|THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE|
One has heard of Kalgoorie’s famous Golden Mile, Ghana’s Gold Coast and the incredibly rich Golden Arc in the Witwatersrand of South Africa---but have you heard about the Golden Triangle? Lying in the rugged mountains of northwest British Columbia, Canada, it is the newest region to dazzle the mind with its treasure chest of gold and copper resources.
It was not always so, although there were early indications of glory. In 1918 the Premier mine was discovered just inside the Canada-Alaska border. In its first years of production the Premier shipped ore directly to smelter averaging 4.24 oz/ton in gold and 141 oz/ton in silver. For a while it was North America’s greatest dividend-paying mine. Then came Anyox and Granduc—two rich copper mines—and in 1988 the fabulously rich Eskay Creek mine was discovered. It flourished for 11 years with an average grade running 1.5 oz/ton in gold and 70 oz/ton in silver.
The Premier and Eskay Creek were two truly amazing mines with spectacular grades. But today in the Golden Triangle they are being overshadowed by a different type of deposit….not a few million tons of exceptionally high grade but instead mega-deposits running into the millions of tons with much lower grades of gold and in most cases also carrying copper values. A cluster of these deposits have recently been found in the Sulphurets area near the center of the Golden Triangle by two companies, Seabridge Gold and Pretium Resources:
* Based on a cut-off grade of 0.50 grams of golld-equivalent/tonne
These totals, I should mention, are not final but have been steadily increasing over the past five years. New deposits such as the Iron Cap have only recently been recognized and will add more to the total resources as they are drilled off. [There is ample room for further discoveries as the favourable geology continues both to the north and to the south of the Seabridge Gold-Pretium properties. Teuton owns approximately 20km of the combined northward and southward projections of this geology.]
In the far northern portions of the Golden Triangle three other companies have also found similar giant copper-gold deposits. These are:
*Based on a cut-off grade of 0.10% CuEq
So, with the additional 3 deposits above, the Golden Triangle now boasts copper-gold resources totalling 36.6 billion pounds of copper and 101.9 million ounces of gold in the measured plus indicated categories. An additional 13.4 billion pounds of copper and 46.3 million ounces of gold are contained in the inferred categories. These totals do not consider Imperial Metals East zone (east of the Red Chris deposit) where a hole in 2009 intersected an incredible 152.5 metres grading 4.12% copper and 8.83 g/t gold.
This is not the complete story of the Golden Triangle. In the past two years, Pretium Resources has come up with some super high-grade gold mineralization which has the potential to eclipse the fabled Premier and Eskay Creek mines. In fact, most of Pretium’s 8 drills will be directed to exploiting this high-grade mineralization during the upcoming 2011 field program. Here are some of the significant intersections from the Galena Hill Zone obtained by Pretium in 2009 and 2010 (please note that the gold grades are in oz/ton not g/t):
In recognition of the untapped gold and copper resources of the Golden Triangle, Canada’s federal government and British Columbia’s provincial government have sponsored a $600 million transmission line to be run from Terrace into the heart of the triangle. All environmental and first nations concerns have now been met and a contract is expected to be awarded imminently for the construction of the line. Completion is scheduled for 2014.
It is expected that the Red Chris and Galore Creek deposits will be the first to be developed. Seabridge’s KSM deposits are at an advanced stage in the permitting process and may be the next to win approval. In the interim, exploration in the Golden Triangle should continue at a fever pitch estimated to be in excess of $100 million per year.
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