BRITISH COLUMBIA – Results of last year’s exploration drilling at the Kemess North project of Toronto-based NORTHGATE MINERALS must have company executives smiling. The high-grade core at the Kemess North deposit has been extended 50-70 metres to the east, and a significant area of near-surface mineralization was identified in the Nugget zone.
The high-grade core of the Kemess North deposit is bounded by east-west and north-south faults. The best grades were reported from hole KN-04-05 which tested 1.269 g/t Au and 0.514% Cu over 71.7 metres and from hole KN-04-07 which tested 1.550 g/t Au and 0.530% Cu over 120.5 metres. A plan map of the original and new interpretations of the Kemess North pit is posted at www.NorthgateExploration.com.
Drilling in 2004 at the Nugget zone intersected wide intercepts of mineralization similar to that at Kemess North beginning between three and 43-metres below the surface. The best assay was 1.087 g/t Au and 0.247% Cu over 36.7 metres from hole KN-04-05.
Northgate has budgeted $2 million for exploration at Kemess this year. Drilling has begun at the Bear claims immediately south of the mill. Other holes are planned to test the fault-offset portion of the high-grade Kemess North core. The Nugget zone will be tested to determine if it could be mined as a starter pit for the Kemess North project.
The Kemess North deposit is estimated to contain at least 414 million tonnes of proven and probable resources at grades of 0.3 g/t Au and 0.16% Cu. In terms of contained metals, the deposit has 4 million oz of gold and 1.45 billion lb of copper. Development will allow Northgate to increase its mill capacity to between 85,000 and 100,000 tonnes/day. Reserves will ensure mining until 2020.
This year the Kemess mine will produce 280,000 oz of gold and 76 million lb of copper. Cash costs net of byproduct credits will be about $196/oz of gold on a fully absorbed basis. A development decision for Kemess North is expected in mid-2005.