Seabridge Gold announces that exploration drilling this summer on its 100%-owned KSM Project in northwestern British Columbia has discovered an epithermal style of gold occurrence which contains significant widths of higher gold grades including narrow veins with the highest gold grades found at the project to date. The claim blocks are in the Iskut-Stikine region in British Columbia, approximately 20 kilometres southeast of the Eskay Creek Mine.
Induced polarization surveying was utilized as final confirmation, prior to drilling, that the sulfide or mineralizing system at KSM was of a world class scale and could satisfy Noranda’s minimum exploration criteria. A pole – dipole IP survey was conducted on 7 widely spaced lines and was designed for the best combination of depth penetration and resolution. It employed an “expander array”, consisting of four 100m receiver dipoles, two 200 m receiver dipoles and finally two 300 m receiver dipoles for a total array length of 1500 m. The widespread strong chargeability and low resistivity responses detected in rocks beneath the Sulphurets thrust fault satisfactorily demonstrate the extent of sulfide bearing, altered rocks. However, as is typical of the IP method, it does not differentiate between areas of strong pyrite but weak chalcopyrite (copper sulfide) mineralization or those with both pyrite and chalcopyrite.
On the contiguous with Seabridge’s KSM property Treaty Creek property (American Creek Res.) magnetotelluric survey carried out in the summer of 2011 (Quantec Geoscience). The survey revealed a large conductive body at depth which extends upward to the surface and can be mapped between MT sites 214 and 216. This area contains gossanous outcrops along with surface mineralization and also includes the previously explored Orpiment zone. The survey also shows a more prominent feeder extending over 3km from the large conductive body at depth. This feeder is approximately 750m wide and extends to the location of the Copper Belle zone where another large conductive body (less than 200ohm-m) appears on the survey. The north east tip of Copper Belle, a bulk-tonnage type gold-copper-molybdenum porphyry, appears to be located at the north east tip of this lowly resistive anomaly. Details..
KSM has proven and probable reserves totaling 38.2 million ounces of gold and 10 billion pounds of copper in four very large deposits which have an average grade of 0.55 grams per tonne of gold, 0.21% copper and 2.74 grams per tonne of silver. The new discovery has intercepts of gold and silver grades that are substantially higher. Drill hole C-12-01 encountered epithermal style mineralization in an entirely new zone at shallow depth and low elevation, called the Camp zone. This hole returned two 2 meter intercepts grading above 8 grams of gold per tonne (greater than 0.25 ounces of gold per tonne). A second hole, C-12-02, drilled 400 meters southeast of C-12-01, intersected 22.0 meters averaging 8.94 grams per tonne of gold and 41.6 grams per tonne of silver. This hole returned a 2 meter intercept of 66.7 grams of gold per tonne (more than 2 ounces per tonne) and 287 grams per tonne of silver (nearly 10 ounces per tonne). A third hole into this zone, C-12-03 drilled 900 meters to the northeast of C-12-02, returned 98.7 meters at an average gold grade of 2.11 grams per tonne including 17.7 meters averaging 4.41 grams per tonne of gold and an additional 6.0 meter intercept averaging 6.24 grams of gold per tonne.
Seabridge Gold CEO Rudi Fronk said the new discovery appears to have the potential to make a significant contribution to KSM’s already robust economics. “Obviously, we are at a very early stage in the discovery process. However, the Camp zone is readily accessible and has the highest gold grades found to date. All three holes into this new zone found excellent gold values,” he said.
“This is not the target we were looking for in this year’s program…we were exploring to find a high grade, copper-rich core and that work continues with encouraging results. Our original assumption was that neighboring Pretium Gold had the higher grade, epithermal (top) portion of the very large gold-copper porphyry system we see at KSM and that our property would probably host the high grade copper core of the entire complex at depth. The new Camp zone appears to be part of an epithermal system with chemistry similar to that found nearby at Pretium’s extraordinary Brucejack deposit. We intend to complete another six holes into the Camp zone this drill season to establish the orientation of this new discovery. At the same time, we continue to pursue several promising copper core zone targets. An additional exploration drill rig has been mobilized to site, bringing the total to three,” Fronk said.