Monday 25th September 2017

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Posts tagged ‘Western Copper and Gold Corp (WRN)’

Infographic: The Yukon, where mineral potential is coming of age

August 8th, 2017

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | August 8, 2017

In a remote corner of Canada’s north lies the Yukon—a territory that is renowned for both its legendary mineral potential and its storied mining history.

But while the Yukon only produced 2.2% of Canada’s gold in 2016, the territory’s considerable potential may finally be getting realized in a big way. In the last few years globally significant discoveries have been made and now mining giants such as Barrick Gold TSX:ABX, Goldcorp TSX:G and Agnico Eagle TSX:AEM are making their moves into the Yukon to get in on the action.

A coming of age story

This infographic comes from Strikepoint Gold TSXV:SKP and it showcases some of the reasons why the most important chapter in the Yukon’s mining story may just be beginning.

The Yukon: Where mineral potential is coming of age

 

Although the Yukon has been known for a long time to possess incredible mineral potential, it is only in the last few years that signs have been pointing towards this being realized in the form of globally significant discoveries, investment from major players and mines being built.

A new era in the Yukon

For gold to be produced, it must first be discovered. The Yukon has been home to some of Canada’s most exciting discoveries in the last 10 years. The new project pipeline contains impressive deposits but, even more importantly, it contains some impressive names.

White Gold

Famously found by prospector Shawn Ryan and Underworld Resources in 2008, the White Gold discovery triggered much of the modern interest in the Yukon. Kinross Gold TSX:K purchased Underworld Resources for $139.2 million at the height of the gold market. More recently, major Agnico Eagle has bought into the district for $14.52 million.

Coffee project

Discovered in 2010, this project is just kilometres away from the White Gold project. It too is based on Shawn Ryan’s claims. Most recently, Goldcorp bought the project for $520 million through its acquisition of Kaminak Gold.

Casino project

Currently under environmental review, this massive porphyry deposit owned by Western Copper and Gold TSX:WRN could be the largest mine in Yukon history, if constructed. Right now the deposit has reserves of 4.5 billion pounds of copper and 8.9 million ounces of gold.

Rackla

The only Carlin-style district in Canada, this project is being advanced by ATAC Resources TSXV:ATC. Recently ATAC generated headlines with an investment from Barrick, which put in $8.3 million while also committing up to a further $55 million to earn 70% of the property’s Orion project.

Eagle Gold

Eagle Gold is on track to become the Yukon’s largest gold-only mine in history. Victoria Gold TSXV:VIT, the project’s owner, expects its first gold pour in 2019. Currently the property’s Eagle and Olive deposits have 2.66 million ounces of gold in reserves.

Major arrivals

In the last year or so some of the world’s most prolific gold miners such as Barrick, Goldcorp and Agnico Eagle have set up shop in the Yukon—and it could be a sign that the territory is close to reaching its ultimate potential as a top-tier mining destination.

Here are some of the other reasons that miners and investors are looking northwards:

1. Government support

The Yukon government is well known for supporting prospectors and miners developing projects. Current programs include the Yukon Mineral Exploration Program, which provides a portion of risk capital to help explorers locate and grow deposits, as well as the Fuel Tax Exemption, which makes miners and other off-road industries exempt from fuel taxes.

2. A rich mining history

From the placer mining of the famous Klondike gold rush to the mining today in the Yukon, the territory has always welcomed mining. In fact, mining is still the most important private industry today in the Yukon by GDP share (19%).

3. First Nations approach

First Nations and the Yukon government have recently championed a new “government-to-government” relationship to ensure that industry, the territorial government and First Nations are on the same page for mineral projects.

