievements
Environment
Environment Policy
Towards Sustainable Mining Development (TSM)
Environmental Management System
Management of Energy And Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Responsible Management of Mine Tailings
Water Management
Conservation of Biodiversity
Gradual Closure

Environment

We also strive to use advanced mining technologies to minimize our impact during exploration, development, and operation and then restore the sites that have hosted our projects to productive land after mining activities cease. We are constantly seeking to innovate to develop new methods that allow us to coexist with nature while limiting the footprint of our activities.

To do this, we have adopted an environmental policy, the main pillars of which are:

  • Compliance with regulations
  • Continuous improvement
  • Pollution prevention
  • Risk management
Environment

Environment Policy

Hecla Quebec is determined to protect the environment responsibly and strives to minimize environmental impacts and risks for present and future generations. In order to fulfill our responsibilities, our goal is to provide the necessary resources to:

  • Design, operate, close and rehabilitate our facilities in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in order to meet recognized standards and even exceed them to respect Hecla's values
  • Continuously improve our safe, efficient and eco-responsible use of resources, products and materials
  • Promote the knowledge and empowerment of employees and contractors in the implementation of this policy through the use of environmental management systems
  • Periodically conduct environmental reviews and audits of operations and activities to ensure compliance, identify risks, reduce costs and liabilities, and improve sustainable operations
  • Strive to reduce energy and water consumption, continuously improving the efficiency of our facilities, projects, operations
  • Work in collaboration with educational institutions and other organizations for the purpose of research, development and use of best practices in technology and management to reduce impacts on the environment
Environment Policy

Towards Sustainable Mining Development (TSM)

Hecla Quebec participates in the sustainable mining development process of the Mining Associations of Canada and Quebec. In 2016, the QMA conducted an evaluation of the Towards Sustainable Mining Development initiative at the Casa Berardi site. An action plan has been put in place for the 6 protocols of the initiative, namely the management of mining residues, biodiversity, energy management, crisis management, relations with communities and management of health and safety. In 2017 and 2018, we continued to work on the implementation of management systems.

Towards Sustainable Mining Development (TSM)

Environmental Management System

Concerned about controlling the environmental impacts of our activities, Hecla Québec has implemented responsible practices and a continuous improvement program in terms of environmental performance. The environmental management system enables a structured, integrated and planned implementation of efforts to reduce our footprint.

Environmental Management System

Management of Energy And Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In order to limit its environmental footprint and reduce its operating costs, Hecla Quebec has established an action plan to improve its energy efficiency and reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

At the Casa Berardi mine, the use of autonomous trucks to transport ore underground has reduced energy consumption by 17% per vehicle.

Also at the Casa Berardi mine, we have equipped the mine's ventilation system with timers that are expected to reduce electricity consumption by 20% in 2019.

Management of Energy And Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Responsible Management of Mine Tailings

Hecla Québec attaches great importance to the responsible management of mine tailings. Our tailings storage facilities meet high safety and environmental criteria, as required by our Tailings Management Standard.

At the Casa Berardi mine, 15% of the tailings are used for backfilling underground. Waste rock is used for the construction of infrastructure such as roads and dikes in the tailings facility.

Residue management policy

The Casa Berardi mine tailings management policy aims to:

  • Ensure safe and environmentally friendly management for all life cycles from design to closure of facilities
  • Demonstrate our commitment and responsibilities to protect the safety and health of our employees and our communities
  • Minimize environmental effects and risks for present and future generations
  • Ensure the establishment of an effective management system
  • That all structures are stable and comply with regulatory requirements, industry best practices and that solids and liquids are contained within designated design areas
  • Understand the associated risks and put in place an emergency response plan
  • Provide the resources and training required to achieve the goals
  • Develop a water balance
  • Establish a continuous verification program
  • Make employees and contractors aware of commitments, encourage them to show leadership
  • Consult with stakeholders and communities of interest
  • Develop an OES manual (Operation, Maintenance and Monitoring)
Responsible Management of Mine Tailings

Water Management

Responsible water management is an absolute priority at Hecla Quebec. Water is essential for mining and its proper management is paramount to our operations and to our communities.

A robust program of sampling, quality analysis and audits allows us to ensure the quality of the water. The audits carried out help us to better understand the use, to identify the possibilities of reducing the consumption and recycling of water, as well as to reduce the volume of treated water in order to guarantee the protection of natural waters.

