Seabridge Gold

FEATURED PROJECTS: KSM, Courageous Lake, Iskut


The KSM Project is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in the world measured by reserves. An updated Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) estimates proven and probable reserves total 38.8 million ounces of gold and 10.2 billion pounds of copper (see table). The KSM Project has completed a joint harmonized environmental assessment review as outlined by the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. In July, 2014 the project received its Environmental Assessment Certificate from the provincial authorities. Final federal approval was received in December, 2014.

Current Programs:

Exploration continues to produce major improvements in the economic and environmental parameters of KSM. From 2013 to 2016, Seabridge successfully targeted higher grade zones beneath KSM's near surface porphyry deposits, resulting in the discovery of Deep Kerr (2013) and the Iron Cap Lower Zone (2014). These discoveries led to sizeable resource expansions of higher grade material configured for low cost block cave underground mining. This mining technique substantially reduces the project footprint and waste generation

Based on these exploration successes, we announced an updated Preliminary Feasibility Study on September 19, 2016 (see news release). This PFS did not include the higher grade Deep Kerr and Iron Cap Lower Zone deposits because their resources are inferred only. These deposits were integrated into a new PEA study of KSM released on October 6, 2016 (see news release). This study confirmed significant further gains for KSM including estimated Base Case Life of Mine Operating Costs (net of Cu and Ag credits) of negative US$179 per ounce of gold produced. Total Cost (including all capital, operating and closure costs and net of credits) was estimated at US$358 per ounce of gold produced. The new design also results in a much smaller footprint; 2.4 billion tonnes (or 81%) less waste rock is generated compared to the 2016 PFS.

Exploration in 2017 generated further gains. An additional 11 holes at Iron Cap increased estimated inferred gold resources by 302% to 20.0 million ounces. Estimated inferred copper resources grew 379% to 8.6 billion pounds. Inferred copper grade jumped 36% and inferred gold grade rose 14% (see news release).

Drilling commenced in May, 2018 on this year’s $19.7 million KSM exploration program consisting of 28,000 meters of drilling and other surface work. The principal objectives are to: (i) complete 21,000 meters of drilling to test the down plunge projection of the high grade core zone of the Iron Cap Deposit to the west of the current resource; (ii) evaluate the relative positioning between Iron Cap resources and the currently planned alignment of the Mitchell-Treaty Tunnel; and (iii) undertake additional geotechnical and model confirmation drilling to help refine engineering parameters for the deposits.

Courageous Lake

The project's first Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) was released in July 2012 which estimated proven and probable reserves of 6.5 million ounces of gold in the open-pit FAT Deposit. The PFS predicts average annual production of 385,000 ounces at an estimated cash operating cost of $780 per ounce and a mine life of 15 years (see news release of July 24, 2012). The 33,030 hectare Courageous Lake Project covers almost all of the 53 km long Mathews Lake Greenstone Belt which historically hosted two high grade gold mines and has gold showings all along its length.

Current Programs:

The current focus of work at Courageous Lake is to improve its economics by adding higher grade resources and extending mine life. A high-grade gold discovery was made at Walsh Lake in 2012 and subsequent drilling in 2013 increased its size and confirmed its continuity (see news release of May 13, 2013). An initial resource estimate for Walsh Lake was subsequently announced: 4.62 million tonnes of inferred resources grading 3.24 g/T for a total of 482,000 ounces of gold (see news release of March 11, 2014). Metallurgical testing has confirmed up to 95% recoveries of the gold from the free-milling Walsh Lake material. Based on these factors, the Walsh Lake deposit could be mined prior to constructing the processing plant required for the larger, refractory FAT deposit. This order of development could have significant economic benefits for the Courageous Lake project not only by extending mine life but also by generating cash flow to pay for some capital costs as the FAT deposit ramps up.

In early 2018, Seabridge commenced a winter drill program to find more Walsh Lake-style deposits. The 36 hole, 7,200 meter program tested seven separate targets along the same geophysical and stratigraphic break that hosts the Walsh Lake Deposit. Two new gold zones were discovered, Olsen and Marsh Pond, with widths and grades that could make a contribution to project resources. Two other target zones also showed potential. Three targets did not return positive results (see news release).

Seabridge is also continuing with environmental and engineering programs to advance the project towards permitting and enhance its design.


The Iskut Project was obtained with the closing of Seabridge's acquisition of SnipGold Corp. in June, 2016. The property is located in northwestern British Columbia, about 110 km northwest of Stewart, BC and 30 km by air from Seabridge's KSM Project. The Iskut property consists of a contiguous block of 100 BC Mineral Claims, 2 Mineral Leases and 13 Crown Grants covering 29,436 hectares (294 km²) situated in the Liard Mining Division. The property includes the former high grade gold Johnny Mountain Mine and the copper-gold Bronson Slope deposit.

Current Programs:

The Iskut Project’s Quartz Rise target (see graphic) is a lithocap feature which can act as a trap for precious metal fluids at the top of large gold-copper porphyry systems. The lithocap target began as a theoretical concept based on our understanding of porphyry gold-copper systems at our nearby KSM project. In 15 months of work, we have learned a great deal and the concept has become a real, data-driven target. We believe we can now find the source of the high-grade gold associated with sulfide-bearing quartz veins at Quartz Rise. Our research continues to uncover compelling reasons why the lithocap may be hiding a significant, near surface epithermal precious metals system.

The 2017 drill program, the first ever at Quartz Rise, confirmed the presence of a gold-bearing intermediate sulfidation epithermal system beneath the Quartz Rise lithocap. The drilling intercepted several narrow, discontinuous intervals of high-grade gold. A subsequent 3D induced polarization (IP) geophysical survey together with detailed geological mapping and sampling of available rock faces indicate that the 2017 drilling may not have been in the correct orientation. New results from cliff face sampling show exceptional gold results that appear to correspond with a favorable IP chargeability anomaly under Quartz Rise.

Quartz Rise is underlain by Jurassic felsic volcanic stratigraphy consisting of coarse lithic tuff intercalated with densely-welded tuffaceous flows, incestuous porphyritic sills and tuffaceous sedimentary rocks, deposited unconformably on Triassic marine sedimentary rocks. This is the geological time break that has proved to be productive elsewhere in the region. At Quartz Rise, the coarse lithic tuff tends to show much more intense leaching and acid alteration than do the overlaying densely-welded tuff units which appear to have capped the fluid flows. Exposures of the coarse lithic tuff host in the cliff face have yielded exceptional gold values in more intensely-altered intervals found in proximity to IP chargeability anomalies.

This year's drilling, which commenced in August, is designed initially to follow gold-bearing veins in the coarse lithic tuff away from the cliff face into the chargeability anomaly. Additional holes will test other chargeability targets. The 3,000 meter core program can be expanded contingent on success.

In conjunction with its exploration program, Seabridge is also undertaking environmental work to ensure compliance with existing authorizations and to begin remediation programs required to mitigate the impacts of historical mining activity. This program includes a comprehensive evaluation of best practices for remediation on the property drawing upon the Seabridge environmental team’s experiences at KSM as well as engagement with the Tahltan First Nation and BC regulatory officials.