By Sarah Hurst
Mining News Contributing Writer 

Canadian partners boast high Tide results Rimfire's gold-silver property in B.C. has potential for open-pit mine


Last updated 12/26/2004 at Noon

An initial investment of $10 in a gold-silver property by Vancouver-based Rimfire Minerals might pay off handsomely in the long term. Rimfire purchased the Tide property in British Columbia from Newmont Exploration in 2001 for that nominal fee, and last year partnered with another Vancouver company, Serengeti Resources, to push forward a drilling and fieldwork program. Serengeti is earning a 51 percent interest in Tide by spending C$1.4 million on exploration. The results so far have been very promising.

High-grade gold and silver mineralization was found within the limits of a "600 by 450 metre greater than 90 ppb gold-in-soil anomaly," Rimfire and Serengeti said in a Nov. 28 release. This new mineralization, termed the 52 Zone, assayed 593 grams per tonne gold and 14,708 grams per tonne silver, and 360 grams per tonne gold and 7,920 grams per tonne silver from two samples of an 0.5 meter-wide vein, taken two meters apart.

In addition to the 52 Zone, a diamond drilling program also resulted in the discovery of a potential bulk tonnage gold mineralized zone at the 36 Zone. The only hole to test the 36 Zone assayed 1.92 grams per tonne gold over 39.6 meters within a 129.4-meter interval averaging 1.0 grams per tonne gold. The 52 Zone is just over a mile northeast of the 36 Zone discovery drill hole.

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"One gram per tonne of gold is relatively low grade, but it's right from the surface - that raises the prospect of it potentially being open-pittable," Serengeti President and CEO David Moore told Mining News, referring to the 36 Zone. "The entire drill hole was mineralized, with very even grade distribution." The 52 Zone was "just a good old-fashioned prospecting discovery," he said. "It was relatively low down on the mountain in a partially covered vegetated area, which is why it wasn't discovered before. The numbers are truly exceptional."

Six new properties added since July

Moore came to Serengeti in mid-2004, taking over the top job in July. "I joined with a view to reactivating the company," he said. "Tide was the only project we had. I added six new properties, one in this area, and the others in the copper-gold belt." Moore had been with Teck Cominco and related companies for 30 years, including four years in Alaska at the Red Dog zinc mine, assisting its transition from exploration to development. "Now I'm learning the ropes and running a junior," he added. Moore's responsibilities cover everything from assessing geological samples to financing a small business.

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"We knew there was potential in the 36 Zone, but we were pleasantly surprised by the results," said Jason Weber, Rimfire's corporate communications manager. "As for the gold grades in the 52 Zone, I'd never seen numbers that high." Paul Wojdak, a geologist at the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines, introduced a note of caution. "The surface samples are high grade, but the vein is narrow and its extent, at present, is unknown," he said of the 52 Zone. "Gold can occur in rich 'pockets' - the challenge will be to find areas extensive enough to warrant a mine."

Tide is easily accessible, located on the Granduc Mine Road, 22 miles north of the deepwater port facilities at Stewart. This is a very active exploration area, in the middle of an old mining district. The Stewart-Sulphurets-Iskut gold camp hosts such deposits as the Eskay Creek mine, the Kerr-Sulphurets gold deposits and the historically significant Silbak-Premier mine, which opened in 1919.

At Serengeti's Twin property, 2.5 miles south of Tide, the company located a surface showing with elevated gold-silver values, according to a Dec. 7 release. Two old trenches, 15 meters apart, returned values in chip samples of 11.5 grams per tonne gold, 93 grams per tonne silver over 1.7 meters and 11.6 grams per tonne gold, 141 grams per tonne silver over three meters. Sampling elsewhere on the 2.9-square mile Twin property returned values from trace to 0.71 grams per tonne of gold in 15 rock samples.

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