Mineral Exploration

Winter 2019

Mineral Exploration is the official publication of the Association of Mineral Exploration British Columbia.

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44 Mineral Exploration | amebc.ca PHOTO COURTESY GOVERNMENT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA MGX Minerals Inc. completed about six holes totalling about 2,365 m in a 16-hole, 5,653 m program spanning 2018 and 2019 on its Fran property. Drilling intersected widespread potentially gold-bearing late- stage sulphides in altered host rocks of its Bullion Alley zone. Base and precious metal projects ZincX Resources Corp. concentrated its 2019 drilling on the Cardiac Creek zone of its Akie project, emphasizing the initial five years of projected mine output. Geotechnical and hydrogeological data were collected from the same holes to confirm surface site selections. Four large- diameter HQ boreholes were completed, totaling 2,347 m. Hole A-19-151 intersected 9.8 per cent Zn+Pb and 15.5 g/t Ag across a true width of 16.37 m, including 10.74 per cent Zn+Pb and 16.74 g/t Ag across a true width of 14.24 m. The true width of the Cardiac Creek zone is estimated at 30.85 m. A 2018 preliminary economic assessment, based on a conventional underground mine and concentrator operation, reported a mine life of at least 18 years at a production rate of 4,000 tpd. InZinc Mining Ltd. followed up its 2018 drilling program on its Indy project with an extensive soil geochemical survey aimed at defining and prioritizing future drill targets on what the company considers to be a vent-proximal SEDEX deposit. Specialty metal projects Following up on its 2018 drill program on its Aley niobium project, Taseko Mines Ltd. continued environmental monitoring and began product development and marketing initiatives. A pilot plant program was initiated, to build on bench-scale niobium flotation and converter processes and to provide product samples for marketing. Defense Metals Corp. completed a 30 t bulk sample at its Wicheeda carbonatite project, and in June released a NI 43-101 report that set out, at a 1 per cent LREE cutoff, an inferred resource of 11.37 Mt grading 1.14 per cent Ce, 0.53 per cent La, 0.23 per cent Nd, 0.04 per cent Nb, 0.01 per cent Sm and 1.96 per cent LREE. In September, the company completed a 13-hole, 2,005 m drilling program, which left the deposit open to the north and west. FPX Nickel Corp. reported bench-scale test results for metal extraction on the Baptiste deposit at its Decar project. The company is considering testing a 10,000 t bulk sample. A conventional flow sheet based on grinding, magnetic separation and flotation processes consistently produced clean nickel concentrates grading 63 per cent to 65 per cent Ni with significant improvements in recovery relative to previous testing. Byproduct iron ore concentrates graded 60 per cent to 65 per cent Fe. Coal projects Conuma Coal Resources Ltd. drilled a total of 22 holes at six sites on its Hermann project southeast of Tumbler Ridge and began work on a program of 36 geotechnical holes. In July the company applied to the Environmental Assessment Office to open the Hermann pit as a "satellite" to the Wolverine mine. If given approval, the Hermann pit would produce 1.5 to 3 Mt of coal per year and add up to seven years to the life of the wash plant at the Wolverine mine. Conuma continued drilling on its Brule mine coal lease area and was planning in-pit drilling at the Wolverine mine to test possible expansion underground. With Mines Act approval for its Murray River underground coal mine in place since 2018, HD Mining International Ltd. awaited an investment decision to move ahead. The proposed mine contains a Proven reserve estimated at 291 Mt of mineable coal. Industrial mineral projects The environmental assessment review and Mines Act permit process is underway for Graymont Western Canada's Giscome lime production project. Initially, up to 600,000 t of limestone would be quarried annually, with the crushed stone moved by truck to vertical lime kilns near Giscome, and the product transported by existing rail lines to service mining and pulp and paper operations in northern British Columbia. Production is expected to start by about 2025. NORTHEAST AND NORTH CENTRAL REGIONS Logging core at the Mt. Milligan mine.

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