Exploration delivers at Golden Culvert
Junior braves pandemic to mount two-phase program in 2020 North of 60 Mining News – February 26, 2021
Last updated 3/4/2021 at 3:01pm
One of few mineral explorers active in Yukon Territory during the mining industry's 2020 beleaguered field season recently reported encouraging results that give credence to the idea that a new gold camp may be on the verge of emerging in Canada's North.
Stratabound Minerals Corp. completed a late-season exploration program last year on its 84-square-kilometer (32.4 square miles) Golden Culvert property, along a 24 kilometer- (15 miles) long mineralized trend in Southeastern Yukon.
Golden Culvert is located near the Yukon-Northwest Territories border only a few kilometers from the now-shuttered Cantung tungsten mine, and the all-season Cantung Mine Road runs through the gold project's claims.
Some 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the south lies Seabridge Gold Inc.'s recently acquired high-grade 3 Aces project, where a rock sample assaying 5,401 grams per metric ton gold was discovered in 2003 and numerous high-grade occurrences have been identified since.
Aben Resources Ltd.'s Justin Project is also located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the southeast of Golden Culvert.
And roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the southeast lies Banyan Gold Corp's Hyland project.
All these properties are situated on the Hyland Gold Belt, a geologic extension of the Tombstone Gold Belt, which encompasses the Dublin Gulch Project, home of the Eagle Mine, currently Yukon's sole producing gold mine, as well as the advanced Brewery Creek Mine project and the Plata gold deposits farther to the northwest.
At Golden Culvert, a largely unexplored property, Toronto-based Stratabound has in recent years identified six parallel gold-bearing veins that lie within a 130-meter-wide gold vein "corridor" along 970 meters of strike. The mineralization is open in both directions and at depth below 150 meters.
High- and low-grade gold
Stratabound's 2020 program occurred in two phases, with teams initially collecting 116 soil and 157 rock samples and conducting ground geophysics and geological surveys on property-wide targets.
Of the surface samples analyzed, 92 averaged 13.46 g/t gold uncapped (8.85 g/t gold capped), while gold in 64 float-train samples averaged between 0.25 g/t and 320 g/t (9.3 ounces per ton) gold over a 1,000-by-100-meter area.
Encouraged by the first-phase results, the explorer undertook a second-phase program of diamond drilling in the late fall and completed 3,217-meters in 17 drill holes.
In previous exploration programs, eight diamond drill holes totaling 1,370 meters and 24 surface trenches intersected and outlined a 970-meter-long by 130-meter-wide mineralized corridor at Golden Culvert containing multiple parallel gold-bearing structures, according to Stratabound.
In early January, the junior reported the first assay results from its 2020 drill program at Golden Culvert. Drill hole GC20-01 cut 10.31 g/t gold over 1.6 meters between 101.5 to 103.1 meters depth, (about 90 meters from surface), containing four specks of visible gold and including 21.70 g/t gold over a half meter.
The drilling also encountered a second near-surface zone yielding 0.64 g/t gold over 18.0 meters of mineralized wall-rock between 21.0 and 39.0 meters down the hole, including the higher-grade West Vein, which yielded 1.24 g/t gold across 4.2 meters.
GC20-01 is a 75-meter step-out to the north of the project's previously northernmost drill hole GC18-06, which intercepted 1.14 g/t gold over 7.5 meters, including 3.86 g/t gold across 1.5 meters of the Main Vein and 6.02 g/t gold over 4.5 meters, including visible gold across the West Vein. GC20-01 is also located about 45 meters north of surface trench TR1801, which yielded 1.49 g/t gold over 10.0 meters, including 6.11 g/t gold across 1.5 meters of the Main Vein and 60 meters north of surface trench TR1902, which yielded 3.63 g/t gold over 9.0 meters, including 19.15 g/t gold also across the Main Vein.
As has occurred in every other mineralized intercept encountered, the junior reported that high-grade quartz and breccia structures intercepted in GC20-01 are flanked by lower grade gold-mineralized wall-rock averaging 2.47 g/t gold over 7.5 meters inclusive across the Main Vein and 0.64 g/t gold over 18.0 meters inclusive across the West Vein structures.
"The results of this first hole are consistent with past drilling and trenching results we have received to date," Stratabound Minerals President and CEO R. Kim Tyler said in a statement Jan. 12. "It is an irony that the successful return of market interest and funding into the junior resource sector has created high demand and long delays in accredited assay labs. That being said, we anticipate receiving and reporting results on a timely basis going forward."
