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Freegold, South32 tap Shorty Creek copper


Last updated 1/16/2020 at 1:23pm

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. Jan. 16 announced results from the late-season 2019 drill program at Shorty Creek, a porphyry gold-copper project about 75 miles northwest of Fairbanks.

The five-hole (1,542 meters) program was funded by a wholly owned subsidiary of South32 Ltd., which 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 invests 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 budgeted US$2.3 million program for 2019.

Due to severe wildfires in the Shorty Creek area last summer, the drill program did not get underway until mid-August.

Of the five holes drilled last fall, only two reached their targeted depths due to difficult drilling conditions.

The best hole, SC 1901A, cut 99.1 meters averaging 0.29 percent copper, 0.014 grams per metric ton gold and 1.61 g/t silver from a depth 225.3 meters. This hole was drilled to the northeast of Hill 1835, the primary target of previous drilling at Shorty Creek.

Freegold has drilled 12 holes at the Hill 1835 target since 2015. Highlights from this drilling include:

• 91 meters of 0.55 percent copper, 0.14 g/t gold and 7.02 g/t silver in SC 15-03;

• 93.5 meters of 0.38 percent copper, 0.07 g/t gold and 8.96 g/t silver in SC 16-02;

• 360 meters of 0.24 percent copper, 0.07 g/t gold, 4.04 g/t silver and 0.03 percent tungsten trioxide in SC 17-01; and

• 442.2 meters of 0.24 percent copper, 0.09 g/t gold, 4.74 g/t silver and 0.02 percent tungsten trioxide in SC 18-01.

The second and third holes of the 2019 drill program at Shorty Creek – SC1902 and SC1902A – were drilled west of a magnetic anomaly at the heart of Hill 1835. These holes, however, were abandoned due to ground conditions and did not encounter significant mineralization.

Hole SC1903, collared near the southwest edge of the Hill 1835 magnetic high anomaly, cut 155.3 meters of 0.195 percent copper and 3.58 g/t gold.

Freegold says the porphyry copper mineralization encountered in this hole remains open along strike and to depth.

The 2019 program also included one hole targeting Hill 1710, a very large porphyry target about 2,000 meters northwest of Hill 1835. This hole, SC1904, only reached a depth of 167 meters, far short of the 450-meter target depth.

The highly prospective Shorty Creek property encompasses numerous other porphyry exploration targets.

One of the most enticing is Quarry, an undrilled target about 3,000 meters northeast of Hill 1835 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. Sampling and mapping at Quarry have confirmed both the presence of copper mineralization and quartz feldspar porphyry intrusive rocks.

In addition to drilling, Freegold Ventures and South32 completed 100 kilometers (62 miles) of induced polarization and 98 kilometers (60 miles) of ground magnetic surveys at Shorty Creek; and collected 543 soil samples to expand target areas for future drill programs.

Freegold also said it is the planning for a winter drill program at Golden Summit, a bulk-tonnage gold property about 25 miles north of Fairbanks and near Kinross Gold Corp.'s Fort Knox Mine.

Shane Lasley

Golden Summit lies alongside the paved Steese Highway northeast of Fairbanks, which provides the accessibility to efficiently carry out winter drilling on the gold property. This drill was operating at minus-40-degree temperatures during the winter of 2012.

The 2020 drill program at Golden Summit, expected to get underway in mid-February, will test a revised interpretation based on Freegold's work that the higher-grade mineralization may extend to the west of the old Cleary Hill Mine workings in a previously undrilled area.

At the district's highest grade historical underground mine, Cleary Hill produced 281,000 ounces of gold from ore that averaged 1.3 oz per short ton gold before production ceased in 1942. Freegold said this area has the potential for higher grade material that could increase the overall resource grade.

Golden Summit 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.



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