Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. is pleased to outline the objectives of its 2013 exploration program for its 100% owned Back River project in Nunavut. Goose Camp is open and mobilization is underway with drilling expected to commence in late February.
"2013 will be another pivotal year for us in Nunavut at the Back River Gold Project," said Rob Pease, President & CEO. "The Board and management believe that we will keep building value in the Company by continuing to de-risk Back River and aggressively moving the project towards a production decision. To this end, the 2013 program is focussed on work to complete the on-going Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) and support a potential subsequent Feasibility Study (FS). At the same time, the Company is moving forward with our permitting initiatives and plans to file a draft Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") by year end. We also anticipate an updated Back River resource calculation before the end of the Q1, 2013."
In 2012, the Company completed approximately 76,000 metres of drilling at Back River, primarily focused on upgrading the resources for inclusion in the PFS. In 2013, the company plans approximately 45,000 metres of drilling which will include: infill, geotechnical and geo-mechanical drilling as well as exploration drilling of high potential greenfield type targets. Drills will start turning in late February with a view to having 8 drills up and running on the project by the end of March, 2013.
The objectives at Back River for 2013 are:
- To complete all work needed to support a PFS on the project;
- If the PFS is positive, to commence a FS on the project for completion in the second half of 2014;
- To complete necessary baseline environmental studies needed to support the filing of a draft EIS by the end of 2013;
- To drill test remaining high potential targets on the Goose claim block with a view to adding open pit ounces in and around the existing deposits;
- To drill test high priority exploration targets at the George, Boot and Boulder claim blocks.
Work Plans 2013
Work at Back River will continue to be directed towards adding value to the project in and around existing deposits. Drilling is planned to optimize and support successful completion of the PFS and a potential subsequent FS and to provide best options and alternatives for possible production sequencing. High priority greenfield targets will also be tested for near surface discoveries.
Infill drilling will focus on the Llama, Umwelt and Goose deposits to upgrade high grade zones within the pits to the measured category.
Extension drilling will concentrate on target areas at George with a focus on the Locale 1 and 2 deposits and at Llama at the newly discovered Wing Zone and the gap between the bottom of the current pit outline and lower extensions to the Llama mineralization identified in 2012.
Near-deposit drilling at George and Goose will focus on a number of areas that have been identified for potential to add new, shallow resources that can potentially be incorporated into mine planning.
Greenfield targeting and testing may also be undertaken at the under explored Boulder and Boot claim blocks where a number of high priority targets have been identified for new discoveries.
In support of development planning and open pit design, significant engineering and environmental studies will be undertaken, including geotechnical and geo-mechanical drilling. Additionally, a large environmental and baseline data collection program is also planned for 2013 that will focus on areas which require additional information for the EIS. The draft EIS is expected to be completed and filed with the Nunavut Impact Review Board by year end, 2013.
To support operations, minor capital projects will be undertaken at site, including, for example and upgrade to fuel storage systems.
Community engagement will also continue with plans for multiple visits to all involved communities in 2013. Sabina has launched www.backriverproject.com to support its goal of working closely with the Kitikmeot residents, communities and stakeholders.
To facilitate these programs, the Board of Directors has approved up to $70 million in corporate spending in 2013 with a mandate to management to move Back River aggressively towards production while preserving as much of the Company's treasury as possible.
Updated Resource Calculation
Geologic and resource remodelling of the Back River mineral zones including all data from the 2012 drilling program is near completion. A focus of the 2012 drill program was on infill drilling to upgrade inferred resources to the measured and indicated categories for inclusion in the PFS. All deposits will have been remodelled from first principles and along with the drilling from 2012, will result in a resource calculation with greater confidence.
The new resource will be announced prior to the end of Q1, 2013 and will be included in the PFS.