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By Curt J Freeman
For Mining News 

Early assays, impressive results

Early assays from the 2008 drill season reveal some impressive gold and polymetallic results; additional results expected


Last updated 7/27/2008 at Noon

Assays are beginning to roll in from projects around Alaska with some particularly impressive results from gold exploration in the Livengood District and equally impressive polymetallic results from the Fortymile and Haines Districts.

Additional results from gold, copper, base metal and uranium projects are due to come out in the near future as the bulk of Alaska's seasonal exploration programs begin to churn out their results.

Although gold, silver and copper prices remain high, lead and zinc prices are down 20 percent in the last month so while our gold and silver producers are reaping the benefits of higher prices, our lead and zinc producers are suffering the slings and arrows of lower metals prices combined with skyrocketing fuel, labor and supplies prices.

Western Alaska

Novagold Resources announced that is has completed the tailings storage facility and significant testing of the mill and processing facilities at its Rock Creek mine and is completing some alterations to the water recycle pond. In addition, the company has drilled 1,300 meters of the 9,000 meters of exploration drilling planned for 2008, with the goal being extension of the mine life. Adverse weather conditions and unusually high rainfall events have resulted in delays in commencement of production at Rock Creek and have required an increase in the capital construction cost by $25 million.

Alix Resources announced that it has commenced induced polarization/resistivity surveys and drilling on the Fog Lake property in southwestern Alaska.

Exploration work in the early 1970s identified a 700-meter-long by 300-meter-wide soil geochemical anomaly at this site.

Of the 130 soil samples in the anomalous zone, 49 contained between 100 and 18,800 parts per billion gold and 65 contained between 70 and 3200 parts per million copper.

The zone is also anomalous in zinc, lead and silver.

Mineralization is hosted in a package of pyritized and altered Tertiary felsic volcanic rocks.

The property has never been drilled.

The company has completed a 1500-meter induced polarization/resistivity geophysical survey and collared the first of two planned diamond drill holes on the $1 million 2008 exploration program.

The company also indicated that it plans to complete additional geologic mapping and sampling, induced polarization/resistivity surveys and up to 800 meters of diamond drilling at its nearby KUY gold project and an identical program at is Kamishak copper-gold project.

Millrock Resources announced that it will proceed with an 1,800-meter core drilling program at the Bluff gold project on the Seward Peninsula. The program is designed to confirm and expand on the 505,000 ounce gold resource in the Saddle, Daniels Creek and Koyana zones that was outlined by BHP Utah Minerals in the 1980's. The property is on lands optioned from the Bering Straits Native Corp.

Geoinformatics Exploration Inc. announced that the first drill hole in its 2008 exploration program confirmed the presence of a second mineralized porphyry system at its Whistler project. Assays from the drill hole at the newly discovered Rainmaker prospect returned 151.6 meters grading 0.37 grams per metric ton of gold, 0.18 percent copper, and 0.74 g/t silver (0.72 g/t gold-equivalent). Copper and gold mineralization is hosted in chalcopyrite and occurs as disseminated grains and within veins and fractures in an altered diorite porphyry. The zone appears to have potential to be similar in size to the previously discovered Whistler zone.

Eastern Interior

International Tower Hill Mines announced initial drill results from the 2008 resource expansion program on its Livengood gold project.

The company has received results from 7 of the 19 holes drilled to date that are part of this year's 150-hole, 45,000-meter program.

Significant intersections were returned from hole MK-RC-008 which returned 202.69 meters of 1.37 g/t gold (including 30.5 meters of 4.1 g/t gold), hole MK-RC-007 which returned 59.4 meters of 1.96 g/t gold (including 4.6 meters of 13.7 g/t gold), and hole MK-RC-001 which returned 66 meters of 1.56 g/t gold (including 6.1 meters of 5.9 g/t gold).

All of these intercepts were infill holes on the southern and eastern side of the Lillian zone, respectively.

The western step-out hole MK-RC-005 returned 33.5 meters grading 1.63 g/t gold, including 3.1 meters of 7.3 g/t gold.

The project is currently operating one reverse circulation drill and one core drill and planned to add a second reverse circulation drill rig.

The 2008 drill program will test an area approximately three times the size of that previously drilled before completion of the program in December.

Full Metal Minerals announced superb drilling results from its LWM base metal prospect at its Fortymile project in the Fortymile District.

Core drilling has identified massive carbonate-replacement mineralization over 550 meters of strike length and over 300 meters below surface.

The deposit is open to expansion in all directions.

At least two subparallel zones of mineralization have been encountered within dolomitized marble host rock, with the primary zone located adjacent to a fault zone.

Initial drilling from 2008 included hole LWM08-29, which intersected 68.2 meters true width averaging 6.56 percent zinc, 2.47 percent lead, 0.11 percent copper and 42.7 g/t silver.

This interval included continuous zones of disseminated mineralization with alternating high-grade lead- and zinc-rich intervals including 9.6 meters true width averaging 16.1 percent zinc, 4.0 meters true width averaging 20.4 percent zinc and 3.3 meters true width averaging 17.48 percent lead and 254.3 g/t silver.

