Jayden Resources’ Silver Coin, B.C. Project is positioned to succeed.
By Kevin Michael Grace
Movie trivia buffs will know that John Carpenter’s 1982 horror cult classic The Thing was filmed just outside Stewart, BC. Now, given that the Stewart area stood in for central Antarctica in the movie, you might think that Stewart would be an awkward place indeed for a successful gold mine. You might think that, but you’d be wrong.
As it turns out, Stewart, 288 miles north of Prince Rupert, is well positioned. For starters, it is an ice-free port, the northern most on Canada’s Pacific Coast. It is well-served by road as well, with a spur off BC’s Highway 37. Stewart was a precious metals boom town before the First World War, with a population that reached as high as 10,000. The Stewart-Premier-Hyder, Alaska area has been home to such fabled producers as Riverside, Silbak-Premier, Eskay Creek and Granduc.
Obviously, historic accomplishment and easy access do not guarantee anything. You need to find gold as well. And that, VP Exploration and Development Robert Perry reports, is precisely what Jayden Resources Inc. has done at its Silver Coin property, located in the Stewart Camp 25 kilometres north of Stewart. From 1988 to 1994, about 30,000 ounces of gold were produced on this site from underground drift mining. However, “In the past six years,” Perry says, “we have explored the property and identified a significant gold and silver resource and ongoing engineering and metallurgical studies suggest the deposit can be economically mined by open pit methods and the gold and silver can be recovered by conventional processes.”
(Perry clarifies, “Back in the Bre-X days things were fast and free, and investors were victims of exaggeration on a frequent basis, so the government stepped in and clamped down and made rigorous rules for the disclosure and reporting of information about mineral deposits. 43-101 lays out in great detail the procedures that must be followed and the qualifications of the people doing this reporting.”)
The geology, Perry explains, gives every indication of being mineral rich. “In the case of Silver Coin, going through the center of the zone there is a breccia (which just means broken rock). This happens where a major fault has come through, and faults form pathways for mineralization of all kinds. At Silver Coin, there is a very large zone where the rocks are all busted up. The current deposit as drilled forms a sort of elongated, north-south oval, which lends itself very well to open pit mining, which costs about one-tenth as much per ton as underground mining.”
And the Silver Coin deposit “sits more or less on a ridge, and this makes the geometry extremely favourable.” In other words, “You don’t have to move very much waste off to get to the ore. Any time you’re mining waste, you’re eating up your profit.” The waste to ore ratio, according to Perry, is about 1.3 to 1. “This is a great strip ratio, as it’s not uncommon to see projects with a 3 to 1, 5 to 1 or even 8 to 1 strip ratio.”
To sum up Silver Coin: The gold has been discovered; second-phase environmental studies are commencing, including fisheries and aquatics baseline studies, stream flow monitoring, and about $50,000 is being spent on a weather station. Transportation is secure, as “the Granduc Mine built this magnificent road from Stewart right through the middle of our project and north of there.” And electrical power needs to be extended only five kilometres from the current grid. The “best-case scenario,” Perry says, is a three-to-four year timeline to production.
So Bob Perry is excited about Silver Coin. But he is even more excited about the surrounding area, whose potential he believes to be much greater than two million ounces. “The periphery of the Silver Coin deposit, both north and south, has not seen the level that the interior has. In 2008 there were a couple of holes drilled to the south which were just spectacular holes. When I got involved with it, I noticed that people didn’t seem to be all that wound up about them, and I thought, ‘Gee those are some great holes, and there are great unrecognized opportunities down to the south.’”