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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Redstar cuts high-grade gold at Unga property

Early 2015 drilling confirms continuity, seeks to expand known vein structure in Shumagin; explorer is eager to return for phase 2

 

Last updated 6/28/2015 at Noon



With intercepts of up to 5.9 ounces per short ton gold over widths of more than six feet, Redstar Gold Corp.'s first round of 2015 drilling at Unga is reminiscent of the long history of this high-grade gold project in Southwest Alaska.

Located on an island just off the Alaska Peninsula, Redstar's Unga property blankets two parallel trends of high-grade epithermal gold veins that each extend for more than 4.5 miles across the southeast corner of Unga Island.

The Apollo-Sitka trend is home to the historic Apollo gold mine, considered Alaska's oldest hardrock gold operation.

In a 1914 book titled "Alaska, its meaning to the world, its resources, its opportunities," early 20th Century historian Charles Tuttle wrote, "From available data, it may be stated that the earliest discoveries of gold in Alaska, in anything like paying quantities, were made in widely scattered locations, and were quartz lodes, not placers. The Apollo Mine on Unga Island, off the western shores of Alaska, probably was the first of these discoveries."

The historic Apollo and Sitka mines produced some 150,000 ounces of gold from high-grade veins on the Apollo-Sitka trend between 1891 and 1922.

While the Unga project provides Redstar with a number of exploration targets, the Vancouver B.C.-based explorer believes the Shumagin Trend, which lies about two miles northeast of Apollo-Sitka, provides the best balance of risk versus exploration potential.

Continuity proven

Trenching and drilling in the Shumagin prospect area has traced high-grade gold-silver veins for more than 1,200 meters along strike and to a depth of 330 meters.

In 2000, SRK Consulting calculated a non-NI 43-101-compliant resource for a portion of this prospective area of 254,000 metric tons averaging 27.4 g/t gold and 127 g/t silver for the Shumagin vein.

Three holes drilled by Redstar in this resource area during 2011 continued to hit high gold grades: 29.65 meters of 14.98 g/t gold and 11.5 g/t silver in hole 11SH010; 4.0 meters of 11.7 g/t gold and 10.2 g/t silver in hole 11SH009; and 1.0 meter of 43.9 g/t gold and 18.5 g/t silver in hole 11SH007.

The first four holes of Redstar's phase-1 program this year, which targeted various structural elevations of the Shumagin vein system within the resource area, cut high-grade gold mineralization where expected.

Hole 15SH011 cut 1.9 meters grading 5.89 oz/t gold and 2.4 oz/t silver over 1.9 meters;

Hole 15SH012 cut three intercepts - 1.03 oz/t gold and 6.1 oz/t silver over 2.0 meters, 0.49 oz/t gold and 5.3 oz/t silver over 3.0 meters, and 3.88 oz/t gold and 12.3 oz/t silver over 0.7 meters;

Hole 15SH013 cut 4.0 meters of 11.62 g/t gold and 95.6 g/t silver; and

Hole 15SH014 cut 3.0 meters with 9.86 g/t gold and 8.0 g/t silver.

"The success of the infill drill holes corroborates and greatly enhances our understanding of the high-grade mineralization reported by previous operators," said Redstar Chairman Jacques Vaillancourt.

Redstar interim CEO Ken Booth told Mining News that the holes drilled during phase 1 proves that there is continuity of structure and very high-grade gold.

"If (Redstar) or somebody else wants to tighten up that area and starts to work towards a resource - measure and indicated or inferred - there is a very good chance the drilling is going to produce similar results," he said.

With the remaining four holes, Redstar hopes to show that the vein structure and high-grade gold continues along strike to the northeast for at least another 100 meters.

While assay results are still pending from this step-out drilling, Booth said the mineralized structure was cut in all four holes.

Do the grades encountered in the infill drilling carry out to the holes? Booth said the answer to that will be revealed when the assays are released, expected within a week.

"We look forward to seeing the results of the final four holes in the program that targeted areas outside of known mineralization," said Vaillancourt.

Expanding Shumagin

As assays roll in from the first round of 2015 drilling, Redstar is eager to get started on phase-2 of the 2015 program.

Booth said the drill used during the initial 2015 program is staged at Sand Point, a community about seven miles north of the eastern end of the Shumigan trend on neighboring Popof Island. With the rig staged nearby and the camp ready, the company anticipates a quick mobilization when the company is ready for round 2 of 2015 drilling.

The primary objective of the next stage of drilling is to continue tracing the Shumigan vein along strike.

An outcrop to the northeast shows that the Shumagin vein carries for at least 350 meters beyond the outermost step-out hole of phase-1. A hole drilled at this outcrop in the 1980s cut 37.7 g/t gold and 20.6 g/t silver over 0.76 meters; and 11.48 g/t gold and 15.1g/t silver over 1.21 meters.

"The phase-2 program - 1,500-plus meter - will be dedicated almost entirely to step-out holes to the northeast," Booth explained.

The interim Redstar CEO said the second round of drilling also may include a couple of step-out holes to the southwest.

Redstar believes the eight or so holes completed during this second round of drilling will show that the high-grade structure is continuous for at least 1,000-1,500 meters, at which point further infill drilling could produce a sizeable high-grade resource for the Shumagin prospect. The historic resource calculated by SRK and the assay certificates held by Redstar will go a long way toward calculating a new NI 43-101-compliant resource for the Shumagin prospect.

Redstar hopes to kick off phase-2 in August, dependent on financing.

 

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