The Carmacks oxide Cu-Au-Ag deposit is a road-accessible project that is being developed as a two-stage agitated tank leach copper-gold-silver producer. Ore will be crushed and then ground by SAG milling to, then leached in an agitated-tank circuit with sulphuric acid. The leached copper is recovered by solvent-extraction/electrowinning (SX-EW) to produce cathode copper. The leached slurry is then rinsed and neutralized for cyanide leaching in a second agitated tank circuit followed by recovery of gold and silver by Carbon-in-Leach (CIL) to produce a gold-silver doré. The barren slurry is then passed through an Inco-SO2 cyanide destruction circuit followed by filtration and placement as dry stack tailings. Details of this metallurgical process and the overall project plan may be found in "NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment Technical Report on the Carmacks Project, Yukon, Canada" prepared by JDS Energy & Mining, Inc. and filed on SEDAR November 25, 2016 (the "2016 PEA"). The 2016 PEA supersedes all earlier technical reports.
Mineral resources on the property have been significantly expanded by exploration in 2015 and 2017 (see the 2016 PEA and the news release dated April 9, 2018) and there is a high potential to discover additional mineralization on the property
The Carmacks Project is located 192 km north of Whitehorse, Yukon. The Project site is 8 km west of the Yukon River and approximately 38 km northwest of the Village of Carmacks.
The project is on Crown land administered by the Yukon Government and it lies within the Traditinal Territories of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and the Selkirk First Nation.
The average annual precipitation is approximately 339 mm with one third falling as snow.
In 1898, the first claims were staked to cover copper showings that were associated with copper bearing quartz veins located in Williams Creek and Merrice Creek Canyons, east of the present Carmacks copper-gold-silver deposit.
In the late 1960's the discovery of the Casino porphyry copper deposit, 104 km to the northwest, precipitated a staking rush that led to the staking of the Williams Creek property in 1970 by G. Wing and A. Arsenault. During the site examination by the Dawson Range Joint Venture the present No. 1 and No. 2 zones were located.
The property was purchased by Western Copper Holdings and Thermal Exploration in 1989. Western and Thermal merged in 1995 to become Western Copper Holdings Ltd.
Kilborn Pacific Engineering completed the first feasibility study (1993) for the project based on a copper-only heap leaching process. The feasibility study was updated in 1995, followed by a basic engineering study and a definitive capital cost estimate in 1997. Western Copper Holdings then began the process of obtaining proposals for the construction of the project. In 1998, the company suspended the project indefinitely due to low copper prices.
In February 2003, Western Copper Holdings Ltd. changed their name to Western Silver Corporation. In late 2004, Western Silver re-entered the environmental permitting process, initially under the Yukon Environmental Assessment Act (YEA) and subsequently under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act.
In early 2006 Glamis Gold purchased Western Silver Corporation and spun off a separate firm named Western Copper Corporation. Western Copper retained the rights to the Carmacks Project.
In September 2006, Western Copper retained M3 Engineering & Technology Corporation to revise the earlier studies and develop a NI 43-101 compliant Feasibility Study, again on the basis of the copper-only heap leaching plan. The study was completed and filed on SEDAR in 2007 (the "2007 Feasibility Study"). The project plan received a positive decision under YESAA in 2008 and a Quartz Mining License in 2009.
In November 2011, Copper North Mining Corp. was spun out of Western Copper Corporation by a plan of arrangement and Copper North retained the rights to the Carmacks Project. Copper North retained M3 Engineering & Technology Corporation to update the 2007 Feasibility Study to incorporate heap leach design changes and current costs and metal prices. The study was completed and filed on SEDAR in 2012 (the "2012 Feasibility Study")
In April 2014, Copper North retained Merit Consultants International Inc. to develop a Preliminary Economic Assessment based on a two-stage heap leaching plan for copper and precious metals recovery. The study was completed and filed on SEDAR on July 10, 2014 (the "2014 PEA") and was a first step in re-engineering the Project to increase operational efficiency and improve project economics by incorporating recovery of precious metals.
Copper North conducted an exploration geophysics and drill program from August to early November 2015, focussed on defining oxide mineralization in Zone 2000S, Zone, 13, and Zone 12, all located south of the main mineral deposit in Zones, 1, 4, 7, and 7A. 3,271 m of infill and step-out diamond drilling resulted in a 31% increase in oxide Measured+Indicated resource tonnes, an 85% increase in sulphide Measured+Indicated resource tonnes, and a 62% increase in the overall combined oxide and sulphide mineral resource (M+I and Inferred). The drill results and updated mineral resource estimate were reported in "Arseneau Consulting Services Inc. 2016. Carmacks Copper Project, Yukon, Canada, Independent Technical Report on the Carmacks Copper Project" filed on SEDAR on March 10, 2016.
In June 2016, Copper North retained JDS Energy & Mining Inc. to develop a Preliminary Economic Assessment based on two-stage agitated tank leaching for copper and precious metals recovery based on metallurgical test work conducted between July 2014 and June 2016. The study was completed and filed on SEDAR on November 25, 2016 (the "2016 PEA").
Copper North conducted an exploration geophysics and drill program September-October 2017, focussed on further defining oxide mineralization in Zones 2000S, 13, and 12. 4,165 m of infill and step-out drilling was completed, resulting in a further 40% increase in the oxide measured and Indicated resource in these zones. (see News Release dated April 9, 2018).
The Project site is currently accessible by an existing 13 km exploration road that leads north from km 33 of the secondary, government maintained, unpaved Freegold Road originating at the Village of Carmacks. Carmacks lies on the paved Klondike Highway, 175 km north of Whitehorse, the capital city of Yukon. The year-round port of Skagway, Alaska, is 180 km south of Whitehorse by paved highway. The project site is located 11 km west of Yukon Energy Corp's existing 138 Kv Carmacks-Stewart transmission line.
Scientific and technical information regarding the Carmacks Copper-Gold Silver Project plans and mineral resources may be found in the "NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment Technical Report on the Carmacks Project, Yukon, Canada" prepared by JDS Energy & Mining, Inc. and filed on SEDAR November 25, 2016 (the "2016 PEA"). The 2016 PEA is the current NI 43-101 technical report for the project, superseding all previous technical reports.The 2016 PEA is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. Refer to the 2016 PEA, filed on SEDAR under the Company's profile on November 25, 2016, for a discussion of the applicable qualifications and assumptions and the impact of the results of the previous studies on the Carmacks Project.