Keno Hill Silver District, Land Package and Near-term Targets
Alexco's Keno Hill Silver District
A RICH PAST / A PROMISING FUTURE
The Keno Hill Silver District has a rich history as one of the world's highest-grade silver districts. Located 330 kilometers north of Whitehorse in Canada's Yukon, the District lies within the traditional territory of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun (NND) and comprises 233.5 square kilometers characterized by numerous mineral occurrences and more than 35 mine sites with a history of production.
The Bellekeno silver mine, one of the world's highest-grade silver mines with a production grade of up to 1,000 grams per tonne, commenced commercial production at the beginning of calendar year 2011 and was Canada's only operating primary silver mine from 2011 to 2013. Alexco recently announced an interim suspension of operations at Bellekeno in order to decrease costs and reposition the District for long-term, sustainable operations.The opening of Alexco's Bellekeno silver mine at the start of 2011 marked the rebirth and rejuvenation of one of Canada's most famous and prolific historic mining districts: the Keno Hill Silver District. Alexco is now in the midst of re-awakening this valuable resource, using a combination of contemporary environmental technology woven together with modern mechanized mining methods. The Company is proud to be part of this new era of mine production and growth in a District that many thought had long finished its contributions to Yukoners and Canadians.
According to the Yukon government's Minfile database, between 1913 and 1989 the Keno Hill Silver District produced more than 217 million ounces of silver from over 5.3 million tons of ore with average grades of 40.52 ounces per ton (oz/ton) of silver, 5.62% lead and 3.14% zinc, making it the second-largest historical silver producer in Canada. In 1989, with falling metal prices and increased environmental standards, United Keno Hill Mines Limited terminated its mining activity in the District. Today, the District continues to boast significant mineral resources at grades far in excess of most of the world's primary silver producers.
Developing a Silver Production Pipeline
Alexco is intent on achieving its next goal: to fully realize the rich and historic promise of the Keno Hill Silver District with the development of a series of silver-producing properties. Many of those properties, like Bellekeno, will be former mine sites with considerable deposits of unmined mineralization. Alexco also expects to bring significant new mineable deposits into production.
Since acquiring the District in 2006, Alexco has collated and reviewed data from decades of exploration and production at Keno Hill. The results have guided the efforts of the Company's geologists, using advanced exploration technologies and an aggressive drilling program, to explore promising new areas of mineralization and to identify previously undiscovered resource deposits for development as part of Alexco's Keno Hill silver production pipeline.