4. Momentum

From Shawn Ryan’s discoveries to the arrival of majors in the region, it has been an eventful decade for Yukon miners. Many expect the best is yet to come.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Yukon Liberals break Yukon Party’s 14-year grip on Yukon power

November 8th, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 7, 2016

Press time results:

  • Yukon Liberals 11 seats, 39% of popular vote
  • Yukon Party 6, 33%
  • New Democratic Party 2, 26%

The territory’s riding names evoke mining history but repeated enticements to the sector failed to keep the Yukon Party in power. On November 7 the YP’s 14 years of majority rule came to an end as the Yukon Liberals moved from third to first place, returning to government for the first time since 2002. The red surge claimed YP leader Darrell Pasloski’s Mountainview constituency.

Liberals end Yukon Party’s 14-year grip on power

Yukon’s legislative chamber gets a new seating arrangement
as the Liberals return to power. (Photo: Yukon Legislative Assembly)

The first MLA declared elected was Klondike incumbent and Liberal leader Sandy Silver. NDP leader Liz Hanson also won re-election in Whitehorse Centre.

On mining-related issues, the month-long campaign saw the YP supporting regulatory streamlining, an exploration tax credit, funding for industry groups and support for road and power infrastructure. The party also called for “Yukon-specific curriculum for geology and earth sciences, and an experiential trades program.”

The YP castigated opposition support for the federal carbon tax, “the most significant commitment that the Liberals made with respect to the mining sector.” The incumbents said it would boost residents’ costs overall, hitting the average placer mine with more than $230,000 in additional expenses.

Liberals countered that the territory fell significantly in Fraser Institute rankings of mining jurisdictions. The most recent FI Investment Attractiveness Index places Yukon 12th of 109 jurisdictions worldwide, but last in Canada. The previous year Yukon ranked sixth worldwide. In 2012 to 2013, and 2011 to 2012, the territory scored #1 globally.

Liberals end Yukon Party’s 14-year grip on power

Former teacher and placer miner
Sandy Silver becomes Yukon’s new premier. (Photo: Yukon Liberals)

Additionally, the Liberals said the YP “botched” the S-6 amendments to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act and created regulatory uncertainty while “legal battles with First Nation governments have resulted in huge tracts of land being off limits to mining.”

Silver argued his was the only party with “a plan to work with First Nation governments to rejuvenate the mining sector.”

A former teacher who’s worked on a placer mine, Silver joined the Yukon legislature in 2011 and became Liberal leader in 2014.

The territory hosts development, exploration, prospecting and placer mining activity, not to mention reality TV shows. But commodity prices have reduced major mines to just one operation, Capstone Mining’s (TSX:CS) Minto copper-gold-silver open pit in central Yukon.

Among the more celebrated development projects is Coffee, nabbed by Goldcorp TSX:G last May in its $520-million takeout of Kaminak Gold. Goldcorp plans to revise the project’s feasibility study, conduct further community consultations and begin initial permitting studies. The company foresees initial gold production by the end of 2020.

Victoria Gold TSXV:VIT says its Eagle gold project at the Dublin Gulch property is “expected to be Yukon’s next operating gold mine.” The two-open pit proposal reached feasibility in September and has all major permits in place, the company says.

Western Copper and Gold’s (TSX:WRN) Casino project has been sent for review to the highest level of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board. The company intends to optimize the project design to address concerns including the height of the proposed tailings dam.

Yukon’s home to about 37,500 residents.

Casino, Selwyn Chihong sign MOU to power Yukon/NWT projects with B.C. LNG

September 21st, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 21, 2016

Liquefied natural gas would be the fuel of choice to electrify two potential northern mines, according to a memorandum of understanding announced September 21. Casino Mining and Selwyn Chihong Mining said the proposed deal with Ferus Natural Gas Fuels would cut costs as well as CO2 emissions.

Casino, Selwyn Chihong sign MOU to power Yukon projects with B.C. LNG

LNG could overcome diesel dependency
in grid-less regions of the North.

Through its subsidiary, Western Copper and Gold TSX:WRN has the Casino gold-copper-molybdenum project undergoing environmental assessment. Selwyn Chihong’s Selwyn zinc-lead project currently moves towards pre-feasibility.

