Mining Explorers 2016: Teck Resources Ltd.
Last updated 2/3/2018 at 7:12pm
Zinc and copper are among the top commodities sought by Teck Resources Ltd. In Alaska, this work is dedicated to extending the life of the Red Dog Mine by upgrading high-grade zinc resources near the current mine area and seeking out new deposits across land surrounding the Northwest Alaska operation.
Going into 2015, Red Dog had 56.6 million metric tons of ore in reserves, averaging 14.6 zinc, 4.1 percent lead and 73.8 grams per metric ton silver.
This year, Teck began development of Qanaiyaq, a near-surface deposit that lies to the south of the mined out Red Dog main pit. This high-grade deposit hosts 7.4 million metric tons of reserves averaging 24.7 percent zinc and 6.9 percent lead, according to calculations posted early in 2015.
The first higher grade ore from this deposit is expected to be fed into the Red Dog mill by early 2017, which will help offset future grade declines in the current Aqqaluk pit.
Teck has recently shifted the primary focus of its exploration from near-pit deposits at Red Dog to deposits and prospects across 224,000 acres of highly prospective lands in the larger Red Dog region.
Anarraaq-Aktigiruq, situated roughly eight miles (13 kilometers) northwest of the current operations, is among the high-quality targets Teck is pursuing. Discovered in 1999, Anarraaq hosts an inferred resource of about 19 million tons grading 15.8 percent zinc, 4.8 percent lead, and 2.1 oz/t silver. High-grade intercepts from this deposit include 11.2 meters of 34.2 percent zinc, 11.5 percent lead and 382 g/t silver; and 42 meters of 18.3 percent zinc, 4.5 percent lead, and 82 g/t silver.
Teck also holds a 50 percent stake in Lik, a zinc deposit about six miles (10 kilometers) west of Anarraaq being advanced by Zazu Resources Ltd.
In Yukon Territory's Selwyn Basin and the Kechika Trough of northern British Columbia, Teck and joint venture partner Korea Zinc Co. have been investigating zinc prospects for about two decades. In 2013, Teck cut a deal with Canada Zinc Metals Corp. to explore the Pie, Yuen and Cirque East properties, which lie adjacent to Teck and Korea Zinc's Cirque property in the Kechika Trough. Under the agreement, Teck can earn up to a 51 percent interest in the properties by spending C$3.5 million on exploration by the end of Sept. 2017, a stake that can be increased to 70 percent by investing an additional C$5 million by 2019.
Teck and Korea Zinc completed a preliminary 2016 exploration program that included: geological mapping, prospecting and rock sampling over the highest ranking targets across 18.5-kilometer- (11.5 miles) area; 7.3-line-kilometers (4.5 miles) of ground gravity surveys; and soil sampling. This work finalized targets for a roughly 1,000-meter drill program completed at the end of the field season.
Teck (75 percent) is in a joint venture with Copper Fox Metals Inc. (25 percent) to explore and develop the Schaft Creek copper-gold project in B. C.'s Golden Triangle region.
A 2013 feasibility study outlined a 130,000-metric-ton-per-day open-pit mine operating for 21 years at Schaft Creek based on proven and probable reserves of 940.8 million metric tons averaging 0.27 percent copper, 0.19 grams per metric ton gold, 0.018 percent molybdenum and 1.72 g/t silver.
A C$700,000 program carried out at Schaft Creek in 2016 focused primarily on updating the resource model for the project with an emphasis on gaining a better understanding of the precious metals content of the deposit.
Teck also holds a 50 percent interest in Galore Creek, a huge porphyry copper-gold mine project in the Golden Triangle.