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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Redstar targets early 2015 exploration

Crews re-evaluate high-grade trends at Unga with low-cost program prior to winter drilling at the site of state's first gold mine

 

Last updated 1/11/2015 at Noon



With a new management team in place, roughly C$2 million of cash in the bank and an improved understanding of its high-grade gold mineralization, Redstar Gold Corp. is preparing to launch an early 2015 drill program at its Unga project, found in the Aleutian Arc of Southwest Alaska.

Unga - where Redstar's 2014 surface exploration program grabbed rock samples with grades of up to 401 grams per metric ton gold and 266 g/t silver - is a high-grade gold property that encompasses the historic Apollo gold mine, considered to be the first underground gold operation in Alaska.

Redstar Chairman Jacques Vaillancourt said, "The Unga project gives Redstar 100 percent consolidated control of an emerging, high-grade epithermal gold-silver district which has been overlooked for the past 30 years, largely due to previously fragmented ownership."

In May, Redstar raised C$3.3 million through a private placement financing. But the junior explorer chose not to launch a capital-sapping drill program. Redstar opted, instead, to spend the summer season mapping, sampling and re-evaluating the highest-priority targets that the legendary high-grade project has to offer.

Most of these top prospects were accessible with all-terrain vehicles along existing roads and trails, eliminating the need for helicopter support.

As a result, Redstar still had more than C$2.2 million in working capital at the end of September, enough to carry out a drill program slated for early 2015.

"The program at Unga was designed ultimately to allow the company to maximize our potential for drilling high-grade gold mineralization while minimizing expenditure; to clearly delineate the potential for expanding areas of known mineralization; and to generate new targets for future exploration," Redstar President and CEO Toby Mayo explained at the end of the field program.

Mayo, the former president of Cancordia Resource Corp., was appointed president and CEO of Redstar in September. Jesse Grady, a geologist with extensive Alaska exploration experience, joined the team as vice president of exploration.

"This new and talented team will be taking the company and its lead Unga project forward," said Vaillancourt. "We believe that Unga, with its dual trends of epithermal low to medium sulfidation formation with gold showings over 19 kilometers (12 miles) is currently amongst the most prospective projects going."

Consolidating Unga

Redstar acquired the Shumagin project from Kentucky-based NGAS Production Co. - NGAS subsequently was acquired by Houston Texas-based Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. - in 2011. This claim group includes two blocks of patented claims - one of which covers Apollo-Sitka, a historic mine site that produced some 150,000 ounces of gold between 1891 and 1922; and the other covers the parallel Shumagin Trend.

Following the purchase of Shumagin, Redstar struck a deal with Full Metal Minerals to earn an initial 60 percent interest in the Unga-Popov property, a large claim group that covers the strike and down dip extension to at least three high-grade gold trends outlined on the patented claims.

In November, Redstar completed the consolidation of the Unga project by negotiating a deal with Full Metal that assigned all interests in the property to Redstar, including an exploration agreement with option to lease with the Aleut Corp., the area's Alaska Native regional corporation.

"The strategic transaction between (Full Metal), the Aleut Corp. and Redstar completes the consolidation of the Shumigan and Unga-Popov properties, which together comprise the Unga Project," said Mayo. "The transaction, which gives Redstar undivided control of a district-scale exploration area covering about 250 square kilometers (96.5 square miles), will afford the company greater flexibility and control over future exploration."

Understanding Apollo-Sitka

Redstar's 2014 field program, which kicked off in July, investigated the highest-priority targets along the Apollo-Sitka and Shumigan trends. Each of these sub-parallel trends are some six miles (9.5 kilometers) long and cut across the entire southeast corner of Unga Island.

The initial focus of this program was on a 2,500-meter-long corridor of alteration and veining along the southwest-oriented Apollo-Sitka trend. The area sampled centered on the Apollo Mine area and included the Sitka Mine area to the northeast; Empire Ridge to the southwest; and the Rising Sun prospect to the southeast.

In December, Redstar reported encouraging results from the selective rock chip sampling of exposed bedrock in this area, with the best specimens returning assays of 401 g/t gold and 266 g/t silver. Results from continuous chip trench sampling within the hanging wall of the historic Sitka stope produced results of up to 30.5 g/t gold and 128 g/t silver.

Redstar reports that a continuous gold-silver geochemical soil anomaly of more than 100 parts per billion (up to 821 ppb) gold and more than 1.3 g/t (up to 21.5 g/t) silver covering the Sitka and Apollo mine areas has been extended by roughly 1,300 meters to the southwest from Apollo through Empire Ridge.

The Empire Ridge prospect area has received minimal surface work, and Redstar plans geological mapping of this important geochemical anomaly in future exploration programs.

"The surface results have expanded our understanding of the Apollo-Sitka trend as a highly prospective gold and silver system, which has provided us with additional target areas to expand upon," said Mayo.

Extending Shumigan

Crews also investigated Shumigan and Aquila, two prospective areas situated at opposite ends of the Shumigan trend.

At the Shumigan prospect, located at the northeast end of the trend, a soil sample grid of roughly 750 meters by 200 meters tested the western extension of known surface and sub-surface mineralization along inferred structures.

Redstar said the results from this survey identifies a gold and silver geochemical soil signature of 20-50 ppb (up to 615 ppb) gold and greater than 0.5 g/t (up to 6.8 g/t) silver over areas of historical trenching, extending the anomaly to the southwest by some 400 meters.

Rock chip sampling of outcropping vein breccias and stockwork at Shumigan produced results of up to 9.93 g/t gold and 74.4 g/t silver.

At the Aquila prospect, situated at the southwestern end of the Shumigan trend, a series of reconnaissance soil lines returned around 50 ppb (up to 197 ppb) gold and up to 3.51 g/t silver. A single select rock sample of a narrow breccia vein sampled within an intense alteration zone returned 90.2 g/t silver.

In addition to the field work, Redstar geologists completed an in-depth review of historical drilling carried out at the Shumigan prospect.

"We continue to receive encouraging results at our Unga Gold Project in Alaska, which add to our understanding of the geological system as a whole, most notably a demonstrable relationship between phreatomagmatic breccias (formed when upwelling magma encounters water) and high-grade gold mineralization as part of a larger, district-scale epithermal-magmatic-related system.

This exciting development has opened up additional avenues of exploration into what could be a significantly larger system than previously thought," explained Mayo.

"Furthermore, the work of re-interpreting historic core and geological data has provided us with additional insight and exploration targets, which will help guide our upcoming drilling campaign for early in 2015."

 

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