Palmer resource upgrade drilling begins
JV targets higher-grade zones with 9,000m of surface drilling North of 60 Mining News - June 19, 2023
Last updated 7/6/2023 at 12:31pm
American Pacific Mining Corp. June 19 announced the start of a 9,000-meter resource upgrade and expansion drill program at Palmer, a high-grade volcanogenic massive sulfide project in Southeast Alaska enriched with zinc, copper, silver, and gold.
American Pacific gained a roughly 45% interest in this advanced-stage polymetallic mine project through the acquisition of Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. in October of last year. Dowa Metals & Mining Company Ltd. owns the remaining 55% of Constantine Mining LLC, the joint venture advancing exploration, permitting, development, and production at Palmer.
A preliminary economic assessment that was updated prior to American Pacific's acquisition outlines plans for an underground mine and a 3,500-metric-ton-per-day mill at Palmer that would produce 1.07 billion pounds of zinc, 196 million lb of copper, 18 million ounces of silver, and 91,000 oz of gold over an initial 11-year mine life.
According to a 2018 calculation, the Southwall and RW zones that make up the main deposit at Palmer host 4.68 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 5.23% (539 million lb) zinc, 1.49% (154 million lb) copper, 30.8 grams per metric ton (4.6 million oz) silver, and 0.3 g/t (451,000 oz) gold; plus 5.34 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 5.2% (612 million lb) zinc, 0.96% (113 million lb) copper, 29.2 g/t (5 million oz) silver, and 0.28 g/t (48,100 oz) gold.
This year's drilling is focused on upgrading inferred resources in the Palmer deposit to the higher confidence measured and indicated categories.
"Our drill program this year has been designed with two primary goals: to delineate the high-grade portion of the deposit to further define the mineral resource estimation methodology as we look to convert mineral resources into mineral reserves in future feasibility studies; and to expand our mineral resource base with step-out and directional drilling in the Southwall Zone," said Peter Mercer, senior vice president of advanced projects at American Pacific Mining.
In addition to the resource drilling, the 2023 programs at Palmer are expected to include 2,500 meters of geotechnical drilling, camp construction, ongoing baseline environmental studies, and site engineering work.
"This year's programs will lay the foundation for the engineering and evaluation work ahead," said Mercer. "In addition, the knowledge gained from these programs will provide new insights into the potential for new high-grade discoveries throughout the mineralized district."
The US$25.5 million program budgeted for Palmer this year is being funded by Dowa Metals & Mining.
American Pacific has the option to pay a portion or all of its share of the expenses by the end of October to minimize or eliminate dilution of its interest in the Constantine Mining JV.
As operator of the Palmer project, American Pacific will receive 7% of program expenditures for managing the 2023 work program.