The Casino property is located in west central Yukon, 380 km northwest of the territorial capital of Whitehorse.
The project is located on Crown land administered by the Yukon Government and is within the Selkirk First Nation traditional territory; the Tr'ondek Hwechin First Nation traditional territory lies to the north.
The characteristic terrain consists of rounded, rolling topography with moderate to deeply incised valleys. The Yukon River flows to the west about 16 km north of the project site. Annual precipitation ranges between 300-450 mm.
The site is currently accessible year-round only by air. Various route options for a year-round access road were examined and the selected one was a new, 130 km, unpaved road extending from the current Freegold Road, which meets the Klondike highway at Carmacks.
In 1992 Pacific Sentinel Gold Corp. acquired the property and commenced a major drilling program from 1992 to 1995. In addition, they performed a considerable amount of metallurgical, geotechnical and environmental work and completed a scoping study in 1995.
First Trimark Resources and CRS Copper Resources obtained the property and published a Qualifying Report on the property in 2003. The two firms combined to form Lumina Copper Corporation in 2004 and in the same year it updated the Qualifying Report.
Western Copper Corporation acquired Lumina Copper Corporation in November 2006. In 2011, Western Copper Corporation changed its name to Western Copper and Gold Corportation.
The deposit is weathered to an average depth of 70 m, producing a well defined leached cap ("oxide gold") zone that is relatively gold enriched and copper depleted due to supergene alteration processes. With depth, the supergene alteration erratically grades from a poorly defined supergene oxide zone (upper "copper oxide" zone) to a better-defined supergene sulphide zone (lower "copper sulphide" zone). The average thickness of the copper oxide zone and copper sulphide zone are 10 m and 60 m respectively.
The Casino porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum deposit will be developed as a conventional truck-shovel, open pit mine, initially processing the gold bearing oxide cap as a heap leach operation. Sulphide ore processing would commence approximately 2 years later at a nominal rate of 120,000 tpd in a concentrator, which would produce a copper concentrate and a molybdenum concentrate. Higher ore grades and greater concentrate production during the initial 4 years of operation provide an accelerated cash flow during this period resulting in a capital payback in 3 years at long term commodity prices.
Mining is by conventional open pit methods with drilled and blasted rock loaded onto rigid frame haul trucks by large electric shovels.
Oxide ore will be transported from the mine to a run of mine heap leaching facility by off-highway haulage trucks. Gold bullion produced from the oxide gold ore will be shipped by truck to metal refiners. Copper will be recovered, as a precipitate, by the SART process to control the quality of the leach solution. This precipitate will be shipped to smelters.
Ore to be milled will be transported from the mine to the primary crusher by off-highway haulage trucks. Mineral concentrates of copper and molybdenum will be produced by conventional flotation technology. The gold and silver will report in the copper concentrate and will be recovered in the smelting process resulting in credits to the Casino Mine. Gold contained in the sulphide fraction of the flotation tailings will be recovered by leaching and CIL processing.
Freshwater will be sourced from Yukon River segregated freshwater impounded in the tailings facility.
The project includes a power island consisting of two gas turbine generators complete with heat recovery boilers and a single steam driven generator, and internal combustion engine driven generators for a total installed generation capacity of 150 MW. Liquefied natural gas ("LNG") will be imported to the site and gasified to provide natural gas to fuel the power generation plant.