Steady high grades in Eskay Creek waste
Albino waste material averages 4 g/t gold, 163 g/t silver so far North of 60 Mining News – December 10, 2021
Last updated 12/9/2021 at 12:56pm
Skeena Resources Ltd. Dec. 8 reported additional high-grade gold and silver intercepts from further resource evaluation drilling within the Albino Waste Facility at the company's Eskay Creek mine project in the Golden Triangle of Northern British Columbia.
The waste material stored in this facility is from an underground mine operated by Barrick Gold Corp. from 1994 to 2008 that recovered roughly 3.3 million ounces of gold and 160 million oz of silver from ore with average grades of 45 grams per metric ton gold and 2,224 g/t silver.
This underground mine development was largely tunneled in the mineralized rhyolite in the footwall of the mudstone sequence that is host to the very high-grade gold-silver mineralization for which Eskay Creek is renowned. While this volcanic rock would be considered ore at today's precious metals prices, the rhyolite-hosted mineralization was deemed to be uneconomic due to the low prices of gold and silver during the previous era of mining at Eskay Creek.
As a result, this development rock, along with mill tailings, was deposited into the Albino Waste Facility southwest of the mine to be stored underwater.
This spring, while there was still ice to support a drill rig, Skeena completed an initial round of drilling to test the gold- and silver-enriched waste material and tailings stored at Albino.
Highlights from the eight holes completed during the initial phase of drilling included:
• 16.01 meters averaging 4.17 g/t gold and 160 g/t silver in hole SK-21-841.
• 12.16 meters averaging 4.18 g/t gold and 190 g/t silver in SK-21-842.
• 22.8 meters averaging 4.16 g/t gold and 204 g/t silver in SK-21-843.
• 13.68 meters averaging 8.68 g/t gold and 330 g/t silver in SK-21-846.
To further investigate this potential, Skeena drilled an additional 12 holes on 50-meter centers from a waterborne barge during a second phase of Albino Waste Facility drilling that got underway in October.
Highlights from this second phase of drilling include:
• 16.77 meters averaging 5.9 g/t gold and 317 g/t silver in SK-21-899.
• 12.2 meters averaging 4.53 g/t gold and 168 g/t silver in SK-21-901.
• 13.72 meters averaging 5.84 g/t gold and 222 g/t silver in SK-21-903.
• 16.77 meters averaging 3.39 g/t gold and 156 g/t silver in SK-21-908.
• 16.76 meters averaging 3.76 g/t gold and 151 g/t silver in SK-21-909.
Skeena says the 20 holes drilled thus far have outlined an area of roughly 13.2-meter-thick of mineralization averaging approximately 4.03 g/t gold and 163 g/t silver over a roughly 350- by 125-meter area at the north end of the storage facility.
Considering the thicknesses and grades encountered so far, the roughly 128,900-square-meter waste facility could provide a sizable source of already mined material to the Eskay Creek mine plan.
Skeena plans to continue the second phase of Albino Waste Facility drilling with two drill rigs from the surface as soon as the ice has been deemed thick enough to support the drilling. This will begin with the continuation of 50-meter spaced holes to determine the extent of the mineralization, followed by infill drilling on 25-meter centers to establish a higher confidence resource calculation.