Sabina grows Back River resources ahead of feasibility update

Camp at Back River Credit: Sabina Gold & Silver

Developer Sabina Gold & Silver has released an updated resource for its Back River gold project in Nunavut, which shows resource growth in both the measured and indicated and inferred categories.

Updated measured and indicated resources now total 33.5 million tonnes at 5.8 g/t gold, for a total of 6.3 million gold oz. (compared with 28.2 million tonnes at 5.87 g/t gold previously) with additional inferred resources of 13.8 million tonnes grading 6.44 g/t for a further 2.9 million oz. of gold. The prior inferred resource was estimated at 7.8 million tonners grading 7.43 g/t gold.

The latest resource incorporates 54,350 metres of new drilling completed at the Goose site, which was focused mainly on the Umwelt, Llama Extension and Nuvuyak deposits.

Midday Wednesday, Sabina’s stock was up 3.7% on the TSE

According to the release, these latest figures include initial inferred estimates for the Nuvuyak and Llama Extension deposits.

The Umwelt deposit remains a key resource contributor and now features 13.2 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 6.89 g/t gold and 3 million inferred tonnes at 5.99 g/t gold.

Sabina has drilled an estimated 323,000 metres at Back River since acquiring the project in 2009, with a further 245,000 metres of historical drilling at the site for a total of an estimated 568,000 metres completed to date.

These latest estimated will be accounted for in the upcoming Back River feasibility study, which is expected later this quarter. Speaking to the potential of resource conversion into reserves with the upcoming feasibility, Bruce McLeod, the company’s president and CEO, expects to see reserve growth in the upcoming study.

“Historically, we have seen a conversion rate of approximately 73% when upgrading mineral resources to mineral reserves, and we expect a similar rate when converting these new discoveries into mineral reserves in the future. This updated estimate provides the foundation for our UFS and we anticipate a significant increase on the mineral reserve estimate for the Goose project. The work completed in 2020, such as delineating the V2 high grade underground zone has provided opportunity and flexibility for the mine plan going forward.”

The executive also added that, with this updated resource estimate, there is potential for extensions to the mine life and production on the order of 300,000 gold oz. annually.

A 2015 feasibility outlined a 3,000 t/d, 12-year mine, producing approximately 200,000 oz. of gold annually from three pits and one underground mine at Goose.

The company has all of the major authorizations for construction and operations in hand.

Midday Wednesday, Sabina’s stock was up 3.7% on the TSE. The company has a C$900 million market capitalization.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)