Seabridge Gold Inc. [SEA-TSX, SA-NYSE] said Monday it has launched a 7,500-metre drill program at the 3 Aces gold project in the Yukon, Canada, an asset it acquired two years ago from Golden Predator Mining Corp. Golden Predator continues to hold a royalty stake in the project.
The reverse circulation drill program will focus on the central core area of the project. Initial drilling aims to expand mineralized zones on the Hearts and Spades targets.
“Our team has been refining our new model and checking its concepts against field observations,’’ said Seabridge Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk. “They believe this model will provide the basis to integrate past and current drill results into meaningful zones,’’ he said. “We expect this program will help us prioritize mineralized zones and take us a step closer to delineating resources.’’
Seabridge Gold holds a 100% interest in several North American gold resource projects. The company’s principal assets are the KSM and Iskut properties near Stewart, B.C., and the Courageous Lake gold project in the Northwest Territories. KSM is one of the world’s largest undeveloped gold projects as measured by reserves. It is estimated to contain 47.3 million ounces of gold and 7.3 billion pounds of coper in proven and probable reserves.
The 3 Aces is a district-scale, orogenic-gold deposit, consisting of 1,734 claims, covering 357 square kilometres. It is located in a readily accessible part of the Yukon, northeast of Watson Lake. Seabridge has said it believes that the 3 Aces target is consistent with some of the biggest and richest gold deposits in the world, including the Californai mother lode belt, Juneau gold best and Muruntau in Uzbekistan and Obuasi in Ghana.
Seabridge acquired the asset in a deal that granted Golden Predator a 0.5% net smelter return royalty on the project.
Before it sold 3 Aces to Seabridge, Golden Predator made an early decision to bulk sample the project when it realized that much of the gold contained in its veins is high grade and nuggety. The ‘nugget effect’ occurs when the gold is not distributed evenly throughout the deposit but rather is accumulated in clumps within the veins with visible gold often sitting loosely in open spaces and along fractures.
To eliminate the cost of shipping bulk sample materials outside of Yukon, and to effectively manage the processing costs, Golden Predator built its own closed system processing plant.
In a press release Tuesday, Fronk said his company is looking for continuity that eluded previous operators and which is needed for resource definition.
The 3 Aces program plans to gest four target zones: Spades, Hearts, Hearts West, and Clubs.
Seabridge shares advanced on the news, rising 2.4% or 42 cents to $17.90. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $21.78 and $13.83.