95% of the water used for the ore processing plant is recycled water from the process water pond.

Water Management

Conservation of Biodiversity

Hecla Québec has joined forces with the CRSNG-UQAT Industrial Chair on Biodiversity in Mining Context, along with nine other partners, in order to continue its efforts to innovate and develop new operating and exploration methods that make it possible to minimize its activities footprint.

Biodiversity conservation policy

Hecla Quebec is determined to responsibly protect the environment throughout the mine's life cycle, including the protection of biodiversity and the maintenance of healthy ecosystems. We are committed to minimizing the impacts of our activities on biodiversity, not carrying out any mining activities inside World Heritage sites and respecting the requirements for regulated protected areas. The environment department plans to ensure that this policy is implemented. In order to fulfill our responsibilities, we provide the necessary resources and skills to:

  • Meet regulatory requirements in terms of biodiversity conservation.
  • Develop, implement and continually improve the integration of biodiversity conservation into the environmental management system (EMS)
  • Take into consideration the conservation of biodiversity, in each stage of the mine's life cycle, targeting mitigation sequences: avoid, minimize, mitigate, compensate and during restoration, restore the vitality and diversity of ecosystems that will meet the needs of potential uses
  • Monitor and update annually, the action plan on biodiversity conservation, during the life cycle of the mine
  • Work in collaboration with educational institutions and other organizations, to create research projects, partnerships or information sharing on biodiversity conservation, science and traditional knowledge
  • Communicate transparently, constructively and mutually with the communities of interest, on biodiversity issues
  • Quantify, analyze, control and communicate the impacts of our activities on biodiversity and applicable mitigation measures
Conservation of Biodiversity

Gradual Closure

The open pit operation at the Casa Berardi mine requires the installation of new infrastructure such as mixed dumps for the storage of overburden (topsoil, clay and moraine) as well as waste rock. With the objectives of preserving and recycling resources, we chose to cover cell 2 with clay from the new pit. This layer of low permeability material is expected to minimize infiltration and allow the operation to begin the gradual restoration of the mine site.

Gradual Closure
About the Casa Berardi mine

About the Casa Berardi mine

The Casa Berardi mine is located 95 km north of La Sarre, on a 37 km portion of the Casa Berardi fault. It restarted commercial production in 2007.

Highlights

  • Location: 95 km north of La Sarre
  • Type of mines: underground and open pit
  • Expected mine life: until 2034
  • Production in 2018: 162,743 ounces of gold and over 38,086 ounces of silver
  • Production cost in 2018: 800 US $
  • Average content: 4.66 g / ton
  • 3,769 tonnes of ore processed / day
  • Nearly 1,000 employees and contractors

Mine history

1974: Staking of the first 13 claims (mining titles)

1981: Drilling of discovery holes

1988: Opening of the East mine and start of commercial production

1990: Opening of the West mine

1974 - 1991: Owned by Inco

1997: Closure of mines

1991 - 1998: Property of TVX

1998- 1999: Discovery of Zone 113 (allowed reopening of the West Mine)

1998 - 2004: Exploration on the site

2004 - 2006: Feasibility study and construction

2007: Return to production of the West mine

1998 - 2013: Owned by Mines Aurizon

2013: Acquisition by Hecla Mining

2016: Start of the East mine pit

About the Casa Berardi mine
Technical Report Summary-S-K 1300 Report
Sustainable Development Reports

Technical Report Summary-S-K 1300 Report

Technical Report Summary

Technical Report Summary-S-K 1300 Report
Contact Us

Contact Us

Hecla Québec
1010, 3e Avenue Est
Val-d’Or (Québec) J9P 0J6
Telephone : 819 874-4511

Casa Berardi Mine – Community Relations
659, 2e Rue Est
La Sarre (Québec) J9Z 2Y9
Telephone : 819 339-0610

Contact Us
Careers

Careers

By providing a safe work environment for its employees, Hecla Quebec sets itself apart as an employer of choice and a major mining producer. A job awaits you at Hecla Quebec. Join our team.

An experienced management team will assist you in developing your potential. We invite you to consult the list of available positions and send us your curriculum vitae.

