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A geostatistical analysis of the Venus Mine, Yukon Territory Stubens, Thomas Camillo


This thesis describes a geostatistical analysis of the Venus deposit in the Yukon Territory. The Venus Mine is located on Tagish Lake, approximately 1.5 miles north of the Yukon/B.C. border. It is a gold, silver, lead, zinc bearing quartz vein of late Cretaceous to early Tertiary age occurring in porphyritic andesite of the Mount Nansen Group volcanics. Three companies have attempted to mine Venus since its discovery in the late 1890's. In all three cases the operating company could not profitably mine the deposit and was forced to shut down. Overestimation of the ore reserves and problems with grade control were the main problems encountered by the failed operations. The study reported here applied a well-established geostatistical methodology to the Venus deposit. Over 3500 chip samples of the vein, collected at regular intervals along all development drifts and raises, were used in this analysis. Semi-variograms were calculated of 3 variables: vein thickness, gold accumulation and silver accumulation. After fitting semi-variogram models to the calculated curves the 3 variables were kriged and the results were plotted on maps showing the kriged estimates in each of the 2039 blocks. The maps illustrate clearly the size, location and orientation of the ore zones. The ore reserves of the Venus mine were calculated using the kriged block estimates. The proven and probable reserves above a cut-off of $130/ton (Cdn), assuming gold and silver prices of $520/oz (Cdn) and $7.80/oz (Cdn) are 108,577 tons grading 0.3 oz Au/ton (+/- 1.18%) and 6.05 oz Ag/ton (+/- 1.29%). Interpretation of the maps and the ore reserve estimates led the author to make several recommendations for future mining of the Venus deposit.

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