Atac Resources has reported an updated mineral resource and preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Tiger deposit at the western end of its 1,700-km2 Rackla gold property in east-central Yukon. The update incorporates recent work, including additional diamond drilling, metallurgical test work, and a revised geological model focusing on better defining high-grade trends.

The PEA describes a project that would produce a total of 267,000 ounces (oz) of gold over a six-year operating life at an average diluted feed grade of 3.82 grams per metric tons (g/mt) gold. Annual production would peak at 72,860 oz in the first operating year, while production during the first three years would average 61,900 ounces per year (oz/y).

Preproduction capital costs to develop the project are estimated at C$110.1 million. All-in sustaining costs of production are estimated at $661/oz. The post-tax payback period is estimated at 1.4 years.

Atac President and CEO Graham Downs said, “The updated geological model and PEA envision a smaller but higher-grade operation than contemplated by the 2016 resource estimate and PEA. We are very encouraged by the short payback period and high IRR, which are calculated at a base case substantially lower than current gold prices.

“The updated deposit model has also identified strong high-grade trends that are open along strike and at depth. Tiger’s high grades and margins, coupled with nearby satellite targets, provide a compelling case for advancement.”

Consistent with previous studies, the Tiger project has been modeled as an owner-operator, truck-and-shovel, open-pit mining operation, with a conventional carbon-in-pulp (CIP) gold recovery process. Year-round operations would be supported by a 68-km tote road that would connect the project to the Yukon highway system near Keno City.

A total of 2.7 million mt of mineralized material and 14.4 million mt of waste rock would be produced from the pit. Mineralized material would be crushed, ground and cyanide leached in a conventional CIP circuit, with production of doré bars on site via standard adsorption, desorption and recovery treatment. The processing plant would operate year-round at a throughput rate of 1,500 mt/d.

The Tiger deposit mineral resource update was completed by Mine Development Associates. The PEA update was completed by Tetra Tech Canada (mining, processing, infrastructure, financial analysis, and environmental); Knight Piésold (tailings and waste management); and Blue Coast Metallurgy (metallurgy).