The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

A more Golden Summit for Freegold

Mining Explorers 2021 - January 27, 2022

Building upon the golden success of its 2020 exploration, Freegold Ventures Ltd. struck more bonanza gold while expanding upon the multi-million-ounce Dolphin deposit with a more than 38,000-meter drill program carried out during the 2021 program at its road accessible Golden Summit project about 25 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Prior to 2020, most of the drilling at Golden Summit focused on Dolphin, a deposit that hosts 61.5 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.69 grams per metric ton (1.36 million oz) gold; and 71.5 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.69 g/t (1.58 million oz) gold.

With grades reminiscent of the ore feeding the mill and heap leach facility at Kinross Gold Corp.'s neighboring Fort Knox Mine, this deposit holds promise for future bulk tonnage mining.

During the 2020 program, however, Freegold began tracing very high-grade gold mineralization from the historic Cleary Hill Mine, which produced 281,000 oz of gold from ore averaging 1.3 oz per ton before the operation was shuttered during World War II, westward towards the Dolphin deposit.

The highest-grade intercept of the 2020 program came in hole GS2017, which cut 1.7 meters averaging 588 grams per metric ton (18.9 ounces per metric ton) gold within 219.8 meters of mineralization averaging 1.61 g/t gold.

The wide sections of bulk tonnage mineralization, such as the 573 meters averaging 1.21 g/t gold, are equally impressive as the bonanza grades tapped at Golden Summit during the 2020 season.

Following on this success, the 2021 program focused on determining the orientation and extent of the higher-grade mineralization between the Dolphin and Cleary zones and upgrading the current resource to further advance the project through prefeasibility.

Freegold's 2021 drilling also tested an area south of the Cleary Hill mine that includes the historically mined Colorado, Wackwitz, and Wyoming vein zones, which have never been tested to depth or along strike to the east. Past drilling in the Cleary Hill area has been largely shallow in nature and it is interpreted that the Dolphin intrusive likely underlies the Cleary Hill area at depth.

Highlights from assays returned from this drilling at the end of October include: 421.6 meters averaging 1.11 g/t gold, including 110 meters of 1.54 g/t gold; 166.8 meters averaging 1.55 g/t gold, including 1.1 meters of 609 g/t gold; 495.8 meters averaging 1.17 g/t gold, including 111.2 meters of 2.94 g/t gold; and 198.1 meters averaging 1.44 g/t gold, including 3.1 meters of 25.3 g/t gold.

In addition, Freegold is planning to test other targets on the Golden Summit property that may have the potential to host additional resources. Ground geophysics and soil sampling have been conducted on these areas and further drilling is being planned to test these.

All told, the Golden Summit property hosts roughly 80 documented but relatively unexplored high-grade gold occurrences.

While drilling continued to expand and upgrade the impressive Golden Summit mineralization, Freegold's Shorty Creek property continues to garner the interest of South32 Ltd.

Lying alongside the paved Elliot Highway about 75 miles northwest of Fairbanks, Shorty Creek is an earlier staged exploration project with the potential to host large porphyry-style deposits enriched with copper, gold, silver, tungsten, and cobalt.

Under a 2019 deal with Freegold, South32 has the option to earn a 70% interest in Shorty Creek for US$30 million, less any money the Australia-based major invests in exploring the copper-gold-silver-tungsten targets identified across the property.

To keep the option in good standing, South32 agreed to fund up to US$10.3 million on exploration over a four-year span beginning in 2019.

The Australia major invested the first US$2.3 million into a 2019 program at Shorty Creek, which included a five-hole drill program; induced polarization and magnetic surveys; and geochemical sampling.

The best 2019 hole cut 99.1 meters averaging 0.29% copper, 0.014 g/t gold, and 1.61 g/t silver northeast of Hill 1835, the primary target of previous drilling at Shorty Creek.

Highlights from 12 holes Freegold previously drilled at Hill 1835 include: 91 meters of 0.55% copper, 0.14 g/t gold, and 7.02 g/t silver; 360 meters of 0.24% copper, 0.07 g/t gold, 4.04 g/t silver, and 0.03% tungsten; and 442.2 meters of 0.24% copper, 0.09 g/t gold, 4.74 g/t silver, and 0.02% tungsten.

While South32 and Freegold opted not to carry out a 2020 drill program at Shorty Creek due to COVID-19, surface exploration identified several prospective target areas that were tested during a roughly 3,400-meter drill program carried out during 2021. Assays are pending at the time of this report.

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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