Seabridge Gold to drill Courageous Lake Project this winter

by Keith Powell
Map of Courageous Lake property.

The Courageous Lake gold project is located in Canada's Northwest Territories. — Photo courtesy Seabridge Gold

Seabridge Gold has announced that drilling will commence next month at its 100%-owned Courageous Lake Project in Canada’s NWT. The planned 36 hole, 7,200 meter program will test seven separate targets along a geophysical and stratigraphic break that hosts the Walsh Lake Deposit which Seabridge discovered in 2012 (see September 10, 2012 news release). 

The Courageous Lake Project covers almost all of the 53 km long Mathews Lake Greenstone Belt (MLGB) which hosts Seabridge’s Felsic-Ash-Tuff (FAT) deposit and was estimated in a July, 2012, pre-feasibility study to contain 6.46 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves.

The Walsh Lake deposit was discovered as part of a campaign designed to extend the Courageous Lake Project’s mine life, thereby improving capital efficiency for this remote project. Drilling confirmed a near surface inferred resource at Walsh Lake, estimated in March, 2014, of 482,000 ounces of gold (4.6 million tonnes grading 3.24 g/T). Subsequent metallurgical testing demonstrated that the material is free milling with cyanide recoveries as high as 95%. Based on these factors, the Walsh Lake deposit could be mined prior to constructing the processing plant required for the larger, refractory FAT deposit. This order of development could have significant economic benefits for the Courageous Lake project not only by extending mine life but also by generating cash flow to pay for some capital costs as the FAT deposit ramps up.

Seabridge Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk noted that, “Our aim is to find more Walsh Lake-style deposits which could be added to the front end of a revised mine plan at the Courageous Lake Project where they have the potential to make a significant economic impact. We have a lot of confidence in this program which we have been planning for several years, but spectacular results at KSM kept pushing it back in the queue. Winter is the best season for moving in supplies on the ice road and also moving drills around the property.”  The Courageous Lake program will be funded from current cash on hand.

Walsh Lake is located about 10 km south of the FAT deposit and is connected to that deposit by a local road network. The Walsh Lake resource appears to be the southern extension of the historical Tundra Mine, a high-grade producer that was abandoned in 1999 as the gold price fell to a 25-year low. Well developed and laterally continuous structural zones are found stratigraphically above and below the extension of the Tundra Mine zone and it is these features that host multiple gold-bearing zones at Walsh Lake.  These same structural zones have been traced for about 5 km to the north of Walsh Lake toward the FAT deposit and about 3 km to the south using geophysical techniques, geological mapping and historical drill holes.

The targets in this program are shear zones located near the stratigraphic contact between mafic volcanic rock and clastic sedimentary rocks. The initial drilling is to determine which of the targets are gold-bearing and have strike and width continuity within 200 meters of surface. If these requirements are met, Seabridge expects to proceed with infill drilling to support a resource estimate.

Exploration activities by Seabridge at the Courageous Lake Project will be conducted under the supervision of William E. Threlkeld, Registered Professional Geologist, Senior Vice President of the Company and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Threlkeld has reviewed and approved this news release.

Seabridge Gold holds a 100% interest in several North American gold resource projects. The Company’s principal assets are the KSM and Iskut properties located near Stewart, British Columbia, Canada and the Courageous Lake gold project located in Canada’s Northwest Territories. For a breakdown of Seabridge’s mineral reserves and resources by project and category please visit the Company’s website at http://www.seabridgegold.net/resources.php.

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