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South32 eyes wider Shorty Creek potential

 

Last updated 5/24/2019 at 5:04am

Shorty Creek copper gold molybdenum tungsten property Interior Alaska

Freegold Ventures Ltd.

Core from one of the holes drilled at Hill 1835 last year. South32 has budgeted US$2.2 million to explore some of the other porphyry targets on the Shorty Creek property during 2019.

Freegold Ventures Ltd. May 15 announced the start of a US$2.2 million exploration program focused on testing the wider copper-gold potential at its Shorty Creek property in Alaska's Interior. This exploration is being funded by South32 Ltd., an Australia-based mining company that has agreed to invest up to US$10 million into exploration at Shorty Creek.

Freegold Ventures identified the potential for porphyry-style copper-gold mineralization at Shorty Creek in 2014, which was confirmed with drilling the next year.

One of the porphyry confirmation holes, SC 15-03, cut 91 meters grading 0.55 percent copper, 0.14 grams per metric ton gold and 7.02 g/t silver at the Hill 1835 target at Shorty Creek.

Overall, Freegold has drilled 12 holes at Hill 1835, outlining a 750- by 300-meter area of porphyry copper-gold-silver-tungsten mineralization, which represents a small portion of the larger magnetic and geochemical anomaly found there.

This includes two holes drilled last year:

• SC 18-01 – drilled to a depth of 555.2 meters and terminated in a significant fault zone – cut 442.2 meters of 0.24 percent copper, 0.09 g/t gold, 4.74 g/t silver and 0.02 percent tungsten trioxide from a depth of 113 meters, including 121.15 meters of 0.45 percent copper, 0.15 g/t gold, 10.5 g/t silver and 0.045 percent tungsten trioxide from a depth of 194 meters.

• SC 18-02 – drilled 175 meters southeast of 18-01 and to a depth of 610.85 meters – cut 442.4 meters of 0.22 percent copper, 0.13 g/t gold, 4.03 g/t silver and 0.02 percent tungsten trioxide from a depth of 92 meters, including 126 meters of 0.36 percent copper, 0.09 g/t gold, 6.3 g/t silver and 0.018 percent tungsten trioxide from a depth of 281 meters.

Hill 1835 is only one of several potentially significant porphyry targets that has been identified across the roughly 39-square-mile (100 square kilometers) road accessible Shorty Creek property.

Hill 1710 is centered on a 6,000-meter-long magnetic anomaly about 2,000 meters north of Hill 1835 that coincides with a large copper and molybdenum geochemical anomaly.

Four widely spaced holes drilled at Hill 1710 in 2016 tested 1,600 meters of this magnetic high. Each hole intersected porphyry style mineralization, with copper grades increasing to the northeast.

Follow-up rock sampling at Hill 1710 returned values between 0.11 to 0.39 percent copper in porphyry mineralization to the northeast of this drilling.

Steel Creek, another strong magnetic high anomaly about 2,000 meters northeast of Hill 1835, was initially tested by a 2017 drill hole that encountered anomalous copper, along with a suite of minerals similar to that seen at Hill 1835.

Quarry is an interesting undrilled target about 5,000 meters east of Steel Creek and at the northeast end of a separate 11,000-meter-long magnetic high feature. Samples of oxidized porphyritic rock with stockwork veining collected from Quarry contained as much as 500 parts per million copper.

With the goal of testing this wider potential, the 2019 program will start with geochemical sampling and induced polarization (IP) geophysical surveys. This will be followed up with a 2,000-meter drill program, slated to get underway in mid-July, designed to provide an initial test of the exploration targets outside of the Hill 1835 target area.

Shorty Creek copper gold molybdenum tungsten property Interior Alaska

Freegold Ventures Ltd.

Under an option agreement signed earlier this year, South32 can earn up to a 70 percent interest in Shorty Creek by investing at least US$2 million per year in 2019 and 2020, and US$3 million annually over the following two years.

Freegold Ventures will operate the exploration program at Shorty Creek during the four-year option period and will provide annual reports and budgets to a technical committee formed by Freegold and South32 for the purpose of reviewing and approving each year's program.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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