Seabridge Gold Inc. (TSX:SEA,NYSE:SA) announced the completion of its first resource estimate for the Iron Cap Lower zone at its KSM project, which showed 164 million tonne inferred resource averaging 0.59 g/t gold and 0.27 percent copper (3.1 million ounces of gold and 961 million pounds of copper).
Seabridge Gold Inc. (TSX:SEA,NYSE:SA) announced the completion of its first resource estimate for the Iron Cap Lower zone at its KSM project, which showed 164 million tonne inferred resource averaging 0.59 g/t gold and 0.27 percent copper (3.1 million ounces of gold and 961 million pounds of copper). The grade of the Iron Cap Lower zone is a significantly higher grade than the Iron Cap resource, located above the Lower zone.
As quoted in the press release:
Last year’s drill program added a total of 431 million tonnes of inferred resources at Deep Kerr and the Iron Cap Lower Zone, collectively containing an estimated 5.4 million ounces of gold and 4.2 billion pounds of copper.
Core zones are the deeper focused parts of porphyry deposits characterized by higher fluid flux and abundant veining which generally results in higher grades than the shallower margins of the porphyry deposits usually associated with them. Since 2012, Seabridge has been successfully exploring for core zones beneath the known porphyry deposits at KSM with the objective of enhancing grades and improving project economics.
Resource estimates for The Iron Cap Lower Zone were confined to a geological model that was constructed around three distinct intrusions. The dimensions of these intrusions are about 350 meters by 750 meters and open at depth. It seems that the margins of these intrusions tend to control the distribution of higher gold and copper grades and may have provided metal to the surrounding wall rock, much of which is present in the Iron Cap resource estimate. The distinguishing characteristic of Lower Iron Cap is a zone of intensive silica alteration that seems to be spatially and temporally associated with clay dominant and sericite dominant alteration types. Magnetite, biotite and orthoclase are commonly present in deeper quartz-sulfide veins, a relationship that implies vertical zonation and significant depth potential for the Iron Cap Lower Zone.
Rudi Fronk, chairman and CEO of Seabridge, commented:
This first resource estimate at the Iron Cap Lower Zone is further confirmation that, until recently, we have only been seeing the tops of KSM’s deposits, with better grades below. Fortunately, the location, size and configuration of these deeper core zones appear to support extraction by the most cost effective underground mining methods. This is especially true of the Iron Cap Lower Zone which is located close to key proposed infrastructure including planned tunnels which could be used to facilitate mining. Given these factors, along with the significantly higher metal values, we are very confident that our core zone program has the potential to achieve its objective of improving project economics.