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Hochschild Mining walks away from B.C. gold project

Vancouver-based Skeena Resources acquired the Snip project from Barrick Gold in 2017
Snip gold project

Hochschild Mining (LON: HOC) has informed Skeena Resources (NYSE: SKE) (TSX: SKE) that it is ending its option to earn in a 60% interest in the Canadian miner’s Snip gold project, located in the Golden Triangle of British Columbia.

The precious metals producer said termination of the option, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Hochschild Mining Canada Corp., is effective immediately, adding it has no liability to complete the aggregate expenditure requirement.

In 2021, the London-based miner agreed to spend about C$100 million ($74m) over a three-year period, which would have granted a majority stake in the project.

To date, Hochschild has spent C$15 million ($11.2m) on Snip, according to Skeena.

Chief executive officer Ignacio Bustamante said the company had enjoyed working in Canada, but it is currently focusing its capital on later-stage projects in the portfolio, particularly the Mara Rosa project in Brazil.

“We are thrilled to have 100% of Snip back in our portfolio,” Skeena’s president and chief executive officer said in a separate statement. “In the months ahead, Skeena plans to investigate opportunities to bolster the Eskay Creek mine life by processing Snip ore at the Eskay Creek mill.” 

The Snip project is a past-producing mine that Skeena acquired from Barrick Gold in 2017. 

The operation churned out about one million ounces of gold between 1991 and 1999 at an average gold grade of 27.5 g/t. Since then, the project has been improved with the recent construction of nearby infrastructure and substantially higher gold prices.

The property consists of one mining lease and eight mineral claims totalling approximately 4,546 hectares in the Liard mining division.