In addition to returning strong infill grades, the 49-metre intercept above has also expanded mineralization at depth in the 21C zone and two additional intercepts (7.6 metres of 2.5 g/t gold-equivalent and 10.3 metres of 2.42 g/t gold-equivalent) suggest potential for supplementary near-surface gold-silver mineralization in the HW zone, outside of the current resource blocks.
Skeena has also completed a 5,000-metre near-mine exploration program around Eskay Creek – results are expected shortly.
Last year, between exploration and infill work, Skeena drilled 83,000 metres at the project. A resource update is expected in the spring, which would be followed by a prefeasibility study in the second quarter.
Current open-pit resources at Eskay Creek include 12.7 million indicated tonnes at 4.3 g/t gold and 110 g/t silver for a total of 1.7 million oz. of gold and 44.7 million oz. of silver. Additional inferred pit resources total 14.4 million tonnes at 2.3 g/t gold and 47 g/t silver for 1.1 million gold oz. and 21.7 million silver oz.
A 2019 preliminary economic assessment on Eskay Creek outlined an open pit mine producing an average of 306,000 gold-equivalent oz. annually at all-in sustaining costs of US$757 per oz.
Between 1994 and 2008, Eskay Creek produced 3.3 million gold oz. and 160 million oz. of silver from head grades of 45 g/t gold and 2,224 g/t silver.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)