The plan would have Ferus build an LNG plant at Fort Nelson, in northeastern British Columbia’s Peace River oil and gas region. Ferus built and operates Canada’s first merchant LNG plant in northwestern Alberta. A related company, Eagle LNG Partners, has an LNG plant under construction in Florida. Ferus stated it provides LNG and compressed natural gas fuelling services including liquefaction, compression, storage and delivery to the oil and gas, mining, marine, rail and power generation sectors.

The plan “may also benefit neighbouring mines, industries and communities currently powered by diesel, by making the LNG more broadly available,” commented Ferus president/CEO Dick Brown.

“Neighbouring” might cover a lot of ground. Casino’s located in west-central Yukon. Selwyn straddles the Yukon/Northwest Territories border.

But for the time being the Coffee gold project, Yukon’s likeliest new mine and located only about 30 kilometres northwest of Casino, sticks to a diesel-fuelled plan. Low diesel costs ruled out “the additional $1.5-million capital expense associated with LNG storage and vaporization,” according to last January’s feasibility study. “If in the future diesel fuel costs increase, significant power generation cost savings may be realized by substituting LNG for diesel.”

Goldcorp TSX:G subsidiary Kaminak Gold hopes to begin Coffee construction in mid-2018.

Backers of the Fort Nelson proposal anticipate two phases of development to be commissioned in 2020 and 2022.

The northern enigma

September 2nd, 2016

UBC researchers help explorers better understand Yukon and Alaskan geology

by Greg Klein

They’re not necessarily the mob you’d find whooping it up in the Malamute Saloon. But the spell of the Yukon and neighbouring Alaska has attracted a unique collaboration of industry and academia with a mission—to unravel some of the geology that remains mysterious after more than a century of scrutiny. Demonstrated dramatically by Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) $520-million takeout of Kaminak Gold, the land of Robert Service, Jack London and countless TV reality shows still has considerable mineral wealth to be found.

UBC researchers help explorers better understand Yukon and Alaskan geology

Murray Allan (left), students Kathryn Grodzicki and Stephen Bartlett
take a break while mapping in Yukon’s Dawson Range.
(Photo: Murray Allan)

Joining the search are students and faculty from the University of British Columbia’s Mineral Deposit Research Unit. Catalysed by the discovery of the territory’s White Gold district, the group conducted its Yukon Gold Project from 2010 to 2012. They returned in 2014 with the current Yukon-Alaska Metallogeny project, partly inspired by the Kaminak discovery.

“We’re basically looking at everything from the Yukon-B.C. border all the way up to the Fairbanks area,” MDRU research associate Murray Allan tells ResourceClips.com. “It’s an enormous package of ground.”

The region includes Kaminak’s Coffee, Western Copper and Gold’s (TSX:WRN) Casino and Copper North Mining’s (TSXV:COL) Carmacks deposits, among other resources in the Dawson Range Mineral Belt.

Much of the work involves “digesting public information, assimilating already-existing data into coherent data sets that can be of value to companies when they’re deciding where to target,” Allan explains. “In parallel to that we’re doing our own field work, looking at areas that are poorly understood, sampling rocks, understanding the age and the controls on mineralization so companies can make much better technical exploration decisions.”

It’s “a huge, collaborative effort,” he emphasizes. “What we do relies 100% on the participation of industry sponsors and the exploration industry as a whole. Just as important is the relationship we have with the various government surveys.”

Last month the group collected a $557,670 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The project also gets $700,000 in direct and in-kind contributions from Kaminak, Sumac Mines and Copper North. The MDRU works closely with the Yukon Geological Survey and also with the national surveys of Canada and the U.S.

Kaminak president Eira Thomas credited the group with bringing “a high level of scientific rigour … to our geological understanding of the Coffee gold resource. This knowledge ultimately contributes to improved exploration and development planning.”

