Sorry for the long delay in posting  – I had a very bad case of kennel cough. 95% better now…

So, the Minto mine is looking to resume open pit mining now that the price of copper has gone up a bit.


At present Minto is mining about 2,000 tonnes per day from underground, at a grade of about 2% Cu. The underground ore is about 10m thick, with top and bottom cuts taken out, then longhole for the rest. A fairly efficient operation it seems. There are four stockpiles on surface, with grades ranging from about 1% Cu to 4% Cu. The mill runs at 4,000 tonnes per day, and the material is blended to an optimum grade around 2% Cu.

There is quite a lot of underground resources remaining at around 2%Cu or a bit less, but a lot of this material hasn’t been adequately drilled off to bring it into mineable reserves. I think most of it would be less than 10m thick, probably more like 4m thick and suitable for room and pillar mining. So slightly less efficient than the current u/g mining. A couple million tonnes reported from Minto East, Area 2/118 and Copper Keel zones. And development of access is required to mine the new areas.

For open pit mining, there is a lot of tonnage remaining, but at much lower grades than mined to date. There are M & I resources totalling 45 million tonnes at 1.07% Cu and Inferred resources of 25 million tonnes at 0.83% Cu.

The corporate website claims there is 7 years remaining mine life, however in this latest news release they are talking about mining only until the end of 2017 if all goes well. So the price of copper over the next year will be critical to continuing mining into 2018 and beyond. The great Otto Rock has already explained how Capstone has shot themselves in the foot by using the so-called “costless collar” to lock in prices below $2.54.  I suppose the company will need something more like $3+ per pound to be able to continue mining the low grade pit material for the remaining resources. And they need to invest in developing more of the high grade underground stuff – if they can continue to produce 2% material at 2,000 tpd from underground it will make the 1% pit stuff more palatable.

Anyways, Minto has been a real success story for the Yukon. It started operations in 2007 at 1800 tpd milling rate and only a 4 year initial mine life. The mine has paid millions of dollars  year in royalties to the Selkirk First Nation. I am sure that they spent it wisely…

Oh yeah, at 4,000 tonnes per day they mill about 1.46 million tonnes per year. The 70 million tonnes of resources noted above COULD therefore last for 47 years, assuming high enough copper prices! So when the mine shuts down in the next year or so, please, please ignore the calls for a permanent shutdown and reclamation of the site! There will be more mining to come later.



So there is a new junior company named K2 Gold. A new version of the ski gear?  Is it a marihuana company, you get as high as K2? Or is it exploring in Pakistan for gold? Bring your O2.


Perhaps a vitamin company?


No, no.

Spotted recently at the Yukon Geoscience Forum was John Robins, Spud Heustis award winner, rainmaker for numerous Vancouver-based explorers including the recently taken over Kaminak Gold. So he has returned to early stage exploration by acquiring the WELS property for the newly re-named K2 Gold. WELS was discovered just a few years ago by R. Hulstein and F. Anderson, for which they were named Yukon Prospectors of the Year (probably a more prestigious award than the Spud Heustis, imho). The property, located near Wellesley Lake and Snag was explored initially by privateco Gorilla Minerals, owned in part by MLA Ranj “StFX” Pillai. Gorilla didn’t really know what to do with the property. I strongly suspect that Robins and his gang will know exactly what to do with it. Good luck!


The Wels property lies in gentle terrain near the White River.

StFX Mafia

At the recent Yukon Geoscience Forum there was a sighting of Donald McInnes, Vancouver junior company rainmaker and currently Vice Chairman of Ross Beatty’s Alterra Power Corp.

Donald used to be in the mineral exploration racket with Yukon properties, so is he planning to resume that, we hope? Nope.

Or is he about to bring some excellent renewable power options to the Yukon? Nope, at least not yet.

So why was he here at all, you may ask? It turns out that the Donald was a yuuuuge fundraiser for the Yukon Liberal party that cleaned up in the recent Territorial election. But Donald is from a Conservative home, his father was a federal Brian Macaroni Cabinet Minister for the Tories:   The Hon. Stewart Donald MCINNES, P.C., Q.C., LL.D., LL.B., B.A.  Why the Liberals, for god’s sake?

Because of the Fellowship of the Ring. Donald attended St Francis Xavier university, StFX. Graduating from StFX comes with a ring that confers special powers, turning even mild mannered school teachers into powerful X-Men!


It turns out that our new Yukon premier, Silver Sandy and MLA henchman Ranch Pillory are also both X-Men, and there is a sacred bond between these people that demands political assistance.


