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Year of great accomplishments for Fireweed

 

Last updated 1/11/2019 at 5:45am

Zinc exploration in the Selwyn SEDEX basin eastern Yukon

Fireweed Zinc Ltd.

Going into 2018, drilling at Macmillan Pass had identified 11.2 million metric tons of indicated resource with 1.6 billion lb zinc, 610 million lb lead and 7.7 million oz silver; plus 39.5 metric tons of inferred resource with 5.1 billion lb zinc, 2.7 billion lb lead and 48.4 million oz silver.

Fireweed Zinc Ltd. Jan. 2 provided a review of its accomplishments at Macmillan Pass during 2018, a year of resource and property expansion for the company's zinc-lead project in eastern Canada.

Fireweed Zinc emerged on the mineral exploration scene in June of 2017 with the completion of a C$4 million initial public offering and an option to acquire Macmillan Pass, a property that covers 5,159 hectares (12,748 acres) of the zinc-rich Selwyn Basin.

The most advanced targets on this property, Tom and Jason, hosted 6.43 million metric tons of historical resource averaging 6.33 percent zinc, 5.51 percent lead and 56.55 grams per metric ton silver in the indicated category; and 25.55 million metric tons averaging 6.71 percent zinc, 3.48 percent lead and 33.86 g/t silver in the inferred category.

With a camp already in place, Fireweed immediately set out to expand these historical resources and upgrade them to modern reporting standards.

By January 2018, these deposits hosted 11.21 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 6.59 percent (1.63 billion pounds) zinc, 2.48 percent (610 million lb) lead and 21.33 g/t (7.7 million ounces) silver; plus 39.47 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 5.84 percent (5.08 billion lb) zinc, 3.14 percent (2.73 billion lb) lead and 38.15 g/t (48.4 million oz) silver.

A preliminary economic assessment completed in May outlined a 4,900-metric-ton-per-day mill at Macmillan Pass that would produce 3.4 billion lb of zinc, 1.9 billion lb of lead and 37.2 million oz of silver over an 18-year mine life.

This project shows the potential for robust economics, including an after-tax net present value (8 percent discount) of C$448 million and internal rate of return of 24 percent.

"It has been another busy year of great accomplishments for Fireweed," said Fireweed CEO Brandon Macdonald. "In January, we published new mineral resources which establish Tom and Jason as the largest undeveloped zinc and lead resource in the world held by a junior company."

Expansion, End Zone drilling

The 2018 drill program, which got underway in June, began by expanding the high-grade zinc resources at both the Tom East and Tom West zones.

Hole TS18-004, drilled at Tom East, cut 16.41 meters averaging 21.14 percent zinc, 13.55 percent lead and 242.8 g/t silver.

TS18-005, drilled at Tom West, cut 12.73 averaging 12.61 percent zinc, 16.4 percent lead and 221 g/t silver.

TS18-008, another Tom West hole, cut 29.14 meters averaging 9.65 percent zinc, 8.21 percent lead and 80 g/t silver.

The 2018 drill program at McMillan Pass also tested End Zone, a high-grade zinc target that was not drilled in 2017 and is not included in the current resource.

EZ18-001, the first hole at End Zone, cut 12.16 meters averaging 4.56 percent zinc, 17.34 percent lead and 144.6 g/t silver.

EZ18-002, another hole drilled at End Zone, cut 15.67 meters averaging 4.78 percent zinc, 10.17 percent lead and 87 g/t silver.

The PEA also notes that the known deposits at Macmillan Pass cover a very small part of the prospective geology within Fireweed's extensive land package. In addition to drilling, the junior investigated this larger potential this year.

The company began this work with a sampling and surveying program over known areas of mineralization that helped orient and optimize exploration methodologies applied across the wider property.

This work established that geophysical gravity surveying, complemented with passive seismic, soil sampling and mapping, are effective techniques to detect zinc-lead-silver mineralization in the district. By August, this gravity, geochemistry and geological work had successfully defined at least two new high-priority targets with potential for new discoveries.

The company said these high-priority targets will be included in planning for the 2019 summer drill campaign.

Expanded land position

In addition to a robust exploration program, Fireweed exercised its option to gain full ownership of the original Tom and Jason claims and consolidated the Macmillan Pass Zinc District with the purchase and options on several blocks of adjacent claims

Under the 2017 option agreement, Fireweed agreed to pay Hudbay Minerals Inc. C$1 million and complete C$1 million in exploration on the property.

Paying C$250,000 up front and easily meeting the work requirement in 2017, Fireweed exercised its option for full ownership early in 2018 by paying the C$750,000 balance and issuing Hudbay 3.57 million shares.

In March, Fireweed optioned a number of adjacent claim blocks – MAC, MC, MP, Jerry, BR and NS – which cover exploration targets where previous work identified zinc-lead-silver geochemical anomalies in critical host geology.

In November, Fireweed further expanded its land holdings by acquiring Nidd, a block of claims covering a northwestern extension of the "fertile corridor" that host the Tom, Jason and End zones, from Teck Resources Ltd. The Boundary Zone, found along the corridor on the Nidd property, is the fourth largest known zinc zone in the Macmillan Pass District.

As a result of these deals, Fireweed expanded its land holdings in the district to 544 square kilometers (210 square miles).

Gearing up for 2019

Fireweed Zinc is currently planning another robust exploration program on its expanded McMillan Pass project in 2019.

Fireweed Zinc exploration property map, Selwyn SEDEX basin eastern Yukon

While the company is still compiling and interpreting its 2018 exploration results, which will be used for planning the 2019 program, this year's exploration is expected to include further step-out drilling at the established deposits; testing new exploration targets identified in 2018; and field work toward development of additional exploration targets on the expanded property.

"Plans for another active season in 2019 will be finalized after we complete the compilation and interpretation of the results from the 2018 program," said Macdonald. "I want to personally thank our dedicated and hard-working team for all their great work in 2018 and thank our First Nations partners for their support, guidance and valuable contributions. We all look forward to another year of major accomplishments in 2019."

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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