North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Pebble Partnership copper gold molybdenum mine project Alaska Northern Dynasty NAK NDM

By Rose Ragsdale
For Mining News 

Trickle of newcomers join explorer rush

Diverse juniors pursue first-time exploration in White Gold and Whitehorse mining districts, Selwyn Basin during 2011 field season

 

Last updated 9/25/2011 at Noon



As gold prices soared in 2011 along with demand for silver and base metals, droves of mineral explorers fanned out across remote areas of Yukon Territory, seeking lucrative hardrock deposits.

Lured by news of recent gold discoveries in the White Gold district of the Dawson Range and the Carlin-type mineralization found in the Rackla Gold Belt to the east, the horde of juniors, along with the occasional major, turned up with a frenzy of new claim-staking that started early in the year. Many returned to projects they first explored in 2010 or earlier. A few joined others at work on established projects, while a bolder handful grabbed even more properties to bring new luster to already shiny portfolios.

Yet amid this stampede to the bush, a handful of juniors trekked into to the Yukon for the first time, gambling that they, too, can ferret out lucrative deposits in this northern territory rapidly becoming known for potentially vast mineral riches.

The chances are good for these newcomers. Certainly, opportunities abound, if one judges by the number of claims staked across the territory.

While Yukon officials report the rush of staking jumped off the charts in 2010 and 2011, they quickly point out that one Yukon quartz mining claim covers only one-fifth of 1 square kilometer (about 1/12th of 1 square mile) and that all of the claims staked so far cover only a small fraction of the territory's land mass. Explorers staked 79,993 claims in 2010 bringing total claims in good standing across the Yukon rose to 158,419 by year's end. By the end of July 2011, another 84,919 claims had been added to this tally.

Explorer pursues gold targets

Ethos Capital is one of the boldest newcomers.

Incorporated in British Columbia in 2007, Ethos worked primarily on a couple of silver-zinc-lead projects in Mexico before coming to the Yukon.

In November 2010, the company obtained an option to acquire a 100 percent interest in the Betty and Wolf properties located 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Dawson City, Yukon.

The two prospective gold properties are comprised of 802 claims (about 16,228 hectares) first identified by successful target generator Shawn Ryan, along with 16 contiguous claims staked in 2011.

In March, Vancouver, B.C.-based Ethos acquired exploration rights to more properties - Bridget, Hen and Hayes - through more option agreements with Ryan and staked an additional 1,460 claims that are adjacent to the Betty and Bridget properties.

After raising a spectacular C$14.874 million in gross proceeds through private placements closed in May, Ethos reported field preparations for extensive 2011 exploration with spending budgeted at C$6 million. The junior launched a systematic field program in June, including soil sampling, airborne and ground geophysics, trenching, geology and prospecting, with diamond drilling on already-defined gold anomalies.

Located in the White Gold district, the Betty and Wolf claims are located respectively northeast and southwest of, and on trend with Kaminak Gold Corp.'s Coffee Property. The primary targets on the Wolf and Betty properties are near-surface, bulk tonnage gold settings analogous to gold deposits at Kinross Gold Corp.'s White Gold Project, discovered in 2008, and the 2010 Coffee discovery.

By August, Ethos had reported encouraging results on the 152-square-kilometer (59 square miles) Betty Property, which covers about 15 kilometers (10 miles) of the highly prospective Coffee Fault, including discovery of gold targets at the Buck Zone and Mascot Creek area on the Betty Property with ridge and spur soil sampling that revealed significant gold soil anomalies.

The soil sample site on the Buck Zone contains abundant quartz clasts which may be indicative of eroding quartz veins hosted in the bedrock below.

A grab sample (580604) of sub-crop consisting of a silicified, pyrite-arsenopyrite-bearing felsic intrusion cut by quartz veins was 10 meters north of the soil site and returned 2.1 grams per metric ton gold and 1,113-parts-per-million arsenic.

Additional rock samples of sub-crop were collected systematically from hand excavated pits spaced 10 meters apart within a 20-meter by 10-meter grid adjacent to the original 597 ppb gold soil anomaly.

All five rock samples are composed of oxidized, altered felsic intrusions with variable quantities of quartz veins.

All of the samples returned anomalous 324- to 1,113-ppm arsenic; 4- to 46-ppm antimony; 0.2- to 0.5-ppm mercury, and 212- to 674-ppm barium.

Ethos Aug. 29 reported gold analyses from soil samples up to 1,149 ppb gold at Mascot Creek, and said it staked a further 126 claims adjoining the Betty Property to the south and east. This brought the company's total land package to 5,089 claims on five properties covering an area of 1,063 square kilometers (410 square miles) in the emerging White Gold District.

