Mining News: Agnico extends Amaruq deposits, finds new zone
Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. reported expansion of the V Zone and Whale Tail deposits at its Amaruq gold project in Nunavut, as well as the discovery of a new zone of gold mineralization about 4,500 meters west of Whale Tail. Amaruq is located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) to northwest Meadowbank, a mine with enough ore to last until the end of 2018. Agnico is developing Amaruq as a satellite deposit and plans to haul Amaruq ore to the Meadowbank Mill. At the end of 2016, Amaruq hosted 16.9 million metric tons of open pit indicated mineral resource averaging 3.88 grams per metric ton (2.1 million oz) gold; 4.9 million metric tons of open pit inferred mineral resource averaging 4.81 g/t (763,000 oz) gold; and 6.8 million metric tons of underground inferred mineral resource averaging 6.22 g/t (1.4 million oz) gold. For 2017, the company budgeted US$22 million for a 75,000 meter drill program at Amaruq. This included infill and expansion drilling at Whale Tail, the first open pit deposit to be developed, and similar work at V Zone, the second pit to developed.
Drilling at V Zone, which consists of a series of parallel shallow-dipping quartz vein structures, has traced gold mineralization to a depth of 610 meters. Recent drilling has cut gold mineralization east of the V Zone pit outline. Immediately east of the planned pit, hole AMQ17-1418 cut 38.7 meters averaging 8.6 g/t gold. Roughly 200 meters southeast of this hole, AMQ17-1475 cut the deepest drill intercept in the V Zone to date, intersecting 9 meters of 8.5 g/t gold at a depth of 610 meters. Drilling also traced gold mineralization up to 300 meters west of the V Zone pit outline. Hole AMQ17-1426 encountered two distinct gold intervals, returning 24.8 g/t gold over 3.5 meters and 7.4 g/t gold over 5 meters. AMQ17-1437, drilled 500 meters west of AMQ17-1426 cut 2.8 meters of 8 g/t gold in a previously undrilled area. The relationship of this intercept to the V Zone will be investigated further. About 120 meters northwest of V Zone pit, hole AMQ17-1455 cut 8.3 meters of 4.9 g/t gold in the nearby I Zone. Approximately 170 meters to the northeast, hole AMQ17-1457 cut the same type of mineralization, returning 7.8 meters of 3.9 g/t gold.
Agnico said conversion drilling completed this year at Whale Tail has confirmed the robustness of the mineralization within the main ore-shoot. For example, hole AMQ17-1366 cut 24.2 meters of 7.6 g/t gold from a depth of 340 meters depth. The second phase 2017 drilling includes directional drilling targeting a deep extension of the higher grade ore shoot. Preliminary results from hole AMQ17-1433D, drilled to a depth of roughly 680 meters, show multiple intercepts such as 6.4 g/t gold over 4.8 meters at 596 meters and 7.2 g/t gold over 3.4 meters at 617 meters. So far, drilling has traced the Whale Tail deposit for 2,300 meters along strike and to a depth of 732 meters.
Roughly 4,500 meters west of the planned Whale Tail pit outline, the newly discovered Tugak showing is returning encouraging results. Hole AMQ17-1469 cut 10 meters of 2.5 g/t gold near surface. Roughly 300 meters to the northwest, hole AMQ17-1477 cut 3.6 meters of 3.3 g/t gold at a depth of 100 meters. Agnico said the Tugak showing requires more investigation to determine its shape and extent, and its relationship to Whale Tail and the IVR deposits.