Discoveries spur drilling at Indin Lake
Junior believes Colomac is beginning of sizable gold camp Mining Explorers 2019 – Published Nov. 1, 2019
Last updated 8/14/2020 at 9:28am
After nearly 10 years of exploring the Colomac Gold Project in Northwest Territories, Nighthawk Gold Corp. is making progress toward increasing the project's resource in 2020, while strengthening a long-held theory that the project sits in the middle of a potential gold camp that could rival the legendary Timmins Gold Camp of Ontario.
Anchored by strategic shareholders Kinross Gold Corp. (9.9 percent), Osisko Royalties Ltd. (8.6 percent) and Northfield Capital (19.1 percent), Nighthawk has advanced Colomac from a small, little-known former gold producer to a multimillion-ounce deposit with new high-grade features and the potential to deliver much more.
The explorer calculated an updated resource estimate for the property in June 2018, outlining 50.3 metric tons grading 1.62 g/t gold for 2.6 million ozs of inferred resources.
"We firmly believe that as Colomac grows, so will the credibility of the gold camp that it resides in, and we are strategically positioned to reap the benefits," Nighthawk President and CEO Michael Byron, Ph.D., said recently. "2019 will again see us expand on all exploration fronts, committed to delivering on our vision for developing Canada's next gold camp."
The Colomac Gold project is located within Nighthawk's 899-square-kilometer (200,203 acres) district-scale Indin Lake Gold Property, which has numerous gold deposits and showings, and is situated about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Yellowknife, NWT.
Early in its 2019 exploration season, Nighthawk reported results for 16 holes totaling 5,329 meters drilled in specific high-grade targets within the central 3.0-kilometer (two miles) portion of the 9.0-kilometer (six miles) host Colomac Main sill. (A sill is a tabular sheet intrusion, often horizontal, between older layers of sedimentary rock.)
The latest drilling at Colomac spanned zones 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0, with all of the holes intercepting mineralization.
Hole C19-08, drilled in Zone 1.5, returned Nighthawk's best intercept at Colomac of 56.00 meters grading 13.49 grams-per-metric-ton gold, including 30.50 meters of 22.12 g/t gold, and including 16.50 meters of 34.18 g/t gold. Wide zones of strong mineralization also were reported from zones 2.0 and 3.0.
Zone 2.0 is located near the center of the Colomac Main sill. Despite being the site of a former producing open-pit mine, the Colomac Main sill contains the largest portion of the project's current resource and remains unexplored to depth.
10 years of exploration at Colomac
In 2012, Nighthawk drilled its first hole at Colomac into the sill beneath the open pit, where hole C12-001B intersected 128 meters of 1.36 g/t gold, including 71.85 meters of 2.04 g/t gold, 46.15 meters of 2.81 g/t gold, and 8.65 meters of 6.83 g/t gold. The explorer saw these assays as existence of new higher-grade mineralization that was unconstrained and open to depth.
After encountering high-grade gold mineralization in every hole drilled in Zone 2.0 during the first five months of its 2019 exploration campaign and boosting its working capital more than $22 million, Nighthawk increased its drilling goal for the field season to 35,000-40,000 meters from 25,000 meters originally planned and extended its planned 2019 exploration of Colomac and other targets on the property until late September.
"Our three drills have been in operation since early March, and we are on track to meet and/or exceed our 2019 planned meterage. As well, with our field exploration program now in full swing, we are expecting this to be our most productive exploration campaign to date," Byron said in a statement on July 31.
By locating and tracing new areas of higher-grade mineralization along the Colomac Main sill, Nighthawk is validating its thesis that the deposit has the capacity to host separate corridors of elevated grade (typically significant widths averaging more than 2.0 grams per metric ton with internal higher-grade cores). Some of the corridors are broad domains of contiguous mineralization along strike and to depth that remain largely unexplored.
In addition to 85,178 meters of historical drilling, Nighthawk drilled a total of 56,216 meters between 2012 and 2017 resulting in a June 2018, NI 43-101-compliant updated resource estimate outlining 50.31 million tons at an average grade of 1.62 g/t gold for a total of 2.6 million oz inferred resources.
