Alexco completes 2017 surface exploration program, expands Bermingham silver deposit, advances underground development
Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017
Alexco Resource Corp. (TSX:AXR, NYSE AMERICAN:AXU) ("Alexco" or the "Company") today announced results from its 2017 surface exploration drilling program in the vicinity of the Bermingham deposit in the Keno Hill Silver District ("KHSD") in Canada's Yukon Territory. Numerous significant silver-rich intercepts have been received from 28 of the 37 holes drilled in two target areas proximal to the Bermingham resource, and a third shallower new exploration target area approximately 200 meters ("m") to the northeast. True width intercepts ranging from 5.15 m grading 1,547 grams/tonne ("g/t") (49.73 ounce/tonne ("oz/t")) silver ("Ag") in hole K-17-0658, and 5.01 m grading 2,464 g/t (79.23 oz/t) Ag in drill hole K-17-0643, along with numerous other significant intercepts demonstrate expansion of the Bermingham deposit along strike and down plunge. True width intercepts up to 4.20 m grading 2,518 g/t (80.95 oz/t) Ag in hole K-17-0663 approximately 200 m to the northeast of the high grade Bear Vein represent a new discovery which remains open along strike.

Alexco Chairman and CEO Clynt Nauman commented, "Two important conclusions come from our 2017 exploration work. First, we can be pretty confident that the Bermingham silver resource (currently estimated to contain an indicated 17 million ounces of silver) will be expanded; and second, the deposit is clearly open at depth where strong structures and related mineralization project into increasingly favourable stratigraphy. As we systematically expand drilling coverage, our understanding of the interconnected mineralized vein systems at Bermingham is becoming one of local very high grade shoots such as the Bear Vein where our current Preliminary Economic Assessment mine plan identifies 220,000 potentially mineable tonnes grading 1,276 g/t Ag, sitting within more extensive zones of "lower" grade mineralization with true widths up to 8.62 m thick grading more than 600 g/t Ag as identified in recent drill hole K-17-0653. This pattern of mineralization very much reflects a large hydrothermal system with distinct similarities to the adjacent historic Hector-Calumet deposit. Furthermore, with our exploration model becoming ever more refined, we are actively generating and ranking new silver targets across the Keno Hill Silver District which we will start to test in 2018."

Geology and Drilling

The 2017 Bermingham surface drill program was completed in early September with 37 holes totaling 13,832 m of diamond core drilling. This drilling was conducted at relatively wide spacing in three zones to further explore structural targets adjacent to, or along strike of the existing Bermingham deposit resource that includes 858,000 tonnes with an average grade of 628 g/t silver totaling 17.3 million ounces of silver in the indicated category (see news release dated December 8, 2016, entitled "Alexco Expands Bermingham Silver Deposit, Initial Tests Confirm Excellent Metallurgical Performance").

The three target zones were:

  • The SW Zone, targeting the Bermingham, Bermingham Footwall and Bear Veins within a 100 x 200 m window of previously unexplored structure located immediately to the southwest of the Arctic Zone resource in the footwall of the Mastiff cross fault.
  • The Mid Zone, a fault bounded panel of the Bermingham Vein adjacent to and below the planned mining zone and in the hangingwall of the Bear and Bermingham Footwall Vein resource areas.
  • The NE Zone, a fault offset panel of the Bear Vein in the footwall of the Ruby B fault, located 200 m northeast of the current resource area.
Bermingham Drill Composite Assay Interval Highlights

Refer to Table 1 for drill hole details, Figure 1 for drill hole locations and Table 2 for complete results. All true widths are calculated from modelled vein attitude and drill hole intercept orientation.

In the SW ZONE:

  • K-17-0658 intersected the Bear Vein grading 1,547 g/t (49.73 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 5.15 m from 375.40 m.
  • K-17-0668 intersected the Bermingham Vein grading 1,447 g/t (46.53 oz/t) Ag, over a true width of 4.18 m from 352.25 m, including an interval of 6,730 g/t (216.38 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 0.66 m from 355.10 m.
  • The hole also intersected the Bear Vein grading 1,469 g/t (47.24 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 2.21 m from 370.25.
  • K-17-0653 intersected the Bermingham Vein grading 1,678 g/t (53.96 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 3.40 m from 350.48 m.
  • K-17-0641 intersected the Bermingham Vein grading 1,190 g/t (38.26 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 2.44 m from 341.33m.
  • K-17-0645 intersected the Bermingham Vein grading 2,056 g/t (66.10 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 1.09 m from 347.27 m.
  • K-17-0662 intersected the Bermingham Vein grading 2,757 g/t (88.64 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 1.03 m from 305.11 m.
  • K-17-0664 intersected the Bermingham Vein grading 6,620 g/t (212.84 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 0.53 m from 359.50 m.

