Owners of Yukon’s Minto copper mine say the operation is on track to produce ore from its underground operations this year.

The move from open pit to underground mining operations is expected to lengthen the life of the mine, which opened in 2007, to at least 2022.

Capstone Mining Corp. president Darren Pylot said that timeline should keep the company operating profitably.

"The underground ramp development is progressing," he said. 

"Although we have encountered some personnel and equipment challenges and we are looking to add some additional equipment in the short term. We remain on track to begin processing underground ore in the third quarter of this year."

Pylot said the company is working with Yukon College to train local workers for the new underground operations.

Minto mine is located about 240 kilometres north of Whitehorse, near Carmacks.