Canadian Mining Journal


Red Chris East zone shapes up with 166 metres of 3 g/t gold and 1.5% copper

The Red Chris copper-gold mine in B.C. Credit: Newcrest Mining

The Red Chris copper-gold mine in B.C. Credit: Newcrest Mining

New drill results from Newcrest Mining and Imperial Metals‘ Red Chris joint venture in British Columbia continue to confirm high-grade copper-gold mineralization in the East zone, which project operator Newcrest is evaluating as a potential underground block cave mining opportunity.

Highlights from recent infill drilling at the East zone include 394 metres of 1.6 g/t gold and 0.86% copper starting at 650 metres, including a 166-metre section of 3 g/t gold and 1.5% copper in hole 634.

In a release, Newcrest managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas noted that the shorter intercept was significantly higher than expected in a porphyry system and that the results “confirm the presence of multiple discrete high grade pods of mineralization within the East zone.”

The JV expects to release a resource for the project, located 80 km south of Dease Lake, in the first quarter of 2021. Work on an underground decline into the East zone is slated to begin in late 2020 or early 2021.

Other drill highlights include: 547 metres of 0.53 g/t gold and 0.44% copper from 582 metres, including 68 metres of 1.7 g/t gold and 1.3% copper, from 1,018 metres depth in hole 633; and 496 metres of 0.55 g/t gold and 0.45% copper from 560 metres, including 10 metres of 2.1 g/t gold and 0.97% copper in hole 626.

Hole 631, a stepout hole 200 metres from RC616, which was the first to hit the new high-grade pod on the western edge of the East zone earlier this year, also returned 486 metres of 0.39 g/t gold and 0.33% copper from 612 metres.

Two drill programs employing eight diamond drills are currently under way at Red Chris – one focused on resource definition in the East zone, and the other a brownfields exploration program seeking out additional higher-grade mineralized zones within the Red Chris porphyry corridor.

Since Newcrest acquired its 70% interest in the Red Chris mine in August 2019, it has completed 67,690 metres of drilling. In 2019, the mine produced 71.9 million lb. copper, 36,471 oz. gold and 133,879 oz. silver.

Newcrest recently acquired a 1.5% net smelter return royalty on the Red Chris South project.

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