Eskay Creek in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle was at one time the world’s highest grade gold mine before Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) finally shut it down in 2008 due to low gold prices. The underground mine produced 3.3 million oz. gold and 160 million oz. silver at average grades of 45 grams gold per tonne and 2,224 grams silver over its 14-year mine life.
Now Skeena Resources (TSXV: SKE; US-OTC: SKREF) wants to put Eskay Creek back into production as an open pit, with grades of 4.5 grams gold per tonne, which would make it one of the highest grade open pit operations in the world. Grades at most open pit mines typically run 0.5 to 1 gram gold per tonne.
“Eskay Creek is one of the best open pit deposits held by a junior company in the world,” Walter Coles Jr., the company’s president and CEO, tells The Northern Miner, noting that it could potentially be fast tracked into production as early as 2025. Skeena is on track to complete a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) before the end of the third quarter of this year.
Since optioning the project from Barrick in December 2017, Skeena has completed a resource estimate …
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