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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

75M oz of silver-eq at Waterpump Creek

North of 60 Mining News - February 23, 2024


Last updated 2/22/2024 at 12:41pm

Initial resource outlines thick zones of high-grade mineralization at the carbonate-hosted silver-zinc deposit on Western Alaska's Illinois Creek project.

Western Alaska Minerals Corp. Jan. 22 reported a high-grade silver-zinc-lead resource for Waterpump Creek (WPC) that demonstrates the potential of the carbon replacement deposit (CRD) mineralized system that is believed to extend for more than five miles and serves as a foundation for further exploration and development across the district-scale Illinois Creek property.

Based on 15,550 meters of drilling completed by Western Alaska and 7,900 meters of historical drilling by Anaconda and Novagold Resources, Waterpump Creek hosts 2.39 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 279 grams per metric ton (21.4 million ounces) silver, 11.25% (592 million pounds) zinc, and 9.84% (518 million lb) lead.

To provide some context to the worth of the metals outlined so far, the combined value of the metals within the resource comes to 75 million oz of silver-equivalent or 1.38 billion lb of zinc-equivalent.

This resource is not contained within small pods or narrow veins that would require extra mining to realize its high-grade potential. Instead, the carbonate replacement deposit outlined so far at Waterpump Creek ranges from five to 49 meters thick and 25 to 70 meters wide over a strike length of about 450 meters. This makes the high-grade mineralization very amenable to underground mining.

The high grades and wide thickness of this demonstrate Waterpump Creek's potential to be a sustainable domestic supply of zinc, which is on the United States critical minerals list, and silver, used in solar panels and other clean energy and high-tech applications.

"We are in the early stages of developing a robust portfolio of base and precious minerals crucial for various industries. Silver, with its vital role in solar production and numerous industrial applications, and zinc, recognized as a critical mineral in the energy transition, defense, and agriculture sectors, are pivotal in driving the clean energy transition," said Western Alaska Minerals CEO Kit Marrs. "Waterpump Creek, hosting a high-grade resource, significantly contributes to our sustainable future aspirations."

Western Alaska Minerals Corp.

Click on image for larger map of targets between the Waterpump Creek and Illinois Creek deposits.

Peter Megaw, a world-leading expert in CRD mineralizing systems and technical advisor to Western Alaska Minerals, sees geological, geochemical, and other evidence of a much larger high-grade silver-zinc-lead system that extends southwest through the Last Hurrah target and onward to the past-producing Illinois Creek Mine, which still hosts 357,000 oz of gold and 13.4 million oz of silver in the indicated and inferred resource categories.

"We believe we have a tiger by the tail at Illinois Creek and decided to proceed with an inferred resource estimate to demonstrate to the market the robust high grade (and high margin potential) of the WPC deposit as we've carried it from discovery to a significant volume of high-grade mineralization," Marrs added. "This resource says we're moving in the right direction and we're looking forward to following the mineralization 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) to the southwest back towards the past-producing Illinois Creek mine."

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.


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