Western Copper and Gold Corporation (“Western” or the “Company”) (TSX: WRN) (NYSE American: WRN) announces its 2021 exploration and drilling program (the “Program”) at its wholly owned Casino Copper-Gold Project (“Casino”).
The Program was established with Rio Tinto’s input, as stated in the Investor Rights Agreement and Subscription Agreement signed as part of Rio Tinto Canada’s investment in Western Canada (see news release dated May 17, 2021). The Program is made up of numerous parts, which are listed below:
The exploration diamond drilling phase of the 2021 program will consist of approximately 5,000 metres in 12 holes. These will focus on the Casino Deposit’s peripheral (the “Casino Deposit” or “Deposit”), as well as a number of exploration targets on the Canadian Creek property.
On Canadian Creek, drilling will be focused on at least three areas with potential soil geochemical and/or geophysical signatures. These include a molybdenite anomaly discovered by soil sampling and a potassium anomaly discovered using geophysical radiometric surveying. Also tested will be a potential magnetic “low” anomaly south of the main Casino Deposit.
Metallurgical and Geotechnical Drilling
A metallurgical component will be included in the diamond drilling program, consisting of 1,000 metres of large-diameter core in three holes to evaluate the mineralization’s amenability to mineral processing. In the Deposit area, the program includes about 1,500 metres of geotechnical and hydrological drilling, as well as 910 metre geotechnical program planned by Knight-Piesold Consulting. This will focus on the proposed tailings management facility, heap leaching and milling facilities, and new airstrip’s ground conditions.
Resource Confirmation Drilling
A five-hole, 1,500-metre resource confirmation campaign targeting the eastern and southern margins of the main Deposit is also part of the 2021 program. The goal of this campaign is to confirm the lithological and mineralogical settings of this portion of the Deposit. The core will be subjected to metallurgical testing as well as conventional gold and multi-element analysis.
The soil sampling component of the 2021 program covers the majority of the Casino property, with a focus on areas east and south of the Casino Deposit. A total of 2,400 “B-horizon” soil samples will be collected on a 200 m by 200 m grid spacing as part of the program. The goal is to find any geochemical signatures that could point to a second porphyry center or additional mineralized zones near the main Deposit.
The program also includes scanning drill core with Enersoft Inc.’s innovative “GeologicalAI” robotic scanning system in Calgary, Alberta. LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanning, XRF analysis, hyperspectral analysis, and various geotechnical analyses are all part of the scanning process.
The main goal will be to establish a standardization of rock types drilled throughout all of the programs that have been performed so far. The majority of drill core from the 1992–1994 programs, much of the core from the 2008–2012 programs, and some core from the high-grade “Deposit Core” identified by Western from the 2020 program’s results will be scanned. Scanning will be carried out on all metallurgical, geotechnical, and resource confirmation drilling in 2021, as well as on exploration drilling in 2021 where warranted.
Paul West-Sells, President and CEO said that “We are excited to launch our exploration and drilling program developed with Rio Tinto. In addition to targeting new exploration targets, the work performed over the summer will provide important information that we will use as we move the Casino Project towards feasibility.”
The health and safety of our employees, contractors, visitors and the communities in which we operate are paramount. To that end, we’ve created a COVID-19 policy at our exploration camp and throughout the Yukon to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. For the operation of remote camps and mining operations, we will continue to follow the guidance issued by the federal and territorial governments. Our entire policy set may be found at https://casinomining.com/about-us/casino-site-policies/.
Carl Schulze, P.Geo, a ‘Qualified Person’ as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical information in this news release.
ABOUT WESTERN COPPER AND GOLD CORPORATION
Western Copper and Gold Corporation is developing the Casino Project in the Yukon Territory, which is Canada’s premier copper-gold mine and one of the world’s most cost-effective greenfield copper-gold mining projects. Visit www.westerncopperandgold.com for additional details.