New Illinois Creek mine project resource
Includes calculation for heap leach pad at producing mine North of 60 Mining News – February 5, 2021
Last updated 2/4/2021 at 3:48pm
Western Alaska Copper & Gold Feb. 3 reported an updated mineral resource estimate for Illinois Creek project that includes calculations for the heap leach pad and unmined resources on the western Alaska gold-silver project.
Located about 65 miles southwest of the town of Galena and 120 miles north of the Donlin Gold Mine project, the 34,240-acre Illinois Creek District property is home to Illinois Creek, an open-pit mine and heap-leach operation that produced roughly 150,000 ounces of gold and 500,000 oz of silver during three years of mining between 1996-2002.
The abbreviated operation at Illinois Creek left plenty of gold and silver behind. Considering that an ounce of gold is selling for nearly seven times the $280/oz average and silver is selling for more than five times the $4.95/oz average in 2000, picking up where past mining left off is a compelling prospect.
According to the new calculation, the heap leach pad and unmined deposit at Illinois Creek hosts 8.7 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.9 grams per metric ton (253,000 oz) gold, 34.4 g/t (9.6 million oz) silver, and 0.21% (40 million pounds) copper; and 3.3 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.99 g/t (104,000 oz) gold, 36.2 g/t (3.8 million oz) silver, and 0.21% (15 million lb) copper.
The Illinois Creek deposit hosts 7.4 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.98 g/t (234,000 oz) gold, 32.7 g/t (7.8 million oz) silver, and 0.17% (28 million lb) copper; and 3.1 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 1.02 g/t (102,000 oz) gold, 35.9 g/t (3.6 million oz) silver, and 0.2% (14 million lb) copper.
The heap leach pad hosts 1.3 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.44 g/t (18,600 oz) gold, 44.3 g/t (1.9 million oz) silver, and 0.42% (12 million lb) copper.
A preliminary economic assessment that outlines plans for reprocessing the material on the heap leach pad and mining extensions of the Illinois Creek deposit is slated for completion this year.
Western Alaska is also considering Honker, situated about six miles north of the Illinois Creek mine site, as a potential source of high-grade gold.
A gold-rich quartz vein that is one to five meters thick has been traced for 800 meters at Honker. Historical bulk samples collected from Honker averaged 26.5 g/t gold and 26.8 g/t silver.
Metallurgical testing shows this mineralization is amenable to heap leach recovery, indicating Honker could be a good source of satellite ore for Illinois Creek.
The Illinois Creek District property also hosts Round Top, a large porphyry copper deposit about 10 miles northeast of the past producing mine; Waterpump, a small but high-grade zinc-lead-silver carbonate replacement target associated with Illinois Creek; and TG North, a potentially larger but lower grade zinc-lead-silver carbonate replacement target associated with Round Top.
With the company working toward reestablishing a mine at Illinois Creek and so much exploration potential to follow-up on across the wider property, Western Alaska is pursuing an initial public offering and listing on Canada's TSX Venture Exchange.