A week later the company announced additional results including hole LWM08-28 which returned 1.6 meters true width averaging 26.2 percent zinc, 14.3 percent lead and 246.0 g/t silver, hole LWM08-32 which returned 19.9 meters true width averaging 12.5 percent zinc, 8.1 percent, lead and 158.7 g/t silver, hole LWM08-33 which returned 7.7 meters true width averaging 12.7 percent zinc, 15.6 percent lead and 259.6 g/t silver, hole LWM08-34 which returned 3.7 meters true width averaging 17.3 percent zinc, 9.5 percent lead and 158.3 g/t silver and hole LWM08-41 which returned 3.6 meters true width averaging 4.7 percent zinc, 33.5 percent lead and 459.4 g/t silver.

To date, 28 drill holes have been completed at LWM, with massive to semi-massive sphalerite-galena-chalcopyrite mineralization intersected in the majority.

A 15,000-meter drill program is planned for the 2008 season.

Step-out and infill holes are being completed on 50 meter centers along strike and down-dip.

The company also announced that nine individual samples from holes LWM08-23, 28 and 34 were also analyzed for indium with values from these assays ranging from trace to 39.8 g/t indium and averaging 16.1 g/t indium.

Indium, a high tech industrial metal currently trades in the $745-per-kilogram range.

The company plans to conduct more extensive analysis for indium in the future.

Alaska Range

Pure Nickel Exploration announced that a 3500-meter exploration drill program is planned for its MAN nickel-copper-platinum group element project in the central Alaska Range. The initial targets this season will be located in the Beta complex where the company has identified a number of targets. Ground and airborne geophysical surveys preceded target selection. Beta complex targets are at relatively shallow depths (300 meters or less) with one area containing Ni-Cu sulfide cropping out at surface. The company plans to drill targets located in the Alpha complex in the latter portion of the season.

Northern Alaska

Goldrich Mining Co. announced that its Little Squaw gold project has been put on a care and maintenance basis while the company raises capital to conduct exploration outlined in its technical reports. Independent reports suggest the project has potential to host orogenic gold deposits similar to those in Russia.

Novagold Resources has announced that it intends to monetize some of its noncore assets, including the Ambler base metal project in the southern Brooks Range. The company indicated that it was willing to accept cash or marketable securities for its interest in Ambler and other noncore assets.

Southeast Alaska

Coeur d'Alene Mines announced that the U.S. Supreme Court had agreed to review the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling on the Kensington Mine waste disposal site. A final Supreme Court decision or completion of alternative permitting plans may allow for construction to take place next year, leading to potential production in later 2009.

Constantine Metal Resources announced results from the first 2008 drill hole at the Glacier Creek prospect on its Palmer massive sulfide project near Haines.

Hole CMR08-11 intersected Zone I massive sulfide from 516 to 635 feet that graded 1.54 percent copper, 5.45 percent zinc, 0.45 percent lead, 0.47 g/t gold and 28.5 g/t silver.

The intersection includes 86.9 feet grading 1.8 percent copper, 6.61 percent zinc, 0.62 percent lead, 0.63 g/t gold and 37.0 g/t silver that contain a 29.3 foot copper zone that averages 4.32 percent copper, 5.46 percent zinc, 0.93 g/t gold and 40.7 g/t silver.

CMR08-11 intersected a second zone of sulfide mineralization from 915-985.6 feet and a third zone of sulfide mineralization from 1150.2-1197.3 feet.

Assay results from the lower two zones are pending.

The significant increase in thickness and copper grade in CMR08-11 suggests that the center of the system may still be at depth.

A second hole (CMR08-13) from the same drill site is in progress and will test down dip from CMR08-11.

Niblack Mining Corp. announced resumption of underground drilling and drifting at its Niblack massive sulfide deposit on Prince of Wales Island.

The drilling will be conducted from the second cross-cut approximately 742 meters from the portal, and is designed to expand the depth extent of the known zone of massive sulfide mineralization previously explored from surface.

The Lookout and Mammoth zones are situated on opposite limbs of a major fold that is the focus of the underground drill program.

This phase of underground drilling program contemplates up to 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) of drilling aimed at expanding the Lookout and South Lookout zones at depth.

In addition, the underground exploration program contemplates over 1,000 meters of drift development.

Ucore Uranium Inc. announced updated information on its Bokan Mountain uranium and rare earth element project on Prince of Wales Island.

Assays are pending from 10 diamond drill holes that have already been completed at the I&L zone.

The company is planning a minimum of 6,000 meters of drilling in 2008.

The objectives of the drill program include verification of previously reported uranium and rare earth element values, testing of the company's geological model, testing of previously unexplored portions of the I&L zone and determination of the depth extent of the I&L zone mineralization, especially to the southeast where radiometric data suggest extension of the mineralization along a 3 km strike length.

Pure Nickel Exploration announced that it had received its exploration drilling permits at its Salt Chuck copper-platinum group element project on Prince of Wales Island but had decided not to conduct its planned drilling this year.


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