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ATAC, Barrick to invest C$13M at Rackla

 

Last updated 4/13/2018 at 4:14am

Yukon gold exploration, Barrick Gold, ATAC Resources

Shane Lasley

A helicopter stands by on a ridge near the discovery of Carlin-style gold mineralization at the Osiris project on ATAC Resources' Rackla property in the Yukon.

ATAC Resources Ltd. April 4 outlined plans for roughly 20,000 meters of drilling at the Rackla Gold property in the Yukon.

At roughly C$13 million, this program included a C$6 million investment by Barrick Gold Corp. for exploring the Orion gold project at the center of the massive Rackla property and C$7 million from ATAC, which will explore Osiris and Rau, located on the east and west ends of Rackla, respectively.

"We are excited to get started on what will be the largest drilling campaign since 2012 on the Rackla Gold property," said ATAC President and CEO Graham Downs.

Under an agreement signed last April, Barrick has the option to earn up to a 70 percent stake in the Orion project, which blankets a 780-square-kilometer (301 square miles) section in the middle of ATAC's roughly 185-kilometer- (115 miles) long Rackla land package.

This deal consists of a potential total investment by Barrick of roughly C$63.3 million, including a C$8.3 million private placement and a two-staged C$55 million exploration earn-in option on Orion.

Prior to finalizing the deal with Barrick, ATAC divided the 1,700-square-kilometer Rackla property into three projects – Rau, which encompasses 660 square kilometers (255 square miles) at the western end of Rackla; Osiris, a 302-square-kilometer (117 square miles) property at the eastern end; and Orion, which lies between.

It is this central project on which Barrick has the option to earn up to 70 percent.

Barrick drills Orion

Barrick plans to expand upon the Carlin-type gold at Orion with 10,000 meters of drilling slated for this year.

Barrick's initial program, carried out last year, focused on systematically establishing a surface and sub-surface geological, geochemical and structural framework of the Orion project area.

This program included detailed mapping, prospecting and trenching; rock, soil and stream sediment sampling; ground-based gravity survey; Lidar terrain mapping; and drilling.

The drilling tapped robust Carlin-type alteration well away from any surface geochemical anomalies, demonstrating that favorable environments for the development of gold mineralization at Orion are more extensive than previously understood.

The results of the 2017 work are being evaluated by the joint Barrick-ATAC exploration team to prioritize the targets for drilling this year.

This drilling is expected to primarily focus on the 6,000-meter-long Anubis Fault corridor, where ATAC cut 8.5 meters of 19.85 grams per metric ton gold in the Anubis zone and 61.3 meters of 2.75 g/t gold in the Orion zone prior to optioning the property to Barrick.

Nine other prospecting discoveries within the Anubis Cluster (Ana, Corona, Columba, Dale, Dorado, Draco, Hydra, Lyra and Zodiac) have received only cursory follow-up since their discovery in 2013.

"Our technical team will work alongside Barrick to unlock the discovery potential we see emerging at the Orion project," said Downs. "Meanwhile, we will be looking to expand some of the highest grade gold zones identified to date at our wholly-owned Osiris project."

Testing Conrad's faults

ATAC's 2018 drill program at Osiris will follow-up on the high-grade gold mineralization discovered and expanded upon last year.

During the 2017 drill program, ATAC confirmed that faults "play an important role in the localization of high-grade Carlin-type gold mineralization at Conrad," a gold zone at Osiris.

One of the first holes of ATAC's 2017 drill program as Osiris tapped 67.06 meters of 3.35 g/t gold, including 15.14 meters of 7.25 g/t gold within and adjacent to the 350 Fault zone at the western end of Conrad.

Hole OS-17-238, targeting the 650 Fault corridor at the eastern end of Conrad, cut 12.5 meters of 20.78 g/t gold.

Two other 2017 holes targeting the 650 Fault corridor at the structural intersection with the Nadaleen Fault returned 12.19 meters of 9.44 g/t gold and 25.91 meters of 5.44 g/t gold.

This year's drilling will focus on systematically stepping out from known gold mineralization within these fault corridors.

ATAC will also drill Sunrise, another Carlin-type gold zone at Osiris.

Last year's drilling at Sunrise showed strong continuity with a consistent increase in the grade of the mineralization with depth, including 10.42 meters of 7.97 g/t gold and 15.24 meters of 13.52 g/t gold.

Drilling will continue this systematic expansion of the zone both at depth and along strike from the previously delineated mineralization. The Sunrise Zone remains open at depth and along strike.

ATAC also plans to further investigate the Osiris zone, which has only been outlined through cursory drilling in 2011 and 2017.

Gold mineralization at the Osiris zone is concentrated at stratigraphic boundaries where mineralizing fluids become focused. This gold concentration is demonstrated in OS-17-244, which cut 12.19 meters of 9.6 g/t gold at the contact between the limestone and mudstone rock units.

This year's drilling at the Osiris Zone in 2018 will test strike and depth extension of gold mineralization.

Investigating Rau's metals

ATAC's 2018 exploration program will also continue to investigate the gold and base metal potential across Rau, the large project lying at the western end of Rackla.

"ATAC will also continue to advance prospecting activity at our Rau project, where results indicate the potential for a district-scale polymetallic discovery," said Downs.

The Rau property covers a 12.5-mile trend of metals deposits and prospects that include: Tiger, carbonate replacement style deposit with 5.68 million metric tons of measured and indicated resources averaging 2.66 grams per metric ton (485,700 ounces) gold; Airstrip, a large gold anomaly about 4,000 meters south of Tiger; Ocelot, a silver-lead-zinc discovery about nine miles northwest of Tiger; and multiple other precious and base metals geochemical anomalies.

Exploration along trend of the Tiger deposit in 2018 will include a targeted advancement of the Condor, Panther and Spotlight targets.

Highlight grab sample results from last year's prospecting at these targets include:

• 7,080 g/t silver, 4.63 percent copper and 3.27 g/t gold at the Spotlight discovery;

• 17 g/t gold and 23.3 percent zinc at Condor; and,

• 8.18 g/t gold at Panther.

By re-evaluating previously gathered geochemical and geophysical data, ATAC has identified three potential intrusive centers at Rau that could be the sources for the mineralization found there.

One is believed to be related to the development of gold mineralization at Tiger; a second is in the area of the Spotlight target; and the third roughly nine miles west of Tiger.

All three intrusive centers and priority geophysical anomalies will be further evaluated during the 2018 field program.

This work will include hand pitting, prospecting, and geological mapping. First pass geochemical soil sampling will be conducted over a large area around the Spotlight target not previously sampled.

In March 2018, the Yukon government and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun filed a joint document that allows ATAC to move forward with its plans to build a 65-kilometer (40 miles), private, all-season tote road to the Tiger gold deposit.

The proposed road would branch off the Hanson Lake Road west of Keno City and is envisioned as a gated, single-lane and radio-controlled road suitable for vehicles supporting the company's exploration and other activities at Rau.

It is expected that this road could provide a staging area in support of exploration on the Orion and Osiris projects to the east.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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