Mr. Walter Coles reports
SKEENA EXTENDS ESKAY CREEK RIFT WITH NEW DISCOVERY INTERSECTING 4.46 G/T AUEQ OVER 32.19 METRES
Skeena Resources Ltd. has released drilling results from the very first deep drill hole that successfully intersected the down-dip extension of the Eskay Creek deposits as part of the continuing 2022 regional and near-mine exploration programs at the Eskay Creek gold-silver project in the Golden Triangle of British Columbia. Analytical results from recently completed drill hole SK-22-1081 are detailed in this release as well as on the company's website.
Eskay Creek rift extended to depth with new mineralization
Exploratory drill hole SK-22-1081 has identified a completely new occurrence of rhyolite-hosted mineralization situated 650 metres down dip of the NEX zone in Eskay Deeps. This very broad interval grades 3.79 grams per tonne gold and 59.4 g/t silver (4.46 g/t gold equivalent) over 32.19 metres and includes numerous high-tenor subintervals, including 10.15 g/t Au and 44 g/t Ag (10.64 g/t AuEq) over one metre and 2.33 g/t Au and 699 g/t Ag (10.18 g/t AuEq) over one metre. Full assays for the entire intersection are detailed in an attached table.
Situated at a vertical depth of 850 metres below surface, the new gold-silver mineralization is hosted entirely within altered rhyolite breccias, which begin four metres below a very thin (fewer than one metre) and unmineralized layer of contact mudstone. The stratigraphic sequence, styles of mineralization, alteration and geochemical signatures are all analogous to those observed throughout the main Eskay Creek deposits.
"This new discovery suggests significant exploration potential north and west of the currently defined resources for the project. This also unequivocally demonstrates that the Eskay Creek mineralized system is still thriving at depth," commented Paul Geddes, the company's senior vice-president of exploration and resource development.
Walter Coles, the company's executive chairman, commented: "Preliminary drill testing of the Eskay Deeps was necessary to investigate the true size potential of the Eskay rift. It is still early days, but we are excited by this discovery, as it opens up an entirely new area for underground exploration."
Interpretation and implications for further exploration
Supported by modern geophysical data, lithogeochemical studies and structural studies, this new intersection corroborates the current thesis that the strike extension of the entire Eskay Creek rift north of the NEX zone has been offset northwest of its previously inferred trend. Due to the paucity of historical drilling, the area west of the formerly interpreted extension provides for exceptional exploration potential, especially considering this new occurrence of feeder-style mineralization.
Contact mudstone discussion
As previously mentioned, the new Eskay Deeps mineralization is entirely hosted within altered rhyolite breccias, consistent with footwall feeder-style mineralization observed throughout other ore bodies that comprise the Eskay Creek deposits. The thin and unmineralized interval of contact mudstone immediately overlying the feeder mineralization is not uncommon at Eskay Creek, especially within the 21 zones and most recently in the newly outlined 21A West zone. In the main deposits, exhalative, high-grade, contact-mudstone-hosted mineralization typically occurs within 150 metres of mineralized, synvolcanic feeder systems.
Historical drilling campaigns -- selective sampling
Surface-based drilling campaigns were performed by previous operators on very widely spaced drill centres in Eskay Deeps, with an emphasis to the northeast and often exceeding 100 metres between holes. Unfortunately, as is the case with this era of drilling, sampling of the drill holes was selective and incomplete, as the focus for exploration at the time was high-grade, contact-mudstone-hosted mineralization. An example of this situation is illustrated by historical 2004 drill hole C04-1291, which is situated approximately 100 metres east of the new discovery and was only selectively sampled. Due to the ground conditions and less-advanced drilling technologies available at the time, many of the drill holes were unable to achieve target depth and were abandoned prematurely.
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 northwest British Columbia, Canada. The company released a feasibility study for Eskay Creek in September, 2022, which highlights an open-pit average grade of four grams per tonne gold equivalent, an after-tax net present value at a 5-per-cent discount of $1.4-billion, an internal rate of return of 50 per cent, and a one-year payback at $1,700 (U.S.) per ounce gold and $19 (U.S.) per ounce silver. Skeena is currently continuing exploration drilling at Eskay Creek.
Exploration activities at the Eskay Creek project are administered on site by exploration manager Raegan Markel, PGeo, and director of exploration Adrian Newton, PGeo. In accordance with National Instrument 43-101 -- Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, Paul Geddes, PGeo, senior vice-president of exploration and resource development, is the qualified person for the company and has prepared, validated and approved the technical/scientific content of this news release. The company strictly adheres to CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum) best practice guidelines in conducting, documenting and reporting the exploration activities on its projects.
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 laboratory shipments for chain-of-custody requirements. The company inserts quality control samples at regular intervals in the sample stream, including blanks and reference materials with all sample shipments to monitor laboratory performance. The quality assurance/quality control program was designed and approved by Lynda Bloom, PGeo, of Analytical Solutions Ltd., and it is overseen by the company's qualified person, Paul Geddes, PGeo, vice-president of 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 g fire assay fusion with atomic absorption finish, with a lower limit of 0.01 part per million and an 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 an 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-element 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 digestion with inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy 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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