Eskay Creek drills tap steady high grades
1.5 meters of 231 ounce per ton silver tapped in one zone North of 60 Mining News – September 11, 2020
Last updated 9/17/2020 at 8:53pm
Skeena Resources Ltd. Sept. 9 reported additional consistent and high-grade gold and silver assay results from the 2020 phase 1 drill program at its Eskay Creek project in British Columbia's Golden Triangle.
Six helicopter supported drill rigs are currently carrying out infill drilling in the 21A, 21B and 21C zones in order to upgrade resources ahead of a pre-feasibility study for establishing an open-pit mine at Eskay Creek.
Highlights from the latest round of assay results include:
• Hole SK-20-292 cut 39.66 meters averaging 5.05 grams per metric ton gold and 449 g/t silver in the 21A zone.
• SK-20-307 cut 12.245 meters averaging 5.47 g/t gold and 9 g/t silver in the 21C zone.
• SK-20-321 cut 16.5 meters averaging 3.59 g/t gold and 14 g/t silver in the 21C zone.
Skeena said the intercept in hole SK-20-292 was slightly thicker and had substantially higher silver grades than surrounding holes in the 21A zone. Particularly high-grade silver sections of this hole include 1.5 meters of 21.2 g/t gold and 7,190 g/t (231.2 ounces per metric ton) silver, and 1.3 meters of 11.35 g/t gold and 2,910 g/t (93.6 oz/t) silver. For comparison, SK-19-167, a 2019 hole drilled only 15 meters to the south cut 34 meters averaging 6.34 g/t gold and 42 g/t silver. The company said this unexpected, extremely high-tenor silver mineralization is hosted entirely within intensely sericitized rhyolite breccias in the footwall to the Contact Mudstone.
Highlights from the three 21A infill holes reported by Skeena in August include:
• 34.4 meters averaging 5.93 grams per metric ton gold and 40 g/t silver in hole SK-20-274.
• 35.4 meters averaging 21.9 g/t gold and 235 g/t silver in SK-20-290.
• 36.5 meters averaging 6.52 g/t gold and 24 g/t silver in SK-20-291.
"In my experience, it is a rarity for a delineation drilling campaign on a precious metal deposit to consistently intersect the predicted mineralization defined by widely-spaced exploration drill holes," said Skeena Resources Vice President of Exploration and Resource Development Paul Geddes. "This success is not only a function of the Eskay Creek mineralization style, but also a result of the conservatively estimated MRE (mineral resource estimate).
This early 2019 calculation estimates Eskay Creek hosts 12.71 million metric tons of surface mineable indicated resource averaging 4.5 g/t (1.82 million oz) gold and 117 g/t (47.79 million oz) silver; plus 13.57 metric tons of surface mineable inferred resource averaging 2.2 g/t (984,000 oz) gold and 42 g/t (18.46 million oz) silver.
In addition to the infill drilling focused on upgrading this resource, Skeena continues to test deeper mudstone sequences previously encountered. Hole SK-20-292 was extended to a depth of 500 meters into the Lower Mudstone and Even Lower Mudstone sequences. This deep drilling, however, only encountered thin, weakly anomalous gold-silver mineralization. The company says the key to locating higher-grade mineralization in these lower mudstone layers will be to use stratigraphic and geochemical information to vector into areas crosscut by the faults responsible for the Eskay Creek orebodies.
The infill drilling at 21C is corroborating the modeled mineralization reported in a resource estimate calculated last year, confirming grades and spatial distributions of the modeled zones. Gold and silver mineralization in this area is dominantly hosted within the footwall rhyolite sequence and is characterized by slightly lower grade and occurs within the deeper portions of the 2019 preliminary economic assessment contemplated mining sequence.
Skeena said it has passed the mid-way point of its 24,000-meter phase 1 2020 drill program at Eskay Creek and plans to add two rigs, for a total of eight, this month.
"The phase I portion of our 2020 infill drill program is now more than 50% complete and our team is eager to accelerate the upcoming phase II program with additional drill rigs, providing results which are designed to add confidence to the currently tightly constrained resource base," said Skeena Resources Exploration Manager Adrian Newton.