Mr. Walter Coles Jr. reports
SKEENA DISCOVERS ADDITIONAL HIGH GRADE MINERALIZATION AT ESKAY CREEK ALBINO WASTE FACILITY INCLUDING 10.13 G/T AUEQ OVER 16.77 METRES
Skeena Resources Ltd. has released new drilling results from the 2021 phase II Albino waste facility (AWF) investigation at the Eskay Creek gold-silver project located in the Golden Triangle of British Columbia. This expansion program, totalling 212 metres over 12 vertical drill holes, was completed utilizing an air rotary drill rig from the surface of the permitted AWF in Q4 2021. Analytical results from the recently completed drill holes are detailed in this release.
Eskay Creek AWF phase II 2021 highlights:
- 5.90 grams per tonne gold, 317 g/t silver (10.13 g/t gold equivalent) over 16.77 m (SK-21-899);
- 4.53 g/t Au, 168 g/t Ag (6.77 g/t AuEq) over 12.20 m (SK-21-901);
- 5.84 g/t Au, 222 g/t Ag (8.80 g/t AuEq) over 13.72 m (SK-21-903;
- 3.39 g/t Au, 156 g/t Ag (5.47 g/t AuEq) over 16.77 m (SK-21-908);
- 3.76 g/t Au, 151 g/t Ag (5.77 g/t AuEq) over 16.76 m (SK-21-909).
Phase II drilling substantively increases AWF mineralization
Phase II AWF expansion drilling has been very successful in increasing the Au-Ag mineralization discovered during the company's initial drill program in Q1 2021. This new drilling was completed from a floating barge on the water surface of the AWF on 50 m staggered drill centres. Highlights of the drilling include SK-21-899: 5.90 g/t Au, 317 g/t Ag (10.13 g/t AuEq) over 16.77 m, SK-21-903: 5.84 g/t Au, 222 g/t Ag (8.80 g/t AuEq) over 13.72 m and are comparable in grade and width with the mineralization intersected in the phase I program. Courtesy of this expansion drilling, mineralization within the AWF has now been increased to an area measuring 350 m by 125 m. The remainder of the AWF is untested by drilling and remains open for expansion.
To date, the combined phase I and phase II programs have intersected a mineralized horizon averaging 13.20 m (true thickness) across 20 drill holes with length-weighted grades averaging 4.03 g/t Au, 163 g/t Ag (6.21 g/t AuEq), 39 parts per million Hg (mercury), 331 ppm As (arsenic) and 922 ppm Sb (antimony). The length-weighted concentrations of Hg, As and Sb from the combined AWF programs are, to date, consistent with the company's pit-constrained mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the in situ Eskay Creek deposits.
Current status and next steps
The company anticipates continuing the phase II program in early Q1 2022 with two drill rigs from the ice surface once the engineered ice thicknesses at the AWF meets safety requirements. Staggered 50 m drill spacings are expected to be completed to determine the extents of the mineralization followed by infill on 25 m centres.
Albino waste facility discussion
Situated west of the Eskay Creek mine site, the Albino waste facility was utilized by former operators as a subaqueous repository for mine waste and included both development waste rock as well as mill tailings. It is estimated that approximately two million tonnes of waste rock and tailings material was deposited into the AWF during the previous operations at Eskay Creek.
During historical operations, the underground mine development was largely driven in the often-mineralized footwall rhyolite sequences below the mined contact mudstone. Although these rocks possessed variable Au-Ag tenor, former operators considered the rhyolite-hosted mineralization uneconomic due to the high cut-off grades required at the time. Hence, this development rock was transferred to the AWF for subaqueous deposition.
About Skeena Resources Ltd.
Skeena Resources is a Canadian mining exploration and development company focused on revitalizing the past-producing Eskay Creek gold-silver mine located in Tahltan Territory in the Golden Triangle of northwestern British Columbia, Canada. The company released a prefeasibility study for Eskay Creek in July, 2021, which highlights an open-pit average grade of 4.57 g/t AuEq, an after-tax net present value (discounted at 5 per cent) of $1.4-billion, 56-per-cent internal rate of return and a 1.4-year payback at $1,550 (U.S.) per ounce Au. Skeena is currently completing both infill and exploration drilling to advance Eskay Creek to full feasibility by Q1 2022.
Quality assurance/quality control
Once received from the drill and processed, all drill core samples are sawn in half, labelled and bagged. The remaining drill core is subsequently securely stored on site. Numbered security tags are applied to lab shipments for chain-of-custody requirements. The company inserts quality control (QC) samples at regular intervals in the sample stream, including blanks and reference materials with all sample shipments to monitor laboratory performance. The QA/QC program was designed and approved by Lynda Bloom, PGeo, of Analytical Solutions Ltd., and is overseen by the company's qualified person, Paul Geddes, PGeo, vice-president, exploration and resource development.
Drill core samples are submitted to ALS Geochemistry's analytical facility in North Vancouver, B.C., for preparation and analysis. The ALS facility is accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard for gold assays and all analytical methods include quality control materials at set frequencies with established data acceptance criteria. The entire sample is crushed and one kilogram is pulverized. Analysis for gold is by 50-gram fire assay fusion with atomic absorption (AAS) finish with a lower limit of 0.01 ppm and upper limit of 100 ppm. Samples with gold assays greater than 100 ppm are reanalyzed using a 50 g fire assay fusion with gravimetric finish. Analysis for silver is by 50 g fire assay fusion with gravimetric finish with a lower limit of five ppm and upper limit of 10,000 ppm. Samples with silver assays greater than 10,000 ppm are reanalyzed using a gravimetric silver concentrate method. A selected number of samples are also analyzed using a 48-multielement geochemical package by a four-acid digestion, followed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) and also for mercury using an aqua regia digest with inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) finish. Samples with sulphur reporting greater than 10 per cent from the multielement analysis are reanalyzed for total sulphur by Leco furnace and infrared spectroscopy.
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