Junior resumes gold hunt with new focus
TerraX changes name, reports first mineral resource and tackles new opportunities, challenges at Yellowknife City Gold
Last updated 3/20/2020 at 5:02am
Buoyed by the first-ever mineral resource estimate reported for its Yellowknife City Gold Project, Vancouver-based Gold Terra Resource Corp. (formerly TerraX Minerals Inc.) appears to be hitting its exploration stride after a half-dozen years of seeking gold in Northwest Territories.
In February, the junior reported new intersections of gold mineralization in a winter drill program carried out at two deposits on its 790-square-kilometer (305 square miles) property. The junior also changed its name to "Gold Terra."
Earlier, the company outlined ambitious 2020 exploration plans.
The district-size YCG property lies on the prolific Yellowknife greenstone belt, covering more than 67 kilometers (41.5 miles) of strike length on the southern and northern extensions of the shear system that hosts the legendary Con and Giant gold mines, which together produced more than 14 million ounces of gold – Giant produced 8.1 million oz from ore averaging 16 grams per metric ton gold and Con produced 6.1 million oz from ore averaging 16.1 g/t gold.
Gold Terra, then TerraX, started exploring the property in 2013 when it comprised just 37 square kilometers (14.3 square miles). In seven years, the junior assembled its current district-scale land package, which remains mostly unexplored.
The company also carried out geological mapping and sampling, geochemical and geophysical surveys, and an extensive compilation of all prior exploration activities, including re-sampling of historic drill core. The TerraX team completed more than 60,000 meters of drilling, mainly focused within a 3,000-meter radius that includes the Crestaurum-Barney and Sam Otto-Mispickel gold deposits.
New resource estimate
The project's first NI 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate of 735,000 oz, released in November, includes drilling results from all four deposits, which are located 12 kilometers (7.44 miles) from the city of Yellowknife. The estimate consists of a pit-constrained inferred resource of 11.6 million metric tons, averaging 1.4 g/t gold for 523,000 oz of contained gold, and an underground inferred resource of 1.2 million metric tons averaging 5.7 g/t gold for 212,000 oz. of contained gold.
The resource estimate incorporates results from 463 drill holes totaling 90,751 meters, from which 201 drill holes totaling 42,447 meters were completed by TerraX between 2014 and 2019. In general, the drilling is variably spaced reflecting different mineralization styles and ranges from 25 to100 meters apart.
Gold Terra Executive Chairman Gerald Panneton said the mineral resource represents a major milestone in the YCG project's development.
"To date, drilling has barely scratched the surface of the property, and already, we are having exploration success at Sam Otto and Crestaurum, and elsewhere," said Panneton.
He added that drilling planned for the first quarter of 2020 had excellent potential to increase the project's resources.
Ambitious winter exploration
Gold Terra is currently carrying out roughly 10,000 meters of drilling in its winter exploration program aimed at defining 2,000 meters of strike on the Sam Otto mineral resource, along with an induced polarization survey comprise of more than 100 line-kilometers to define the southern extension of the Sam Otto zone.
At the end of January, the junior had drilled 1,916 meters in seven drill holes with encouraging results.
Gold Terra President and CEO David Suda said the drilling intersected wide shear zones at Sam Otto South with three holes containing quartz veins showing visible gold with potential to repeat the success of hole TSO-035, the discovery hole in the Sam Otto zone.
"We believe these preliminary results could aid significantly in achieving our goal of expanding the resource at Sam Otto," Suda added.
Five holes totaling 1,497 meters have been drilled on strike and below hole TSO18-035 (line 3100N), which intersected 2.16 g/t gold over 27.12 meters in March 2018). The five holes have been drilled on a 50-meter spacing laterally, and 100-meter spacing vertically near the previous hole TSO18-035. Typically, the Sam Otto zone consists of a wide shear zone (30-100 meters wide) and 1-2 g/t gold mineralization associated with disseminated sulfides such as pyrite, pyrrhotite and traces of arsenopyrite. The previous hole TSO18-035 contained significant quartz veins with some visible gold that brought the average zone to above 2 g/t gold. All five holes from winter 2020 have intersected wide zones of shearing, alteration and sulfide mineralization, ranging up to 160 meters wide with the same mineralization style. The first three holes (53, 54 and 58) intersected visible gold in quartz veins similar to the zone's discovery hole, TSO18-35.
In addition to the drilling on Sam Otto South, two holes have been completed in the Sam Otto Connector zone on line 4250N, which is one kilometer (0.62 mile) to the north. This area is located between the Sam Otto Main Zone and the Sam Otto South zone. Previous mapping and surface sampling indicated a continuation of these zones to connect as one. Both holes intersected alteration, shearing and sulfide mineralization (pyrite, pyrrhotite and arsenopyrite) over roughly 80-meter widths. While drilling continues, Gold Terra said assay results for all five holes are pending.
New name, renewed focus
The junior Feb. 14 reported a name change and corporate rebranding, reflecting a refreshed, energetic team focused on unlocking the under-explored potential of the YCG Project.
The junior adopted the new name, Gold Terra Resource Corp., effective immediately and was to begin trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the new trading symbol (YGT) at the opening of trading on or about Feb. 19.
"The name change reflects a reset for the company towards expanding the current gold resources and defining the potential for new discoveries on our district-scale land position, located next to the city of Yellowknife where the Con and Giant mines have produced over 14 million ounces of gold," said Panneton, who founded Detour Gold, a Canadian intermediate gold mining company focused on the Detour Lake Mine, which has more than 15 million oz. in gold reserves and ranks fourth among North America's gold deposits by size.
The Gold Terra team also includes Joseph Campbell, who serves as exploration manager, mine manager and chief mine geologist. Campbell was instrumental in bringing the Meliadine project in Nunavut to the attention of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. Meliadine, a property with seven gold deposits, initiated output in 2019 and is expected to produce 385,000 oz. gold in 2020, its first full year of production. Meliadine currently boasts more than 3.8 million oz. in proven and probable reserves.
Buying claims, summer drilling
Gold Terra plans to undertake a summer exploration campaign in the second and third quarters of 2020, including up to 10,000 meters of drilling at the Crestaurum deposit.
The junior's goal is to update the mineral resource estimates for both Sam Otto and Crestaurum next fall.
Gold Terra, meanwhile, is continuing to add claims to its land package. In January, it reported the acquisition of two large claims, Aurora 1 and 2, which are readily accessible by paved road from Yellowknife. The Aurora claims tie up ground containing strike extensions of the Ptarmigan and Tom mines, which collectively produced 120,000 oz gold at an average grade of 10 g/t gold and is on lands acquired by the company in 2018.
The junior agreed to acquire a 100% interest in the Aurora claims in exchange for C$10,000 cash, 100,000 shares of Gold Terra and a 2% net smelter return (NSR) royalty with a buyback provision of 1% NSR for C$1 million and an additional 0.5% buyback for a further C$1 million.
Buying these claims gives Gold Terra an additional 600 meters of known strike on the Ptarmigan vein as well as the known east extension of the Tom vein. A recent grab sample taken on the Ptarmigan vein at the property boundary between Aurora 2 and TerraX' current claims graded 19 g/t gold. The junior said the acquisitions add fully accessible high-grade targets to be evaluated in 2020, along with planned drilling at Crestaurum and the Campbell shear extension of the Con Mine. Being close to Yellowknife, these high potential areas fit the company's strategy of developing the project within local infrastructure, Gold Terra added.