In the MID ZONE below the planned mine blocks:

  • K-17-0643 intersected the Bermingham Vein grading 2,464 g/t (79.23 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 5.01 m from 399.40 m, including a 0.70 m true width interval grading 12,003 g/t (385.91 oz/t) Ag from a depth of 404.20 m.

In the NE ZONE:

  • K-17-0659 intersected the Bear Vein grading 1,214 g/t (39.02 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 5.05 m from 311.50 m, that included 3,180 g/t (102.24 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 0.14 m from 311.50 m, and 2,096 g/t (67.38 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 2.65 m from 314.30 m.
  • K-17-0663 intersected the Bear Vein grading 2,518 g/t (80.95 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 4.20 m from 331.80 m, that included 8,905 g/t (286.30 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 1.10 m from 334.50 m.
  • K-17-0669 intersected the Bear Vein grading 704 g/t (22.64 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 3.76 m from 321.07 m, that included 2,567 g/t (82.54 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 0.97 m from 325.19 m.
  • K-17-0671 intersected the Bermingham Vein grading 10,126 g/t (325.55 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 0.21 m from 271.05 m.
The emerging geological picture at Bermingham is one of a complex system of interconnected mineralized vein shoots related to a strong hydrothermal fluid system. The 2017 program confirms the occurrence of high grade silver intervals along the known 700 m strike length of the Bermingham Vein system where mineral deposition has occurred preferentially in a north-northeast orientation and where local structural - stratigraphic conditions controlled the distribution of high and "lower" grade areas.

The Bermingham system remains open at depth where it enters the same stratigraphy that hosted the adjacent Hector-Calumet mine which historically produced 96 million ounces silver. Current results confirm that the mineralized system is well developed at depth with significant intersections such as the Bear Vein in the southwestern extension of the Arctic Zone at a vertical depth of 425 m below surface with an intercept of 1,355 g/t (43.56 oz/t) Ag over true width of 1.24 m in drill hole K-17-0660.

The opportunity to follow this well-developed mineralized system to depth will ultimately be tested from underground as the proposed mine is developed.

Four exploration holes were completed near the intersection of the Ruby and Townsite veins adjacent to the historically producing Ruby Mine (approximately 260 m to the NE of the Bermingham area). These produced an intersection of 1,040 g/t (33.4 oz/t) Ag over a true width of 1.18 m from 131.05 m in hole K-17-0642 and represents a possible Ruby Vein offset in an untested northeast extension of the historic Ruby mine approximately 400 m from the current Bermingham resource area.

The mineralogy of the Bermingham system is characterized by the presence of a complex silver bearing mineral assemblage including pyrargyrite (ruby silver), freibergite, argentiferous galena, stephanite, polybasite and wire silver in a dominantly sideritic gangue. The mineralized structures exhibit textures indicative of prolific fluid flow, hydro-brecciation, and fluid boiling during several pulses of mineral deposition and fault movement.

Bermingham Underground Development

Following receipt of an amended Class IV permit in August 2017, underground activity to establish and drive an approximate 580 m decline to the Bermingham deposit commenced. At present the 3.7 m x 3.7 m ramp has been advanced approximately 135 m and is targeted for completion in the first quarter of 2018. Once complete, a 5,000 m underground drill program will target infill and extension drilling of the proposed Bear Vein and other potential mining zones including areas which have been identified as a result of the 2017 surface exploration program. Work to advance the Bermingham ramp is continuing into the winter and is being carried out by Alexco's underground operations group supported by on-site geologists and engineers. A total of approximately 30 employees are dedicated to this project.

About Alexco

Alexco Resource Corp. holds the historical high grade Keno Hill Silver District located in Canada's Yukon Territory.  Employing a unique business model, Alexco also provides mine-related environmental services, remediation technologies and reclamation and mine closure services to both government and industry clients through the Alexco Environmental Group, its wholly-owned environmental services division.

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