The region’s lack of glaciation presents challenges as well as benefits, Allan points out. There’s little rock at surface, so trenching plays a bigger role in early-stage work. On the other hand, soils have largely stayed put for an awfully long time. “For example, if a program identifies a gold anomaly in soils, almost certainly they’re very close to a bedrock source of mineralization.” That helps explain legendary prospector Shawn Ryan’s success in sparking the Yukon’s most recent gold rush.

Speaking of legendary, the Klondike gold fields sit within the project area. There, the lack of glaciation “led to very deep weathering of mineralized rock, which ultimately led to the efficient accumulation of placer gold deposits,” Allan points out. Probably 20 million ounces or more have been pulled out of Klondike creeks. Yet a bedrock source of gold that’s economic by current mining standards remains elusive.

UBC researchers help explorers better understand Yukon and Alaskan geology

Some of the Yukon-Alaska Metallogeny team
on a site visit to Kaminak’s Coffee project.
(Photo: Murray Allan)

“Up until now, despite lots of effort, there’s been no notable discoveries of gold in the ground. Either it’s a problem with the exploration methods or our understanding of what controls gold in the Klondike, or perhaps there’s a good geological reason why there might not be huge quantities of gold in economic concentrations in the ground,” he says.

“Our role is to understand what controls mineralization of any age and any style. That plays into the structural controls, whether faults of a particular orientation might be important, or whether a certain igneous rock of a particular age might play a role. We have examples of both. We’ve identified a large number of systems related to Late Cretaceous intrusions, for example, which we know are very fertile for copper and gold mineralization. But the White Gold district that kicked off in 2009, for example, has no intrusions to our knowledge that control mineralization there. The gold seems to be purely associated with faults.”

Having wrapped up 2016 field work last month, the group’s back at UBC, busy processing samples and compiling data. Their findings, often in the form of maps and data sets, go first to industry sponsors. That gives the companies a short-term advantage during a period of confidentiality. Then the info goes public, in a thesis or academic publication.

But even back in Vancouver, the spell of the Yukon remains.

“It’s an interesting role for us to play, doing modern, cutting-edge science in an area that has that industrial heritage,” Allan says. “I don’t think anyone working in that area would deny that’s part of the appeal. But the fact remains that there’s a lot of gold we know about, for example in placer creeks, but not much knowledge about the source of that gold. So there remains a huge amount of potential for hard rock explorers in that part of the world. There’s a very legitimate economic reason for investment and exploration in that part of the Yukon and Alaska.”

The MDRU returns to the field next June.

Up north and Down East

February 20th, 2013

NSGold drills Nova Scotia, Northern Freegold reaches PEA in Yukon

by Greg Klein

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News from Nova Scotia shows open pit potential for the province’s oldest known gold mine, the Mooseland project. On February 20 NSGold Corp TSXV:NSX released a batch of assays from a 15-hole, 948-metre, near-surface West zone campaign. Some highlights include:

NSGold drills Nova Scotia, Northern Freegold reaches PEA in Yukon

Earlier core samples came from deeper drilling, while
Mooseland’s most recent campaign stayed above 75 metres.

  • 36.8 grams per tonne gold over 0.6 metres
  • 15.21 g/t over 1.7 metres
  • 9.93 g/t over 1 metre
  • 7.1 g/t over 1 metre
  • 6.25 g/t over 1 metre
  • 11.49 g/t over 1 metre
  • 8.44 g/t over 1 metre
  • 9.44 g/t over 1 metre
  • 18.76 g/t over 1 metre.

A 0.5 g/t cutoff grade was applied. True widths were estimated between 91% and 93%. The top-most interval started at 5 metres from surface while the deepest stopped at a down-hole depth of 79.4 metres.

Two of the 15 holes were abandoned after hitting historic workings. The other 13 “all encountered the expected, relatively sulphide-rich, quartz-bearing argillite zones,” NSGold stated. The West zone’s relatively shallow overburden and the geometry of the near-surface saddle veins are “of particular significance from a potential open pit mining perspective,” the company added. The West zone extends about a kilometre along strike. Unlike the most recent campaign, the zone was previously drilled at deeper depths.

