Skeena Announces Maiden Resource Estimate for Eskay Creek
Vancouver, BC (September 17, 2018) Skeena Resources Limited (TSX.V: SKE, OTCQX: SKREF) (“Skeena” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE), for the Eskay Creek Project, which has been reviewed and validated by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. This MRE was derived from 7,583 historical surface and underground diamond drill holes totalling 651,332 metres. Drilling data from the Company’s recently initiated and ongoing Phase I metallurgical and infill drilling program is not included in this MRE. The effective date of this MRE is September 18, 2018 and a technical report will be filed on the Company’s website and SEDAR within 45 days of this disclosure. For additional Eskay Creek maps & figures please view the Company’s website.
Pit Constrained Resources
The pit constrained Indicated resource includes 207,000 gold equivalent ounces within 1.09 million tonnes at an average gold equivalent grade of 5.9 g/t. The pit constrained Inferred resource includes 589,000 ounces within 4.26 million tonnes at an average gold equivalent grade of 4.3 g/t.
Table 1: Indicated and Inferred pit constrained resources reported at a 1.0 g/t AuEQ cut-off grade.
The underground Indicated resource estimate includes 814,000 gold equivalent ounces within 2.51 million tonnes at an average gold equivalent grade of 10.1 g/t. The underground Inferred resource estimate includes 261,000 ounces within 0.81 million tonnes at an average gold equivalent grade of 10.0 g/t.
Table 2: Indicated and Inferred underground resources reported at a 5.5 g/t AuEQ cut-off grade.
Walter Coles, Skeena’s President and CEO commented, “This initial resource estimate validates our thesis that there are substantial amounts of potentially economic mineralization left at Eskay Creek below the cut-off grades used by historical operators of the mine. As this resource estimate has been optimized for gold and silver, future resource estimates will also include base metal credits. In addition, we believe the property has exciting exploration upside for both precious and base metals at depth.”
Paul Geddes, Vice President of Exploration and Resource Development further adds, “The Mineral Resource Estimate at Eskay Creek demonstrates excellent grade continuity and precious metal tenor. Also, the methodology of applying the understanding of geology and mineralization controls into the rigorous estimation process make this estimate very robust such that it can accurately inform future economic analyses and optimizations. Underground resources occur immediately adjacent to or within 100 metres of existing underground infrastructure and although all historical drift and fill stopes have been backfilled, we elected to exclude any potential resources that occur within three metres of any historical development.”
Table 3: Pit constrained and underground sensitivities to AuEQ (g/t) cut-off grade.
Eskay Creek Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate Notes:
The mineral resources disclosed in this press release were estimated using the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM”) standards on mineral resources and reserves definitions, and guidelines prepared by the CIM standing committee on reserve definitions and adopted by the CIM council.
- Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the mineral resources estimated will be converted into mineral reserves.
- As defined by NI 43‑101, the Independent and Qualified Person for the Eskay Creek MRE is Sheila Ulansky P.Geo., of SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. who has reviewed and validated the Eskay Creek MRE. The effective date of the MRE is September 18, 2018.
- Resources are reported in-situ and undiluted for both pit constrained and underground scenarios and are considered to have reasonable prospects for economic extraction.
- In accordance with NI 43-101 recommendations, the number of metric tonnes was rounded to the nearest thousand. Any discrepancies in the totals are due to rounding effects.
- Mineralization occurring within three metres of historical underground workings is not included in this MRE.
- Metal prices used for the AuEQ calculation are US$1,275 per ounce of gold, and US$17.00 per ounce of silver. AuEQ = Au (g/t) + [Ag (g/t)/75].
- Metallurgical recoveries of 80% AuEQ were utilized in the determination of cut-off grades for underground resources.
- The calculated pit constrained cut-off grade was determined to be 0.7 g/t AuEQ and the underground cut-off grade was determined to be 4.1 g/t AuEQ. Cut-off grades must be re-evaluated considering prevailing market conditions (including gold prices, exchange rates and costs).
- At the request of the Company, the pit constrained resources are reported at a higher cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t AuEQ and underground resources are reported at a cut-off grade of 5.5 g/t AuEQ.Block tonnage was estimated from volumes using a bulk density formula that was applied using interpolated lead, zinc, copper and antimony grades. This density formula was derived from the historic operator based on comparisons between actual measurements and analysis at the Eskay Creek MineSG = (Pb + Zn + Cu + Sb) x 0.03491 + 2.67 (where all metals are reported in percent).
- Ten mineralization domains were created to constrain the estimate - two pit constrained domains and eight underground domains.
- Each stratiform massive sulphide domain was defined by individual wireframes created in Leapfrog GeoTM (Seequent) software using geologically realistic numeric interpolants within major fault blocks. Mineralization domains were created using a 40-50% probability of a nominal combined precious and base metal cut-off grade being greater than 0.9 to 1.0 g/t AuEQ depending on the domain. Each domain was modified or reassessed individually to consider presiding mineralization features.
- Although domaining was initially constrained using a combination of Au, Ag, Cu, Pb, and Zn, the primary metals considered for this resource estimate are Au and Ag
- High grade capping was performed on each domain using raw assay data before applying 1 metre composites within hard-domain boundaries and using equally distributed composite tails. Gold capping values ranged from 30 to 350 g/t and silver capping values ranged from 200 to 15,000 g/t.
