Drill discovery shows Pine Point potential
Hole indicates 800-meter expansion of 300-meter zinc deposit North of 60 Mining News – November 13, 2020
Last updated 11/12/2020 at 8:31pm
Osisko Metals Inc. Nov. 12 reports that its latest batch of drill results includes one hole that indicates a major expansion of O53, one of the deposits that make up the large zinc-lead resource at the Pine Point project in Canada's Northwest Territories.
From 1964 to 1988, Cominco (now Teck Resources) produced roughly 14 billion lb of zinc and 4 billion lb of lead from around 64 million metric tons of ore averaging about 10% zinc-equivalent, which factors in the value of both the zinc and lead.
While the mill, town and other facilities from the Cominco-era mining at Pine Point were removed, the commercial grade electrical infrastructure, highway access to a railhead at the nearby town of Hay River and a significant amount of zinc-rich mineralization remains.
With the goal of reestablishing a mine at Pine Point, Osisko has been building a resource adjacent to and below the areas mined by Cominco.
According to the most recent calculation, Pine Point hosts 12.9 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 4.56% zinc and 1.73% lead, which equates to 6.29% zinc-equivalent; plus 37.6 million metric tons of inferred resource grading 4.89% zinc and 1.91% lead, which equates to 6.8% zinc-equivalent.
This resource estimate formed the basis for a preliminary economic assessment published earlier this year that envisions delivering 11,250 metric tons of ore per day from 47 open pits and eight underground mines over a 50-kilometer- (31 miles) trend to a central processing facility at Pine Point.
The economic assessment identified areas that could optimize the proposed mine project ahead of advancing it to feasibility, including the expansion of open-pit resources.
The latest batch of drill results from Osisko's 2020 resource expansion drilling are from 29 holes drilled in the Central zone, mostly in proximity to the O53 deposit area.
One of these holes, OM13-20-001, cut 4.8 meters averaging 7.25% zinc and 1.45% lead roughly 800 meters west of the current resource at O53 and 665 meters west of any previous expansion holes at this deposit. Osisko believes the well-developed, near-surface, tabular-style mineralization tapped in OM13-20-001 is within a 60-meter-wide corridor that extends back to the O53 deposit.
Considering the currently defined resource at O53 is only about 300 meters long and 60 meters wide, this could potentially mark a major expansion of the deposit.
Hole O53-20-PP-003, reported by the company in early October, cut three meters averaging 8.45% zinc and 0.61% lead about 125 meters west of the O53 resource and along this postulated corridor.
Osisko said further high priority drilling will be designed to test continuity of mineralization along the 800-meter strike length separating the O53 deposit and the target intersected in OM13-20-001,
"The new trend of tabular mineralization west of O53 is a prime example of the excellent exploration potential remaining at Pine Point," said Osisko Metals President and COO Jeff Hussey. "Tabular mineralization historically saw minimal follow-up drilling across the property and was not a focus during the Cominco Ltd. era."
In addition to the potentially large expansion of O53, Osisko says it is beginning to see success at exploration targets identified with modelling of gravity gradiometry geophysics.
"Nine out of 20 holes drilled to test gravity anomalies near known deposits intersected appreciable mineralization, warranting further drilling," said Hussey. "We believe significant resources can be developed in 2020 and 2021 as we demonstrate the exploration upside of Pine Point through a combination of exploration/resource expansion drilling."