On Feb. 2, the company reported results from another five holes, of which four, GC20-02, GC20-03, GC20-05 and GC20-06 were drilled to extend 200 meters to the northwest beyond the 430 meters of strike drilled previously, while GC20-04 was drilled to extend mineralization a farther 170 meters to the southeast.
Stratabound said four parallel gold-mineralized zones intercepted in the northern portion of a strong gold-in-soil anomaly encountered high-grade mineralized quartz vein and breccia core structures yielding up to 4.83 g/t gold across 1.5 meters, and broad zones of lower-grade mineralized wall-rock yielding up to 0.30 g/t gold over 24.5 meters flanking and inclusive of the higher-grade core structures. All the holes intersected gold hosted in multiple quartz vein and breccia structures.
"These early drill results occur at the extremities of the higher-grade central mineralized area we have focused on to date and as such underlie the weakest portions of the plus-30 parts per billion gold-in-soil anomaly. We are encouraged that significant gold mineralization occurs both within and without the anomaly outlines at these locations and remains open beyond and to depth," said Tyler.
Stratabound said the 17 holes drilled in the 2020 program included six holes testing the open-ended northern extension of gold mineralization and three holes testing the southern open-ended extension. The junior also completed eight in-fill holes spaced between previous drilling, in anticipation of conducting an initial NI 43-101 resource estimate anticipated later in 2021.
New owner at 3 Aces
Seabridge Gold completed its purchase of the 3 Aces gold project from Golden Predator Mining Corp. in May 2020 for 300,000 Seabridge common shares, potential future cash payments totaling C$2.25 million, and continued participation in the project through a 0.5% net smelter royalty on future gold production.
Seabridge Gold Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk has described 3 Aces as a first-rate exploration play with the potential to host a high-grade commercially-viable ore body.
Past drilling has encountered a significant number of gold-rich zones on the stratigraphic/structural contacts at 3 Aces. By early 2019, the project had completed about 300 holes; 37% of which encountered +5.0 g/t gold intersections and 27% returned +8.0g/t gold. Many of the holes were close-space offsets on high-grade veins that crop out, but all veins identified in the Central Core Area have encountered high-grade intersections.
"Our current plan is to assemble and evaluate the wealth of data developed by GPY for the targets in the Central Core Area with a view to initiating an aggressive drill program (in 2021)," Fronk said in a statement.
At the Justin Project, where the most recent exploration occurred in 2017 and 2018, Aben Resources said highlights of its work includes discovery of a new gold-bearing vein system (Lost Ace), which returned 5.0 meters of 1.44 g/t gold including 1.0 meter of 4.77 g/t gold (TR17- 004).
Aben has said the Justin property hosts an intrusion-related gold system in an emerging camp better known for orogenic gold and tungsten. The junior, which has focused exploration efforts recently on gold properties in British Columbia, said its 2017-2018 exploration programs discovered the potential for orogenic gold mineralization on the Justin Property at the Lost Ace, where visible gold was observed in quartz veins from two trenches.
The explorer has said the projected middle Yusezyu formation, which also hosts mineralization on the 3 Aces property, trends onto the Justin Property, making it a potential exploration target and/or source of metals for the intrusion related gold system. Only 2,500 meters have been drilled to date at Justin's POW zone, tracing gold mineralization from surface over an area measuring 400 meters by 200 meters to depths exceeding 200 meters. Aben says numerous high-priority targets remain untested, representing significant exploration potential.
Gold to the south
The Hyland Gold Project lies 74 kilometers (41 miles) northeast of the town of Watson Lake and covers 927 active mineral claims totaling some 18,620 hectares (46,010 acres). Banyan Gold, the Hyland project's owner, reported a May 2020 NI-43-101 indicated mineral resource estimate for the property of 8.6 million metric tons, grading 0.85 g/t gold equivalent for 236,000 gold equivalent ounces with an inferred mineral resource of 10.8 million metric tons, grading 0.83 g/t gold equivalent for 288,000 gold equivalent ounces at a 0.3 g/t gold-equivalent cut-off.
The resource is located in its entirety on what is known as Main Zone, which is open in all directions and at depth, and has the potential to host a multi-million-oz deposit. Banyan also has identified three other zones at Hyland – Camp, CUZ and Montrose Ridge.