Drilling productivity at the Arctic project, in north-western Alaska, is behind schedule, owing to adverse weather conditions in the district and challenges in fully staffing the exploration programme, says TSX- and NYSE American-listed Trilogy Metals.
The project forms part of the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects, being managed by Ambler Metals – the joint venture operating company equally owned by Trilogy and South32.
The contractor deployed three diamond drill rigs in June to focus on a total of 7 600 m of planned drilling at Arctic. An additional 7 000 m of exploration drilling was planned at targets near the Arctic deposit and elsewhere in the Ambler mining district.
However, Ambler Metals is unlikely to achieve the drill metres planned at Arctic for this field season; however, Trilogy stresses that it does not expect the shortfall to influence the permitting and development timeline of the project.
The company does not expect the shortfall in the drilling programme to influence the permitting and development timeline of the Arctic project.
Ambler Metals has recovered sufficient mineralised material to complete the planned metallurgical programme at Arctic. Also, all the planned geotechnical drilling was completed at the Arctic project.
Ambler Metals will keep the camp open longer than originally planned to complete as much of the regional drilling programme as possible, Trilogy says, stating that the timing of camp closure will be weather dependent.
In response to the slower drilling this season, Ambler Metals has also redeployed some of the geological staff at site to focus on regional mapping and soil sampling around satellite deposits near the Arctic project and at the Bornite project. Information gathered during this season will assist with future exploration activities including identifying drill targets for next year’s field season.
“We are pleased that we are able to achieve our primary objectives which include the completion of the metallurgical drilling programme at Arctic and the advancement of the pre-permitting activities for Arctic. We are now well into our regional drilling programme with two drills following up on targets within the Ambler Belt and the greater Bornite area,” says Trilogy president and CEO Tony Giardini.
The regional drilling results should be available within the next couple of months.