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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Freegold attracts South32 to Shorty Creek

 

Last updated 10/30/2019 at 11:39am

Freegold Ventures Ltd.

Core from a 2018 hole drilled at Shorty Creek that cut 442.4 meters averaging 0.22 percent copper, 0.13 g/t gold, 4.03 g/t silver and 0.02 percent tungsten trioxide.

Freegold Ventures Ltd. is focused on exploring for copper and gold on two properties in Interior Alaska – Golden Summit, an advanced stage gold project just north of Kinross Gold Corp.'s Fort Knox Mine, and Shorty Creek, an enticing porphyry copper-gold project about 75 miles northwest of Fairbanks.

In March, South32 Ltd. entered into an option agreement with Freegold Ventures to acquire 70 percent interest in Shorty Creek for US$30 million, less any money the Australia-based major invested in exploring the promising copper-gold-silver-tungsten deposits that have been identified across the property.

To keep the option in good standing, South32 has agreed to fund up to US$10 million on exploration over a four-year span, including a roughly US$2.3 million program aimed at investigating the Shorty Creek potential in 2019.

The 2019 program began with induced polarization surveys, as well as geochemical surveys that got underway in May.

A severe wildfire in the Shorty Creek area, however, delayed the anticipated mid-July start to drilling. Getting underway in mid-August, this roughly 2,000-meter drill program targeted further expansion of Hill 1835, the most advanced Shorty Creek target, and Hill 1710, a very large porphyry target about 2,000 meters to the northwest.

When Freegold acquired Shorty Creek in 2014, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based explorer had a hunch this highway-accessible property could be hiding one or more large deposits of porphyry copper-gold mineralization, an intuition that was affirmed with drilling carried out during an inaugural drill program in 2015.

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 had drilled 12 holes at Hill 1835 prior to the 2019 season, 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; and

• 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.

Where one porphyry deposit is found, there are often others nearby. The strong magnetic and geochemical anomalies across the roughly 39-square-mile (100 square kilometers) Shorty Creek property indicate Hill 1835 is not the only, and potentially not the largest, copper-gold-silver-tungsten porphyry found there.

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

Four widely spaced holes that tested a 1,600-meter stretch of the magnetic high at Hill 1710 cut 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 Hill 1835.

Quarry is an interesting undrilled target about 5,000 meters east of Steel Creek and at the northeast end of an 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.

Freegold's Golden Summit property about 25 miles north of Fairbanks hosts 61.5 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.69 g/t (1.36 million ounces) gold; and 71.5 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.69 g/t (1.58 million oz) gold.

The oxide portion of this deposit, found largely within the upper 60 meters, has 16.2 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.66 g/t (345,000 oz) gold; and 9.6 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.59 g/t (183,000 oz) gold.

In 2016, Freegold Ventures published a preliminary economic assessment that evaluates a 10,000 metric-tons-per-day heap leach facility to process the oxide material and a 10,000 tpd plant for the sulfide material.

The company said the entire 13,000-acre Golden Summit property is prospective to expand the oxide resource well beyond the 300- by 1,500-meter resource area outlined so far.

 

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