Seabridge Gold Inc. [SEA-TSX, SA-NYSE] and the Tahltan Nation have reached an agreement on the terms of a co-operation and benefits agreement in connection with Seabridge’s proposed KSM gold-copper project in northwestern British Columbia.

In a ratification vote among its membership, the Tahltan Nation voted 77.8% in favour of the KSM project impact and benefits agreement (IBA). The parties said the agreement represents another important milestone for the project and provides a thorough and co-operative framework for the parties to continue building the social license for the KSM project.

Seabridge Gold holds a 100% interest in several North American gold resource projects. The company’s principal assets are the KSM and Iskut properties near Stewart, B.C., and the Courageous Lake gold project in the Northwest Territories.

KSM is one of the world’s largest undeveloped gold projects as measured by reserves. It is estimated to contain 38.8 million ounces of gold and 10.2 billion pounds of coper in proven and probable reserves.

“The Tahltan people have spoken and have ratified the KSM IBA that provides the Tahltan Nation with far reaching economic benefits and strong commitments to the environmental management of the land that we hold sacred,” said Tahltan central government President Chad Norman Day.

“The Tahltan central government has worked closely with Seabridge for more than a decade to bring the KSM project from its early exploration stage through permitting,’’ he said. “We have an excellent partnership with Seabridge. At each step of the way, Seabridge has been a respectful and willing partner to work with our people, communities and all levels of government to ensure our Tahltan environment concerns and economic concerns were properly addressed.”

In March 2019, Seabridge announced an updated resource estimate for the Iron Cap deposit, one of four large gold/copper porphyry deposits within the KSM project. The updated resource estimate incorporated all previous drilling, plus 20,341 metres of diamond core drilling completed in 18 holes during the 2018 program.

Seabridge Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk noted that the new resource estimate achieved the targeted size and grade, which, he said, are likely to warrant moving the Iron Cap deposit ahead of the Kerr and Sulphurets deposits in the project’s mine plan.

Iron Cap is closer to infrastructure than Kerr and Sulphurets and its development could be faster and less costly, he said.

Fronk went on to say that within the 1.9 billion tonnes of inferred resources in the Iron Cap deposit, there exist significantly higher grade underground cave opportunities with substantial tonnage.

Referring to the agreement announced on Monday, Fronk said the co-operation and benefits agreement provides a genuine partnership between the KSK project and the Tahltan Nation for decades to come.

On Monday, Seabridge shares eased 2.25% or $0.36 to $15.65 on light volume. The 52-week range is $13.65 and $20.10.

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