Arctic Deposit – Overview & Development Highlights
The Arctic deposit is located in the Ambler Mining District of Alaska – a safe, mining friendly jurisdiction approximately 470 kilometers northwest of Fairbanks.
We are advancing Arctic to a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) and have been focused on engineering and environmental site investigation studies that will form the basis for completing the PFS in the first quarter of 2018.
Highlights of the 2017 news on the Arctic Project include:
- March 20, 2017 – we announced our intentions to undertake a pre-feasibility study on the high-grade Arctic deposit, with the PFS supported by information collected during the 2015 and 2016 field seasons as well as additional information to be collected during the 2017 summer field program. A budget totaling $7.1 million for fiscal 2017 has received board approval, and will focus mainly on the Arctic Project PFS with an anticipated completion date of Q1 2018.
- April 19, 2017 – we announced results of a completed metallurgical test work program at the Arctic deposit in support of advancing the project to a pre-feasibility study. Highlights of recoveries and concentrate grades have improved from previous study include:
- Copper recoveries improved from 87% to 92%;
- Zinc recoveries improved from 87% to 88%;
- Copper concentrate average grade remains high at 29%;
- Zinc concentrate average grade improves from 56% to 60%; and
- In-pit geotechnical and hydrology studies are now completed to a PFS level.
- April 25, 2017 – we announced an updated resource estimate for the Arctic deposit. In-fill drilling resulted in a 50% increase in resource tonnes in the Indicated category at substantially the same average grades as the previous estimate, and contains over 40% more copper and zinc metal. At a base case 0.5% copper equivalent cut-off grade, the Arctic deposit is estimated to contain in-pit Indicated Resources of 36.0 million tonnes at 3.07% copper, 4.23% zinc, 0.73% lead, 0.63 g/t gold and 47.6 g/t silver for 2.4 billion pounds of contained copper and 3.4 billion pounds of contained zinc.
- June 5, 2017 – we announced the engagement of Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc. to prepare the Arctic PFS technical report, Amec Foster Wheeler to complete mine planning and SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. to complete tailings and waste design, hydrology and environmental studies for the PFS.
- November 9, 2017 – we filed a National Instrument 43-101 technical report with the Canadian securities regulators relating to the Arctic Project which supports the resource estimate previously announced on April 25, 2017 which is of sufficient quality to support the Arctic pre-feasibility study.
Resources stated as contained within a pit shell developed using metal prices of US$3.00/lb copper, US$0.90/lb lead, US$1.00/lb zinc, US$1300/oz gold, US$18/oz silver, mining costs of US$3.00/tonne, milling and G&A costs of US$35/tonne, metallurgical recoveries of 92% for copper, 77% for lead, 88% for zinc, 63% for gold, 56% for silver and an average pit slope of 43 degrees.
More information on the Arctic project can be found in the National Instrument 43-101 report titled, “ NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Arctic Project, Northwest Alaska, USA dated November 9, 2017 with an effective date of April 25, 2017.
Property Description & Location
The Arctic deposit is located in the Ambler Mining District in the southern Brooks Range, in the NWAB of Alaska. The Property is geographically isolated with no current road access or nearby power infrastructure. The Property is located 270 kilometers east of the town of Kotzebue, 36 kilometers northeast of the village of Kobuk, and 260 kilometers west of the Dalton Highway, an all-weather state maintained highway.
Geology & Mineralization
On the Property, polymetallic volcanogenic massive sulphide (“VMS”) style deposits (including Arctic) and prospects are hosted in the Ambler Sequence, a group of Middle Devonian to Early Mississippian, metamorphosed, bimodal volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks with interbedded metasediments. VMS-style mineralization is found along the entire 110 kilometer strike length of the district.
Mineralization at Arctic occurs as semi-massive to massive sulphide beds within primarily graphitic and quartz mica (+/- chlorite) schists. The sulphide beds average 4 meters in thickness but vary from less than 1 meter up to as much as 18 meters in thickness. The bulk of the mineralization is within an area of roughly 1km2 with mineralization extending 250 meters below the surface. Mineralization is predominantly coarse-grained sulphides consisting mainly of chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena, tetrahedrite, arsenopyrite, pyrite and pyrrhotite. Trace amounts of electrum and enargite are also present.
Maps & Cross Sections