Metallic Minerals Corp. is pleased to announce the commencement of drilling at the Company's flagship Keno Silver Project a highly-prospective, district scale, brownfields exploration property consisting of 112.5 square kilometres in the historic Keno Hill Silver District of Canada's Yukon Territory.
Through a comprehensive review of modern and historic data, Metallic Minerals has identified more than a dozen priority target areas for further evaluation during the 2017 field exploration program. The first phase of drilling, which is now underway, will focus on five initial targets. The 2017 exploration program budget at the Keno Silver Project is anticipated to be a minimum of $1.6 million including the phase 1 drilling.
The Keno Silver Project is located in the eastern and southern portions of the Keno Hill Silver District adjoining Alexco Resource Corp's high-grade Keno Hill silver properties. Over 200 million ounces of high-grade silver have been mined in the Keno Hill Silver District over the past 100 years with several major new discoveries over the past decade leading to the district hosting one of the highest-grade silver resources in the industry. Keno-type silver deposits consist of high-grade silver-lead-zinc veins typically 1 to 5 metres in width, grading from 200 g/t to over 5,000 g/t silver. The largest individual deposits in the district, which range from 10 million to 100 million ounces of contained silver, are associated with northeast trending, southeast dipping fault/vein structures that form major ore shoots in the main quartzite and greenstone host rocks.
There are twelve known mineralized structural corridors in the Keno Hill Silver District, eight of which continue across Metallic Minerals' land package and occur in the same geologic settings that host the largest deposits in the district. The Keno Silver Project covers seven historic producing mines including four with average production grades of over 5,000 g/t silver. The eastern portion of the Keno Hill Silver District has seen little modern exploration due to the longstanding, fragmented, private land ownership structure, which has now been largely consolidated by Metallic Minerals as the Keno Silver Project.
Follow up work by Metallic Minerals has been focused at the Homestake, Keno Summit, Caribou, Faith, Vanguard, Duncan and Silver Queen target areas including completion of detailed geophysical and geochemical surveys, geologic mapping, and trenching. With positive results from the follow up program, several of the planned soil grids and trenches are being expanded to cover open anomalies identified in the field using a Niton XRF to provide rapid analysis ahead of final assay lab results.
Metallic Minerals' Chairman & CEO, Greg Johnson, stated: "The soil and trenching work, combined with completed mapping and detailed magnetic and VLF surveys, have contributed to our understanding of the prospectivity of our top target areas and refined the targets for the Phase 1 drill campaign. With the target refinement phase of the 2017 program nearly complete, our team has now initiated diamond drilling on the priority targets that are the down-dip and along-strike extensions of surface mineralization along the known mineralized trends.
Drilling will start at the Caribou, Faith and Keno Summit targets and continue on to the Homestake target later in the program. The objective of the 2017 program is to target high-grade silver mineralization in the lesser explored parts of the Keno Hill Silver District using a systematic, disciplined approach to exploration along the known mineralized corridors. This approach to exploration in the district has led to several recent major high-grade discoveries by the Alexco exploration team including the still growing Bermingham and Flame & Moth deposits. We look forward to drilling these initial targets as a proof of concept on the Keno Silver Project and would expect assay results from drilling starting in September."
In addition to the exploration work being conducted on the Keno Silver Project, Metallic Minerals has undertaken a sampling and mapping program at its 100% owned McKay Hill Project, located 50 km north of Keno Hill, adjacent to the northwest portion of ATAC Resources' Rackla Gold Project. The McKay Hill Project is an historic high-grade silver and gold producer that shows potential to host a district scale vein system similar to Keno Hill, with at least 10 identified vein structures that have seen very limited exploration. Historic surface sampling returned results included grab samples of up to 600 g/t silver with 15 g/t gold, which is similar to the historic production grades from the No. 6 vein at McKay Hill. Initial on-site evaluation of the project has been encouraging and results from recent surface sampling are expected to be received starting in September.