The mineral deposit comprising the Bermingham vein system is located approximately 4 km from the mill and below the historical Bermingham open pit. Access to the deposit will be through an already developed portal and 550 m long ramp. Ore from the Bermingham deposit will be sourced from the Bermingham Main, Bermingham Footwall, and Bear veins.
In May of 2018, the Company completed a 550 m underground advanced exploration decline, which allowed for a 4,230 m underground infill diamond drill program that was completed in mid-2018. Results from the underground drill program were included in the updated Bermingham mineral resource published on September 20, 2018 in a news release entitled “Alexco Updates Bermingham Mineral Resource.”
The Bermingham deposit comprises an Indicated Mineral Resource of approximately 1.1 Mt of 930 g/t silver with approximately 4% combined lead and zinc and a trace of gold within which a probable reserve comprising approximately 362,000 t grading 972 g/t silver with 4% combined lead and zinc will be extracted over the first six years of mining operations. While the Flame & Moth deposit will be the tonnage driver at Keno Hill, the newly discovered Bermingham deposit will be the grade driver.
Development in the Bermingham deposit will be sized 3.7 m W x 4.0 m H for the ramp and 3.5 m W by 3.5 m H for the operating development and cut and fill stopes. Primary mining method for Bermingham is mechanized cut and fill while the NE Zone is suitable for LH ore extraction.
Emergency egress and ventilation for the Bermingham deposit will be provided through a vent raise driven to surface. Ore and waste handling to surface will be by 15 t capacity haulage trucks. From the surface ore pad to the mill, haulage will be via 30 t surface trucks.
Within the current mine plan, Bermingham is scheduled to come online after Bellekeno mining is complete and, as previously described, Bermingham ore will be blended with Flame & Moth ore to maximize throughput and grade.