Source: Streetwise Reports 05/15/2018
Once seen as remote, British Columbia’s Golden Triangle has opened up dramatically, with two mines now in production, three new hydro-power facilities, a link to the provincial power grid, and roads throughout the region. Lawrence Roulston, managing director of WestBay Capital Advisors, discusses the changing mining landscape there and profiles a number of companies exploring that highly prospective region.
The Gold Report: Lawrence, would you briefly recap your background?
Lawrence Roulston: I studied geology and then business at the University of British Columbia. I worked with one of the major mining companies as an analyst in head office, where I spent a few years evaluating potential investments in all parts of the world. From there, I went into management of a midtier resource company and then got into the junior sector. For about 15 years, I wrote an independent, subscriber-supported investment newsletter. And then I spent three years leading the Vancouver office of a big United States private investment group. Just over a year ago, I started an advisory. We’re now working with several different companies and also looking for investment prospects for a number of investors. Through all that, I’ve seen a lot of different mining and exploration projects all over the world.
TGR: When we last spoke, you said that there were a couple of areas in the world where you were really excited about the exploration potential. We talked about Fiji. What’s another area where you see exceptional potential?
LR: After decades of traveling around the world looking for big high-grade metal deposits, I found the best area was right here in my backyard—the northwest part of British Columbia (B.C.), an area called the Golden Triangle. It’s one of the most richly endowed mineral regions on the planet. The gold resources that have already been outlined in that region exceed the Carlin Trend, which is generally seen to be the biggest depository of gold on this side of the planet. And in addition to the gold, there’s an equivalent value of silver, copper and other base metals as well as exotic metals like scandium. So, this is a really exceptional depository of metals and there will be a lot more ounces and pounds found in that region over the next couple of years.
TGR: I understand the Golden Triangle has some deposits that are quite large but the grades aren’t very high, for example, Seabridge Gold Inc.’s (SEA:TSX; SA:NYSE.MKT) KSM project. It’s a huge deposit but relatively low grade.
LR: If you just look at the gold grade of the KSM deposit, it’s about 0.6 grams per tonne (0.6 g/t) in the Proven and Probable reserve at this moment. On its own, that gold grade would not support development of a mine in that region. But the thing that makes it work for Seabridge and for some of the other deposits in the region is the presence of copper, silver, molybdenum and the other metals. In the case of KSM, those other metals double the in-the-ground value of the gold. So, on a per tonne basis, the deposits are really very attractive. They’re large and have a good metal content.
There are also some spectacular high grades there. At Pretium Resources Inc.’s (PVG:TSX; PVG:NYSE) Brucejack mine, which is right next to KSM, the average reserve grade is 16 g/t, and some of the drilling on that deposit exceeded 10,000 g/t. One of the samples from drilling had 41,000 g/t gold. I’ve never seen a gold assay as high as that, anywhere.
The Eskay Creek mine, which is in that same region, had over a 14-year mine life; the average grade was 49 g/t of gold and 2,400 g/t of silver, yielding 3 million ounces of gold and 160 million ounces of silver. And some of the other mines, like the Premier mine of Ascot Resources Ltd. (AOT:TSX.V), with over a 60-year mine life, had an average grade of 13 g/t gold, 300 g/t silver, 2.3% copper, plus credits of lead and zinc. The Snip mine produced a million ounces of gold at an average grade of 27.5 g/t.
The Golden Triangle is unique on the planet, in that it has both size and exceptionally high grades. For that reason, I’ve decided to focus a lot of attention on the Golden Triangle.
TGR: With these deposits, what is going on with the geology? It seems that a deposit like Seabridge’s KSM, which is very large but relatively low grade, would be a porphyry deposit. Are the high-grade deposits also porphyries?
LR: There’s an broad range of deposit types in the Golden Triangle. The KSM deposits are a series of large porphyry gold-copper deposits, and there are several other large porphyries in the region as well.
But the adjacent Brucejack deposit is an epithermal vein deposit. It’s probably related to a porphyry, but it’s a series of high-grade veins that come right to surface.
Eskay Creek is different again in that it’s a volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit—but a unique VMS deposit with exceptional enrichment of precious metals. There are numerous prospects for other occurrences of all three of those deposit types in the region.
And then last summer, there was a lot of work done on Garibaldi Resources Corp.’s (GGI:TSX.V) property, which came up with an entirely different deposit type, which is an ultramafic intrusion with nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group metals. Until the work by Garibaldi, nobody really appreciated the presence of that deposit type in the region.
So the Golden Triangle has a rich diversity of deposit types.
TGR: Can you give me some idea of the size of the area considered the Golden Triangle?
LR: It’s about 200 km per side, with the southern part of the triangle just south of the Port of Stewart.
TGR: There doesn’t seem to be a lot written about the history of this region. What can …read more
From:: The Gold Report