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Abstract

The Highland Valley porphyry Cu-Mo district is 40 km southeast of Cache Creek and 54 km southwest of Kamloops in south-central British Columbia, some 350 kilometres northeast of Vancouver (Fig. 9). The five major deposits in the district, Bethlehem, JA, Highmont, Lomex and Valley (formerly Valley Copper), are now controlled by the Highland Valley Partnership, which is owned 50% by Cominco Ltd., 33.6% by Rio Algom Limited, 13.9% by Teck Corporation and 2.5% by Highmont Mining Corporation Ltd. In the district, the Bethlehem mine, which was in production from 1962 to 1982, has closed. Highmont, which saw brief production from 1980 to 1984, is also closed now, and JA remains undeveloped. Lomex, which was in large scale production from 1972 to 1987, continues to produce at a reduced rate of 16,500 tonnes daily (6 million tonnes a year). Valley, since opening in 1982, has become the largest producing mine in the province, now averaging 112,000 tonnes daily ( 41.0 million tonnes a year). As of January 1, 1994, combined reserves in the Valley and Lornex deposits are 627 million tonnes grading 0.42o/o Cu and 0.007o/o Mo, sufficient for another 14 years of production.

Two other Highland Valley deposits, Krain and South Seas, which have similar grades but smaller tonnage potential, have also been tested extensively. Krain has a well developed oxide zone, and is being re-evaluated in the 1990's as a possible heap leach operation. Numerous small, high grade vein deposits first attracted attention to the district, and several, OK

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