Engineering & Mining Journal

APR 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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www.e-mj.com E&MJ • APRIL 2019 59 MINING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA AND YUKON age: "[In 2018] our proprietary exploration strategy produced four brand new gold dis- coveries - Vertigo with 23.44 g/mt Au over 24.38m, Ryan's Showing with 20.64 g/mt Au over 6.09m, GS West with 2.97 g/mt Au over 10.0m and Betty with 1.08 g/mt Au over 50.29m." White Gold's CEO, David D'Onofrio, went on to outline how the company's flagship Golden Saddle deposit had expanded in the last two years: "In 2017, we added approxi- mately 300,000 oz to the existing 1 million oz, and in 2018 another 200,000 oz were added to the resource," he said. Copper tumbled into a bear market in the second half of 2018, as the U.S.-China trade dispute, a strong U.S. dollar, and increased supply from Chile and Peru saw the price of the base metal fall from US$3.30/lb in June to US$2.60 in December. However, the medium to long-term outlook for copper is more promising, with BHP Billiton estimating that the build-out of the electric car market will add 5% to global copper demand, requiring US$25 billion in new copper supply in- vestment. Doug Ramsey, president and CEO of Copper North Min- ing, has focused on transforming Copper North's flagship Carmacks project in the Yukon, to make it economically attractive regardless of the commodity cycle: "We have reengineered our metallurgical pro- cess, specifically bringing the precious metals within the Carmacks resource into the economic model," he explained, continuing: "This decreases the cash cost of copper production from C$1.67/lb as a copper-only heap leach project to C$1.08/lb as a copper-gold-silver project after precious metal credits." Another Vancouver-based junior active in the Yukon is Alexco Resources, currently focusing on the expansion of its Bermingham silver deposit at Keno Hill, which has increased reserves signifi- cantly, from approximately 23 million oz of silver, to over 40 million oz of silver today, according to Clynton Nauman, Alexco's chair- man and CEO. Alexco aims to establish production towards the end of 2019, market conditions considered, and Nauman praised the mining-friendly environment in the Yukon, benefitting from 11 of the 14 First Nations in the territory having final and self-government agreements: "This context gives insurance that there is jurisdictional safety and that companies can move their projects from exploration to production," he said. This sentiment was echoed by Brandon Macdonald, CEO and director of Fireweed Zinc, one of the new players to enter the Yukon junior community: "A key benefit of working in Yukon is that the mining community has the attention of senior members of the gov- ernment and the Council of Yukon First Nations," stated Macdonald. Fireweed Zinc was created in 2016 following the signing of an agreement with Hudbay Minerals to acquire the Tom and Jason proj- ects. Since Fireweed's IPO in mid-2017, the company raised an ad- ditional C$12.5 million and grown the project size from 55 square km to 540 square km through deals with Newmont and Teck. District-scale opportunities in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Canada's three federal territories sit to the north of its 10 provinces and are much less inhabited than their southerly neighbors, each with populations below 50,000. Due to their remote location, they also have underexplored mineral potential, with short exploration seasons and expensive logistics limiting historical resource develop- ment. However, favorable geology and the availability of substantial land claims are increasingly attracting the attention of a mining community in need of district-scale discoveries. Northwest Territories (NWT) is home to TerraX Minerals' flagship Yellowknife City Gold project, a 783 square km property lo- cated on the Yellowknife Greenstone Belt, covering 67km of strike length on the south- ern and northern extensions of the shear system, which hosted the prolific high-grade Con and Giant gold mines. Working in col- laboration with the Geological Survey of the NWT and the Giant Mine Remediation Proj- ect, TerraX managed to recover 16,000 m of historical drill core. After sorting through and recovering the material, TerraX identi- fied that the core came from holes that were drilled on three of its four targets that had been identified for expanding the deposit. "To find 16,000 m of core in a market where capital raising is difficult is an extraordinary advantage," stated David Suda, TerraX Minerals' president and CEO. "This enables us to advance our project at very low cost," he added. To the west of NWT sits Nunavut, the current focus of Blue Star Gold Corp., which rebranded from WPC Resources in January 2019. The name Blue Star is taken from the official flag of Nunavut, representing the company's dedication and focus on Canada's north. Through its subsidiary, Inukshuk Exploration Inc., Blue Star owns the 8,015 hectare Hood River gold property located contiguous to the Ulu mining lease. Blue Star also has an option for the right to acquire the entire Ulu property, subject to the approval of the Kitik- meot Inuit Association (KIA). Shawn Ryan, CTO, White Gold Corp.

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