Western Alaska Minerals (TSXV:WAM) Releases Maiden Resource Estimate for Illinois Creek Project

Figure 1. A long-section view of the sulfide zone (looking…


Figure 1. A long-section view of the sulfide zone (looking east). As indicated, the resource is open to the north, south (subject to a cross-cutting fault), and southwest. Source: Western Alaska Minerals

Western Alaska Minerals (TSXV:WAM) has announced an initial mineral resource estimate for the Waterpump Creek Zone at its 100% owned Illinois Creek project located in western Alaska.

The mineral resource estimate includes indicated resources of 1.96 million tonnes at 516 g/t silver, 5.8% lead and 14.6% zinc. Inferred resources are 0.43 million tonnes at 508 g/t silver, 6.2% lead and 13.1% zinc.

CEO Kit Marrs commented in a press release: “We believe we have a tiger by the tail at Illinois Creek and decided to proceed with an inferred resource estimate to demonstrate to the market the robust high grade (and high margin potential) of the WPC deposit as we’ve carried it from discovery to a significant volume of high-grade mineralization. This resource says we’re moving in the right direction and we’re looking forward to following the mineralization 7.5 km to the southwest back towards the past-producing Illinois Creek mine. We are in the early stages of developing a robust portfolio of base and precious minerals crucial for various industries. Silver, with its vital role in solar production and numerous industrial applications, and zinc, recognized as a critical mineral in the energy transition, defence, and agriculture sectors, are pivotal in driving the clean energy transition. Waterpump Creek, hosting a high-grade resource, significantly contributes to our sustainable future aspirations. This highlights our commitment to sustainable exploration practices and underscores the immense potential ahead for us at WAM.”

The resource estimate was prepared by independent qualified persons Dr. Bruce Davis and Susan Lomas of Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc. It is based on historical and recent drill results totalling over 16,000 metres in 87 holes completed between 1983 and 2023.

The estimate uses a base case cut-off grade of 200 g/t silver equivalent considering metal prices of $24/oz silver, $1/lb lead and $1.30/lb zinc. It covers three sulfide zones at the Waterpump Creek prospect which is interpreted as the distal extension of the over 7.5 km long Illinois Creek carbonate replacement deposit system.

The company states the resource estimate will justify further exploration in the area to expand resources. Additional exploration targets have been defined along the interpreted extensions of the mineralized structures.

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Figure 2. System-wide CRD targets showing the modeling results of the high-resolution 3DIP (2023) and the CSAMT (2022) surveys. The 5 ohm-m resistivity domains (dark yellow) are likely pathways for mineralizing fluids and the wider, (light yellow) 25 ohm-m resistivity domains indicate CRD alteration. Both are critical vectors for discovering new zones of CRD mineralization. Source: Western Alaska Minerals

The full National Instrument 43-101 technical report for the mineral resource estimate will be filed within 45 days. Western Alaska Minerals says the estimate represents a cornerstone for potential development and expansion of resources across the broader Illinois Creek district.

Highlights from the mineral resource estimate are as follows:

  • 2.39Mt @ 977 g/t silver equivalent (“AgEq”) for 75.0 Moz AgEq . The zinc equivalent is 26.32% ZnEq.
  • Attractive mining thicknesses ranging from 5 to 49 meters and widths ranging from 25 to 70 meters over a strike length of 495 meters.
  • All-in discovery rate of 3198 AgEq ozs/meter drilled.
  • Robust resource that is relatively insensitive up to a cut-off grade up to 600 g/t AgEq.
  • Significant zinc component adds important critical minerals potential.

Table 1. Waterpump Creek Sulfide Zone Inferred Mineral Resource Summary (200 g/t AgEq cut-off)

  1. The effective date of the Mineral Resource is February 20, 2024. The QPs for the Mineral Resource are Dr. Bruce Davis FAusIMM and Susan Lomas, P. Geo of Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc (LGGC).
  2. CIM Definition Standards were used for mineral resource classification and in accordance with CIM MRMR Best Practice Guidelines. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. It is reasonably expected that the majority of the Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued exploration.
  3. AgEq reporting cut-off grade calculation is based on estimated recoveries from preliminary metallurgical test work of 75% Ag, 70% Pb, and 84% Zn and metal prices of US$24.00/oz Ag, US$1.00/lb Pb, and US$1.30/lb Zn and cost inputs suitable for underground extraction method.
  4. The AgEq and ZnEq grade calculations used in the table above are based on the same metal prices (as point #3 above) and are not subject to recovery.
  • This Initial Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate is merely a beginning and demonstrates the high-grade nature of the mineralized system and that more exploration is fully warranted.
  • High-Grade: The resource silver equivalent grade compares well with the most successful high grade silver projects in production or development over the last decade including Silver Crest (Las Chispas), MAG Silver (Juanicipio), Adriatic (Vares), and now Vizsla Silver (Copala).
  • Under-Drilled: Substantial discovery rate in just 23,450 meters of drilling (15,550 meters of drilling was completed by WAM and 7,900 meters was completed by Anaconda and NovaGold).
  • Expansion Potential: The 2023 WAM 3D IP survey results demonstrate significant exploration potential both immediately north of WPC resource and south along the 7.5 km LH trend. In addition, the geophysics support a major new target, the Warm Springs target, which further connects the WPC/LH trend with the historic Illinois Creek mine gossan oxide Au/Ag deposit.
  • Existing NI 43-101 compliant Au-Ag oxide resource estimate: The past-producing Illinois Creek oxide Au-Ag mine, located approximately 7.5 km to the SE of WPC has an indicated estimate of 253 Koz Au, 9.5Moz Ag and an inferred estimate of 104Koz Au, 3.8Moz Ag.

Table 2. Sensitivity table showing Waterpump Creek Sulfide Inferred Resources at various AgEq cut-off grades.




The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a licensed professional for investment advice. The author is not an insider or shareholder of any of the companies mentioned above.

Matthew Evanoff

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I specialize in the mining industry, focusing on top global mining stocks. My reporting covers the latest industry news, company/project developments, and profiles of key players. With a degree in finance and economics from the University of Toronto, I’ve contributed to a wide range of industry publications. Beyond my professional pursuits, I have a keen interest in global business and a love for travel.

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