The Silver Queen is a silver rich polymetallic deposit located 35km south of Houston, British Columbia, Canada. The property has an exploration history of more than 100 years.
Equity Metals Corporation, a Manex Resource Group Company, holds 100% stake in the project.
In June 2020, the company secured a five-year, area-based exploration permit for the property. It filed the technical report and the updated mineral resource estimate of the Silver Queen Property in January 2023.
The property is expected to host significant high-grade mineralisation that needs further exploration. The polymetallic deposit is expected to contain silver, gold, copper, lead and zinc.
Equity Metals is expected to commence further exploration activities at Silver Queen during the second quarter of 2023.
Location and Site details
The Silver Queen property is situated around 590km north-northwest of the City of Vancouver. It comprises 45 contiguous unpatented mineral claims across an area of 18,852ha in the Omineca Mining Division, near Owen Lake.
The past-producing Equity Silver Mine is located around 32km from the property site.
The mine can be accessed via the Morice-Owen Forest Service Road that extends south from Trans-Canada Highway 16. The project will also benefit from existing mining infrastructure built by previous operators.
The exploration activity at Silver Queen dates back to 1912. The historical production was from the Wrinch Vein System which includes the No. 3 Vein (the focus of the technical report effective December 2022), as well as the Cole System, and the Chisholm Vein systems.
Between 1972 and 1974, the property was operated by the Bradina Joint Venture. During this time, the joint venture mined 190,676 tonnes from the No. 3 Vein.
Nadina, which was later reorganised as New Nadina Explorations, purchased Silver Queen property in 1977.
New Nadina Explorations carried out exploration and drilling programmes on the Silver Queen Property since 2010.
Equity Metals has been the owner of the property since 2019.
Silver Queen Project Geology and Mineralisation
The regional geology is situated in Stikine Terrane, a Triassic-Jurassic marine volcanic arc.
The Stikine Terrane consists of submarine immature volcanic island-arc rocks of the Late Triassic Takla Group, subaerial to submarine volcanic, volcaniclastic and sedimentary rocks of Early to Middle Jurassic Hazelton Group, Late Jurassic and Cretaceous successor basin sedimentary rocks of the Bowser Lake, Skeena, and Sustut Groups, and Cretaceous to Tertiary continental volcanic arc rocks of the Kasalka, Ootsa Lake, and Endako Groups.
It features a prominent 30km long lineament which trends east-northeast from the property towards a central uplift hosting the Equity Silver Mine.
There are two major styles of mineralisation- Polymetallic and Intermediate-sulphidation epithermal vein and Cu-Mo-Au-Ag porphyry mineralisation.
It includes quartz-carbonate-barite-specularite veins containing pyrite, sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, tennantite and argentian tetrahedrite. To date, 20 mineralised veins have been discovered at the property.
Mineral resource estimate
In December 2022, Equity Metals announced a substantial increase to the Mineral Resource Estimate at the Silver Queen Project.
Indicated mineral resources increased by 2.6Mt to 3.46mt averaging 189g/t Silver, 2.13g/t Gold, 0.24% Copper, 0.6% Lead and 3.5% Zinc (565g/t AgEq or 6.9g/t AuEq). This equates to 62.8 million ounces of silver equivalent (AgEq) or 767 thousand ounces of gold equivalent (AuEq).
The inferred mineral resources stand at 1.92Mt averaging 162g/t Silver, 0.80g/t Gold, 0.23% Copper, 0.5% Lead and 2.0% Zinc (365g/t AgEq or 4.4g/t AuEq) equating to 22.5 million ounces AgEq or 273 thousand ounces of AuEq.
The updated MRE includes an additional 25,659m of core drilling completed in 2020-22 as well as updated metal recoveries and pricing.
Mineral Processing and Mining at Silver Queen Project
The project is potentially amenable to underground economic extraction, however, it needs further exploration.
The technical report effective December 2022 recommended an exploration programme focussing on core drilling to potentially increase the mineral resources on the property and new metallurgical studies.
The mineral processing for the mine involved crushing and grinding, which is followed by selective froth flotation to produce copper-lead-silver, zinc and subsequently gold-containing pyrite concentrates. These commodities are for sale to a smelter or a hydrometallurgical facility.
The technical report and updated mineral resource estimate of the Silver Queen Project, effective 1 December 2022, was prepared by P&E Mining Consultants, Kirkham Geosystems, and Metallurgical Process Consultants.