by Greg Klein | August 4, 2016
At first, it might seem like a diversion prior to imminent news of a larger scale. Copper North Mining TSXV:COL has resumed work on its Thor project in north-central British Columbia. At the same time the company’s putting the finishing touches on an updated PEA for its Carmacks project in southwestern Yukon. But president/CEO Harlan Meade sounds excited about both copper-gold projects.
“We’ll start drilling Thor towards the end of the month,” he tells ResourceClips.com. “We’ll drill two or three holes in Thor West and a couple of holes in areas 2 and 3 in the Thor East part of the property. In the interim, we’re doing a lot of detailed geological mapping and sampling. Quite frankly, we’ve been pleasantly surprised … getting into the field, you can see they’re pretty exciting-looking rocks once you understand what’s going on.”
The project’s goal is porphyry copper-gold mineralization some 20 kilometres south of the mined-out Kemess South open pit, now within AuRico Metals’ (TSX:AMI) Kemess Underground gold-copper-silver property.
Copper North holds a 100% option on Thor. A road and power line pass through the 16,000-hectare property.
Out of an historic program of six holes totalling 692 metres on Thor East’s area 3, one interval returned 0.12% copper and 0.04 grams per tonne gold over 60 metres. Since then Copper North conducted extensive geophysics but market conditions postponed further drilling until this month. “The targets are big and we’re going to test our geological interpretation of what’s going on,” Meade says. “These are big targets, we can drill widespread holes and if we’re right about it and the holes come in, raising money for Thor won’t be an issue.”
In this market you need to be in the lower 10th-percentile cost curve. The only way we could achieve that was to add on gold and silver recovery. That’s a game changer.—Harlan Meade,
Copper North Mining
The Carmacks report, originally scheduled for May, will replace a 2014 PEA. “The earlier study focused on heap-leaching the oxide copper deposit, but in my view that would put the project in the middle of a cost curve,” Meade explains.
“In this market you need to be in the lower 10th-percentile cost curve. The only way we could achieve that was to add on gold and silver recovery. That’s a game changer. We’ve done a lot of re-engineering, moved completely away from heap leaching to agitated tank leaching, which is a lot more efficient and gives us higher recoveries and very rapid leach times. A lot of the operational issues and environmental concerns have been largely mitigated now because everything’s contained. Our view is that we’re on track to be Canada’s next copper mine.”
The road-accessible Carmacks sits 11 kilometres from the grid, 190 kilometres north of Whitehorse and 400 kilometres from the year-round port of Skagway, Alaska.
Copper North also holds an historic copper resource at its Redstone property in the Northwest Territories’ Nahanni district.
Read more about Carmacks’ PEA studies.