Ascot Resources Ltd. said Jan. 19 that it budgeted C$20 million for the 2017 exploration and development program at its Premier gold property in British Columbia.
The company plans to undertake a 120,000-meter aggressive surface drill program, budgeted at C$13.0 million, aimed at establishing an initial 2 million to 3 million ounce high-grade gold resource.
The surface drill program will require up to eight rigs and is slated to start in March.
An additional 20,000 meters of drilling is planned to explore grassroots targets and high-grade areas in the northern portions of the property.
Concurrently, an underground program of rehabilitation and underground development is planned to allow access to mineralized zones and establish underground drill stations. This is aimed at establishing an initial reserve of 600,000 to 750,000 ounces of high-grade gold amenable to near term mining.
The underground program will comprise about 27,000 meters of drilling for reserve definition, focused on the high-grade Lunchroom, Obscene and 602 zones. It has a C$7.3 million budget and will start as soon as the necessary permits are obtained.
Additionally, engineering, environmental, resource and reserve studies as well as initial scoping and EA studies will also be undertaken this year as the company plans for near-term production.
Ascot noted that it is adequately funded to conduct all proposed 2017 work programs and make the final option payment of C$6.9 million on the property, due in June.
In 2016, the company completed about 69,123 meters of NQ drilling in 279 diamond drill holes for about C$5.5 million. The program also completed infill in a small resource area around the Premier pit.