The Prairie Creek project is a zinc, silver, and lead deposit located in the Northwest Territories. There are four types of zinc-lead-copper-silver resources on the property including quartz veins, stratabound sulphides, stockwork, and Mississippi Valley type. The most significant type of mineralization is the quartz vein-type, which contains the majority of the currently defined Mineral Resources.
In the early 1980’s, the mine was developed and fully permitted but a decline in metal prices resulted in suspension of activity prior to commencement of production. Much of the previous infrastructure is still on site and will be utilized and upgraded where possible.
A Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Prairie Creek Project was announced in October 2021 and provided an economic assessment for a 2,400 tonnes per day mine plan with a life of mine of 20.3 years. The study estimates average annual payable zinc equivalent (ZnEq) production of 261 million pounds, including 2.6 million ounces of average annual silver production.
The October 2021 Mineral Resource Estimate includes 9.8 million tonnes of Measured & Indicated resources at 22.7% ZnEq and 6.4 million tonnes of Inferred resources at 24.1% ZnEq (based on an 8.0% ZnEQ cut-off grade).
NorZinc announced the launch of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on a 2,400 tpd production plan for the Prairie Creek project, and the company was advised an Environmental Assessment will not be required for the PEA. The PEA will lay the foundation for an updated Feasibility Study expected to be completed by Q2 2022.