ME2018: Peak Gold LLC
(A joint venture between Contango ORE Inc. and Royal Gold Inc.)
Last updated 10/26/2018 at 2:11pm
Peak Gold, a joint venture between Contango ORE Inc. (60 percent) and Royal Gold Inc. (40 percent), is beginning to investigate the economics of mining the gold-rich Peak and North Peak skarn deposits that it has outlined at Peak Gold (formerly Tetlin), an extensive land package near the crossroads town of Tok in Alaska's Eastern Interior. The 2018 program also includes exploring for new skarn deposits near the Peak deposits, as well as evaluating the potential for porphyry or epithermal deposits across the roughly 850,000-acre Peak Gold land package held by the JV.
Contango ORE CEO Brad Juneau discovered the metals potential of Peak Gold while investigating a 675,000-acre Tetlin Village land package for natural gas in 2008. By 2014, the Texas-based oil and gas company turned metals explorer had delineated more than 1 million gold-equivalent ounces at the main Peak deposit, in a calculation that includes the value of the copper and silver also present in the high-grade skarn mineralization discovered there.
Despite not usually getting directly involved in mineral exploration, Royal Gold joined Peak Gold as an active partner late in 2014. Over the ensuing three years, the Denver-based metals royalty company has invested US$30 million to earn a 40 percent JV interest in Peak Gold and is continuing to manage further exploration on the property this year.
Since formation of the partnership, Royal Gold and Contango ORE have expanded Peak; outlined an initial resource for North Peak, a parallel deposit of gold-rich skarn mineralization; and identified the potential for a larger porphyry copper-gold deposit in the area.
Together, the Peak and adjacent North Peak deposits host a global resource – measured, indicated and inferred – of 15.65 million metric tons averaging 2.98 grams per metric ton (1.5 million ounces) gold, 14.68 g/t (7.39 million oz) silver and 0.16 percent (55 million pounds) copper, according to a calculation published in 2017.
In April, the Peak Gold JV announced a US$9.1 million budget for an initial phase of 2018 exploration at Peak Gold, a program that involved roughly 6,900 meters of exploration drilling and geophysical surveys.
This work had three primary objectives: define a path to commercialization of Peak and North Peak; explore for a third skarn orebody close to these deposits; and evaluate the potential for porphyry or epithermal deposits across the wider property.
Copper Hill, a prospect about 25 miles southeast of the Peak zones, is one area tested this year for porphyry mineralization. North Saddle, about two miles northwest of the Peak zones, is another.
In September, the Peak Gold JV finalized a preliminary economic assessment that provides a first glimpse of what a mine might look like at this enigmatic property in eastern Alaska.
Editor's Note: For more information on the preliminary economic assessment and updated resource for the Peak Gold deposits read Tantalizing economics of mining Peak Gold published in the October edition of North of 60 Mining News.
Contango ORE Inc.- OTCMKTS: CTGO
Contango ORE CEO: Brad Juneau
3700 Buffalo Speedway, Ste. 925, Houston, TX 77098
Royal Gold Inc. Nasdaq: RGLD
Royal Gold CEO: Tony Jensen
Royal Gold VP, Operations: Mark Isto
1660 Wynkoop, #1000, Denver, CO 80202