Mineral Exploration

Winter 2016

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

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/756078

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Page 14 of 71

W inte r 20 1 6 15 PHOTO COURTESY PRETIUM RESOURCES INC. The Green and the Brown By PETER CAULFIELD There's plenty of opportunity in both new and old B.C. mineral exploration regions T he British Columbia mineral exploration and development industry appears to be emerging from its long, silent hibernation. Like bears leaving their caves in spring, B.C.-based prospectors and entrepreneurs are stretching and looking for new opportunities. Fortunately, there are plenty of possibilities all around the province. Like automobiles, there are new mineral projects – often called greenfield assets – and used – brownfields – in which to invest money and time. Libby Sharman, research associate at the Mineral Deposit Research Unit, a collaborative venture between the University of British Columbia and the mining industry, says brownfield and greenfield projects come with their respective advantages and disadvantages. "For example, they differ according to access and the cost of exploration," Sharman says. "Greenfield deposits are more difficult and more expensive to get to, but if they pan out, the rewards can be greater than a brownfield project." Greenfield or brownfield, there are green shoots of renewed activity in B.C. mineral exploration circles now, says Michael Gray, senior vice-president and team head of Canadian mining equity research, Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd. Despite the recent slowdown, B.C. remains a good jurisdiction for exploration and mine development, says Gray. "The projects in the best position for development now are those with high margins at spot prices that can be permitted and have relatively low capital costs," he says. B.C. has many attractive attributes for mineral explorers and developers: solid infrastructure, improving relationships with First Nations, land-use certainty (for the most part) and very inexpensive energy. "In addition, the B.C. government has been very supportive of mineral exploration and development," says Gray. For example, the minister of energy and mines developed a mining plan in 2004- 05 and established revenue-sharing agreements with First Nations. "Successful mines with revenue-sharing have helped to increase acceptance of exploration and development in B.C.," says Gray. There are many greenfield and brownfield projects in B.C. that deserve attention. Due to limited space, however, only five will be looked at here. They are, on the greenfield side, Colorado Resources Ltd.'s KSP project, Eagle Plains Resources Ltd.'s Iron Range, and Amarc Resources Ltd.'s IKE project. And on the brownfield side, Pretium Resources Inc.'s Brucejack and Ascot Resources Inc.'s Premier. Apologies to the other fine projects we had to leave out. Turning fresh sod The exploration focus of Colorado Resources Ltd. is its KSP property, located southeast of the past-producing Snip Mine in north-central British Columbia and west of Pretium's Brucejack deposit and Seabridge Gold Inc.'s KSM project. "We've been focused on KSP for the last three years," says Colorado president and CEO Adam Travis. The target at KSP is high-grade gold veins similar to the Snip Mine and Pretium Resources Inc.'s Valley of the Kings deposit, as well as bulk tonnage copper-gold mineralization similar to Seabridge's KSM project. Colorado Resources has an option to acquire up to an 80 per cent interest in the KSP property with SnipGold Corporation (SnipGold was taken over by Seabridge earlier in 2016). In October 2016, Colorado Resources announced the final results of the last eight drill holes in its 2016 drill program Site view of Pretium Resources Inc.'s Brucejack project.

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