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By Steve Sutherlin
Mining News Associate Editor 

AngloGold happy with Alaska results

Two promising prospects reward South African company's 2005 exploration effort; will drill both Lost Mine South Terra in 2006

 

Last updated 11/27/2005 at Noon



South Africa-based AngloGold Ashanti is happy with its exploration results in Alaska so far, and it will be back for more in 2006, says Jeff Pontius, the company's exploration manager.

"It's paid out pretty well for us, we have a lot of gold discoveries or occurrences that we've worked up and tested and are in various stages of what we call an evaluation," Pontius told the Alaska Miners Association annual convention at the Anchorage Sheraton Nov. 2.

"There are a lot of new things going on (in Alaska), and AngloGold is trying to be a part of that," Pontius said.

Anglo spent $4 million in Alaska this year to explore about 24,000 square kilometers, increases from 2004, the year the program began, he said.

"It's a big area of new generative geochem and geology evaluation, looking for new discoveries," Pontius said. "Combined with what we did last year there are over 40,000 kilometers of Alaska in strategic locations that we're evaluated now with our boot leather-type exploration."

The company drilled about 4,700 meters in 2005 on three different projects, finding two exciting prospects, he said.

Lost Mine South

The first is Lost Mine South, known by the initials LMS, located just north of the town of Delta Junction.

A second prospect, Terra, is in the Alaska Range between the Denali National Park and Preserve and Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, 200 kilometers from Anchorage.

LMS lies on a hill near the Goodpastor River in an area slated for a new state forest service road, with a current winter trail into the Goodpastor and Pogo area, Pontius said.

Gold bearing mineralization on a road cut alerted the company to the prospect, Pontius said. The company began geochemistry, soils analysis and basic prospecting in 2004, and it drilled 17 holes in 2005.

LMS is on Alaska state claims about 10 kilometers from the paved Alaska Highway.

"Our target concept out here is about five million tons of high grade vein material," Pontius said. "We're starting to see economic numbers over mining widths, so we're excited about this, and we'll be following this project up next year."

Terra prospect

AngloGold drilled three different areas at the Terra prospect.

"We've found about four contiguous veins so far although we have a large number of intercepts we haven't been able to correlate together because we've only drilled 12 holes in this thing so far," Pontius said. "Our target concept out here is about 3 million tons of bonanza grade type mineralization and in our mind, north of 20 grams a ton.

"We're happy with how our grass roots campaign is going here in Alaska; we're seeing promise in seeing new virgin gold discoveries," Pontius said, adding that Alaska projects must compete for money against other projects throughout the company.

"We want to get more and more projects like LMS and Terra where we've got defined mineral systems that we can try to make into ore bodies," Pontius said. "We try to focus our assets on our most promising projects and leverage the other things we have."

 

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