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Teck takes the exploration lead at Lik


Last updated 8/3/2018 at 5:31am

Teck Resources Red Dog District zinc lead exploration

Solitario Zinc Corp.

A rainbow arcs over Lik, a promising zinc-lead-silver project about 14 miles northwest of Red Dog in Northwest Alaska.

Solitario Zinc Corp. July 23 reported that Teck Resources Ltd. has begun a field program at Lik, a high-grade zinc project near the Red Dog Mine in Northwest Alaska.

Solitario gained a 50 percent ownership of Lik when it bought Zazu Metals Corp. in 2017. Prior to this buy-out, Zazu had been funding and operating the exploration at Lik under an arrangement that provided it the opportunity to earn 80 percent interest in the property by meeting spending requirements.

While Zazu never achieved majority owner of Lik, its exploration did outline a promising zinc mine project that hosts 17.3 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 8 percent zinc, 2.7 percent lead and 51 grams per metric ton silver; and 2.9 million metric tons of inferred resource at 8.6 percent zinc, 2.6 percent lead and 37 g/t silver.

"We think Lik is a fabulous deposit and we are quite confident it will be a profitable mine at a reasonable zinc price," Solitario President and CEO Chris Herald told Mining News shortly after the 2017 acquisition of Zazu.

A preliminary economic assessment completed in 2014 outlines plans for developing an open-pit mine at Lik that would produce 234,000 dry metric tons of zinc concentrate and 55,800 dry metric tons of lead concentrate annually over an initial nine-year mine life.

Colorado-based Solitario, which acquired Zazu as part of its strategy to take advantage of a strong zinc market, has opted to maintain the 50-50 ownership of Lik and have Teck operate the field work there, leveraging the Red Dog Mine operator's three decades of experience in the region.

"We are excited to take advantage of Teck's long-term experience in the Red Dog zinc district," said Herald.

Geophysics, which has been successful in identifying buried zinc deposits in other parts of the Red Dog district, will be a major component of the 2018 program at Lik.

In addition to flying a gravity survey over a substantial part of the 6,075-acre Lik property, the partners plan to compile and merge data from induced polarization geophysical surveys previously conducted there.

This geophysical work will be coupled with geologic mapping to better understand the stratigraphy and structure of the property to aid in the development of drill targets.

The companies will also relog core from the 229 holes previously drilled on the property, which will allow Teck's technical team to compare Lik to deposits in other parts of the prolific Red Dog zinc district.

Solitario Zinc President and CEO Chris Herald Lik project Northwest Alaska

Chris Herald

This work, combined with a program of camp rehabilitation, will allow for future use of the established Lik infrastructure and provide essential information to assess what additional technical and environmental studies are required to advance the project.

"The 2018 work program will pave the way for planning the best path forward for the project. We are particularly excited about utilizing Teck's gravity survey expertise that has been a proven ore-finder in the surrounding Red Dog district," said Herald.

Solitario and Teck are currently negotiating a new joint operating agreement that will update, clarify and potentially modify the arrangement originally between Teck and Zazu.



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