Aggressive 2018 KSM drill program begins
North of 60 Mining News – June 8, 2018
Last updated 9/25/2020 at 5:24am
Seabridge Gold Inc. June 5 announced the start of a C$19.7 million exploration program at its KSM copper-gold project in northwestern British Columbia.
Two rigs are currently turning on the property and three will be added when snow conditions permit. In total, Seabridge plans to complete 28,000 meters of drilling and surface work at KSM this year.
The primary objective of this program is to expand Iron Cap, a large gold- and copper-rich deposit that is gaining a prominent role in the proposed mine-plan at KSM.
"This is an aggressive program at KSM. Our main goal is to bring the Iron Cap resource up to a level where we can assess the significance of its potential contribution to the overall project," said Seabridge Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk.
A resource calculated for Iron Cap early this year outlines 370 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.43 grams per metric ton (5.1 million oz) gold; 0.23 percent (1.9 billion lb) copper; 4.2 g/t (49.9 million oz) silver; and 48 parts per million (39 million lb) molybdenum. Plus, 1.3 billion tons of inferred resource averaging 0.48 g/t (20 million oz) gold; 0.3 percent (8.6 billion lb) copper; 2.9 g/t (121 million oz) silver; and 34 ppm (34 million lb) molybdenum.
In a prefeasibility study completed in 2016 Iron Cap was not slated to be mined until about 32 years into the life of a proposed operation for KSM.
At that time, however, this deposit had 224 million metric tons of probable reserves averaging 0.49 g/t gold, 0.2 percent copper and 3.6 g/t silver.
The substantially larger gold-copper resource outlined at Iron Cap since the study has prompted Seabridge to investigate the viability of mining Iron Cap much earlier in the life of a future mine at KSM. And, the company believes there is the potential to grow this resource.
Seabridge said results from the 2017 drill program indicate higher grades as Iron Cap plunges to the west. This high-grade core zone is the target of roughly 21,000 meters of drilling this year.
"We believe that Iron Cap has considerable room to grow and its superior grade and proximity to planned infrastructure could have a major impact on KSM economic projections," said Fronk.
The 2018 program, however, is starting off with additional geotechnical and model confirmation drilling to help refine engineering parameters for the deposits.
This drilling, which is being undertaken at lower elevations that are more easily accessible early in the season, is expected to complete by late June. By that time, the higher elevation Iron Cap deposit should be ready to drill.
"The geotechnical and confirmation drilling is dedicated to ensuring that the project is ready for final feasibility work when a partner is secured." The Seabridge CEO said.