Trilogy Metals is planning to perform a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on the high-grade Arctic deposit in north-west Alaska, US. 

The PFS will incorporate all data collected in the previous two field seasons in 2015 and 2016, in addition to the latest data procured in the 2017 summer field programme.

A budget of $7.1m was allocated by the board in this fiscal year, which will mainly focus on the Arctic Project PFS. The study is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year.

The Arctic Project is known to be a high-grade polymetallic volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit that contains copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver mineralisation. The project exhibits an average grade of 6% copper equivalent with a potential for open-pit mining.

Trilogy Metals president and CEO Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse said: "We are pleased to have received board approval for the 2017 plan and budget to complete a PFS on Arctic.

"The PFS will demonstrate the true value of the high-grade Arctic deposit, which we expect will be the first in a series of potential mines in the Ambler mining district.

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"With the recent announcement that the BLM has initiated the permitting process on the AMDIAP, as well as an upswing in demand for copper and zinc, the company is well-positioned to add value for shareholders by advancing development of the world-class Ambler mining district."

"The PFS will demonstrate the true value of the high-grade Arctic deposit, which we expect will be the first in a series of potential mines in the Ambler mining district."

The PFS will procure all information gathered in the last two years, which comprises an updated resource model, geotechnical pit-slope stability studies, hydrology, waste rock characterisation and metallurgy.

Field work, scheduled to be completed this season, will determine the placement of the ore processing facility for crushing and milling, waste rock and tailings disposal areas, as well as water storage ponds and supporting road infrastructure.

Site work will include geotechnical drilling, hydrology installations, and test pits for site facility locations and mine design, and geophysical ground surveys to evaluate ground conditions.

A significantly expanded environmental baseline programme will further the ongoing baseline data collection, including aquatic studies, avian and large mammal surveys, as well as water balance, with collection of data from the existing meteorological station continuing.

Surface water quality testing will continue from the programmes started in previous years and groundwater quality monitoring will also begin.

Formerly known as NovaCopper, Trilogy Metals focuses on exploring and developing the Ambler mining district located in north-western Alaska.