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Explorer targets winter drilling at Livengood

 

Last updated 12/20/2009 at Noon



While International Tower Hill contemplates building a mine capable of producing more than 400,000 ounces of gold per year at Livengood, the exploration saga continues at the rapidly growing project.

In less than two years, the explorer has increased the Livengood resource to 12.6 million ounces from 1.9 million ounces of gold. An updated estimate, which will include assay results of 70 additional holes, is expected to add at least 1 million more ounces to the resource.

Returning to the Interior Alaska project in February, the company plans to kick off the 2010 drill campaign with a 20,000-meter winter program that will target areas that need to be drilled while the ground is frozen.

The bulk of the winter drilling will focus on exploring the Southwest Zone, an area of higher-grade gold mineralization discovered during the 2009 winter drill program.

The company also plans to drill 20 to 25 holes between the Core and Sunshine zones, another area that needs to be drilled during the winter.

"We will convert a lot of tons in that area as we join the two zones up, and then Southwest has always been a good area for us; we have always gotten good results out there. We are hoping we are going to expand the deposit significantly in that area," Pontius explained.

While the winter program is expected to expand the deposit to the southwest, a summer program is expected to extend the mineralization to the northeast.

A technical report on the Livengood project suggests that continued step-out drilling would investigate the extent of mineralization to the north of the Sunshine zone, which is located in the northeast part of the Livengood deposit.

The authors of the Oct. 31 report believe that much of the Livengood deposit is not represented by the surface geochemical anomaly that has been the focus of International Tower Hill's exploration program.

"This point along with the fact that the area drilled currently represents only a portion of the original surface geochemical anomaly suggest that the identification of more mineralization over a broader area is likely," the geologists wrote.

Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys geologist David Szumigala also believes International Tower Hill has just scratched the surface at the gold project.

"The story is not over at Livengood. I expect that the current gold resource will double over the next couple years. There is just that much potential out there," Szumigala said.

 

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