Solitario Zinc Corp. is pleased to announce that Teck American Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited, has commenced a field program on the Lik high-grade zinc project in Alaska.
The Lik project is held through a joint venture arrangement between Solitario (50%) and Teck (50%).
Solitario and Teck agreed that Teck will act as project operator for the 2018 field program to take full advantage of Teck's thirty years of successful exploration and operational experience in the world-class Red Dog mining district. The technical elements of the work program will consist of geologic mapping, relogging of existing Lik core and conducting a gravity geophysical survey over a substantial portion of the 6,075-acre property. This work, combined with a program of camp rehabilitation, will allow for future use of the established Lik infrastructure and provide essential information to assess what additional technical and environmental studies are required to advance the project. All permits necessary to conduct the 2018 program have been acquired.
Chris Herald, President and CEO of Solitario, commented, "We are excited to take advantage of Teck's long-term experience in the Red Dog zinc district. The 2018 work program will pave the way for planning the best path forward for the project. We are particularly excited about utilizing Teck's gravity survey expertise that has been a proven ore-finder in the surrounding Red Dog district. We expect to have the results of this program in the fourth quarter of 2018."
A total of 125,300 feet of core drilling in 229 holes has been completed on the Lik property which has defined a potentially open-pitable Indicated Resource of 17.3 million tonnes grading approximately 12% zinc equivalent and an additional 2.9 million tonnes of Inferred Resource at approximately 11% zinc-equivalent grade. The project is situated approximately 14 miles northwest of Teck's operating Red Dog mine, one of the world's largest zinc mines.
Lik Joint Venture
The terms of the Lik joint venture were previously outlined in the Lik Block Agreement signed on January 27, 1983. Through a series of third-party transactions, Teck currently holds a 50% interest in the project, and Solitario owns a 50% interest through its acquisition of Zazu Metals. Solitario and Teck are presently negotiating a new joint operating agreement that will update and clarify the original agreement and potentially modify its commercial terms.