Current Openings

Careers
Casa Berardi
Heva-Hosco
Opinaca/Wildcat

Casa Berardi

The regional Casa Berardi project covers the eastern and western extensions of the gold-bearing structures of the Casa Berardi mine, over a distance of more than 35 kilometres. Although previous work has revealed the presence of gold showings, the area remains underexplored and offers excellent potential for discovering new economic deposits. Such a discovery could increase the gold reserves of the Casa Berardi mine and extend its life.

  • Location: 95 km north of La Sarre
  • Stage: Exploration
  • Ownership: Exclusive Ownership
  • Number of mining titles: 270
  • Property area: 140.4 km²
Casa Berardi

Heva-Hosco

The Heva-Hosco exploration property, where our work has progressed well, is located in the Joannès township near Rouyn-Noranda in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The property borders the Cadillac-Larder Lake fault for more than 8 km.

  • Location: 20 km east of Rouyn-Noranda
  • Stage: Exploration
  • Ownership: Exclusive Ownership
  • Number of mining titles: 102
  • Property area: 38.5 km²
  • Measured and indicated resources: 2,447,000 oz for the Hosco project | 672,000 oz for the Heva project
Heva-Hosco

Opinaca/Wildcat

The Opinaca-Wildcat project is located 320 km north of Matagami in the James Bay territory, near the Éléonore mine. The project is made up of two properties, Opinaca and Wildcat.

  • Location: 320 km north of Matagami
  • Stage: Exploration
  • Participation: Joint venture with Everton
  • Resources and Azimut Exploration
  • Number of mining titles: 565
  • Property area: 295.5 km²
Opinaca/Wildcat

Reserves & Resources

Information with respect to proven and probable ore reserves, measured, and inferred resources is set forth below.

Mineral Reserves & Resources
(As of December 31, 2021 unless otherwise noted)

Tons (000)

Silver (oz/ton)

Gold (oz/ton)

Lead (%)

Zinc (%)

Silver (000 oz)

Gold (000 oz)

Lead (Tons)

Zinc (Tons)

Open Pit

Proven Reserves (1,2)

4,763

0.10

453

Probable Reserves (1,2)

13,371

0.07

928

Proven and Probable Reserves (1,2)

18,134

0.08

1,381

Underground

Proven Reserves (1,2)

923

0.16

143

Probable Reserves (1,2)

1,695

0.15

259

Proven and Probable Reserves (1,2)

2,618

0.15

403

Open Pit

Measured Resources (3,4)

96

0.04

4

Indicated Resources (3,4)

420

0.03

14

M&I Resources (3,4)

516

0.03

18

Underground

Measured Resources (3,4)

2,272

0.15

351

Indicated Resources (3,4)

4,976

0.14

685

M&I Resources (3,4)

7,248

0.14

1,036

Open Pit

Inferred Resources (3,4)

7,886

0.05

383

Underground

Inferred Resources (3,4)

2,239

0.18

408

Note: All estimates are in-situ. Resources are exclusive of reserves. Totals may not represent the sum of parts due to rounding.

(1)Mineral reserves are based on $17/oz silver, $1600/oz gold, $0.90/lb lead, $1.15/lb zinc, unless otherwise stated.

(2)The average reserve cut-off grades at Casa Berardi are 0.101 oz/ton gold (3.47 g/tonne) for underground and 0.037 oz/ton (1.27 g/tonne) for open pit. Metallurgical recovery (actual 2021): 84.82% gold; US$/CAN$ exchange rate: 1:1.275.

(3)Mineral resources are based on $1700/oz gold, $21/oz silver, $1.15/lb lead, $1.35/lb zinc and $3.00/lb copper, unless otherwise stated.