Recent drilling also followed up on initial successes in Nighthawk's 2018 program within the southern portion of Zone 2.0 by tracing a new broad zone of higher-grade mineralization from near surface to a depth of 350 meters where it remains open.
Since Colomac is a large mineralized system and given that Nighthawk's drilling success rate is greater than 97 percent, the opportunity to continue to grow resources with additional drilling is considered exceptional, the junior said.
"With these latest results, we have successfully traced a newly discovered continuous higher-grade corridor within the southern part of the zone, to a vertical depth of almost 350 meters, where it remains open in all dimensions. These results are a true testament to the sill's remarkable untapped endowment. Being largely unexplored to depth, we consider this area to be extremely valuable for resource growth opportunities, as well as a strong candidate for hosting additional higher-grade mineralization," Byron said.
At mid-season, Nighthawk had two drills in operation at Colomac with a third active at Treasure Island, which is located 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to the north.
"This latest drilling followed-up on recent discoveries of higher-grade mineralization in Zones 2.0 and 3.0. Our goal was to extend these known occurrences down-plunge and to test other highly prospective opportunities. Outcomes have been exceptional, resulting in a new discovery in Zone 2.0 and the successful expansion of three previous discoveries," Byron said.
New discoveries in 2019
2019 drill results in Zone 2.0 include:
Hole C19-19 intersected 60.75 meters of 2.61 g/t gold (47 meters true width), including 13.40 meters of 4.45 g/t gold, and including 7.75 meters of 6.85 g/t gold; a lower interval returned 26.95 meters of 3.20 g/t gold, including 8.15 meters of 5.16 g/t gold in a new area of mineralization;
Hole C19-12 intersected 55 meters of 2.31 g/t gold (20 meters true width), including 27 meters of 3.10 g/t gold, and including 7.5 meters of 7.31 g/t gold, and 3.75 meters of 13.78 g/t gold; and,
Hole C19-24 tested the boundary region between high-grade Zone 1.5 and Zone 2.0 to depth and intersected 56.25 meters of 2.76 g/t gold (30 meters true width), including 13 meters of 3.51 g/t gold, and including 4.25 meters of 14.89 g/t gold, extending mineralization to more than 450 meters at depth where it remains open.
The explorer also reported a new discovery southwest of C19-19. Hole C19-18 cut 91.5 meters of 1.33 g/t gold (50 meters true width), including 24.75 meters of 2.95 g/t gold, 14.25 meters of 4.55 g/t gold, and 9.25 meters of 6.44 g/t gold to a depth of 320 meters where it remains open in all directions.
On the same section as C19-19, hole C19-19B intersected 83.7 meters of 1.44 g/t gold (55 meters true width), including 11.45 meters of 3.07 g/t gold, and including 16.9 meters of 2.00 g/t gold, while hole C19-19C, returned 46 meters of 0.72 g/t gold (25 meters true width), including 14.65 meters of 1.05 g/t gold, and including 3.15 meters of 2.55 g/t gold, extending mineralization to depth greater than 350 meters where it remains open.
Zone 3.0 holes C19-25, 25B, and 25C extended mineralization north of the previously reported C19-07 series intersections reported in May, and are highlighted by an intersection in hole C19-25C, which cut 29.5 meters of 2.78 g/t gold (12 meters true width), including 16.2 meters of 4.06 g/t, and 3.8 meters of 6.86 g/t gold; extending mineralization beyond 250 meters depth and remaining open.
"With the discovery of distinct high-grade domains at Colomac, (Nighthawk) has effectively changed the dynamics of the deposit as it could lead to more favorable economics and allow exploitation deeper into the system. The exploration and delineation of additional high-grade zones remains an important focus going forward," the company said.
Nighthawk also identified several high-grade showings and deposits with widespread mineralization in a range of styles across the Indin Lake property. Continued exploration success at satellite targets nearby also supports the explorer's conviction that the Colomac deposit is not the only multimillion-ounce opportunity capable of hosting high-grade mineralization on the Indin Lake property.
Byron said the company plans to mobilize more drills this season to other high-priority regional prospects in the Indin Lake Greenstone Belt.