Ethos said results to date indicate potential for significant gold mineralization in the newly identified Mascot Creek area. The company immediately conducted follow-up exploration to define targets and a 5,000-sample soil survey consisting of 100-meter spaced lines with soils collected every 50 meters. About 1,500 meters of trenching and pitting also was completed on the ridge west of Mascot Creek and the backhoe was moved to begin work on the 1,149-ppb gold anomaly east of Mascot Creek.

"We are extremely encouraged to have identified a gold anomaly of similar size and scope when compared with initial results from the White and Coffee area gold discoveries. Our crews are working hard to identify the best targets in this area," Ethos President and CEO Gary Freeman said Aug. 29.

Ethos said it planned to continue soil sampling and to conduct a follow-up trenching program to last into October. As soil targets are confirmed by trenching, the company planned drill pad construction to continue to the end of September.

Another newcomer enters White Gold district

Tectonic Minerals Corp./Comstock Metals Ltd., another junior drawn to the Yukon in 2011 by option agreements with Shawn Ryan, reported optioning the QV claims located 78 kilometers (about 48 miles) south of Dawson City in the White Gold district north of and contiguous with claims held by Kinross' Golden Saddle deposit at the White Gold Project.

Tectonic Minerals, incorporated in British Columbia in 2007, recently completed acquisition of Comstock Metals Ltd., a junior with gold-silver and polymetallic properties in Mexico, and the option agreements on the QV claims, now known as the White Gold North Project. Tectonic closed the amalgamation with Comstock in August, and concurrently, raised gross proceeds of C$1.75 million in a private placement.

Tectonic/Comstock said Ryan, who was instrumental in the discovery of the 1.5-million-ounce-plus Golden Saddle gold deposit and helped to discover the nearby Coffee gold project in the Yukon, held back the QV claims when he negotiated option agreements with Underworld Resources Inc. (Kinross' predecessor at White Gold).

"Shawn says he had kept these claims to himself and had decided not to option these to Underworld/Kinross along with the Golden Saddle deposit claims as he wouldn't have gotten any value for them," Tectonic/Comstock said Aug. 16. "(Ryan's) interest in these claims was for two reasons: one reason was that the obvious geophysical magnetic anomaly on the Kinross and Kaminak ground was also present on the QV claims; secondly, his limited two-line soil sampling at the time had identified top 5 percent pathfinder elements of his entire soil sample database (32,000 samples at the time), which included the Golden Saddle Deposit and Coffee project databases."

The QV claims, which originally covered 7,100 hectares (17,450 acres), now cover 10,374 hectares (25,634 acres) in 494 claims with additional staking by Comstock this summer.

Traditional hand auger geochemical sampling by Shawn Ryan's crew to date on the QV claims have identified several large anomalous areas consisting of high gold, arsenic, antimony, mercury, and barium similar to that found on Kinross/Underworld's Golden Saddle and Kaminak's Coffee where follow-up exploration including drilling has led to the discovery of gold deposits.

On the QV claims, more than 1,200 of 1,400 planned ridge and spur soil samples have been collected, and results have outlined several anomalies measuring 5,700 meters by 4,800 meters; 2,700 meters by 2,400 meters; and 6,700 meters by 2,700 meters .The strong anomalies are defined by gold values from 50-275 ppb, arsenic 110-600 ppm, antimony 4.4-80 ppm, mercury 0.28-5.0 ppm, and barium 900- 2,300 ppm.

"These results indicate that the size and intensity of the QV-claim soil anomaly is one of the strongest new gold-in-soil anomalies in the White gold district," Tectonic/Comstock said. The company also said it considers these results significant as, in this non-glaciated part of the Yukon, soil geochemical anomalies are indicative of the rocks below it; hence these anomalies are deemed in-situ.

In mid-August, Tectonic/Comstock reported completion of additional soil sampling that returned up to 274 ppb gold in soils with very strong coincident pathfinder anomalies; six samples taken from a ridge that coincides with the magnetic high features of Kinross's Golden Saddle deposit reported quartz chips and gold values of 8, 9, 20, 25, 73 and 109 ppb with coincident pathfinder elements; and completion of airborne magnetic and radiometric surveys for which it is awaiting final reports. Follow-up grid soil sampling was under way in August to better define gold-in-soils targets and understand the size and mineral potential of the underlying rocks.

The company also hired Yukon prospector Jean Pautler, P.Geo, to write an NI 43-101 report on the QV Claims. Pautler toured the property and collected rock samples. She also identified east-west trending quartz veins on outcrops on the property that Tectonic/Comstock describes as being Golden Saddle-type structures.

The 2011 work is aimed at developing drill targets for the spring of 2012.

