Selwyn Resources (CVE:SWN) reported Monday a new, upgraded mineral resource estimate for the joint venture Selwyn zinc-lead project in the Yukon, increasing total indicated resources by 17% through the conversion of existing inferred resources.
The company said this has resulted in an additional 2.1 billion pounds of zinc, and 1 billion pounds of lead in the indicated category.
The Selwyn project is composed of 14 zinc-lead deposits and zones, over a strike length of 37.50 kilometres. These zinc-lead deposits represent the expression of one continuous, large mineralized strata, which remains largely open for expansion.
The latest mineral resource estimate includes the results from an extensive drilling program in 2010 and 2011, consisting of 195 drill holes, totalling 68,155.0 metres, which are distributed between definition, exploration, and condemnation drilling.
The "global", or total, mineral resource include all 14 deposits and zones.
The project's XY Central deposit, which is comprised of six mineral lenses, underwent definition drilling in three lenses to upgrade resources, meaning there are substantial resources left in those lenses that require additional definition drilling.
The current overall resource for the XY Central deposit, is an indicated mineral resource 45.11 million tonnes grading 5.70% zinc and 2.40% lead, and an inferred mineral resource of 44.11 million tonnes grading 4.10% zinc and 1.29% lead.
The Don deposit, meanwhile, was previously interpreted to be comprised of three lenses, but new drilling data showed a link between the 61 and 62 lenses, leading the company to interpret them as a single lens, resulting in an increase in tonnage, Selwyn said.
This, along with definition drilling to raise confidence, led to all resources from the inferred category to be converted into the indicated stream, and increasing by 34% compared to the prior estimate in February 2009, for a total of 36.9 million indicated tonnes grading 5.63% zinc and 2.11% lead.
Drilling at Don also identified potential for significant tonnages of high grade mineralization at depth that is interpreted to connect to the Don East deposit, the company said.
Since acquiring the Selwyn project in 2005, the company has made nine major deposit discoveries, for a total of 14 that are amenable to both open pit and underground mining methods.
As of August 2011, the global indicated mineral resource for the Selwyn project stands at 180.69 million tonnes grading 5.25% zinc and 1.83% lead, for a metal content of 20.91 pounds of zinc and 7.33 billion pounds of lead.
The inferred mineral resource now totals 216.04 million tonnes grading 4.47% zinc and 1.38% lead, for a metal content of 21.29 billion pounds of zinc and 6.57 billion pounds of lead.
The company noted that the latest resource does not contain any results from recent drilling in the XY West deposit, due to results still pending.
The new resource will become the foundation for the company's bankable feasibility study on the project, which is in progress with Wardrop Engineering.
In addition to the Indicated and Inferred mineral resources estimated in this report, the mineral potential of Selwyn remains unchanged from those stated in the 2009 estimate of between 245 and 255 million tonnes with an estimated grade of between 4.0 to 5.0% zinc and 1.0 to 2.0% lead.
Potential for mineral resources stem from the down dip and strike extensions of the current indicated and inferred resources.
The project is owned by the joint venture company, Selwyn Chihong Mining, equally split between Selwyn and Chihong Mining Canada, a subsidiary of Yunnan Chihong Zinc and Germanium Co.