Other notable Canadian politcos who attended StFX include Frank McKenna, Lisa Raitt and the abovementioned Brian Macaroni. The top reason people attend this tiny, super-elite institution, according to their website: 

“Students experience the excitement of receiving the iconic X-Ring upon graduation – a renowned symbol of scholarship and connection to a wider, worldwide community (Canada’s strongest Alumni network) ”

 Not mentioned anywhere in public is the StFX secret handshake, even more powerful than the ring…


My Pet Peeve…

Below are two maps of the same approximate area, several years apart:




The property name has been changed from  3 Ace to 3 Aces. By the Golden Predator.

The Main Zone, with all the flashy visible gold is now the Queen of Hearts, apparently, the Sleeping Giant is Spades and all the other old zone names have also been changed. Just Because…

I think the name changes are specifically intended just to piss me off! The same perpetrators also changed old property names like Scheelite Dome to Gold Dome. And the Rhosgobel zone at Clear Creek to the Juno zone (even though they never even drilled it). All these changes piss me off…

I had to think about why I am angered by the changes. Perhaps because it makes comparisons between old and new results difficult. Perhaps because one of the joys of being a field geo/ prospector is being able to give a name to your baby, a new discovery. When they get changed for oh-so-clever marketing purposes by someone who spent 10 minutes on site it seems like a personal insult. So F you too!



These guys raised $1.2m earlier this year, redid the 43-101 resource estimate using old data, then drilled 3 holes.

The Main Zone gold Inferred Resource, at a 0.6 g/t gold equivalent (“AuEq”) cutoff, hosts a NI 43-101 compliant Resource of 12,503,994 tonnes containing 361,692 ounces gold at 0.9 g/t and 2,248,948 ounces silver at 5.59 g/t for a combined gold and silver 396,468 ounces gold equivalent.

Personally, I don’t think there is any such thing as an equivalent to gold….  only gold is gold. Silver is also nice, but is not gold.

Also, if you have a gold deposit that is too small, and only have enough money to drill 3 holes, maybe you should drill all 3 holes as stepouts. Not infill. But I suppose one must get at least one decent hit or you will be in trouble. One of the 3 holes was infill, 2 were stepouts, though it is not quite clear which is which from the news release.

Luckily all 3 holes provided good hits!

Each of the three holes drilled in 2016 returned long intervals of Main Zone mineralization including: 30.7 metres of 1.30g/t Au and 8.0 g/t Ag from 18.3 to 49.0 metres (drill hole HY-16-48); 27.1 metres of 1.02 g/t Au and 16 g/t Ag from 24.4 to 51.5 metres (drillhole HY-16-49); and 35.7 metres of 1.00 g/t Au and 2.5 g/t Ag from 76.0 to 111.6 metres (drill hole HY-16-10).

Note that Banyan bought the Hyland project in 2012 from Argus Metals Corp. for $25k and 4m shares…  they have been chipping away at the property each year, sometimes with YMIP grants. They discovered a new zone, but it seems to be lower grade so far and is not included in the resource estimate.


Kelowna, Canada – October 31, 2016 – Cantex Mine Development Corp. (CD: TSXV) (the
“Company”) The Company is pleased to announce that drilling is underway on its North Rackla Project
in the Yukon.
Drilling is currently testing the newly discovered eastern silver-lead-zinc-copper massive sulphide zone.
Specifically, the southwestern extension of the massive sulphide zone is presently being tested. Though
this zone has not been trenched, composite gossan samples collected from sub-outcrop gossan samples
returned grades of up to 314 g/t silver, 13.85% lead, 18.7% zinc and 1.97% copper.
The technical information and results reported here have been reviewed by Mr. Chad Ulansky P.Geol.,
a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101, who is responsible for the technical content of
this release.
Charles Fipke


Just a word to the wise – diamond drilling above treeline 100km northwest of Keno Hill in November just might not be the best idea. Every day gets shorter and darker and colder. Maybe very, very cold. Lucky for them they have the great Al Doherty along to help!


Some Yukon explorers have recently started or completed private placements. Hooray! If the PP is for greater than $1million it means they can actually do some real work, not just stay alive.


Arcus Development Closes Private Placements with Goldcorp 

$1,398,851 from Goldcorp as part of the deal for claims adjacent to Coffee project.

Precipitate Receives $1,200,000 Through Warrant Exercise by Strategic Metals Ltd.

Although Precipitate has some Yukon claims, this money will be spent in Dominican Republic. Strategic Metals works mostly in Yukon, so I see this as money leaving the territory. Not so good…

Northern Freegold Announces Private Placement and Closes First Tranche

$1,585,125 already closed, and probably more to come. Plus warrants.

Cariboo Rose Completes Casino “B” Option with Western Copper and Gold and Sells Back Nine Claims

OK, so no money changed hands in this one. But the Casino pit can now expand a bit. The pit edge of the current design at Casino terminates against the property boundary with Cariboo, not a geology or grade cutoff boundary. So expect them to add a few tonnes. Of course lack of tonnage is not really the problem at Casino…