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High-grade gold, silver cut at Eskay Creek

 

Last updated 9/21/2018 at 6:06am

Exploration drilling at Eskay Creek gold silver project Golden Triangle BC

Skeena Resources Ltd.

Technicians log core during Skeena Resources inaugural drill program as Eskay Creek. Initial drill results include a 27.7-meter intercept averaging 29.49 grams per metric ton gold and 973 g/t silver.

Skeena Resources Ltd. Sept. 11 reported that it cut 27.7 meters averaging 29.49 grams per metric ton gold and 973 g/t silver, or 43.39 g/t gold-equivalent, during the initial phase of drilling at its Eskay Creek project in British Columbia's Golden Triangle.

Late in 2017, Skeena cut a deal to buy all of Barrick Gold Corp.'s interest in Eskay Creek.

Discovered in 1988, the historic Eskay Creek mine produced roughly 3.3 million ounces of gold and 160 million oz of silver at average grades of 45 g/t gold and 2,224 g/t silver, which at the time made it the world's highest-grade gold mine and fifth-largest silver mine by volume.

In August, Skeena began an exploration and definition drill program at Eskay Creek. The goal of this program is to increase drill density in select areas of mineralization to allow for future mine planning; collect fresh material for preliminary metallurgical testing; and expand known mineralization into areas that have not previously been drill tested.

The multifaceted program is being carried out in the historically drill defined 21A, 21C and 22 zones.

Highlights from the first three hole are 34 meters of 15.97 g/t gold and 149.2 g/t silver, or 18.1 g/t gold-equivalent in hole SK-18-001; 34.85 meters of 20.31 g/t gold and 137.3 g/t silver, or 22.27 g/t gold-equivalent in SK-18-02; and 27.7 meters of 29.49 g/t gold and 973 g/t silver, or 27.7 g/t gold-equivalent in SK-18-003.

These holes were drilled in the 21A Zone, which is outside of the areas historically mined at Eskay Creek.

''These first results confirm the extremely high-grade gold-silver mineralization hosted in the undeveloped 21A Zone," said Skeena Vice President of Exploration Paul Geddes.

The one- to 80-meter-thick 21A Zone is currently drill defined for 420 meters along strike and 180 meters down-dip. Being close to surface, this thick zone of high-grade gold and silver may be amenable to open-pit mining.

The volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit at Eskay Creek also hosts copper, zinc and antimony.

Exploration drilling at Eskay Creek gold silver project Golden Triangle BC

Skeena Resources Ltd.

A helicopter rests next to historical drill collars at Skeena Resources' Eskay Creek gold-silver project in British Columbia's Golden Triangle.

Hole SK-18-003 intersected a zone of massive stibnite (antimony) with abundant millimeter-scale flecks of electrum (a silver-gold alloy) that returned 95.1 g/t gold and 14,591.5 g/t silver, or 303.55 g/t gold-equivalent over 0.60 meters.

Assays from the antimony and base metals are pending and not included in the gold-equivalency for the holes reported.

Despite the substantial precious metal grades and base metal credits of the 21A Zone, Skeena believes a combination of low commodity prices, smelter penalties and necessary cut-off grade deemed the 21A Zone historically uneconomic. In addition, the antimony was treated as a penalty element and now has the potential to offer significant by-product credits.

"Aside from infill drilling, the company is also completing a metallurgical program that will allow us to develop and maximize the value of Eskay Creek through technical optimizations. We are also in the process of assessing the potential value of the antimony and base metals," said Geddes.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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