Below, beyond Peak
Intriguing drill results hint at greater gold-copper potential at Tetlin
Last updated 10/18/2015 at Noon
Initial results from the 2015 drill program at the Tetlin project in eastern Alaska near Tok is providing some insight into why Royal Gold Inc. was eager to invest US$4 million to fund a second phase of drilling before winter sets in at the Interior Alaska project.
Peak Gold - the limited liability joint venture company that Royal Gold joined earlier this year to follow up on the exploration success that Contango ORE Inc. had at Tetlin - completed 7,162 meters of core drilling during a roughly US$4.5 million phase-1 program.
Most of the 29 holes drilled during the inaugural Peak Gold exploration program investigated promising skarn targets within a 13-square-mile prospect area known as Chief Danny.
Skarn deposits are formed when metal-laden magmatic fluids hit reactive rocks, usually carbonates but sometimes shales, causing the metals to quickly drop out. This process often results in formation of high-grade deposits of the metals contained in the solution.
Such is the case in the Peak Zone.
According to a maiden resource calculated early in 2014, the Peak deposit hosts 6 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 3.46 grams per metric ton gold, 11 g/t silver and 0.25 percent copper for 783,115 gold-equivalent ounces; and 9 million metric tons of inferred resources averaging 2.07 g/t gold, 14.28 g/t silver, 0.23 percent copper for 332,969 gold-equivalent ounces.
With the best holes of the first phase of 2015 drilling at Tetlin hitting high-grade gold-copper mineralization at and below Peak, the growth potential of this skarn deposit is confirmed.
TET15147 cut multiple zones of mineralization at Peak, including: 41.89 meters averaging 6.07 g/t gold, 4.6 g/t silver and 0.198 percent copper from 9.39 meters; and 48.42 meters of 4.98 g/t gold, 12 g/t silver and 0.338 percent copper from a depth of 101.7 meters.
TET15154, another hole targeting Peak Deep, cut 26.79 meters of 0.18 g/t gold, 53.9 g/t silver and 0.139 percent copper from a depth of 21.79 meters; and 21.35 meters of 0.14 g/t gold, 22 g/t silver and 0.813 percent copper from a depth of 132.6 meters.
The copper-gold mineralization found at Peak is both highly conductive and magnetic; and a number of targets with geophysical signatures similar to the 1.2 million-ounce gold-equivalent deposit are found within the Chief Danny prospect area.
One such area confirmed during phase-1 drilling is located just north of the Peak zone.
TET15153, drilled roughly 100 meters north of the Peak zone, cut 22.72 meters of 9.38 g/t gold, 1.9 g/t silver and 0.045 percent copper from a depth of 10.2 meters; 13.29 meters of 6.52 g/t gold, 15.1 g/t silver, and 0.035 percent copper from a depth of 42.1 meters.
All told, four holes encountered significant gold-copper mineralization at North Peak and assay results from at least three other holes drilled in this area are pending.
Exploratory drilling of some of the outlying Chief Danny prospects cut intriguing mineralized zones.
TET15158, drilled about 650 meters north of the Peak deposit, cut two areas of copper and gold mineralization at a new zone called Blue Moon. From a depth of 25.9 meters the hole cut 5.93 meters averaging 0.73 g/t gold and 0.012 percent copper; and from 66 meters drilling cut 6.24 meters averaging 2.88 g/t gold, 4.5 g/t silver and 0.146 percent copper.
Assays are pending from a second hole drilled at Blue Moon.
TET15143, drilled more than two miles (3.2 kilometers) west of the Peak zone, cut some interesting copper and gold at 8 o'clock, another new target. From a depth of 77.8 meters, this hole cut 3.6 meters averaging 1.74 g/t gold and 0.171 percent copper.
At 7 o'clock, a target about halfway between Peak and 8 o'clock, TET15143 cut a similar zone of mineralization - 5.03 meters averaging 1.075 g/t gold and 0.151 percent copper.
At least four additional holes are planned to further test this prospective area west of Peak.
Following the success of the phase-1 program, Royal Gold contributed the US$4 million to fund a second phase of drilling. The royalty company can earn a 40 percent stake in Peak Gold by investing US$30 million on exploration at Tetlin by October 2018.