Mining Explorers 2016: Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo LLC
Last updated 2/3/2018 at 8:33pm
Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo LLC - a joint venture between Japanese firms Sumitomo Metal Mining Company (85 percent) and Sumitomo Corp. (15 percent) -budgeted roughly US$10 million to continue to expand upon the high-grade gold zones at and around its Pogo Mine in Interior Alaska in 2016.
This follows a US$15 million program in 2015 that further defined and expanded East Deep, North and South Pogo, three zones of high-grade gold mineralization adjacent to the current underground workings at the high-grade underground mine. This work also discovered Fun zone, yet another area of gold mineralization adjacent to the deposits being mined.
Situated some 60 miles (100 kilometers) southeast of Fairbanks, Pogo began operation in 2006 by mining the Liese zone, three flat-lying, parallel quartz veins that carry high-grade gold.
In 2010, SMM Pogo discovered East Deep, a twin to Liese.
Geological and metallurgical evidence indicates that the Liese and East Deep zones were once a single body of gold-rich mineralization split by a wedge of gold-barren igneous rock (diorite) some 95 million years ago.
The Pogo mill sits on this wedge, making mining of East Deep as convenient as the original zone.
Today, the Pogo mill processes high-grade ore from both zones.
While East Deep and Liese appear to have been torn apart by intruding igneous rocks, the zones are still linked at the North Zone, a group of higher grade vertical veins that likely provided a conduit to deliver gold mineralized fluids to the flat-lying Liese and East Deep zones.
In 2014, SMM Pogo drove two drifts from the underground workings at East Deep to the North Zone. These exploration drives provide a better angle for drill the vertical North Zone veins as well as provide a platform for defining the northwest expansion area of the East Deep zone.
The Pogo exploration team has discovered another nearby mine zone called Fun, which is situated immediately north of Liese and west of North zone. One hole drilled into the Fun zone in 2016 cut 2.44 meters averaging 0.437 ounces per ton gold.
With the goal of replacing the some 340,000 oz. of gold mined out of reserves, the Pogo exploration team continues to focus on expanding the Fun zone and other near-mine deposits surrounding the mill at the high-grade mine.