North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

CORE gets lucky in Richardson District

Stakes Shamrock gold project in Richardson Mining District North of 60 Mining News – April 30, 2021 (Newsletter Exclusive)


Last updated 5/4/2021 at 11:19am

Contango ORE Alaska Shamrock property Fairbanks Northern Empire Coeur map

Contango ORE Inc.

Lying alongside the Alaska Highway about 70 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Contango ORE's newly acquired Shamrock property is prospective for high-grade gold veins like those mined at Pogo and bulk tonnage deposits similar to Fort Knox.

Contango ORE Inc. April 29 announced it has staked 52,920 acres of state of Alaska mining claims covering a significant portion of the Richardson Mining District. This property, known as Shamrock, lies alongside the Alaska Highway about 70 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. In addition to excellent access via gravel roads and trails connecting to the paved highway, Shamrock boasts a high-voltage power line that runs along the southern property boundary.

Since the discovery of placer gold on Tenderfoot Creek in 1905, the Richardson District has produced 120,000 ounces of the precious metal. This includes a reported 2,000 oz of lode gold recovered from a 70,000-ton bulk sample collected from the Democratic pit at Richardson in 1988.

The property was most recently explored by Northern Empire Resources Corp. from 2015 to 2017.

Sampling of the wall of the Democratic pit now covered by the Shamrock property confirms the high-grade gold potential. One 32-meter-long channel sample collected from the Democratic pit wall in 2015 returned 5.73 grams per metric ton gold and 29.8 g/t silver, including six meters of 18.33 g/t gold and 48.95 g/t silver.

Another sample collected about 60 meters away returned 2.57 g/t gold and 39.3 g/t silver across six meters.

Northern Empire, however, shifted its exploration focus to the Sterling gold project in Nevada. Coeur Mining Inc., also interested in Sterling, acquired Northern Empire in 2018.

Considering that Richardson, the former name of what is now Shamrock, was a non-core asset, Coeur allowed its mining claims to lapse in 2020.

Based on historical exploration, Contango ORE determined that there are several well-defined soil anomalies with limited drilling that remain underexplored.

The company says Shamrock is prospective for three types of gold deposits: gold in low angle quartz veins similar to those being mined at Northern Star Resources Ltd.'s Pogo Mine about 50 miles to the northeast; intrusive related gold deposits similar to Kinross Gold Corp.'s Fort Knox Mine about 55 miles to the northwest; and high-level rhyolite intrusive dikes with associated clay and silica alteration which occurs in the Democrat and Banner dikes area of the property.

CORE plans to compile all previously acquired geochemical sampling, drilling and geophysical surveys completed on the Shamrock property and develop an exploration program for the 2021 field season.

In the meantime, an $18 million program aimed at preparing Manh Choh (formerly Peak Gold) for permitting and to support a feasibility study is underway.

Last year, Kinross paid US$93.7 million to buy a 70% interest in Manh Choh from Contango ORE, the company that discovered and expanded the Peak Gold deposits on the property.

According to a new resource estimate calculated under S-K 1300, new mineral resource standards for companies listed in the U.S., the Peak Gold deposits host 9.2 million metric tons of measured and indicated resources averaging 4.08 g/t (1.21 million oz) gold and 14.2 g/t (4.2 million oz) silver; plus 1.34 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 2.7 g/t (116,000 oz) gold and 16.1 g/t (694,000 oz) silver.

Kinross plans to process ore mined from Manh Choh through the mill at its Fort Knox operation north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The 2021 program at Manh Choh is focused on in-fill drilling to upgrade resources, as well as water monitoring wells for environmental baseline. Drilling to support further metallurgical test work and pit geotechnical studies, along with ongoing environmental baseline and community outreach work is also being carried out this year.

As a 30% JV partner, CORE is responsible for $5.4 million of the budgeted 2021 program at Manh Choh.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 13 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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