Alexco adds high-grade silver to Keno Hill
Mining Explorers 2021 - January 27, 2022
Last updated 1/26/2022 at 4:15pm
As the production crews ramped up toward commercial operations at Alexco Resource Corp.'s Keno Hill silver mine in the Yukon, exploration crews were unveiling extremely high-grade silver mineralization in the Bermingham Northeast Deep zone that will provide future feed for the upgraded mill.
According to a calculation completed in May, the Keno Hill Silver District project hosts 1.44 billion metric tons of probable reserves averaging 804 g/t (37.19 million ounces) silver, 3.84% (122 million pounds) zinc, and 2.64% (84 million lb) lead in four deposits – Bellekeno, Lucky Queen, Flame and Moth, and Bermingham.
Based on these reserves, the Keno Hill mine is forecast to produce more than 35.5 million oz of silver over the next eight years, or nearly 4.5 million oz per year.
The first ore fed into the mill during Alexco's restart of operations – the company had Keno Hill in production from 2011 to 2013 – came from Bellekeno. Underground mining crews reached ore at Bermingham in August, offering a second source of high-grade ore for ramping up the mill throughput rate.
Northeast Deep, a zone that lies 150 meters below the Northeast Zone at Bermingham, is shaping up to be a higher-grade source of ore that could easily be accessed from underground development at Bermingham.
After the 2019 discovery drilling at Northeast Deep, including one hole that cut 8.15 meters averaging 1,414 g/t silver, Alexco's 2020 program expanded this exciting target along a favorable corridor to the southwest and northeast.
The best intercept of the 2020 drilling came in K-20-0769, which cut the deeper Bermingham footwall vein over a true width of 8.76 meters averaging 3,583 g/t silver.
Other highlights from the 2020 Northeast Deep drilling include 6.12 meters averaging 1,560 g/t silver in K-20-0761; 7.46 meters averaging 1,381 g/t silver in K-20-0770; and 5.3 meters averaging 2,070 g/t silver in K-20-0773.
During 2021, Alexco carried out 17,830 meters of directional drilling focused on establishing a robust resource for Northeast Deep. Highlights from the first 24 holes include: 4.43 meters averaging 2,901 g/t silver in hole K-21-0785; 4.42 meters averaging 1,384 g/t silver in hole K-21-0785A; 8.74 meters averaging 2,284 g/t silver in hole K-21-0786; and 3.91 meters averaging 1,301 g/t silver from a depth of 502.7 meters in hole K-21-0791.
Some of the holes also encountered the Bermingham Main vein. This includes 4.73 meters averaging 2,010 g/t silver from a depth of 511.91 meters in hole K-21-0786, and 4.73 meters averaging 2,567 g/t from 126.23 meters in K-21-0790A.
"We are very encouraged by the initial results from the Bermingham Northeast Deep drilling, confirming the importance of this discovery both from an exploration and potentially, from an operations perspective," said Alexco Resource Chairman and CEO Clynt Nauman. "This zone of mineralization is shaping up to be within 200 meters of our currently planned underground ramp and haulage infrastructure."
Upon completion of an updated Bermingham resource estimate that includes the 2021 drilling, the company plans to expand the mineral reserves to include Northeast Deep.