NORTHWEST TERRITORIES – Metallurgical and tailings studies as well as a detailed mine plan are next for the Prairie Creek polymetallic project in the Mackenzie Mountains.
Wholly-owned by CANADIAN ZINC CORP., the property was the darling of the Hunt Brothers (Nelson Bunker and William) during the early 1980s when the Hunts were suspected of trying to corner the world’s silver supply and control the price. Prairie Creek never quite made it to production before the silver price collapsed in 1982. The project was 90-95% complete at the time, and $64 million had been spent on it.
CanZinc estimates a mineral resource base totalling 11.8 million tonnes at 12.5% Zn, 10.1% Pb, 0.4% Cu and 161 g/t Ag. In other words, the deposit contains 70 million oz of silver, 3 billion lb of zinc and 2 billion lb of lead in situ.
The company hopes to put the property into production at last. Toward that end, metallurgical optimization studies to modernize the flowsheet are being carried out by SGS LAKEFIELD. GOLDER ASSOCIATES PASTETEC is examining the potential benefits of paste fill and other tailings containment issues. A detailed mine plan is being prepared with PROCON MINING & TUNNELLING. The existing underground workings have been rehabilitated in preparation for a drill program planned for the summer of 2005.
More detailed information about the Prairie Creek project is available at the company’s website, www.CanadianZinc.com.