South32 (LON: S32) has the next 11 months to decide whether it wants to write a US$150-million cheque for a 50% stake in Trilogy Metals’ (TSX: TMQ; NYSE-AM: TMQ) two base metal deposits in Alaska — Arctic and Bornite.
To keep that option, the mining and metals giant has been required since 2017 to spend US$10 million a year on exploration at Bornite, which has an inferred resource of 5.45 billion lb. copper contained within 141.9 million tonnes grading 1.74% copper, and another 77 million lb. cobalt contained within 182.4 million tonnes grading 0.019% cobalt.
Bornite is just 25 km southwest of Trilogy’s Arctic deposit, the highest grade, open pit volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) in the world, where a prefeasibility study in early 2018 envisioned annual production of 159 million lb. copper, 199 million lb. zinc, 33 million lb. lead, 3.3 million oz. silver and 30,600 oz. gold over a 12-year mine life. Most of the mineralization at Arctic is within an area of 1 sq. km extending 250 metres below surface.
Continue reading at The Northern Miner.