Mining News: More impressive gold at Iron Cap zone, KSM
Seabridge Gold Oct. 3 reported more long intercepts of gold and copper at the Lower Iron Cap deposit at its KSM project in northwestern British Columbia. One hole testing the down-plunge projection of Iron Cap cut 491 meters averaging 0.98 grams per metric ton gold and 0.6 percent copper. Seabridge said long runs of higher grades continue to support revisions to the KSM’s mine plan which could substantially improve project economics. “Iron Cap is permitted as a block cave and it’s ideally located close to, and dips towards, the proposed ore conveyance tunnel between the mine site and process facility. This fact strongly suggests that changing the mine plan to exploit Iron Cap just after the Mitchell deposit and before Kerr could offer substantial economic improvements,” said Seabridge Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk. Four deposits at KSM – Kerr, Sulphurets, Mitchell and Iron Cap – encompass 2.2 billion metric tons of proven and probable reserves averaging 0.55 grams per metric ton (38.8 million ounces) gold, 0.21 percent (10.2 billion pounds) copper, 2.6 g/t (183 million oz) silver, and 42.6 parts per million (207 million lb) molybdenum. These reserves support a 53-year mine that would average 540,000 oz gold, 156 million lb copper, 2.2 million oz silver, and 1.2 million lb molybdenum per year, according to a 2016 prefeasibility study. Mitchell and Kerr were the first deposits slated for mining. This change could substantially reduce development costs and increase gold production in the earlier years,” said Fronk. “The reason we decided to mine Kerr first was the smaller size of the Iron Cap resource, but the extraordinary widths we are encountering in the drilling make it clear to us that Iron Cap will probably rival Kerr in size and grade,” said Fronk. “We believe that moving up Iron Cap could significantly expand this period of exceptionally high gold production. There are very few if any environmentally approved, undeveloped projects with this potential level of gold production in the world today.” Results from the ongoing 2017 exploration program at Iron Cap confirm a strong west-northwest plunge to the deposit which crops out to the east under ice and rubble below the Sulphurets Thrust Fault. The current northern limit of the deposit is defined by a newly-discovered normal fault, dubbed the North Iron Cap Fault, which appears to limit potential expansion of the deposit in that direction. Drilling has therefore focused to the west as the program has evolved.