YUKON EXPATRIATE RESOURCES is advancing its 61%-owned Wolverine base metal property near Finalyson Lake to the underground exploration state. Joint venture partner ATNA RESOURCES holds the remaining interest, but Expatriate is the operator. Talks are underway to raise approximately $8 million for the work.
Mobilization for the underground test mining and exploration program would begin in late fall 2004 and continue for about eight months. A ramp from surface to the upper levels of the deposit, drifting and test mining are planned A bulk sample of the ore would be taken for continuing metallurgical and other studies. A hangingwall drift will provide a drill platform for definition drilling of the deposit to provide a detailed reserve estimate and undertake production mine planning. A bankable feasibility study is planned later. Estimated cost of the underground program is $7.5 million.
Expatriate has re-initiated permitting of the underground development plan and its application for a Class B water licence. GARTNER LEE LTD. is assisting Expatriate with reactivation of the initial application that was made in early 2001, and with other permitting and environmental work related to development of the Wolverine deposit as an underground mine.
The Wolverine deposit contains estimated probable reserves of 3.74 million tonnes grading 12.43% Zn, 1.44% Cu, 1.37% Cu, 336.6 g/t Ag, and 1.59 g/t Au. Additional indicated and inferred resources total an estimated 5.8 million tonnes at similar grades. These figures are posted at www.expatriateresources.com. The current reserves would create a mine life of eight years at 1,250 tonnes/day, according to Expatriate.