More gold for Brewery Creek mine restart
New resources connect zones; drills target further extensions North of 60 Mining News – September 4, 2020
Last updated 9/26/2020 at 3:25pm
Golden Predator Mining Corp. Aug. 31 published an updated resource estimate to support a feasibility study that will provide details of a plan to re-establish gold mining at the company's Brewery Creek project about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Dawson City, Yukon.
The initial phase of Golden Predator's Brewery Creek mine restart plan involves reprocessing tailings from previous heap leach operations at Brewery Creek and mining of new oxide gold mineralization to process on a heap leach pad.
Toward this objective, Gustavson & Associates LLC estimates Brewery Creek hosts 22.2 million metric tons of indicated leachable resource averaging 1.11 grams per metric ton (789,000 ounces) gold, plus 16.8 million metric tons of inferred leachable resource at 0.92 g/t (497,000 oz) gold.
The new calculation also includes 30.6 million metric tons of inferred sulfide resource at 0.84 g/t (828,000 oz) gold, which will be considered for mining in later phases of Brewery Creek operations.
The updated estimate does not include material on the heap leach pad which will be reported separately within a Brewery Creek restart study being prepared by Kappes, Cassiday, LLC.
"The updated mineral resource estimate better establishes leachability on a block by block basis for inclusion in the ongoing feasibility study. We can now proceed with confidence to prepare detailed mine plans based on leachable material," said Golden Predator Mining CEO Janet Lee-Sheriff.
The current mineral resource estimate and model confirms that the 2019 drill program successfully connected and combined the Fosters, Canadian, Kokanee and Golden deposits into a 3,500-meter-long pit shell that has been renamed Keg.
As a priority, Gustavson recommends a drill program to in-fill high potential areas to add additional leachable resources in time for inclusion in the feasibility. Drilling in 2019 indicated that a 400-meter gap between Keg and the Lucky deposit is well mineralized and oxidized but requires increased drill density to calculate a resource in this gap that could extend the continuous Keg gold mineralization by nearly another 1,000 meters.
Gustavson was also able to model the Bohemain and Schooner resource areas east of Lucky into a larger single pit shell.
Golden Predator is launching a 4,000-meter drill program this month that includes 3,000 meters of reverse circulation drilling a 1,000-meter metallurgical core program, to ensure the priority recommendations from the Gustavson report are completed and incorporated into the feasibility study.
One of the primary targets is drilling in the 400-meter gap between Lucky and Keg pit to build on the 2019 drilling which indicates the mineralization is continuous between the two deposits. Additional drilling will be focused on increasing the drill density with the goal of incorporating the Lucky resource into the Keg pit.
Golden Predator also plans additional drilling in the Classic area, which is the single largest exploration target at Brewery Creek. Surface gold mineralization was identified in 2019 approximately 1,000 meters southeast from the open-ended resources at both Classic and adjacent Lone Star. The company said this promising large target is outside the scope of the feasibility study but provides significant potential for expanding the project.
In addition to drilling, work is underway to develop an updated multi-year mine plan for the advancement of Brewery Creek.
The first component focuses on the potential reprocessing of the approximately 9.5 million metric tons of 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.
The second component is focused on completing the original Viceroy mining plan as currently assessed and licensed.
The third component is an expansion beyond the current license which would extend the mine plan and require additional licensing.
The company now sees the combination of phases 1 and 2 would result in the best returns on the initial capital expenditures to establish the processing facilities and other infrastructure required to reprocess the heap leach material, especially when considering the current price of gold.
"As phase 1 restart work has progressed, it has become evident that phase 1 and 2 should proceed together to take advantage of emerging synergies and higher gold prices to generate enhanced cash flow," Lee-Sheriff said in July. "Since most of the project's CAPEX is required for startup in phase 1, combining the added potential of higher-grade new material should produce significantly more ounces and a better economic return."
The comprehensive feasibility study for reprocessing material stacked on the heap leach pad and mining new oxide gold mineralization is expected by the end of 2020.