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HighGold drill results excite investors

Mining Explorers 2020 - Published January 19, 2021

Attracting the attention of some of the biggest names in the resource investment world, HighGold Mining Inc. raised C$13.8 million in July to fund an expanded drill program at its Johnson Tract gold project in Southcentral Alaska.

HighGold Mining was formed in 2019 to explore gold properties spun out of Constantine Metal Resources that included Johnson Tract.

Situated on Cook Inlet Region Inc., or CIRI, land about six miles west of Cook Inlet and roughly 125 miles southwest of Anchorage, the 20,942-acre Johnson Tract was explored extensively in the 1990s but had been sitting idle prior to HighGold Mining.

Westmin Resources Ltd. investigated the idea of shipping ore from Johnson Tract to mill facilities at its Premier Mine in northwestern British Columbia.

To upgrade a historical resource calculated by Westmin based on 88 holes drilled prior to 1995, HighGold drilled nine holes into the JT deposit at Johnson Tract in 2019.

Based on this drilling, the JT deposit hosts 2.14 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 6.07 grams per metric ton (417,000 ounces) gold, 5.8 g/t (397,000 oz) silver, 5.85% (275.3 million pounds) zinc, 0.57% (26.8 million lb) copper, and 0.71% (37.6 million lb) lead.

HighGold went into 2020 planning to complete 7,000 to 10,000 meters of drilling to expand this resource and investigate other targets at Johnson Tract. Strong interest from Franklin Gold Fund, Sprott Capital Partners, Rob McEwen, a yet to be named senior gold producer, and others, resulted in the young junior explorer having ample funds to expand the scope of the program.

"With the closing of the financing, HighGold has C$23 million in working capital, placing us in a strong position to materially advance our flagship Johnson Tract gold project in Alaska," HighGold Mining President and CEO Darwin Green said in July. "HighGold now looks forward to putting these funds to work."

Most of the roughly 17,000 meters of drilling completed this year at Johnson Tract targeted five key resource expansion areas at and around the JT deposit:

JT Expansion – Open area immediately surrounding JT, particularly the deeper portions of the deposit where the thickest and highest-grade mineralization has been intersected.

Northeast Offset – Situated roughly 500 to 800 meters northeast of the JT deposit, Northeast Offset represents an interpreted fault-displaced continuation of the resource and mineralized zone.

Footwall Discovery – Tapped during the 2019 drill program, Footwall Discovery is a distinct zone of silver-rich mineralization in the footwall to the JT deposit. The only hole to test this zone, JT19-089, cut 20.7 meters averaging 32 g/t silver, 2.4% copper, and 4.9% zinc.

North Trend – A more than 1,000-meter trend of hydrothermal alteration north of JT with no previous drilling.

Southwest Extension – A zone of previously undrilled alteration and mineralization that lies immediately southwest of the JT deposit.

The 2020 Johnson Tract program picked up where the 2019 program left off – tapping long sections of high-grade gold and base metal mineralization in and around the JT deposit.

JT20-092 cut 74.1 meters averaging 17.89 g/t gold, 0.48% copper, 7.28% zinc, 1.31% lead, and 7.1 g/t silver. This comes to 23.8 g/t gold-equivalent over an estimated true width of 37.1 meters.

This intercept tapped the JT deposit roughly 15 to 20 meters down-dip of JT19-90, a 2019 hole that cut 75.1 meters of 10 g/t gold, 9.4% zinc, 0.6% copper, 1.1% lead, and 6 g/t silver.

Encouraged by the results, HighGold targeted expansions of this thick zone of high-grade mineralization with holes drilled northeast of the resource area.

In addition to high-grade gold, this year's drilling tapped a deeper copper-rich zone in the footwall of the JT deposit.

JT20-096, which cut 20.1 meters averaging 11.5 g/t gold, 4 g/t silver, 0.5% copper, and 3.1% zinc in the main JT deposit, cut 14.2 meters averaging 2.7% copper, 1% zinc, and 34 g/t silver in the Footwall Copper zone.

Roughly 30% of the 2020 drilling at Johnson Tract targeted Northeast Offset, a deeper continuation of JT that slid to the northeast due to movement along a fault splitting the deposit.

JT20-094, the first hole to test this offset target, cut three significant intercepts: 1.2 meters averaging 15.2% copper, 173 g/t silver, and 0.8 g/t gold; 4.3 meters of 0.2 g/t gold, 7 g/t silver, 1.2% copper, and 0.4% zinc; and one meter of 3.5 g/t gold, 3 g/t silver, and 1.2% copper.

In addition to drilling, crews carried out a large-scale regional reconnaissance program across the 21,036-acre (8,513 hectares) Johnson Tract property, which covers a series of underexplored regional prospects that span a 7.5-mile- (12 kilometers) long mineralized trend.

One such prospect is Difficult Creek, which lies about three miles (five kilometers) northeast of JT deposit that was tested with two holes in the 1990s.

DC-001, cut three meters of 7.54 g/t gold, 3.72% zinc, 0.11% copper, 1.15% lead, and 27.4 g/t silver; and DC-002 encountered 13 meters of 8.57 g/t gold, 4.7% zinc, 0.5% copper, 0.9% lead, and 37.7 g/t silver.

Limited reconnaissance work in 2019 discovered a new vein system at Difficulty Creek. Chip samples collected from there returned up to 22.1 g/t gold, 1.1% copper, and 20% lead over 1.5 meters.

The objective of the mapping, prospecting, sampling, and geophysical surveying carried out this year is to develop drill targets at other prospect areas for testing in 2021.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 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.


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