This project encompasses some 33,000 hectares of land adjoining the previously mined rich VMS deposit known as Eskay Creek Mine. In the approximate 15 year mine life, this small tonnage deposit yielded a grade of 1.5 ounces of gold and 70 ounces of silver per ton of rock mined and processed. This mine sits at the top of all vms deposits in the world for grade. Barrick Gold (ABX-TSX) ceased production in 2008 and have now optioned the ground to Skeena Resources (SKE-TSX Venture) to carry out work which could develop existing resources into a mine going forward. This work is ongoing with a much lower grade of metal than the original mine.
ESK owns 80% of the SIB and is the project operator in conjunction with Kirkland Lake Gold (KL-TSX).
The LULU zone was discovered in 1991 shortly after the Eskay Creek Mine discovery and has been the subject of several geological efforts since that time. Eskay undertook an earn in on this project by expending some $4 million to earn their interest. During 2017-18, Eskay entered a sub Joint Venture with another firm which resulted in $8 million of exploration including approximately 19,000 meters of drilling in search of the elusive Eskay Two deposit. Although very valuable to this search, the partners dropped the project leaving Eskay to rethink the concept of Eskay Two.
This past year, we engaged a team lead by Dr Quinton Hennigh which would do a full analysis of all current data and calculate why previous operators have failed to locate this valuable deposit clone. Volcanic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposits don’t occur in singular fashion, but rather in clusters along rift graben faults, suggesting there should be other deposits similar to the original Eskay Creek Mine.
After five months of extensive study of the LULU zone, the team have concluded that previous work based on an east-dipping Coulter Creek Thrust Fault (CCTF) with the prospective rocks of the Hazleton Group comprising the hanging wall and truncating against the CCTF was incorrect. Multiple lines of evidence from the 2017-2018 drilling program show that the CCTF dips to the west, and that the prospective Hazleton Group constitutes the footwall to the CCTF and continues under the Bowser Lake Group hanging wall. This new theory changes the search for Eskay Two and opens the possibility that the seafloor mudstone, which is the host for the Eskay Mine ore continues to the southwest under the Bowser Lake Group on the western side of the LULU zone, and may be continuous with the new discovery from 2018 of the Sweet Virginia Lakes area to the southwest.
Now with a new geological concept after many years, the team is proposing a multi-year program to continue the Eskay Two search beginning just due west of LULU for the 2020 season.
A link to a video presentation by Dr. John DeDecker which explains the current analysis for the Eskay Two search can be found here.