In a little over a year, partners Consolidated Woodjam Copper (WCC-V) and Gold Fields (GFI-N) have grown the inferred resource at the Southeast zone on their Woodjam property in the Cariboo region of central British Columbia from 146.5 million tonnes grading 0.33% copper to 227.5 million tonnes grading 0.31% copper for 1.54 billion pounds of contained copper—an increase of 45%, or 482 million pounds, of the metal.
In addition, and for the first time, the company also calculated inferred resource estimates for two other zones at the project, the Deerhorn and Takom zones, which add significant mineralization to the porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum discovery.
Drilling at Deerhorn produced an inferred resource of 32.8 million tonnes grading 0.22% copper for 158.1 million lbs of contained copper, while at Takom it carved out a resource of 8.3 million tonnes of 0.22% copper for 39.7 million lbs of contained metal. The resources were calculated based on a US$8.60 per tonne NSR cut-off grade constrained within an optimized pit shell.
Altogether the Woodjam property, 45 km east of Williams Lake, has five zones of porphyry mineralization within a 5 km radius: Megabuck, Deerhorn, Takom, Three Firs and Southeast. The mineralization in all the zones is estimated to be about 198 million years old.
Megabuck, Deerhorn, Takom and Three Firs are situated on the Woodjam North property, while the Southeast zone is part of Woodjam South.
Last year, Gold Fields completed its 51% earn-in on the Woodjam North and South properties, with a plan to earn an additional 19% interest in both properties. Under the terms of the earn-in, Gold Fields will have to spend US$12 million on Woodjam North and US$8 million on Woodjam South over the next four years.
The Southeast zone remains open in all directions, including at depth, and lies in the Quesnel-Stikine Terrane, an “island arc” stretching from the northwest of British Columbia to the south. (It is also known as the Quesnel Trough, a large regional belt extending 2,000 km from the U.S. border in the south to the Stikine River in the north.) Other known copper-gold porphyry deposits in this region include Thompson Creek Metals’ (TCM-T, TC-N) Mt. Milligan deposit and Northgate Minerals’ (NGX-T) Kemess mine to the south.
Woodjam is about 35 km southeast of Imperial Metals’ (III-T) Mount Polley mine, 68 km east of Taseko Mines’ (TKO-T, TGB-X) Gibraltar mine and about 200 km north of Teck’s (TCK.B-T, TCK-N) Highland Valley mine.
This year, Gold Fields has planned a 4,000 metre drill program. It has also undertaken an option on the Megaton property, adjacent to the Woodjam South property and east of the Southeast zone. For Megaton, Gold Fields will have to pay the sellers $1 million in cash and spend $2.1 million over six years, as well as reserve a 2% net smelter return royalty. The NSR can later be cut back to 1% for $1 million. Gold Fields expects to complete a drill program on Megaton this year.
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