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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Junior seeks gold in cash-tight year

Northern Tiger drills promising zone at Sonora Gulch; identifies drill targets at Minto-style copper properties in Dawson Range

 

Last updated 9/27/2009 at Noon



SONORA GULCH - Scattered along the Dawson Range, Northern Tiger Resources Inc.'s nine gold and copper projects are located in one of the Yukon Territory's more affluent mineralized neighborhoods.

"It's a great address to be in," said Northern Tiger Resources President and CEO Greg Hayes during a recent tour of the area. "Between Underworld, Minto, Northern Freegold and us, there have been a lot of great drill results over the last year or so."

Though the Edmonton, Alberta-based junior completed geophysical work at most of its Dawson Range copper and gold properties, the company primarily focused its 2009 exploration on the Sonora Gulch gold-silver-copper project, which lies at the heart of this metal-rich belt of mountains.

Drilling Nightmusic

Wanting to follow up on its own drill success, the management of Northern Tiger Resource Inc. made a call in January to scrape together funds to drill Sonora Gulch. Still in the grips of the global financial downturn, the junior explorer put together C$1 million to facilitate a modest 1,400-meter drill program.

"I am pleased that we have opened up our exploration camp for another season and have the drill turning as scheduled," Hayes said in July. "As one of the established junior companies in a district that is starting to receive a lot of attention we look forward to building on our exploration success from prior years."

Northern Tiger's success in 2008 was in an area of the Sonora Gulch property called the Nightmusic zone. The junior's 2009 drill program returned to follow up on the high-grade gold unveiled in 2008.

The best drill intercept last year was in hole SG-08-27 which cut 26.6 meters grading 4.96 grams per metric ton gold, 11.9 g/t silver and 0.23 percent copper. Higher copper values were discovered in hole SG-08-28, which intersected 23.0 meters with an average grade of 1.27 g/t gold, 21.5 g/t silver, and 0.44 percent copper, including 5.0 meters at 3.27 g/t gold with 42.1 g/t silver and 1 percent copper.

In addition to returning good gold and copper values, the logistics of drilling Nightmusic made it an ideal exploration target in a year of fiscal belt-tightening. The drill program at the high-grade gold zone, located about 1 kilometer, or six-tenths of one mile, away from camp, could be maintained with all-terrain-vehicles, reducing the need for expensive helicopter support.

"We are extremely pleased with the efficiency of our 2009 program," Hayes said. "The entire program ran very smoothly thanks to the efforts of our staff and through close cooperation with our major suppliers."

Dawson Range properties

Northern Tiger was formed in 2008 in order to capture the spin-out of Firestone Ventures Inc.'s two Canadian assets, including Sonora Gulch.

In a related deal, the junior landed five additional Dawson Range projects as a result of entering into an exploration alliance with Minto Explorations Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Capstone Mining Corp., owner of the Minto copper mine.

The five claims (Bond, Dad, Del, Led and Mel) were staked by MintoEx based on geochemical, structural and geological similarities to mineralization being milled at Minto, the Yukon Territory's only operational hardrock mine.

The remaining three gold properties in Northern Tiger's portfolio were acquired through the staking of mineral claims. The junior laid claim to the Chopin property, located about 20 kilometers southeast of Sonora Gulch, due to its similar geochemical signature to its gold-silver-copper neighbor. This summer the junior claimed two additional gold properties, Korat and Birman, near Underworld's White Gold project.

Expanded exploration

Raising additional funds mid-summer, Northern Tiger was able to expand its drill program at Sonora Gulch to 2,455 meters in 12 holes as well as complete additional exploration at its other Dawson Range properties.

"We have really just begun exploring what we believe is a large mineralized system at Sonora Gulch, and are pleased to be able to expand our 2009 program," Hayes said. "The additional work should allow us to build on our previous exploration success and continue to demonstrate the potential of the Sonora Gulch property to host significant gold mineralization."

With the additional funds Northern Tiger hired Aurora Geosciences Ltd. to complete a ground geophysical program at the junior's Dad property. The survey investigated a target that is believed to have copper mineralization similar to that being processed at the Minto Mine, located about seven kilometers, or four miles, to the south.

The explorer also had a 1,437-line-kilometer multi-sensor geophysical survey flown on 100-meter spacing over its Sonora Gulch, Bond, Mel, Del, Led, Birman and Korat properties.

The junior said the high-sensitivity magnetometer system will assist in interpreting bedrock units, structure, and alteration. The radiometric system consisted of a multichannel spectrometer with state-of-the-art design to map rock units and alteration patterns.

"We are excited to see the results we get from the airborne survey. We think it will be useful on Sonora, and it will be particularly useful on our copper projects, given what we know of how Capstone finds its Minto-style deposits," Hayes told Mining News.

Using the information gained from the magnetic and radiometric survey, the junior has geologists on the ground this fall seeking out drill-ready targets.

"We are committed to achieving our goal of advancing at least one Minto-style target to the drill-ready stage for 2010," Hayes explained.

 

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