NORTHWEST TERRITORIES - Vancouver-based CANADIAN ZINC CORP. is going underground with a $5.7-million exploration and development program at its Prairie Creek lead-zinc-copper property. Crews contracted from PROCON MINING & TUNNELLING are being mobilized for six months of work in the Mackenzie Mountains.
The Prairie Creek mine is already developed on three levels totalling over 5 km of underground workings. The portal of the lowest access level, referred to as the 870 level, is located immediately adjacent to the existing mill and mine infrastructure facilities. The 870 level is tracked and is designed to be the main haulage level to the mill. The two upper levels are trackless and connect internally to the 870 level via ore passes and raises.
Over the past two seasons Canadian Zinc has installed a new ventilation system, electrical substations, track upgrades and general rehabilitation, in addition to installing a new water treatment facility and building a new water polishing pond.
The company's previous surface diamond drilling has indicated a continuation of the vein system north from the existing workings, and the underground program will further detail the vein deposit. The underground exploration program will involve driving approximately 400 metres of new decline tunnel. Up to 10,000 metres of underground diamond drilling is planned.
A number of underground stopes were previously developed. The target is to produce an average of approximately 100 million lb of zinc, 90 million lb of lead and 4 million oz of silver per year for at least the first three full years of the projected 18-year mine life.
Complete details are posted at www.CanadianZinc.com.