The Blackdome Gold Mine is a permitted mine and milling facility located in southwestern British Columbia, approximately 230 kilometres north of Vancouver and 100 kilometres south of Williams Lake. The 34,794-hectare property is situated west of the Fraser River, near the summit of Blackdome Mountain, in the Camelsfoot Mountain Range at between 1,760 and 2,050 metres in elevation. Access to the mine is from either the town of Clinton or the city of Williams Lake, via the village of Dog Creek and then west across the Churn Creek Bridge. The Blackdome Gold Mine has excellent infrastructure, with road access to all underground portals. A well-maintained camp on the property accommodates exploration crews.
Since acquiring the mine in 1995, Sona Resources (then Claimstaker Resources) has carried out geotechnical surveys, exploration drilling and small-scale mining. The Blackdome Gold Mine is 100 percent owned by Sona with no underlying royalties and consists of 45 mineral claims, 10 Crown-granted mineral claims and two mining leases. The property has a modern, well-maintained flotation and gravity mill with a current design capacity of 200 tonnes per day. All of the project’s mining permits are in good standing.
SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (“SRK”) was commissioned to review and update the Blackdome resource estimate to CIMM standards as per National Instrument 43-101. The Blackdome Gold Mine has a resource estimate of 144,500 tonnes Indicated grading 11.29 g/tAu containing 52,600 oz gold/232,300 oz silver and 90,600t Inferred grading 8.79 g/tAu containing 25,900 oz gold/ 54400 oz silver. (News Release May 4, 2010).
In the fall of 2009, Sona contracted Micon International Limited (“Micon”) to complete a preliminary assessment of the Blackdome Gold Mine and the Elizabeth Gold Property, to evaluate potential underground mining operations at both sites. Having incorporated this new information, the Micon study based on a 200 tonne per day mining tonnage rate and grade, has determined capital and operating costs for mining, ore transportation, milling, smelting, refining and site infrastructure to a level of accuracy appropriate for a preliminary assessment. (See News Release June 22, 2010).
“A Preliminary Economic Assessment is preliminary in nature; it includes inferred mineral resources considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves; and that there is no certainty that the preliminary assessment will be realized.”
“Mineral Resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability”
- Preliminary assessment study of Blackdome and Elizabeth by Micon International
- Review of inferred resource by SRK Consulting Inc.
- Planning underway for exploration drilling of Giant and Redbird veins
Placer mining on the Fraser River at locations such as Big Bar, French Bar, Crows Bar and High Bar led to a placer gold discovery on Poison Mountain in the early 1930s. . The source of the placer gold was a large, low-grade copper-gold porphyry system. Considerable sluicing for gold was done on Fairless Creek, which drains the west slope of Blackdome Mountain.
In the 1950s surface work and two adits were completed by Empire Gold Mines. In 1977 Barrier Reef Resources completed soil and rock sampling, trenching, drilling and underground development.
After an extended period of exploration starting in 1978, Blackdome Mining Ltd. brought the outlined gold deposit into production in 1986. The total reserves were 205,657 tonnes grading 21.7g/Au/t (0.71 oz Au/t) and 116.9g/Ag/t (3.75 oz Ag/t). The initial 140 tonne per day production rate increased to 200 tonnes per day, but the mine was shut down in January 1991. During its five-year life, a total of seven million grams of gold (225,000 ounces) and 17 million grams of silver (547,000 ounces) were recovered from 338,000 tonnes (373,000 tons) of ore.
* New combined property size
** my numbers for historic estimates were taken from the '85 Feasibility Study by Watts, Griffis and McOuat Ltd.
"Technical Report On The Preliminary Assessment Of The Elizabeth Blackdome Project British Columbia, Canada "
by Michael Godard, Chris Lattanzi, Michael Makarenko, Geraint Harris, Chris Sharpe, Jean-Francois Couture and Dorota El-Rassi, May 18, 2010 - (size 4.7 mb)
"2010 Blackdome Mine Tailings Technical Report"
by W. Guenwald and David Makepeace, April 2010 - (size 9.9 mb)
"2007 Blackdome Assessment Report + Appendices"
by John C. Harrop, June 2008 - (size 12.3 mb)
"Assessment Report On The 2006 Phase I Diamond Drilling Program Blackdome Property "
by John C. Harrop, October 5, 2007 - (size 7.47 mb)
"Technical Report on the Blackdome Mine Property"
by David W. Rennie of Roscoe Postle, April 2005 - (size 5 mb)
"Mine Tailings Sampling Program on the Blackdome Property"
by Geoquest Consulting, May 2002 - (size 1.3 mb)
"Report on Dump Sampling at the Blackdome Mine"
by M.A. Mitchell, January 2002 - (size 583 kb)
"Geological Modeling and Preliminary Review of the Resource Estimate For The Blackdome Gold-Silver Property, British Columbia" by SRK Consulting, November 2001 - (size 1.5 mb)