(TSX: TMQ) March 20, 2017 – Trilogy Metals Inc. has announced it intends to undertake a pre-feasibility study on the high-grade Arctic deposit located in northwest Alaska. The PFS will be supported by information collected during the 2015 and 2016 field seasons as well as additional information to be collected during the 2017 summer field program.
A budget totaling $7.1 million for fiscal 2017 has received board approval, and will focus mainly on the Arctic Project PFS with an anticipated completion date of Q1 2018. The Arctic Project is a very high-grade polymetallic volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, hosting copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver mineralization with an average grade of 6% copper equivalent which has the potential to be mined in an open-pit.
The PFS will incorporate all of the information collected over the past two years of in-fill drilling and related studies, including: an updated resource model; geotechnical pit-slope stability studies; hydrology; waste rock characterization and metallurgy (all of which are now completed, or will be shortly). The remaining field work to be completed during this field season will cover studies related to determining the placement of all site facilities, including: the ore processing facility (crushing and milling); the waste rock and tailings disposal area(s); water storage ponds and supporting road infrastructure. In addition, ongoing environmental data collection will continue – sufficient to be used to support a PFS level of study.
Site work will include geotechnical drilling, hydrology installations, and test pits for site facility locations and mine design, and geophysical ground surveys to evaluate ground conditions. A significantly expanded environmental baseline program will further the ongoing baseline data collection including: aquatic studies, avian and large mammal surveys, water balance programs will be expanded, and collection of data from the existing meteorological station will continue. Surface water quality testing will continue from the programs initiated in earlier years and groundwater quality monitoring will begin. Previous wetlands delineation information will be analyzed during the year for submission of a jurisdictional determination to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The PFS on the Arctic deposit is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018, with a view to recategorizing the resources at Arctic to reserves.
“We are pleased to have received board approval for the 2017 plan and budget to complete a PFS on Arctic,” said Trilogy Metals president and CEO Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse. “The PFS will demonstrate the true value of the high-grade Arctic deposit, which we expect will be the first in a series of potential mines in the Ambler mining district. With the recent announcement that the BLM has initiated the permitting process on the AMDIAP, as well as an upswing in demand for copper and zinc, the company is well positioned to add value for shareholders by advancing development of the world-class Ambler mining district.”
On March 6, 2017, the company announced that the permitting process is advancing on the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Project. The notice of intent initiating the permitting process under the National Environmental Policy Act for the preparation of an environmental impact statement on the AMDIAP was published on February 28, 2017 by the Bureau of Land Management in the U.S. Federal Register. The BLM is the lead Federal agency for the EIS. This notice initiates the public scoping process for the EIS with comments due by May 30, 2017 and outlines a schedule to complete the EIS by December, 2019.
The company intends to sign a new memorandum of understanding with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority that will set the foundation to work together during the next permitting phase of the AMDIAP.
Trilogy Metals Inc., formerly NovaCopper Inc., is a metals exploration company focused on exploring and developing the Ambler mining district located in northwestern Alaska. It is one of the richest and most-prospective known copper-dominant districts located in one of the safest geopolitical jurisdictions in the world. It hosts world-class polymetallic VMS deposits that contain copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver, and carbonate replacement deposits which have been found to host high grade copper mineralization. Exploration efforts have been focused on two deposits in the Ambler mining district – the Arctic VMS deposit and the Bornite carbonate replacement deposit. Both deposits are located within the company’s land package that spans approximately 143,000 hectares.