Red Dog is a Mississippian to Permian aged sulfide deposit located in the western Brooks Range north of Kotzebue, Alaska. It belongs in the family of black shale hosted sedimentary exhalite deposits but lacks classic sulfide sedimentary textures. Pervasive silicification, and a significant portion of the mineralization, is replacement in nature. An extensive feeder vein system cuts the footwall and the exhalite package. A Jurassic to Cretaceous age compressional event has repeated the ore section through thrust faulting and folding. The orebody contains 77,000,000 metric tons averaging 17.1% Zn, 5.0% Pb and 82 g per metric ton of Ag. Weathering has locally altered the sulfides to sulfates and formed elemental sulfur.
An open pit is used with an expected annual production of 1,506,088 metric tons of ore per year. The overall strip ratio is 0.9 to 1.0 waste to ore.
Benches are 7.6m high with pit slopes of 1 to l in ore decreasing to 2 to 1 in waste. Expansion of the pit will ultimately require the diverting of Red Dog Creek.
Because of the high grade and low stripping ratio the mine’s tonnages and the equipment fleet are relatively small. Two Driltech D40K blast hole drills are used