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By Rose Ragsdale
For Mining News 

White Gold fever grips explorer in 2018

Exploration heats up as aggressive junior led by renowned prospector Shawn Ryan reports several gold discoveries


Last updated 11/2/2018 at 3:53am

Yukon gold exploration drilling Shawn Ryan GroundTruth Exploration Dawson

White Gold Corp.

White Gold completed a total of 8,745 meters of diamond drilling this season in 18 holes at the Golden Saddle deposit on the company's namesake property in the Yukon.

It's clear by now that famed prospector Shawn Ryan has the Midas Touch when it comes to making significant mineral discoveries in the White Gold District of west-central Yukon Territory.

During the past few weeks, junior mining company White Gold Corp. – which Ryan guides as chief technical advisor – reported not one, not two, but at least three significant gold discoveries in the region.

White Gold's C$9 million, 14,500-meter exploration program for 2018 targeted expansion of and discovery of new resources on the junior's flagship White Gold property and testing several regional targets on a fast-growing land package of 21,218 mining claims covering 423,000 hectares, or 1.045 million acres, across 34 properties, or roughly 40 percent of the White Gold District.

The White Gold property is located 95 kilometers, or 57 miles south of Dawson City, Yukon and covers 1,792 claims totaling 34,951 hectares, or 86,364 acres.

One of the new discoveries, first reported in August, lies on and around the Golden Saddle deposit on the White Gold property, the original prospect that Ryan identified nearly a decade ago. That property also gave its name to the highly prospective district and spawned a modern gold rush that eventually could rival in gold production the estimated 20 million ounces that miners hauled out of the area's creeks, primarily during the historic Klondike rush more than a century ago.

White Gold completed a total of 8,745 meters of diamond drilling this season over 18 holes at Golden Saddle. In mid-October, the junior posted additional results from the drilling, including the discovery of a new shallow zone of mineralization identified on trend with the Golden Saddle deposit and dubbed Golden Saddle West.

GS West, which lies about 750 meters west of the main Golden Saddle deposit, is open at depth and along strike and intersects Golden Saddle-style mineralization in all three holes. WHTGS18D0184 cut 1.92 g/t gold over 24 meters from 117 meters depth within broader mineralization of 2.97 g/t gold over 10 meters from 118 meters depth.

The find is situated along a structural trend containing several other targets, including the high-grade Ryan's Showing discovery, which White Gold reported Sept. 6.

Step-out and infill drilling at Golden Saddle also continued to return significant results, expanding the footprint and definition of the deposit.

Highlights of drill results include WHTGS18D0194, which cut 6.90 grams-per-metric-ton gold over 23.64 meters from 427.11 meters depth, within broader mineralization of 3.76 g/t gold over 66.2 meters from 385.2 meters depth and 2.32 g/t gold over 115.61 meters from 346.24 meters depth, extending the GS Main Zone and high-grade core of the Golden Saddle deposit by 60 meters (14 percent) down-dip in the area.

Another hole, WHTGS18D0191, extended the projection of the GS Main Zone roughly 200 meters (69 percent) down dip in the area, intersecting 4.87 g/t gold over 6.3 meters from 362 meters depth within broader mineralization of 1.95 g/t gold over 22.3 meters from 347.6 meters depth.

"Making up approximately half of our 2018 budget, the goal of this program was to grow the Golden Saddle deposit through expansion along strike and down dip as well as through the discovery of new mineralization within close proximity to the deposit," said Jodie Gibson, White Gold's vice president of exploration. "Our program has done just that – making meaningful step-outs to the deposit and also making two significant discoveries this year along trend with Golden Saddle. With only limited exploration performed in the area, we are very optimistic about the potential for additional mineralization in close proximity to the Golden Saddle deposit."

White Gold attributed discovery of the new zone to revised geologic modeling based on induced polarization geophysical surveys and historic drilling, and said it highlights the potential discovery of additional new zones of mineralization adjacent to Golden Saddle. Detailed geological modeling is underway that will underpin follow-up drilling in 2019.

More gold in Ryan's Showing

High-grade gold mineralization, meanwhile, turned up at shallow depths in four drill holes on the Ryan's Showing Target, located along trend with the Golden Saddle deposit two kilometers to the west. Using more cost-efficient reverse circulation drilling, White Gold drilled 681.22 meters of sub-200-meter holes on an 800-meter by 115-meter soil anomaly with values from trace up to 1,576 parts per billion gold.