Mooseland’s June 2012 resource estimate uses a 2.6 g/t gold cutoff showing:

  • a West zone inferred estimate of 1.46 million tonnes averaging 5.52 g/t gold for 259,000 gold ounces
  • an East zone inferred estimate of 1.06 million tonnes averaging 5.72 g/t for 195,000 ounces
  • a total inferred resource of 2.52 million tonnes averaging 5.6 g/t for 454,000 ounces.

Apart from drilling its flagship Mooseland project, NSGold last December announced gold-silver-polymetallic sampling at its Cheticamp property, also in Nova Scotia. In January the company optioned the Silver Hill property, a potential gold or gold-silver project in Nevada. The same month Phase II drilling began at the Dios Padre silver project in Sonora state, Mexico, by NSX Silver TSXV:NSY. A spinout of an NSGold subsidiary, NSX Silver holds Dios Padre under option from NSGold.

NSGold’s chart had flattened out at $0.085 since February 12, but slipped to $0.075 on February 20 before closing on $0.085 again.

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The maturing Yukon

January 9th, 2013

Northern Freegold approaches PEA while Western Copper and Gold achieves feasibility

by Greg Klein

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No longer an early-stage gold play, the Yukon might have lost much of its excitement. But more advanced work continues to command interest, as shown by recent announcements from Northern Freegold Resources TSXV:NFR and Western Copper and Gold TSX:WRN.

Aurora borealis provides an awe-inspiring backdrop to Northern Freegold’s gold-silver-copper project

Aurora borealis provides an awe-inspiring backdrop
to Northern Freegold’s gold-silver-copper project.

Northern Freegold’s January 9 resource update enhances a potential gold-silver-copper open pit at its Freegold Mountain Project. Based on 322 holes totalling over 50,000 metres on the Nucleus deposit, the estimate uses a cutoff of 0.25 grams per tonne gold-equivalent. The indicated category shows:

  • 71.9 million tonnes averaging 0.57 g/t gold, 0.85 g/t silver and 0.06% copper for 1.31 million gold ounces, 1.97 million silver ounces and 89 million copper pounds.

The inferred category shows:

  • 60.4 million tonnes averaging 0.41 g/t gold, 1.48 g/t silver and 0.04% copper for 801,235 gold ounces, 2.9 million silver ounces and 52 million copper pounds.

The resource begins at surface and is open to expansion laterally and at depth, the company stated.

Northern Freegold added that two-thirds of the indicated resource falls within “a significant zone of higher-grade mineralization” in the centre of the Nucleus deposit. Using a cutoff of 0.5 g/t gold-equivalent, this zone shows:

  • 25.9 million tonnes averaging 1.02 g/t gold, 1.11 g/t silver and 0.07% copper for 851,603 gold ounces, 924,040 silver ounces and 38 million copper pounds.

The nearby Revenue deposit has a January 2012 inferred resource. Using a 0.5 g/t gold-equivalent cutoff, the estimate shows:

  • 101 million tonnes averaging 0.34 g/t gold, 3.14 g/t silver, 0.13% copper and 0.04% molybdenum for 1.12 million gold ounces, 10.19 million silver ounces, 286.87 million copper pounds and 89.61 million molybdenum pounds (or 3.66 million gold-equivalent ounces).

A Q1 2013 PEA is expected for both Nucleus and Revenue, which are open in all directions, Northern Freegold president/CEO John Burges stated. “We believe these deposits form part of a much larger continuous district-scale gold-copper system as evidenced by an eight-kilometre-long geophysical anomaly and largely coincidental gold-and-copper soil anomalies.”

The project has road access to Whitehorse, 200 kilometres southeast. Yukon’s electrical grid reaches the town of Carmacks, 70 kilometres away.

Northern Freegold stock opened January 9 at $0.12, half a cent below the previous close, then ended the day at $0.145.

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