Seabridge Gold reports that an updated mineral resource model for its 100%-owned Courageous Lake project in Canada’s Northwest Territories has increased the project’s measured and indicated gold resources by 18% to nearly 8 million oz.

The new model includes data from the 52 diamond core exploration holes drilled in 2011 totaling approximately 15,000 m. The model incorporates data from 589 holes drilled by Seabridge, Noranda and Placer Dome, totaling approximately 169,000 meters. About 122,260 m of the total have been assayed for gold, 53% by Seabridge.

Seabridge Gold President and CEO Rudi Fronk said, “The focus of the 2011 drilling program was to upgrade inferred resources within the confines of the open pit defined in the 2011 preliminary economic assessment. The efficiency of our drill program and the predictability of our 2010 model proved to be exemplary. We converted nearly 1.2 million oz of previously disclosed inferred resources to measured and indicated in last year’s exploration program at an expenditure of approximately $6 million, or about $5/oz. All but one of the 52 exploration holes drilled in 2011 intercepted mineralization above the cut-off grade. New mine plans will now be generated from this updated resource model in anticipation of being able to report the project’s first proven and probable reserves in the prefeasibility study scheduled for completion in May.”

Gold mineralization within the Courageous Lake deposit is hosted in the upper part of an assemblage of Archean-age felsic pyroclastic rocks just below a transition zone to sedimentary rocks. The cut-off grade for resource tabulation was set at 0.83 g/mt, consistent with the cut-off grade used for previous Courageous Lake resource estimates (2007 and 2010). The cut-off grade used in the 2011 preliminary economic assessment was 0.67 g/mt, based on a gold price of $990/oz. It is likely the cut-off grade that will be used in the 2012 prefeasibility study will be lower than 0.67 g/mt due to higher gold prices. (