Happy Creek Minerals is planning to continue creating more jobs in the South Cariboo through further exploration of its Fox tungsten property northeast of 100 Mile House.
Happy Creek president/CEO David Blann says their mine project is showing results of well over double their 2016 goal for Tungsten trioxide (WO3) – adding more “weight” to its claim of being potentially the highest grade tungsten mine in the western world.
After working on a seasonal basis for more than 10 years exploring the Fox tungsten prospect in the area around and east of the Boss Mountain Mine, Happy Creek has engaged several local people to work for them, as well as spin-off economic benefits to the community, he adds.
In a previous 100 Mile Free Press article entitled Tungsten exploration creates local jobs (Nov. 30/16, page A7), Blann explains how Happy Creek’s Fox project provides direct employment/training opportunities, including both hiring a local drilling contractor and a couple of Canim Lake Band members and participating in the band’s job fairs.
Happy Creek also brings plenty of economic benefits to merchants in 100 Mile House, such as for fuel, propane, groceries, motels, helicopters, excavating, tires, clothing, hardware, lumber, transportation, he explains.
Now, the P. Eng. summarizes the mine’s 2017 resource (as of May 25, 2017) as having results significantly improved from its earlier 2015/2016 release. By definition, WO3 is a chemical compound containing tungsten (and oxygen) and is obtained as an intermediate in the recovery of tungsten from its minerals.
Blann explains some history of how last year’s project excitement and goals increased with this latest report, after its technical release in early January 2017, and breaks down a bit more of what this means for their project, and hopefully, future jobs for the community.
“In 2016, a drilling program was successful in expanding the area of strong tungsten grades found in surface rocks and previous drill holes.
“As a result, an independent engineering resource estimate was published in January 2017 which shows the project contains 486,000 metric tonnes of material grading 0.818 per cent WO3 in [this] category.”
There is also 361,000 tonnes grading 1.568 per cent WO3 in another “inferred” (potential) category, he adds.
So, what does this mean in layman’s language?
“One of our stated goals for 2016 was to expand the resource base for the project, and we have increased the total contained kg of high-grade tungsten [WO3] by two and a half times – while significantly increasing the overall resource grade.
“Together, the project is showing tungsten resource grades that compare with the Cantung mine regarded as the highest grade tungsten mine in the western world until it closed a few years ago.”
The company is very pleased with the Fox project results, Blann says, adding if its current financing arrangements are successful, more detailed engineering studies and economic analyses will be performed in 2017.
The Fox property consists of a recently discovered, large scale (10 km by three km) tungsten mineral system, and now, more recent drill holes in its Ridley Creek zone provided better geological control to capture a higher grade with a low strip ratio (3.3:1), he explains.
The CEO adds Happy Creek and its contractor also drilled seven more successful holes at the nearby BN zone, so both remain open to further expansion, along with several others that have only received limited exploration work to date.
“As a new discovery in the western world, we are pleased with the results of the 2016 program and we plan to continue advancing the 100 per cent-owned Fox as a leading new tungsten project.”