ME2018: Seabridge Gold Corp.
Last updated 11/16/2018 at 5:15am
Continuing its founding strategy of building ounces of gold in the ground per share on the market, Seabridge Gold Corp. had drills turning this year at its projects in British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Nevada. With 45.3 million ounces of gold, 10.2 billion pounds of copper, 183 million oz of silver and 207 million lb of molybdenum in reserves at its KSM and Courageous Lake projects, plus much more gold and other metals in resource categories across its portfolio, Seabridge has been successful in its strategy.
Seabridge got an early start to 2018 with a winter exploration pro- gram that could add to the 6.5 million oz gold in reserve at Courageous Lake, an expansive property that blankets a greenstone belt about 240 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of Yellowknife.
The FAT deposit at Courageous Lake hosts 91.1 million metric tons of proven and probable reserves averaging 2.2 grams per metric ton gold. Walsh Lake, about 10 kilometers (six miles) south of FAT, hosts another
4.26 million metric tons of near surface inferred resource averaging 3.24 g/t (482,000 oz) gold. Metallurgical testing shows the material is free milling with cyanide recoveries as high as 95 percent.
Because the FAT deposit will require a more expensive processing plant to extract the gold from the refractory ore there, Seabridge is considering the idea of building reserves at Walsh Lake deposit and mining the easier-to-recover gold there. This order of development could have significant economic benefits for the project by extending the mine life and generating cash flow to pay for some capital costs as production at the FAT deposit ramps up.
The 7,200-meter winter drill program tested seven targets along a 7,500-meter stratigraphic package that hosts Walsh Lake.
Marsh Pond and Olsen, parallel targets about 4,200 meters northwest of Walsh Lake, showed the most promise. Highlights from the winter drilling at Marsh Pond include 14 meters of 3.08 g/t gold and 24 meters of 2.13 g/t gold. One hole at Olsen cut 40.4 meters of 3.04 g/t gold from a depth of 43.8 meters.
Two other zones, North Bullfrog and Perrson, show the potential to contribute to the Walsh Lake resource. Perrson is a gold-bearing vein in an isolated surface exposure within a historical prospect pit at the south end of the Walsh Lake deposit. Highlighted intercepts from Perrson include 3.7 meters of 2.88 g/t gold, 3 meters of 7.44 g/t gold; and nine meters of 2.59 g/t gold.
While Courageous Lake was the first project drilled this year, KSM in B.C.'s Golden Triangle continues to be the largest and most exciting project in Seabridge's portfolio. In June, the company kicked off a C$19.7- million exploration program at KSM that includes roughly 27,000 meters of drilling.
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.
A resource calculated for Iron Cap early this year outlines 370 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.43 g/t (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 that study has prompted Seabridge to investigate the viability of mining Iron Cap much earlier in the life of a future mine at KSM. 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 primary target of a roughly 16,700 meters of the drilling completed at KSM this year. The balance of the program involved geotechnical and model confirmation drilling to ensure "that the project is ready for final feasibility work when a partner is secured," according to Seabridge Gold Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk.
In August, Seabridge resumed drilling at Iskut, an earlier stage gold- silver project about 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of KSM that it acquired from SnipGold Corp. in 2016.
Seabridge's maiden drill program at Iskut's Quartz Rise target in 2017 cut several narrow, discontinuous intervals of high-grade gold. Geophysics and mapping conducted since that drilling is helping to orient the 3,000 meters of drilling slated for the project.
Seabridge Gold Corp. - TSX: SEA / NYSE: SA
Chairman and CEO: Rudi Fronk
President and COO: Jay Layman
Senior VP, Exploration: William Threlkeld
106 Front St. East, Ste. 400, Toronto ON M5A 1E1