The Akie Project is located in British Columbia, Canada. Image Representative. (Credit: MinerStuff/Wikipedia)
The project is 100% owned by ZincX Resources. Image Representative. (Credit: WeHaKa/Wikipedia)
The 2018 PEA predicted an 18-year mine life with an average production rate of 4,000 tonnes per day. Zinc ore. (Credit: James St. John/Wikipedia)

The Akie Project is a conventional underground mine located in northcentral British Columbia, Canada. The property hosts Cardiac Creek, a large sediment-hosted stratabound sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) type Zinc-Lead-Silver (Zn-Pb-Ag) deposit.

The project is 100% owned by Canada-based mineral exploration company ZincX Resources.

A Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the property was published in 2018. The 2018 PEA predicted an 18-year mine life with an average production rate of 4,000 tonnes per day.

Akie Project Location

The Akie Project is situated within the western ranges of the northern Rocky Mountains in northcentral British Columbia, Canada. The project includes 46 claims spread over an area of approximately 11,583.4 hectares (ha).

Exploration and Ownership History

Akie property has recorded sporadic exploration since the early 1970s. This included grassroots prospecting, sampling and mapping through to drilling and geophysical surveys.

RioCanex staked the then the Dog claims in 1978. It conducted additional mapping in 1980 and carried out a large-scale sampling programme in 1981. The results were not promising and the claims lapsed.

In 1989, Ecstall Mining re-staked claims 1-3 and renamed it as the Akie Claims 1-3.

In 1992, Inmet Mining (previously Minnova) and Metall Mining optioned the claims for further exploration for SEDEX-style mineralisation.

The claims were extended from 1-17 and several exploration programmes were conducted.

Mantle Resources optioned the project from Ecstall and acquired 65% ownership in mid-2005. Mantle acquired 100% interest in the project by purchasing Ecstall in late 2007.

In early 2008, Mantle changed its name to Canada Zinc Metals, and eventually to ZincX Resources in early 2018.

Geology and Mineralisation

The Akie property is located within the southernmost area of the regionally extensive Palaeozoic Selwyn Basin in the Gataga District. This basin is known for its proliferation of SEDEX zinc-lead-silver and stratiform barite deposits.

The 2018 report is based on Cardiac Creek deposit. The area also hosts North Cirque, South Cirque, and Driftpile deposits along with advanced prospects such as Elf, Fluke, Mt. Alcock and Bear / Spa.

The Akie property is divided into east and west portions by the Silver Creek. The western side of Silver Creek hosts rocks of the Kechika Group and Road River Group.

Both groups are in contact with a panel of Earn Group rocks of approximately 500m thickness. The Earn Group consists primarily of the Gunsteel Formation shales hosting the Cardiac Creek deposit.

The Cardiac Creek deposit exhibits a sheet-like tabular body consisting of strata-bound sulphides and black siliceous shales trending northwest to southeast.

The mineralogy dominating the deposit are pyrite, sphalerite, barite, and galena.

The character and texture of the deposit are divided into two main mineral facies based on the mineralisation. The proximal facies are dominated by beds of thick pyrite-rich laminar sulphide beds and the cardiac creek zone facies are rich in galena and sphalerite-rich sulphide bands hosted within the laminar-bedded thick pyrite.

Akie Project Mineral Resource Estimate

Akie Project, at 5% zinc cutoff, has an indicated mineral resource of 22.7 million tonnes (Mt) containing 4,162Mlbs zinc at a grading of 8.32%, 804Mlbs lead at a grading of 1.61%, and 10.3Moz silver at a grading of 14.1g/t.

The inferred mineral resource estimate is 7.5Mt containing 1,169Mlbs zinc at a grading of 7.04%, 205Mlbs lead at a grading of 1.24%, and 2.9Moz silver at a grading of 12g/t.

Mining Methods and Processing of Ore

The zinc-lead-silver mine will use the mechanised longitudinal long-hole mining method. There will one primary decline that can accommodate the necessary ventilation ducting and services and allow all haulage.

A fleet consisting of 45t haulage trucks and 14t scoop trams will be used for haulage.

There will be a full-time work force of mining, maintenance and other services. Two facilities will be located underground- the paste backfill plant and the maintenance shop.

Mining will start in Year One at 80% of the steady-state production rate, and then ramp up to a full production rate of 1.4 Mt/annum for 17 years (Years 2 to 18).

Production will cease in the first quarter of Year 19.

The material from the mine will enter a three-stage crushing circuit and a dense media separation circuit.

The process plant will receive the sink product of the DMS plant at a rate of 3,000 t/d producing saleable Pb and Zn concentrates.

The primary grinding circuit reduces the size of the material to 80% passing (P80) 56µm. The reduced material will then enter sequential lead and zinc rougher/cleaner flotation circuits.

The rougher/cleaner flotation circuits reduce the material size further producing rougher concentrates of P80 with sizes of 10µm and 15µm.

The rougher concentrates will undergo regrinding and cleaning to produce final concentrates which are filtered to a moisture content of 8%.

Zinc concentrate will be then loaded onto trucks and transported to the smelter. The third cleaner lead concentrate will also be bagged and loaded onto trucks for delivery.

The tailings will be thickened and filtered before for disposal to the dry stack facility.

Akie Project Infrastructure

The Infrastructure of the Akie Project consists of process facilities, a tailings management facility, a natural gas power plant, a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) receiving and storage facility, and a water management and treatment plant.

The other facilities include a permanent camp, a mine dry and office complex, a truck shop, a warehouse, and 150,000 litres of on-site fuel storage and distribution.

The related facilities of the infrastructure are site management facilities and industrial management facilities like an incinerator.

Contractors Involved

The 2018 PEA of the Akie Project was prepared by JDS Energy & Mining with the support of Sim Geological, Lorax Environmental Services, and Knight Piésold.

In July 2022, ZincX initiated an airborne LiDAR survey over the Akie and Mt. Alcock properties. Eagle Mapping was selected for the mapping work.

Simcoe Geosciences was selected to conduct a ground-based gravity survey over selected targets across Akie and Mt. Alcock Properties in September 2021.

The 2017 exploration programme on the Akie and Kechika North was conducted by Murphy Geological Services.

CGG of Ontario completed a large helicopter borne FALCONTM gravity gradiometry survey over the Akie, Mt. Alcock and Yuen North properties in April 2015.

ZincX engaged Geotech to conduct a large Vertical Time Domain EM (VTEM) geophysical survey over the site in October 2012.