Osisko Metals Starts Work to Revive Mining at Pine Point

Osisko Metals has initiated a 50,000-meter drill program at its recently acquired Pine Point properties in the southern Northwest Territories, Canada. The Pine Point district was mined by Cominco from 1964 to 1987, with about 64 million metric tons (mt) of ore produced from as many as 46 separate open pits and two underground mines on a 35-km-long trend at an overall average grade of 7% zinc and 3.1% lead. Osisko acquired the properties by acquiring Pine Point Mining Ltd. in a transaction that was announced in December and closed in February.

“We are initiating rapid development plans in one of Canada’s once most profitable former-producing zinc mining camps,” said Osisko President and CEO Jeff Hussey. “We are planning an aggressive exploration program to confirm, upgrade, and expand the portfolio of more than 40 historical deposits.

“Shallow mineralization will allow us to rapidly convert the historical resources into NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimates and incorporate them into economic studies.” Three drill rigs were mobilized to the Pine Point project in early February and began drilling high-priority targets that have poor summer access. The exploration program also includes an airborne geophysical survey planned for the second quarter of 2018, including detailed gravity gradiometry and total field magnetics. The favorable carbonate horizon is approximately 200 m to 300 m thick, where the majority of the historic drilling targeted zinc-lead mineralization in the upper third of the stratigraphy.

Mineralization at Pine Point was characteristically unresponsive to historical geophysical surveys, limiting previous exploration programs. Gravity gradiometry, unavailable during the time of these historical surveys, is the only type of geophysical tool that will identify potential targets below or adjacent to the historical deposits. The detailed airborne magnetic survey will be used to map regional faults, which are commonly associated to mineralizing conduits. Coincident gravity anomalies located along faults or especially at fault intersections would be high-priority drill targets.

Drilling will confirm and delineate existing historical resources as well as investigate new exploration target areas. Confirmation drilling will focus initially on deposits located near the electrical substation, the former concentrator site and the Pine Point town site. Metallurgical testing, advanced baseline environmental studies, and engineering trade-off studies will be performed as part of an aggressive development program concurrent with the large exploration program.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 04 - www.womp-int.com