Seabridge Gold Inc.â€™s [SEA-TSX; SA-NYSE] early results from this yearâ€™s drill program at the 100%-owned KSM project in northwestern British Columbia support a reshaping of the project which could enhance gold reserves, projected annual gold production and payback while also deferring and reducing major capital expenditures associated with block-cave development, Seabridge chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk announced. Confirmation is expected in next year’s second quarter when a new KSM preliminary feasibility study (PFS) is scheduled for completion.
â€œThe critical objective for our 2021 drill program at KSM was to enable us to merge our 2020 Snowfield acquisition into the greater KSM project,â€ said Fronk. â€œResults to date are very encouraging.â€ The KSM project hosts a huge gold-copper porphyry system in the Golden Triangle region.
Drilling is confirming the Snowfield geological model and block grades. Composited assay grades from the first of six holes drilled at Snowfield closely match the grades in the resource model inherited from the previous owner of Snowfield.
â€œBoth the Mitchell and Snowfield resource models are holding up very well. We foresee a seamless integration of Snowfield into KSM by blending Snowfield ore with Mitchell production, resulting in a meaningful extension of open-pit mining prior to any underground block-cave mining,â€ Fronk said.
The drilling at KSM this season consisted of 9,450 metres dedicated to several goals including 3,484 metres drilled at Snowfield and Mitchell to confirm model grades and obtain metallurgical sample material. The balance of the drilling was to evaluate the geotechnical characteristics on the margins of the Snowfield deposit and along the planned MTT tunnel route. Results from the first of six holes drilled at Snowfield along with the first four of five holes from Mitchell are reported in the attached table. Results from the remaining six holes will be reported when assay results are in hand.
The drill holes were sited in areas that are believed to be the source of early open pit production from the Mitchell and Snowfield deposits. Drill data are being incorporated into a resource update. Most of the drill holes were not completed through the ore zones, and consequently, finished in ore-grade rock.
Drill hole SF-21-05 at the Snowfield deposit included 430.9 metres of 1.08 g/t gold and 0.19% copper, including 85.5 metres of 1.27 g/y gold and 0.22% copper pus minor silver values. Highlights from drilling at the Mitchell deposit included hole M-21-150 that returned 417.0 metres of 0.71 g/t gold and 0.18% copper, including 68.0 metres of 0.98 g/t gold and 0.25% copper, plus minor silver.
Hole M-21-151 returned 444.5 metres of 0.89 g/t gold and 0.25% copper, including 66.5 metres of 1.33. g/t gold and 0.27% copper, plus minor silver. Hole M-21-152 returned 312.0 metres of 0.78 g/t gold and 0.28% copper, plus higher grade intervals and minor silbver. Hole M-21-153 returned 294.2 metres of 0.64 g/t gold and 0.21% copper plus a higher grade interval and minor silver.