The Bermingham indicated mineral resources were expanded in March 2017 from 5.2 million ounces to 17.3 million ounces of contained silver, while inferred mineral resources increased from approximately 0.7 million ounces to 5.5 million ounces of contained silver. Currently, the Company is completing a 12,000 meter surface exploration program in the immediate vicinity of the Bermingham deposit designed to further explore potentially mineralized structural targets.
In August of 2017, the Company commenced advancement of a 600 meter underground advanced exploration decline, which will allow for a 5,000 meter underground infill diamond drill program to be completed in early 2018. It is estimated the underground decline development will take approximately 4 months to complete and the drill program will require an additional 4 months. This program is estimated to cost approximately $8.7 million. The underground exploration drill program will focus on the upper portions of the deposit with an objective of upgrading the existing inferred resources to indicated resources and upgrading existing indicated resources to measured resource status. Additionally, mine design around this very high grade resource will be optimized with the results of this very detailed work. Within the mine plan, Bermingham is scheduled to come online after Bellekeno and will be used to blend with Flame & Moth to maximize throughput and grade.