(4)The average resource cut-off grades at Casa Berardi are 0.089 oz/ton gold (3.06 g/tonne) for underground and 0.036 oz/ton (1.22 g/tonne) for open pit; metallurgical recovery (actual 2021): 84.82% gold; US$/CAN$ exchange rate: 1:1.275.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties as of December 31, 2020 and earlier are governed by the SEC’s Securities Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations”; (Guide 7). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has issued new rules rescinding Guide 7. Mining companies are not required to comply with the new rules until the first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Thus, the Company will be required to comply with the new rules when filing its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Company is also a “reporting issuer”; under Canadian securities laws, which require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI 43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy the Company’s “public disclosure”; obligations under Regulation FD of the SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information publicly available in Canada.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties under Guide 7 compared to the new SEC rules (Item 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101 standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary of certain estimates of the Company, not only of Proven and Probable reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the new SEC rules and definitional standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101. Under Guide 7, the term “reserve”; means that part of a mineral deposit that can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. The term “economically”, as used in the definition of reserve, means that profitable extraction or production has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment and market assumptions. The term “legally”, as used in the definition of reserve, does not imply that all permits needed for mining and processing have been obtained or that other legal issues have been completely resolved. However, for a reserve to exist, Hecla must have a justifiable expectation, based on applicable laws and regulations, that issuance of permits or resolution of legal issues necessary for mining and processing at a particular deposit will be accomplished in the ordinary course and in a timeframe consistent with Hecla’s current mine plans. The terms “Measured resources”, “Indicated resources,”; and “Inferred resources”; are mining terms as defined in accordance with the new SEC rules and NI 43-101. These terms are not defined under Guide 7 and prior to January 1, 2021, were not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC in the United States, except where required to be disclosed by foreign law. The term “resource”; does not equate to the term “reserve”;. Under Guide 7, the material described herein as “Indicated resources”; and “Measured resources”; would be characterized as “mineralized material”; and is permitted to be disclosed in tonnage and grade only, not ounces. The category of “inferred resources”; is not recognized by Guide 7. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in such categories will ever be converted into Proven or Probable reserves. “Resources”; have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of such a “resource”; will ever be upgraded to a higher category or will ever be economically extracted. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a “resource”; exists or is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also especially cautioned that the mere fact that such resources may be referred to in ounces of silver and/or gold, rather than in tons of mineralization and grades of silver and/or gold estimated per ton, is not an indication that such material will ever result in mined ore which is processed into commercial silver or gold.

Operational Highlights

Production

Casa Berardi is an underground trackless mine accessed by declines and a shaft. The mining methods are longhole transversal stoping in 10 meters or more mineralization width, and longitudinal retreat stoping in narrower ore bodies. The mineralized zones put in reserves are of varying thickness, ranging from a few tens of meters to 3 meters, which is the minimum mining width. Most of the hanging walls are sub-vertical (55° to 85°) with typically the graphitic Casa Berardi fault at the footwall. In addition, ore is being produced from the East Mine Crown Pillar (EMCP) pit located near the East mine.

The mine has produced approximately 2.0 million recovered gold ounces since commencing production in 1988, including about 1.0 million recovered ounces since production recommenced in November 2006.

(years ended December 31)

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Silver (ounces)
36,566
38,086
31,640
24,142

33,517

Gold (ounces)
156,653
162,744
134,409
121,492

134,511

Exploration

In 2022, of the $45 million planned exploration spend, 16% is planned for Casa Berardi. Exploration will be focused on replacing production and expansion of high-grade underground reserves and resources through drill testing and conversion of inferred resource to reserves.

Underground definition drilling will focus on the following areas: 1) the 118 and 119 zones expanding resources to the west and east of the current reserves, 2) the high-grade plunge at depth and to the east in the Lower 123 Zone in addition to infilling the gap between the Lower 123 and Upper 123 zones, and 3) upgrading resource at depth in the 148 Zone. Exploration drilling will focus on testing the high-grade up and/or down plunge extensions of the 113, 116, 118, 123, 128, 134, 146 and 148 zones as defined from the recent 3D geological modeling and targeting completed in 2021. In addition to these underground exploration programs within the mining lease at Casa Berardi, surface sonic drilling is planned for initial testing of regional target areas in the west, central, and east claim blocks along the Casa Berardi Break. This drilling will enhance historic till sampling in addition to mapping the subsurface bedrock lithologies, alteration, and structures.

Future Plans

The Company has been focused on long-term operational improvement at Casa Berardi. These investments have yielded results: mill performance is consistent with >approximately 90% availability; ~10% increase in underground active time, leading to improved productivity; reduced underground maintenance backlog by 2.5 weeks which translates to higher equipment availability; and increased operator accountability to decrease operator driven downtime.

An image of a gravel road.

Casa Berardi Social
& Economic Benefit

Casa Berardi provides large social and economic benefits in its community through volunteerism, investment, and engagement. In 2021, Hecla Quebec was one of the largest private-sector employees and taxpayers in the communities near the mine with a direct economic impact of more than $235 million including over $65 million in wages, $14 million in taxes and fees, and $154 million in purchases from vendors.