Mining Explorers 2016: Skeena Resources Ltd.
Last updated 2/3/2018 at 7:14pm
Under the direction of legendary mining explorer Ron Netolitzky, Skeena Resources Ltd. is investigating the gold and copper potential of three highly prospective properties in the Golden Triangle region of British Columbia - Spectrum, Snip and GJ. In April, Skeena published a maiden resource for Spectrum, a gold-copper project about 37 kilometers (23 miles) west of Imperial Metals' Red Chris Mine.
The Central zone at Spectrum hosts 8.95 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 1.04 grams per metric ton (290,000 ounces) gold, 6.58 g/t (1.8 million oz.) silver and 0.11 percent (20.8 million pounds) copper. Additionally, the deposit hosts 22.63 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 1.03 g/t (750,000 oz.) gold, 3.85 g/t (2.8 million oz.) silver and 0.11 (54.9 million lbs.) copper.
Netolitzky considers this initial calculation a bit premature due to the lack of drilling in areas of the Central zone with known mineralization. One such area is a newly recognized panel of porphyry gold-copper mineralization that partially overlaps and extends west of the Central zone.
A roughly 10,000-meter drill program completed at Spectrum this year included some 6,000 meters of resource drilling in the Central zone and 4,000 meters of drilling at other targets.
Skeena also carried out more than 6,000 meters of drilling at the historic Snip Gold Mine project that it optioned from Barrick Gold Corp. in March.
Skeena Chairman Netolitzky was a 2015 inductee to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, largely due to his role in realizing the potential of the Snip and Eskay Creek deposits in northwestern B.C., both of which were developed into mines.
The underground mine at Snip produced 1.1 million ounces of gold from 1.25 million metric tons of ore averaging 27.5 g/t gold from 1991 to 1999.
Barrick closed the operation when gold was about US$300/oz. Skeena believes that current gold prices and the vastly improved infrastructure - run-of-river hydro power and an all-season access road now within 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) of the project -should increase the viability of mining the remaining zones and high-grade gold targets at Snip.
Skeena has the option to acquire a 100 percent interest in Snip by issuing 3.25 million shares to Barrick and investing C$2 million on exploration, which is covered by the 2016 program.
Barrick retains a 1 percent net smelter return royalty and, upon Skeena delineating 2 million ounces of gold at the property, Barrick has the right to purchase a 51 percent joint venture interest in Snip by reimbursing three times Skeena's cumulative expenditures.
In 2015, Skeena cut a deal to buy full ownership of the GJ copper-gold property from Teck Resources Ltd. and NGEx Resources Inc. Situated along the east border of Spectrum, GJ is crossed by Highway 37, several forestry roads and winter trails, and the 287 kilovolt Northwest Transmission Line, linking the Red Chris mine to the B.C. power-grid.
At the onset of 2016, Skeena reported the Donnelly and North Donnelly deposits at GJ now host 133.67 million metric tons of measured and indicated resources averaging 0.32 percent (940.23 million pounds) copper and 0.36 g/t (1.56 million ounces) gold. In addition, 53.69 million metric tons of inferred resource grading 0.26 percent (312.53 million lbs.) copper and 0.33 g/t (570,000 oz.) gold has been calculated for the deposits.
In September, Skeena expanded its Golden Triangle portfolio through the acquisition of Mount Rainey Silver Inc., a private company that owns Porter Idaho, a northwestern British Columbia project that hosts two known silver-bearing vein systems about 2,000 meters apart on opposite sides of Mount Rainey. Porter Idaho hosts a historical indicated resource of 394,700 metric tons grading 868 g/t (11 million oz.) silver, 3.37 percent lead and 1.41 percent zinc; and an inferred resource of 88,900 metric tons grading 595 g/t (1.7 million oz.) silver.
In July, Skeena acquired the past-producing underground Blackdome Gold Mine in southwestern British Columbia through an all-shares buy-out of Sona Resources Corp.