High-grade gold in Casino copper porphyry
Last updated 10/23/2019 at 10:28am
Western Copper and Gold Corp. Sept. 24 reported a high-grade gold intercept from a hole drilled during the company's roughly 13,500-meter drill program at the Casino copper-gold project in the Yukon.
Hole DH19-21, drilled near the southern edge of the enormous Casino copper-gold deposit cut 2.97 meters averaging 55.1 grams per metric ton gold. A re-assay of this sample returned 65.9 g/t gold, confirming the robust gold grade.
This is the third high-grade intercept encountered at Casino. One historical hole, 94-300, cut 1.85 meters of 73.6 g/t gold about 580 meters northwest of DH19-21; and CAS-007 cut 2.5 meters of 53.5 g/t about 730 meters northeast of the recent high-grade intercept.
Each of these high-gold intercepts occurs in or near fault structures and is associated with late phase alteration cross cutting the earlier porphyry related alteration. Given the 100-meter drill spacing in the Casino deposit, Western Copper said it is reasonable to expect that closer spaced holes are likely to find additional gold bearing structures.
"This third very high grade intercept from within the Casino deposit suggests potential for a number of very high-grade gold structures within the Casino deposit and we look forward to drill testing these structures to fully understand their extent and impact to the overall economics of the Casino deposit," said Western Copper and Gold President and CEO Paul West-Sells.
According to a 2013 feasibility study, the Casino deposit hosts 1.1 billion metric tons of proven and probable reserves containing 4.5 billion pounds of copper and 8.9 million ounces of gold.
This is enough reserves to support a mine that would contribute C$9.6 billion to the Canadian economy and pay C$3.2 billion in taxes and royalties to federal, territorial, and First Nation governments over the initial 22-year mine-life contemplated in the feasibility study.
In addition to the reserves, the Casino deposit hosts 5.4 billion pounds of copper and 9 million oz of gold in 1.7 billion metric tons of inferred resource.
The 2019 infill drill program is aimed to upgrade much of the inferred resource to the higher confidence measured and indicated categories.
These measured and indicated resources, in turn, could be elevated to reserves in future feasibility studies for building a mine at Casino.
This could also improve the economics in such a future study by converting material considered as waste into mineable reserves, which has the potential to lower the strip ratio.
The results from the 2019 drilling will be incorporated into an updated resource estimate, expected by the end of the year.