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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

64North drill idles on COVID-19 concerns

Drillers fly home after one hole; promising core sent to lab

 
Series: COVID-19 coverage | Story 19

Last updated 4/25/2020 at 5:49am

Winter drill rig test Aurora gold target West Pogo 64North Goodpaster Alaska

Chris Van Treeck, Millrock Resources Inc.

A winter drill program that got underway at the 64North project in early March was recently halted to allow drillers to return home to their families before COVID-19-related travel restrictions were enforced.

Millrock Resources Inc. and Resolution Minerals Ltd. March 30 announced a temporary COVID-19-related suspension of drilling at the 64North gold project adjacent to the Pogo Mine property in Alaska's Goodpaster Mining District.

Though the drill crew was completely isolated, and thus in a very safe location for COVID-19 risk, it was the preference of the drilling contractor to allow its personnel to return to their families in the Lower 48 before conditions or travel restrictions would prevent their return home from being possible.

This decision came just ahead of a March 28 "shelter in place order" issued by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy that restricts travel.

"While it's disappointing to have to curtail the drilling program, the safety of our people is always paramount," said Millrock President and CEO Greg Beischer.

Before drill crews demobilized in order to fly home to be with family, one hole was completed to targeted depth and a second was about 30 percent complete.

Millrock said the first hole drilled into the Aurora target at 64 North, 20AU-001, was mineralized with quartz veins and veinlets with pyrite and arsenopyrite and locally bismuthinite from the top of bedrock at about 40 meters to a depth of about 320 meters.

Describing a particularly well mineralized section of hole 20AU-001, one Millrock geologist wrote "from 230.7 meters to 258.9 the core is predominantly composed of strongly altered (silica-sericite-dolomite) gneiss with abundant quartz veinlets with some larger veins and brecciated zones with abundant pyrite and arsenopyrite and with one instance of bismuthinite noted."

Millrock said that if assay labs remain open, it is anticipated that results from the drill completed so far at 64North would be received in about four weeks.

"We are very pleased that the first drill hole of the program intersected significant quartz veining with pyrite and arsenopyrite with trace amounts of bismuthinite. These sulfide minerals are often associated with gold in the area and we will await the assay results with great anticipation!" said Beischer.

Hole 20AU-002, planned to be drilled to a depth of 600 meters, was suspended by the contractor at 194.4 meters.

Millrock said initial review of the core from this second hole indicate abundant quartz veins and veinlets with pyrite and arsenopyrite. The core is now at Millrock's core logging facility in Fairbanks and will be logged in detail in the coming week. Once conditions allow, the hole will be re-entered and deepened to the planned depth.

In total, Millrock and Resolution planned to complete roughly 2,000 meters of drilling during this initial phase of the 2020 program at 64North.

Core winter drilling Aurora gold target West Pogo 64North Goodpaster Alaska

Millrock Resources Inc.

The first drill hole of the winter drill program at 64North encountered quartz veining with pyrite, arsenopyrite and trace amounts of bismuthinite, sulfide minerals that are often associated with gold.

Further information on the program and targets can be read at Rig heads to 64North for winter drilling in the March 6 edition of North of 60 Mining News.

While drilling operations are suspended, Millrock and Resolution will continue to systematically evaluate regional data sets to select target areas for follow-up exploration. Numerous targets are emerging across the large 660-square-kilometer (255 square miles) land package. The team is planning the next logical exploration steps for each prospect and is prioritizing the targets. A continuous pipeline of targets, each with a plan to move them to drill readiness is being formed.

Millrock also said its technical and administrative teams are continuing to productively work from their homes, and the company is continuing to generate gold and copper exploration targets throughout Alaska and plans to make new property acquisitions.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 11 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (907) 726-1095
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