- Gold and silver variograms were used to determine the spatial relationship of the variables over distance.
- Search orientations were created using the dynamic anisotropy function in Vulcan software using a single surface which mimicked the local lithological units.
- Ordinary Kriging (OK) was used for the estimation of gold and silver in all domains, except for the 22 and 21E Zones where an Inverse Distance Squared (ID2) interpolation was selected because too few samples to were available to derive meaningful variograms.
- Resources were estimated using Maptek Vulcan 10.1.5 software from drill hole sampling in a model using a parent block size of 3 x 3 x 2 metres and sub-block size of 1 x 1 x 1 metres.
- The mineral resources were estimated using three passes with increasing search radii based on variogram ranges.
- Estimation ranges varied between 35 to 60 metres and 30 to 60 metres for gold and silver respectively, depending on the domain.
- Indicated and Inferred resources were categorized during gold interpolation Passes 1 and 2 respectively.
- The Indicated category (Pass 1) is defined by blocks interpolated using a minimum of 5 holes and a maximum distance of 30 metres to a drill hole showing reasonable geological and grade continuity. In areas where blocks were interpolated during Pass 1 but continuity is insufficient or blocks were isolated, the blocks were reclassified to Inferred on a visual basis.
- Inferred resources (Pass 2) were interpolated using a minimum of 3 holes and a maximum distance to a drill hole composite of 60 metres. Due to the lower drill hole density in the 22 and 21E Zones, a minimum of 2 holes were required.
- A final third pass using three times the variogram range was used to infill any un-estimated blocks. These blocks are uncategorized and are neither Inferred nor Indicated resources.
- Estimates use metric units (metres, tonnes and g/t). Metal contents are presented in troy ounces (metric tonne x grade / 31.10348).
- Neither the Company, nor SRK, is aware of any known environmental, permitting, legal, title-related, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other relevant issue that could materially affect this mineral resource estimate.
- The abundance and significance of As, Hg and Sb are unknown but currently under evaluation.
- The quantity and grade of reported Inferred mineral resources in this estimation are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to re-define these Inferred mineral resources as Indicated mineral resources. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading them to the Indicated mineral resources category.
Table 4: Pit constrained scenario assumptions for determining cut-off grades with reasonable prospects of economic extraction.
Table 5: Underground scenario assumptions for determining cut-off grades with reasonable prospects of economic extraction.
Eskay Creek Mineralization
The Eskay Creek deposits represent a precious and base metal-rich volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit, hosted in volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Lower to Middle Jurassic Hazelton Group. Mineralization is contained in several stratiform, disseminated and stock work vein zones that display a variety of textural and mineralogical characteristics. The bulk of the mineralization is hosted in the 21B zone, a tabular stratiform lens that consists of well-bedded, clastically reworked sulfides and sulfosalts interbedded with unmineralized, carbonaceous argillite. In addition to extremely high precious metal grades, Eskay Creek is distinguished from conventional VMS deposits by its association with elements of the ‘epithermal suite’ (Sb-Hg-As), sulfosalt-rich mineralogy, and the dominance of clastic sulfides and sulfosalts.
The Independent and Qualified Person for the Eskay Creek MRE is Sheila Ulansky P.Geo., of SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (Vancouver), who has reviewed, validated and approved the Eskay Creek MRE as well as the technical disclosure in this release. In accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, Paul Geddes, P.Geo. Vice President Exploration and Resource Development, is the Qualified Person for the Company and has validated and approved the technical and scientific content of this news release. The Company strictly adheres to CIM Best Practices Guidelines in conducting, documenting, and reporting its activities on its various exploration projects
Skeena Resources Limited is a junior Canadian mining exploration company focused on developing prospective precious and base metal properties in the Golden Triangle of northwest British Columbia, Canada. The Company’s primary activities are the exploration and development of the past-producing Snip mine and the recently optioned Eskay Creek mine. In addition, the Company has completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment on the GJ copper-gold porphyry project.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Skeena Resources Limited,
Walter Coles Jr.
President & CEO
Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements
Certain statements made, and information contained herein may constitute “forward looking information” and “forward looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation. These statements and information are based on facts currently available to the Company and there is no assurance that actual results will meet management’s expectations. Forward-looking statements and information may be identified by such terms as “anticipates”, “believes”, “targets”, “estimates”, “plans”, “expects”, “may”, “will”, “could” or “would”. Forward-looking statements and information contained herein are based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, the estimation of mineral resources and reserves, the realization of resource and reserve estimates, metal prices, taxation, the estimation, timing and amount of future exploration and development, capital and operating costs, the availability of financing, the receipt of regulatory approvals, environmental risks, title disputes and other matters. While the Company considers its assumptions to be reasonable as of the date hereof, forward-looking statements and information are not guarantees of future performance and readers should not place undue importance on such statements as actual events and results may differ materially from those described herein. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements or information except as may be required by applicable securities laws.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Appendix: Eskay Creek Deposit Total Indicated and Inferred Resources.