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By Rose Ragsdale
For Mining News 

Junior chases target near historic mine

Blue Star Gold Corp. reports promising assay results from 2019 gold exploration program on Hood River property in western Nunavut


Last updated 12/6/2019 at 7:42am

Blue Star Gold Corp.

By October, Blue Star Gold had drilled 11 holes this year at the NFN target on its Ulu property in Nunavut. One hole of this program cut five meters averaging 5.37 g/t gold, include one meter of 48.7 g/t gold.

One intrepid junior tackled an enticing prospect in western Nunavut in 2019, marking the seventh year of its quest for gold in Canada's far north.

Seeking new gold resources on the highly prospective Hood River property in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, Blue Star Gold Corp. (formerly WPC Resources) carried out an exploration program of drilling, mapping and sampling. The junior also acquired ownership of the adjacent Ulu gold project in July.

The Hood and Ulu properties are located about 530 kilometers (329 miles) north-northeast of Yellowknife and some 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of the Arctic Circle near the historic Lupin gold mine.

The properties also are located along the proposed Slave Geological Province corridor, a 600-plus-kilometer (372 miles) all-season road – approximately 230 kilometers (143 miles) in Nunavut and 413 kilometers (256 miles) in Northwest Territories – which would connect for the first time Nunavut to the rest of Canada. A long-term vision supported by federal and private funding would see the corridor support road, communications and hydro transmission line infrastructure, connecting the NWT to a deep-water Arctic port in Nunavut, and creating new economic opportunities and benefits for residents of both territories.

After restructuring its board and management in late 2018, Blue Star targeted priority gold targets on its 8,015-hectare (19,805 acres) Hood River concessions for 2019 with an inaugural drill program, along with mapping and sampling certain high-grade grade gold occurrences for future drilling programs.

The Hood River property lies entirely on Inuit-owned surface and sub-surface land; Blue Star holds an agreement with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. for the exclusive right to explore the parcel.

Blue Star aimed to focus on a series of gold occurrences that are on-strike and north of the Ulu project's advanced Flood gold zone and appear related to the five-kilometer (three miles) long Ulu regional fold.

The North Fold Nose (NFN) gold zone is within part of the Ulu fold that extends for 2,000 meters from the Ulu mining lease boundary north. It is reported that several gold occurrences are located on this trend, including NFN, as well as the Bizen and the Apex veins. In 2014, Blue Star sampled NFN with18 channel samples that had an average width of 0.92 meters and graded 6.94 grams per metric ton gold and 7.66 g/t silver.

The junior began its 2019 program by meeting and consulting with Nunavut stakeholders, and engaging expert community relations and territorial permitting consultants.

"With up to 2,000 meters of diamond drilling planned and our detailed surface mapping and sampling, Blue Star is intending to demonstrate the North Fold Nose gold zone and associated gold mineralization on the Hood River concessions hold the potential for new and accretive gold resources," Blue Star President and CEO Stephen Wilkinson said in March.

The junior funded the 2019 exploration program with $500,000 in loans from principal shareholder Georg Pollert, Ph.D., a private investor and biodiesel manufacturer in Germany.

Encouraging gold assays

By September, Blue Star had drills churning out NQ-sized drill core in a program that completed 11 holes covering 1,540 meters by October. Three teams of geologists with assistants logged and sampled the core and mapped and sampled on-strike zones of gold mineralization that had been partially delineated by BHP in the 1990s.

By late October, the company reported assays for the first seven holes in the exploration program, noting that the drilling continued to track gold mineralization down dip from high-grade surface samples and drillers cut targeted mineralization in all of the holes.

Highlights of the 2019 drilling include 5.37 g/t gold over five meters, including one meter of 25.4 g/t gold and one meter of 48.7 g/t gold, in HR-19-002; and one meters of 31.1 g/t gold in HR-19-003.

HR-19-004 returned an average of 6.93 g/t gold over three meters.

Additionally, Blue Star's drill results are in line with historical results in which BHP drilled hole 91VD-111 and intersected 9.16 g/t gold over 6.88 meters, including 54.94 g/t gold over 0.95 meters (estimated true width 85 percent of intercept) at a vertical depth of 95 meters below surface.

HR-19-006 returned two meters averaging 8.47 g/t gold, including one meter averaging 12.7 g/t gold, while HR-19-007 cut four meters averaging 6.84 g/t gold, including two one-meter-long sections averaging 10.95 g/t and 13.25 g/t gold.

More 2019 drill results are pending.

"Our 2019 diamond drilling of the Hood River concessions' NFN gold zone is meeting our best expectations by confirming continuation of the surface gold showings both along strike and to depth," said Wilkinson. "We believe that the NFN could develop into a noteworthy gold and silver resource and reward our stakeholders by delivering valuable mining asset."

The junior's 2019 sampling and mapping program focused on the Ulu fold gold occurrences, especially the Bizen and Apex veins.

Blue Star said its compilations of historical and recent sample assays from these on-strike zones have been encouraging. This year's surface sampling and mapping work will be used for siting future diamond drill targets.

Ulu property acquisition

Blue Star, meanwhile, exercised its option in July to acquire 100 percent ownership of the Ulu Gold property from Mandalay Resources Corp. in a transaction that included a cash payment $450,000, $200,000 in cash from a third party and other considerations to cover the assumption of Mandalay's obligations to remediate hydrocarbon contamination on the property.

The company also committed to the land owner, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, to improve the remediation process so as to include a more thorough treatment of hydrocarbon contaminated soils located at multiple sites on the Ulu project. Blue Star's new plan is to treat these soils by way of a land farm, a previously-proven-in-Nunavut method for remediating hydrocarbon contamination. In conjunction with this plan, Blue Star is committing additional remediation security to the regional association.

The Ulu property, located 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of Bathurst Inlet, Nunavut, consists of a renewable 21-year lease that covers about 947 hectares (2,340 acres) and expires in 2038. The property hosts an advanced gold project that saw significant exploration and development between 1989 and 2006. Past work includes some 1,700 meters of underground development and about 351 diamond drill holes that produced 135,713 meters of core. Supplementing the exploration data, metallurgical testing on the property's Flood Zone gold mineralization has shown that gold is recoverable in amounts greater than 90 percent by gravity, flotation and cyanidation.

A 2015 mineral resource using a cut-off grade of 4 g/t gold for the Ulu project included overall resources of 2.5 million metric tons grading 7.53 g/t gold for 605,000 gold ounces in the measured and indicated categories; and 1.26 million metric tons at a grade of 5.57 g/t gold for 226,000 gold ounces in the inferred category.

Blue Star also holds an option on the property that encompasses the historic Lupin gold mine, which operated on and off in Nunavut for most of the 24 years between 1982 and 2006. The Lupin deposit, located on the west shore of Contwoyto Lake and 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the Arctic Circle, is a banded iron formation that was discovered in 1960.

The Lupin mine was originally owned and operated by Echo Bay Mines Ltd., which in 2003 became a fully owned subsidiary of Kinross Gold Corp.

The mine pioneered the use of supporting a mining operation by aircraft for the rotation of employees, transporting perishables and shipping of doré to market and the transport of consumables for the operation over a winter road. This development scenario was refined at Lupin and became the model for the development of diamond mines in the Northwest Territories and Kinross' Kubaka mine in the Russian Far East.


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