announced an updated resource estimate that establishes its flagship polymetallic Niblack project as a roughly 4,000,000 pound (4 Mlb) copper equivalent deposit," reported Red Cloud Securities analyst Taylor Combaluzier in a Feb. 17 research note.
"We believe it is a much more robust estimate than the previous 2011 estimate, having incorporated additional drilling (from 2012 and 2021), us[ed] refined estimation methods and employ[ed] current cutoff," Combaluzier wrote.
The analyst reported that the southeast Alaskan project's Indicated and Inferred resources now, post update, total 6,100,000 tons (6.1 Mt) of 0.94% copper, 1.72 % zinc, 1.82 grams per ton (1.82 g/t) gold and 29 g/t silver.
This amounts to 125 Mlb of copper, 229 Mlb of zinc, 356,000 ounces (356 Koz) of gold, and 5.587 Koz of silver, or 397 Mlb of copper equivalent. This was calculated using these prices: US$3.50 per pound for copper, US$1.10 per pound for zinc, US$1,650 per ounce for gold, and US$20 per ounce for silver.
Of the updated resource, the Lookout zone accounts for 88%, and the Trio zone, 12%.
Changes to 2011 Resource
The update to the Niblack resource estimate included converting about 213,000 tons, or 4%, of Inferred resources to Indicated resources, for a total of about 5.9 Mt. Also, the grade of contained copper in the Indicated category increased by 2%, for 118.1 Mlb copper. Overall grades of the new resource estimate are higher than previously.
However, Combaluzier noted, the resource's overall tons decreased, by 33%, mostly due to a higher cutoff being used, that of US$100 per ton versus the previous US$50 per ton. The greater cutoff excluded lower-grade ore from the block model.
Contained copper equivalent tons also decreased, to 397 Mlb from 544 Mlb.
"We view the refreshed mineral resource estimate at Niblack slightly positively despite the significant decrease in Inferred tons and contained copper equivalent," commented Combaluzier.
Significant Exploration Potential
Combaluzier pointed out the Niblack resource has room to grow given the project's "significant upside beyond the updated mineral resource estimate area." For one, Lookout and Trio remain open along strike and updip and downdip and thus offer expansion potential.
Two, there are four other known volcanogenic massive sulfide targets there, Mammoth, Lindsy, Dama, and the historical Niblack mine site, that could add ounces. Blackwolf intends to prioritize the latter two in future drill programs.
What is Next?
Red Cloud does not have a rating or target price on Blackwolf, which is currently trading at about CA$0.25 per share. The stock could be rerated, noted Combaluzier, on the release of positive exploration results from Niblack or its Hyder properties.
First, though, the company will declare its exploration plan for each project, and these near-term announcements could move up the stock.
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