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Brewery Creek Mine restart accelerates

 

Last updated 10/31/2019 at 2:51pm

Golden Predator Mining Corp.

Golden Predator is expanding this camp at the Brewery Creek Mine project in the Yukon to provide accommodations for 75 workers in preparation for a busy 2020 field season.

Golden Predator Mining Corp. Oct. 29 said it is making significant headway toward the resumption of operations at its Brewery Creek Mine project about 55 kilometers east of Dawson City, Yukon.

Viceroy Resource Corp. established a mine at Brewery Creek in 1996 and recovered around 280,000 ounces of gold from the open-pit, heap-leach operation over seven years. With gold prices averaging around US$310/oz in 2002, Viceroy opted to wind down operations at Brewery Creek and put the seasonal gold mine on care and maintenance.

A few years later, Golden Predator acquired full ownership of Brewery Creek and has been carrying out exploration and other work aimed at resuming operations at the past producing mine.

This year, however, the junior gold miner has ramped up this effort with a program aimed at preparing the former gold producer for redevelopment work to begin in 2020.

In July, the Yukon government confirmed the validity of an existing Quartz Mining License and Water License for Brewery Creek, meaning Golden Predator is authorized to mine up to 4 million metric tons of mineralized material from areas designated under the plan and restart the existing heap-leach facility.

Following the permit confirmation, the company intensified its efforts at the past producing gold mine. This included hiring Robin Fraser and James Hesketh as contractors to provide engineering, mining and metallurgical services to the Brewery Creek technical team.

Fraser and his team at Canadian Northern Mining Corp. lends extensive mine construction, operation and maintenance expertise to Brewery Creek.

Hesketh brings 35 years of experience in open-pit, heap-leach operations and management to the Brewery Creek team.

Mike Maslowski, who has resumed the role of chief operating officer at Golden Predator, is charged with advancing Brewery Creek into production.

Maslowski, who previously served as Golden Predator COO from 2011 to 2014, brings more than 35 years of mineral exploration, mine engineering and operations experience to the Brewery Creek team.

This team has been busy evaluating the infrastructure at Brewery Creek and readying the past producing mine for a new stage of operations.

"Golden Predator has completed a massive volume of work in the last 90 days, made possible by assembling a highly skilled team with previous experience both working in the Yukon and restarting heap leach operations in California and Nevada," said Golden Predator Mining CEO Janet Lee-Sheriff. "Much of the original infrastructure was left intact and is in excellent condition, providing significant cost savings for a project restart while also significantly advancing timelines to a resumption of mining at Brewery Creek."

The Brewery Creek team is developing a three-phase mine plan.

Phase 1 considers the reprocessing of the 10 million metric tons of mineralized material remaining on the heap leach pad to provide production revenue in the early stages of a restart while also providing a sound environmental foundation for future phases and the eventual closure of the mine. A feasibility study for this initial phase is expected to get underway soon.

Phase 2 is focused on completing the original mining plan as currently assessed and licensed.

Phase 3, which is contingent upon continued exploration success and additional permitting, is expected to include expansion that would extend the life of the Brewery Creek Mine.

A preliminary economic assessment completed for Golden Predator in 2014 outlined plans for a heap-leach operation that would produce an estimated 372,000 oz of gold over nine years. This includes mining 10.2 million metric tons of open-pit material from eight deposits averaging 1.35 g/t gold and reprocessing material located on the former heap leach pad.

At that time, Brewery Creek hosted 14.15 million metric tons of indicated oxide resource averaging 1.27 g/t (577,000 oz) gold, 9.31 million metric tons of inferred oxide resource averaging 0.93 g/t (279,000 oz) gold; plus 3.46 million metric tons of indicated sulfide resource averaging 1.28 g/t (142,000 oz) gold, and 12.41 million metric tons of inferred sulfide resource averaging 1.37 g/t (546,000 oz) gold.

Out of this overall resource only about half of the oxide gold mineralization is considered in the PEA. The rest is outside of the current permitted area and will be part of the longer term mine plan and amended mining permits.

Shane Lasley

An aerial view of one of the past producing pits at Golden Predator's Brewery Creek gold mine project in the Yukon.

This year, Golden Predator has drilled 138 holes aimed at upgrading and expanding the known resources.

This included 4,241 meters of drilling in 36 reverse circulation holes at Lucky Zone; 7,059 meters in 67 RC holes at Golden Zone; 2,959 meters in 28 RC holes at Kokanee and Fosters zones; and 286 meters in seven RC holes at Camp Zone.

The drill program also includes 678 meters of diamond drilling in nine holes to provide material for metallurgical testing.

Golden Predator said it is experiencing a significant delay in assay results due to capacity issues at labs in western Canada and will report results from the drilling as they are received.

The results from the 2019 program will be incorporated into a new technical report and resource estimate for Brewery Creek, currently anticipated for the first quarter of 2020.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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