Mining Explorers 2017: Alexco Resource Corp.
Alexco Resource Corp. holds rights to mineral claims and leases that blanket nearly the entire historic Keno Hill Silver District of central Yukon Territory, including the Bellekeno silver-zinc-lead mine. The company began commercial production at Keno Hill early in 2011. Due to weak silver prices, however, the Vancouver B.C.-based miner temporarily suspended operations in 2013. This year, Alexco is investing some C$11.9 million for exploration and development expenditures ahead of a decision on resuming production at Keno Hill. In March, the company published a preliminary economic assessment that outlines an operation at the re-opened Keno Hill Mine that would produce 25.1 million ounces of silver, 77.3 million pounds of zinc, 67 million lbs. of lead and 4,870 oz of gold over eight years. This PEA is centered on the Flame & Moth deposit at Keno Hill but includes ore from the Bermingham, Bellekeno, Lucky Queen and Onek finds. These deposits would provide the mill with 1.02 million metric tons of material, averaging 843 grams per metric ton over the mine-life considered in the assessment. Alexco has budgeted C$3.2 million for a 12,000-meter surface drill program to further explore potentially mineralized structural targets surrounding Bermingham, a high-grade discovery with 868,000 metric tons of indicated resource averaging 628 g/t (17.3 million oz) silver. Results from this drilling are expected before the end of 2017. Alexco also applied for permits to carry out an underground exploration program at Bermingham this year. If permitted, the company plans to drive a 600-meter decline to provide access for roughly 5,000 meters of underground infill and confirmation drilling of the high-grade indicated resource. The objective of the underground program is to upgrade the existing inferred resources to the indicated category and upgrade existing indicated resources to the measured category. This program, estimated to cost C$8.7 million includes purchasing and rebuilding underground equipment.
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