Tahltan themed dump truck tray at Red Chris mine. (Newcrest Mining photo)

Tahltan themed dump truck tray at Red Chris mine. (Newcrest Mining photo)

Mining and mineral exploration briefs

Tahltan buy into Skeena Resources; Newcrest releases new mineral resource estimate for Red Chris

INVESTMENT AGREEMENT

The Tahltan Central Government (TCG) is getting a piece of Skeena Resources.

In a joint release last week the TCG and the company announced the First Nation’s investment of $5 million. This garners them approximately 1.6 million ‘investment rights,’ at $3.13 each, which will convert to common shares.

Skeena is currently developing the Eskay Creek gold project in Tahltan territory. A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) the deposit contains a total of for million ounces of indicated and inferred gold.

Over the years we have often discussed our mutual desire to have the Tahltan Nation become owners of natural resource projects being developed in their territory,” said Walter Coles, Skeena president and CEO. “This investment into Skeena represents a further step in an evolving relationship with the Tahltan Nation.”

TCG president Chad Day said it is a natural move for the Tahltan.

“Mining has always been part of our culture, both in the past and in present-day times,” he said. “For thousands of years, our people prospected, mined, and utilized obsidian for tools, weaponry, and trade. More recently, Tahltans supported miners during the gold rush and have had operating mines in our homelands for multiple generations. In partnering with Skeena, the Tahltan Nation is evolving and taking significant steps forward by becoming meaningful equity partners in these projects.”

NEW RESOURCE ESTIMATE

Newcrest Mining has released a new resource estimate for the Red Chris gold mine in northwest B.C. that bodes well for extending the lifespan of the operation.

Since before acquiring a 70 per interest in Red Chris in 2019 the Australian gold mining giant has believed there is an untapped ore body underground that is a perfect candidate for a block caving operation. Block caving is a new technique exponentially cheaper than traditional underground mining.

While operating the mine, Newcrest has also engaged in an aggressive exploration program.

Now the company says it has 10 million ounces of measured and indicated gold and 2.7 million tonnes of copper underground.

Additionally, the exploration has revealed an inferred resource of 1.8 million ounces of gold and half a million tonnes of copper underground.

“Newcrest’s measured and indicated mineral resource estimate reflects its strategy of defining high value mineral resources that will support the development of a high margin underground block cave at Red Chris,” a press release from partner Imperial Metals stated.