Banks Island moves Yellow Giant towards production

It has been a quick ride for B.C.-focused explorer Banks Island Gold (BOZ-V). Just 18 months since Banks Island signed an earn-in agreement on its Yellow Giant gold-silver property, 110 km south of Prince Rupert, the company has released a production notice for the project.

Banks Island signed its agreement with Selkirk Metals — now a subsidiary of Imperial Metals (III-T) — in March 2011. As of Oct. 12, Banks Island has satisfied the majority of its earn-in requirements, including US$3.25 million in exploration expenditures and 942,936 shares issued to Selkirk. To solidify its 100% ownership, Banks Island must issue a second tranche by December 2014.

Under the agreement, Yellow Giant is subject to a 2% net smelter return royalty (NSR) if Selkirk does not exercise a back-in option, as well as an underlying 1.5% NSR.

Since acquiring the property, Banks Island has completed 4,700 metres of diamond drilling and delineated resources at Yellow Giant’s Tel, Bob, Discovery and Kim zones.

On Oct. 22, the company released an updated resource for Yellow Giant of 78,000 measured and indicated tonnes grading 23 grams gold per tonne and 44 grams silver per tonne, for 57,700 contained oz. gold and 85,000 contained oz. silver. The project holds another 81,000 inferred tonnes at 13.7 grams gold and 33 grams silver for 35,500 contained oz. gold and 85,000 contained oz. silver.

Future drilling would focus on expanding mineralization at the Bob zone, which has been defined to a depth of 125 metres and is open along strike. Discovery also offers potential resource expansion, with the deposit defined to a 60-metre depth and open along strike.

Banks Island spent $625,000 on camp equipment and a 20-tonne-per-hour dense-media separation plant in October, as the company moves the project towards the feasibility stage.

In November 2011, the company published a study for a 205-tonne-per-day, two-year operation at the project that, assuming a US$1,360 per oz. gold price, would have a net present value of $26.4 million and an internal rate of return of 414%, on the back of competitive, $9.1-million initial and sustaining capital costs.

Banks Island released metallurgical results for Yellow Giant along with its resource update. Grades and recoveries for flotation concentrates were released on the Bob, Tel and Discovery zones.

The Tel zone returned 87% recoveries at a 112 gram gold concentrate grade, Bob featured 93% recoveries at a 127 gram gold concentrate grade and Discovery returned 91% recoveries at an 89 gram gold concentrate grade. The overall average recovery fell at 90% for gold and 77% for silver, at concentrate grades of 109 grams gold and 230 grams silver.

On Oct. 19, Banks Island closed a non-brokered private placement that saw the company issue 1.8 million units at 81¢ per unit for a total $1.47 million. Each unit comprises a share and a warrant exercisable at $1 for two years. Afterwards the company issued 404,000 flow-through shares at 87¢ to top up the financing to $1.8 million.

Banks Island has traded within a 52-week range of 28¢ and 97¢ and maintains a tight equity structure, with 27 million shares outstanding. The company traded at 84¢ at press time and has a $23-million press-time market capitalization.


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