By Curtis J. Freeman, Cpg #6901
PNA Contributing Columnist 

Alaska mining news summary: New discoveries emerge from 2001 season

Geologist Curt Freeman says field work results also show that several promising properties did not stand up to the "truth test" - i.e. the drill


Last updated 9/1/2001 at Noon

Results from the 2001 field season have begun to show up from around the state. At the same time, the number of rumors circulating via the Tundra Telegraph about results that have not been formally announced, has picked up. Fieldwork continues on a number of projects around the state but that early morning chill in the air is a harbinger of change in the near future. When the dust settles later this year, it will be clear that several new discoveries have been made in Alaska in 2001 and that several promising properties did not stand up to the "truth machine" - i.e. the drill.

Here's how they stack up at present.

Western Alaska

Novagold Resources reported results from the first five holes of offset drilling at its Donlin Creek gold deposit.

All holes were drilled in the Acma target on the southwestern end of the property.

All five holes intercepted significant mineralization including hole DC01-585 where 26 meters averaged 6.7 grams per tonne gold; hole DC01-586 intersected 8 meters at 15 grams per tonne gold, and had a second interval with 22 meters averaging 6.7 grams per tonne gold; hole DC01-587 intersected 125 meters grading 4.9 grams per tonne gold, including 24 meters averaging 9.2 grams per tonne gold and hole DC01-589 intersected 20 meters averaging 5.2 grams per tonne gold.

The results confirm the continuity of higher-grade mineralization (+5 grams per tonne).

An additional 11 holes had been completed on the project by mid-September.

Additional assay results are expected.

Chapleau Resources and partner Navigator Exploration Corp. said they had completed their first phase of exploration on their Kougarok tantalum - tin property on the Seward Peninsula. The work consisted of a rock sampling survey over a 1,000 meter by 1,750 meter area covering the suspected roof zone above a granitic body believed to be associated with elevated tantalum and tin values. A new zone, know as the Hilltop zone, returned tantalum pentoxide values up to 341 parts per million as well as anomalous lithium, cesium and niobium. Additional trenching is being planned for the prospect.

Quaterra Resources reported results from a series of gravity surveys completed over four base metal properties on the Seward Peninsula. Three of the prospects, Think Zinc, Rocky Mt. and Big Bar have coincident gravity and geochemical anomalies while the fourth, Sinuk River has a gravity anomaly associated with mineralized float. The company is planning to conduct drilling at Think Zinc and Rocky Mt. while additional geophysics is planned for Big Bar and Sinuk River.

Eastern Interior

Initial results were released from the exploration program conducted by Western Keltic Mines and Rimfire Minerals on their Boundary Zone prospect in the Goodpaster District.

A 619 meter hole was drilled in the Boundary Zone in 2001 to test below the zone of quartz stockwork gold mineralization.

The hole intersected quartz-feldspar-biotite gneiss, altered gneiss, altered granite dykes, and granodiorite.

Carbonate-quartz veinlets ranging from 1-5 mm were intersected in the hole.

In addition, an 800 line-kilometer airborne magnetic and radiometric survey was completed over the California and Surf properties.

Results of the geophysical survey, coupled with previous reconnaissance soil and stream sediment data collected in 1999, revealed 4 new areas that were targeted for immediate follow-up.

Grids were established in these areas with samples collected at 50 meter intervals along lines spaced 200 meters apart. A total of 823 soil samples and 47 rock samples were collected.

Preliminary results from the work completed in 2001 have identified targets that merit follow-up next field season.

Novagold Resources completed initial trenching and rock sampling on its Caribou gold project in the Richardson District. Results are pending.

Tri-Valley Corp. reported additional results from its Hilltop zone on its Richardson gold project east of Fairbanks. Fourteen of eighty-three rock samples returned grades ranging from 0.2 to 1.9 ounces of gold per ton. Associated elements include bismuth (to 289 parts per million) and arsenic (to +10,000 parts per million). Mineralization is hosted in quartz-sulfide veins in gneissic rocks. The company is planning a follow-up drilling program for 2002.

Alaska Range

Northridge Exploration said that it had discovered the source of massive sulfide float boulders on its Forbes-Emerick property near Isabel Pass. Samples from the new discovery included values up to 4.8 percent copper, 1.3 percent lead, 2.7 percent zinc, 3 ounces of silver per ton and 1,922 parts per billion gold. Gold and copper values in grab samples ranged up to 0.77 ounces per ton and 8.5 percent, respectively. The company indicated that additional field work is planned for 2001 and that the property is being evaluated for possible acquisition by several parties.

Southeast Alaska

Quaterra Resources said that drilling had commenced on its Union Bay platinum group element property in Southeast Alaska. The company plans to conduct drilling on several targets along a 5 kilometer long mineralization corridor. Results are pending.

Other news

EMEX Corp. said that approximately 5,000 drill core, rock and soil samples have been received from field work on 10 projects around the state. The projects include Northway, Takotna, East Divide, Tanacross, Block 18, Farewwell, Dime Creek, Livengood, Step Mountain and Windy Creek. Encouraging results have been received from five of the company's Platinum Palladium Holdings division prospects. Additional results are expected before the end of October.

Viceroy Resources reported production results from on-going leaching operations at its Brewery Creek mine in the Yukon. During the first half of 2001 the mine produced 88,985 ounces of gold at a cash cost of $266 per ounce. All gold recovered is from previously loaded leach pads. Additional mining is not planned unless higher gold prices can be realized.

The Alaska Miners Association said its annual convention and trade show will be held Nov. 7 through 9 at the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel. Short courses will be offered before and after the convention. Details are available at


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