Mining Explorers 2017: Teck Resources Ltd.
Zinc, copper and gold are the top metals sought by Teck Resources Ltd. In Alaska, this work is dedicated to extending the life of the Red Dog Mine by upgrading high-grade zinc resources near the current mine area and seeking out new deposits across 224,000 acres of highly prospective lands surrounding the Northwest Alaska operation. Going into 2017, Red Dog had 50.9 million metric tons of probable reserves, averaging 15 percent zinc, 4.2 percent lead and 76 grams per metric ton silver. Anarraaq-Aktigiruq, situated roughly five miles northwest of the current operations, is among the high-quality targets Teck is pursuing. Discovered in 1999, Anarraaq hosts an inferred resource of about 19.4 million metric tons grading 14.4 percent zinc, 4.2 percent lead, and 77 g/t silver – very similar to the reserve grades currently being mined. High-grade intercepts from this deposit include 11.2 meters of 34.2 percent zinc, 11.5 percent lead and 382 g/t silver; and 42 meters of 18.3 percent zinc, 4.5 percent lead, and 82 g/t silver. Teck completed 11,000 meters of exploration drilling across the Red Dog property in 2016, a program the company has extended into 2017. Teck also holds a 50 percent stake in Lik, a zinc deposit about six miles west of Anarraaq being advanced by Solitario Zinc Corp.
In Yukon Territory’s Selwyn Basin and the Kechika Trough of northern British Columbia, Teck and joint venture partner Korea Zinc Co. have been investigating zinc prospects for about two decades. In 2013, Teck cut a deal with Canada Zinc Metals Corp. to explore the Pie, Yuen and Cirque East properties, which lie adjacent to Teck and Korea Zinc’s Cirque property in the Kechika Trough. Under the agreement, Teck can earn up to a 51 percent interest in the properties by spending C$3.5 million on exploration by the end of 2017, a stake that can be increased to 70 percent by investing an additional C$5 million before 2020. Teck and Korea Zinc completed a preliminary 2016 exploration program that included: geological mapping, prospecting and rock sampling over the highest ranking targets across 18.5-kilometer- (11.5 miles) area; 7.3-line-kilometers (4.5 miles) of ground gravity surveys; and soil sampling. This work finalized targets for a roughly 1,000-meter drill program completed at the end of the field season.
Teck (75 percent) is in a joint venture with Copper Fox Metals Inc. (25 percent) to explore and develop the Schaft Creek copper-gold project in B. C.’s Golden Triangle region. A 2013 feasibility study outlined a 130,000-metric-ton-per-day open-pit mine operating for 21 years at Schaft Creek based on proven and probable reserves of 940.8 million metric tons averaging 0.27 percent copper, 0.19 g/t gold, 0.018 percent molybdenum and 1.72 g/t silver. A C$900,000 program carried out at Schaft Creek in 2017 focused on the completion of resource remodeling of the Schaft Creek deposit; desktop engineering and trade-off studies; ongoing environmental baseline data collection; and permitting-social engagement activities. Teck also holds a 50 percent interest in Galore Creek, an enormous porphyry copper-gold mine project in the Golden Triangle – Novagold Resources Inc. owns the remaining 50 percent.