Junior starts with IPO

Goldspike Exploration Inc. is yet another newcomer seeking gold in the White Gold district as well as other minerals elsewhere in the Yukon. The Toronto-based junior reported closing its initial public offering in August, raising gross proceeds of C$4 million.

Goldspike is affiliated with Toronto-based Sea Green Capital Corp. Both juniors are focused on Canadian mineral exploration opportunities, particularly in Yukon Territory.

R. Bruce Durham, P.Geo.

is president and CEO of Goldspike.

He is also executive chairman of the board of Temex Resources Corp. and a consulting geologist with Durham Exploration, a geological consulting firm.

Durham has worked in mineral exploration for more than 30 years in various positions with junior mining companies exploring primarily for precious and base metal deposits in Ontario and Quebec, the United States and Africa.

He has a significant track record of mineral deposit discoveries, including participation in the discovery or definition of the David Bell Mine (Hemlo), the Golden Giant Mine (Hemlo), the Redstone Nickel Mine (Timmins), the Bell Creek Mine (Timmins) and most recently, at least six nickel-copper-PGE deposits in the Raglan area of Nunavik, Quebec with Canadian Royalties.

Sea Green is led by Alexander MacKay who has worked with numerous junior resource companies assisting them in raising capital and developing relationships in the investment community.

Goldspike has reported interests in 5,058 mineral claims in the Yukon, representing 40 claim groups, and cites as its principal property the VIP Property, which consists of 1 claim group of 403 mineral claims located within the Whitehorse Mining District.

Its sister junior, Sea Green, meanwhile, June 1 reported the start of exploration of the gold-prospective Co and Zeus properties which together comprise 198 claims covering about 4,057 hectares (1,566 acres) in the White Gold district.

The phase 1 exploration program, budgeted at C$400,000, included soil and stream geochemistry and a reconnaissance soil sampling program to be followed shortly by a geological mapping and prospecting program.

Magnetic and radiometric airborne surveys were to be carried out in junction with surveys being anticipated by Goldspike in the immediate area around the projects and pending results further stripping/trenching with channel sampling and possible packsack drilling could be undertaken in the early fall, according to Sea Green.

Explorer enters Whitehorse district

Investor-led Driven Capital Corp. is another first-timer in the Yukon. However, the Vancouver, B.C-based junior is exploring a property in the Whitehorse Mining District, an area that has seen a flurry of industry interest in 2011. Driven optioned a 100 percent interest in the Lyn Silver Project in May from 7606 Yukon Ltd. and Panarc Resources Ltd. and shortly afterward expanded the property with additional staking.

Located about 13 kilometers (8 miles) southeast of the Town of Faro, the Lyn project is comprised of 228 contiguous quartz claims covering some 4,760 hectares (11,762 acres). The property is accessible via the Robert Campbell Highway about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) north, and is located 5 kilometers (3 miles) southwest of the Grew Creek epithermal gold-silver discovery.

Geologist Peter Kurisoo, a director of Driven and the Qualified Person responsible for company news dissemination, said the additional staking almost tripled the size of the Lyn project. It also secured historical anomalies along strike to the southeast and northwest for an additional 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) or so.

In August, Driven reported preliminary analytical results from a sampling and trenching program, and said it began a shallow drilling program on Lyn. The company said the first 100 samples submitted to the laboratory assayed up to 2,770 g/t silver and 26.3 percent zinc. Certain other samples assayed >10,000 g/t silver and >30.0 percent lead.

Driven said it was awaiting assays for the balance of the 157 total rock samples collected within mineralized zones at surface, from old trenches, and from 13 new trenches (about 232 linear meters) excavated and reclaimed by Aurora Geosciences Ltd. in June and July.

The company also reported that Aurora began a 10-day, 500- to 1,000-meter shallow drilling program within Lyn's historical high-grade zones. Ten holes, ranging in depth from about 25-100 meters are planned, using a Winkie drill. The program is intended to test down dip and along strike of the veins exposed at surface in order to determine attitude, morphology and controls on mineralization.

Driven also ordered re-analysis of the samples that yielded ultra-high grades.

In early September, the company reported that it received confirmation of analytical results for ultra-high-grade silver and lead rock samples taken from the project. ALS Canada Ltd. has certified that by using concentrate method Ag-CON01 on a re-split sample from pulp, rock sample LR-024 assayed 10,505 g/t silver, the company said.

The same sample assayed 41.49 percent lead by titration using method Pb-VOL70. Further, rock samples LR-023, LR-027 and LR-225 have assayed 46.63 percent lead, 44.68 percent lead, and 58.14 percent lead by titration, respectively.

Aurora, as Driven's agent, is also finalizing a Class 3 Permit application for further exploration activities, which include an anticipated 2,500-meter conventional diamond-drilling program within the historical high-grade silver area, as well as certain peripheral mineralized zones.