The discovery hole, WHTRYN18RC0001, cut 20.64 g/t gold over 6.10 meters from 83.82 meters depth, with individual assays ranging from 7.07 g/t to 39.8 g/t gold.

The Ryan's Showing target remains open along strike and at depth and demonstrates the potential for multiple mineralized structures, according to the company. Follow-up diamond drilling continued into late 2018.

Investigating Vertigo

Arguably the most exciting discovery of the 2018 season for White Gold could be the Vertigo target on its JP Ross Property, located a few kilometers northwest of the White Gold property. JP Ross comprises 2,251 claims covering about 45,600 hectares, or 112,678 acres, and numerous placer gold-bearing creeks.

Using a suite of innovative exploration techniques developed by Ryan and GroundTruth Exploration Co., a local mining support services company run by his wife, Cathy Wood, White Gold systematically identified and explored Vertigo late into the 2018 season.

The junior hit high-grade gold mineralization near surface on the Vertigo Trend at JP Ross in a similar geological setting to the nearby Golden Saddle deposit.

White Gold's team used Groundtruth's GT Probe in place of traditional trenching, and sample results support modeling developed by the company through soil sampling, Lidar and IP-Resistivity testing. This work identified at least three zones of potential mineralization.

The junior followed up with 917.45 meters of Rotary-Air-Blast drilling to test the newly discovered gold targets, and then switched to RC drilling to maximize recoveries. By early October, White Gold had completed 1,224 meters of RC drilling in 17 holes, including step-out drilling to test additional identified zones of mineralization (V1, V2, & V7 – V10), drilling along strike extensions of the V3 – V5 zones and initial drill testing on newly identified targets on trend through geologic mapping/prospecting including the new Suspicion target, located four kilometers (2.5 miles) to the southwest of Vertigo.

Highlights include: JPRVERRAB18-005, located 50 meters to the southwest of JPRVERRAB18-001, targeted the V3 zone and returned 1.49 g/t gold over 16.76 meters from 12.19 meters depth, including 9.37 g/t gold over 1.52 meters from 27.43 meters depth, where it ended in mineralization. The hole has subsequently been extended with an RC drill hole to test the mineralized zone to further depth. Results for the follow up RC hole are pending.

JPRVERRAB18-014, located 160 meters east of hole 001, targeted strongly anomalous arsenic-lead-bismuth (+/- gold-silver) in XRF results from recent GT Probe sampling across the interpreted V6 zone and returned 23.44 g/t gold over 24.38 meters from the surface. This includes three sub-intervals consisting of 59.3 g/t gold over 3.05 meters from surface, 39.4 g/t gold over 3.05 meters from 12.19 meters depth and 26.1 g/t gold over 4.572 meters from 19.81 meters depth. The gold mineralization is associated with strongly elevated silver – lead (arsenic-bismuth) and averaged 145 g/t silver and 0.54 percent lead over the 24.38 meters interval. The hole ended in mineralization at 28.38 meters depth due to air loss in strongly fractured ground. Drillers subsequently re-entered the hole using RC equipment and extended it to depth. Results of the additional drilling are pending.

"This appears to potentially be one of the most significant and interesting discoveries in the White Gold District to date; it is the kind of mineralization that could have produced the local placer gold deposits found in the area," Ryan said of the Vertigo find. "The high-grade nature found at such shallow depths and the fact that there appears to be multiple mineralized zones creates the perfect recipe to build economic ounces.

Yukon gold exploration drilling Shawn Ryan GroundTruth Exploration Dawson

White Gold Corp.

White Gold's team used Groundtruth Exploration's GT Probe in place of traditional trenching to test the soil-bedrock interface at the Vertigo target on the company's JP Ross property in Yukon's White Gold District.

"The ability of our team to hit significant gold mineralization on almost every drill hole over 235 meters of strike on a new target is a true testament to the tenacity and effectiveness of our team and exploration methodology. With each new discovery we are gaining a better understanding of the regional and local geology. We now have increased confidence in the potential for further discoveries in this area as our exploration team continues to explore other targets on the JP Ross property on trend with Vertigo," he added.

In mid-October, White Gold also reported a bought-deal financing that will raise C$15 million. Two major investors – Agnico Eagle Mines Co. and Kinross Gold Corp. – agreed to purchase enough shares of White Gold to maintain their respective 19.9 percent stakes in the junior.

White Gold, meanwhile, completed acquisition of other White Gold District properties – Henderson, Flow/Work Creek and Birdman – from Independence Gold Corp., another explorer actively seeking gold in the district, and staked additional claims around Ryan's Showing, Vertigo and other recent discoveries.


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