Kivalliq District, Nunavut Territory
The exciting discovery of our Amaruq deposit has the potential to transform our business, and the future of Nunavut, for decades to come. We are currently advancing our plans to develop the new Amaruq discovery as a satellite deposit to the nearby Meadowbank mine.
Kivalliq District, Nunavut Territory, Canada
The 116,717-hectare Amaruq property is located on Inuit-owned and federal crown land, approximately 55 km north of the Meadowbank mine. First discovered in 2013, it hosts the Whale Tail gold deposit as well as the I, R, V, and Mammoth zones, and several other targets. Results continue to indicate significant gold-bearing zones that are all open along strike and at depth. At December 31, 2016, Amaruq contained an initial open pit indicated mineral resource of 2.1 million ounces gold (16.9 million tonnes grading 3.88 g/t) almost all in the Whale Tail deposit; an open pit inferred mineral resource of 763,000 ounces (4.9 million tonnes grading 4.81 g/t gold); and an underground inferred mineral resource of 1.4 million ounces (6.8 million tonnes grading 6.22 g/t gold). Approximately 64% (490,000 ounces) of the open pit inferred mineral resources (2.9 million tonnes grading 5.23 g/t gold) are located in the V Zone.
Following an internal technical study, the Amaruq satellite deposit at Meadowbank was approved in February 2017 for development, pending the receipt of the required permits, which are expected to be received in Q3 2018. Expected start-up of mining would be in Q3 2019. Development of Amaruq would extend the Meadowbank mine life, allowing additional time for the Company to develop and implement an exploration strategy to expand the Amaruq deposit and to evaluate additional opportunities on the property.
In 2017, the Company expects to spend $21.9 million on 75,000 metres of exploration drilling and $0.9 million on 5,000 metres of conversion drilling at the Amaruq satellite mine development project. Of the initial $330 million capital cost estimate for the Amaruq satellite mine development, approximately $73 million will be spent in 2017, and primarily includes completion of the all-weather exploration road, additional technical studies and the procurement of materials and equipment for the 2018 construction season.
The permit for the Amaruq exploration ramp and bulk sample collection was submitted on March 31, 2016 and was received on December 1, 2016, approximately two months ahead of schedule.
The Company is working closely with the Nunavut Impact Review Board (“NIRB”) and the Nunavut Water Board (“NWB”) on the Whale Tail pit joint permitting process. In January 2017, NIRB and NWB announced the start of the project technical review, which will lead to public hearings at the end of Q3 2017. All licenses and permits for Phase I (Whale Tail pit) are expected to be received by Q3 2018.
The Amaruq property covers 40 km of the Woodburn Lake Group of Archean supracrustal rocks, the same sequence as at the Meadowbank mine. This is within the Rae domain of the Western Churchill geological province of the Canadian Shield. These rocks were possibly deposited in a continental rift setting and consist of mafic to ultramafic volcanics interlayered with carbon-rich sedimentary rocks. The rock sequence has since been intruded by granitoid rocks and common lamprophyres, and affected by multiple phases of ductile deformation along with metamorphism to greenschist facies and locally to the upper greenschist facies.
Six zones of gold-bearing quartz-pyrrhotite-arsenopyrite veining/flooding within volcano-sedimentary rocks have been discovered – Whale Tail, I, V, R and Mammoth 1 and 2 zones. The I, V, R and Whale Tail zones appear to be offset mineralized corridors striking east-northeast to northeast and dipping moderately to steeply southeast. The Whale Tail deposit, which appears to include up to five main horizons, is the largest discovery so far. The shallowly-dipping V Zone represents a second source of open pit ore at the Amaruq project.