10,000 g/t silver and >30.0 percent lead.

Driven said it was awaiting assays for the balance of the 157 total rock samples collected within mineralized zones at surface, from old trenches, and from 13 new trenches (about 232 linear meters) excavated and reclaimed by Aurora Geosciences Ltd. in June and July.

The company also reported that Aurora began a 10-day, 500- to 1,000-meter shallow drilling program within Lyn's historical high-grade zones. Ten holes, ranging in depth from about 25-100 meters are planned, using a Winkie drill. The program is intended to test down dip and along strike of the veins exposed at surface in order to determine attitude, morphology and controls on mineralization.

Driven also ordered re-analysis of the samples that yielded ultra-high grades.

In early September, the company reported that it received confirmation of analytical results for ultra-high-grade silver and lead rock samples taken from the project. ALS Canada Ltd. has certified that by using concentrate method Ag-CON01 on a re-split sample from pulp, rock sample LR-024 assayed 10,505 g/t silver, the company said.

The same sample assayed 41.49 percent lead by titration using method Pb-VOL70. Further, rock samples LR-023, LR-027 and LR-225 have assayed 46.63 percent lead, 44.68 percent lead, and 58.14 percent lead by titration, respectively.

Aurora, as Driven's agent, is also finalizing a Class 3 Permit application for further exploration activities, which include an anticipated 2,500-meter conventional diamond-drilling program within the historical high-grade silver area, as well as certain peripheral mineralized zones.

30.0 percent lead.

Driven said it was awaiting assays for the balance of the 157 total rock samples collected within mineralized zones at surface, from old trenches, and from 13 new trenches (about 232 linear meters) excavated and reclaimed by Aurora Geosciences Ltd. in June and July.

The company also reported that Aurora began a 10-day, 500- to 1,000-meter shallow drilling program within Lyn's historical high-grade zones. Ten holes, ranging in depth from about 25-100 meters are planned, using a Winkie drill. The program is intended to test down dip and along strike of the veins exposed at surface in order to determine attitude, morphology and controls on mineralization.

Driven also ordered re-analysis of the samples that yielded ultra-high grades.

In early September, the company reported that it received confirmation of analytical results for ultra-high-grade silver and lead rock samples taken from the project. ALS Canada Ltd. has certified that by using concentrate method Ag-CON01 on a re-split sample from pulp, rock sample LR-024 assayed 10,505 g/t silver, the company said.

The same sample assayed 41.49 percent lead by titration using method Pb-VOL70. Further, rock samples LR-023, LR-027 and LR-225 have assayed 46.63 percent lead, 44.68 percent lead, and 58.14 percent lead by titration, respectively.

Aurora, as Driven's agent, is also finalizing a Class 3 Permit application for further exploration activities, which include an anticipated 2,500-meter conventional diamond-drilling program within the historical high-grade silver area, as well as certain peripheral mineralized zones.

Junior chases silver-rich prospect

To the east, Tajiri Resources Corp., a junior with majority interest in uranium and rare earth elements claims in the Otish Basin of Quebec, is the new kid on the block. The junior recently signed an option agreement to acquire 100 percent interest in the Inca Property, a high-grade silver-lead-zinc exploration property located in the Mayo Mining District of Yukon.

The Inca Property consists of 48 quartz claims covering about 1,003 hectares (2,479 acres) and is located 230 kilometers (143 miles) northeast of Dawson City. The Inca Property is located near known precious metals deposits at Red Mountain, Dublin Gulch and Keno Hill, which are all situated within a well-known silver belt trending west to east through the Yukon.

Located in the Bostock Range of the Hess Mountains, the Inca property lies on the eastern margin of the Tintina Gold Belt within the Selwyn Basin Terrane. It is known as a high-grade surface silver-lead-zinc exploration property with a history of production. Throughout 1983 to 1986 a reported total of 1305 tons of ore material was shipped to Cominco's Trail smelter. The reported production was 223,000 ounces silver at an average grade of 130-180 ounces per metric ton.

As part of due diligence for a NI 43-101 technical report written by James Gregory Davison, MSc, PGeo, 12 grab samples were collected in 2011. Tajiri aimed to reconfirm the location of several historical showings, shallow pits, surface cuts and known veining on the property. Select samples returned assay values up to 4,315 g/t silver (138.7 ounces per ton), 14.54 percent lead, and 6.71 percent zinc, confirming the high grade mineralization on the property.

Vancouver, B.C.-based Tajiri said Aug. 29 that it planned to immediately begin phase 1 exploration on the Inca Property that included soil and rock sampling in conjunction with geological mapping and prospecting. It also planned to resume exploration in early 2012. Tajiri said results of the 2011 exploration program were intended to provide priority drill targets for 2012.

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018