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Heliostar unlocking Unga gold potential

Mining Explorers 2021 - January 27, 2022

The product of a 2020 merger between Redstar Gold Corp. and Heliodor Metals Ltd., Heliostar Metals Ltd. is a junior exploration and development company with three gold and silver projects in Mexico and its flagship Unga gold project in Alaska.

Covering roughly 93 square miles (240 square kilometers) of the Unga and Popof islands off the southern coast of the Alaska Peninsula, the Unga project hosts the historic Apollo and Sitka mines, which produced roughly 150,000 ounces of gold from high-grade epithermal veins from around 1886 to 1922.

In recent years, much of the exploration at Unga has focused on two high-grade gold trends – Apollo-Sitka and Shumagin – that each cut roughly six miles across Unga Island. Apollo-Sitka hosts the historic Apollo Mine, and Shumagin is a parallel high-grade gold trend about 2,000 meters to the northwest.

SH-1, which is found along the Shumagin trend, hosts 866,015 metric tons of inferred resource averaging 13.8 grams per metric ton (384,318 ounces) gold and 35.4 g/t (986,321 oz) silver.

Looking to expand the resource, Heliostar completed six holes at SH-1 at the end of 2020. Highlights from this drilling included 11.65 meters averaging 7.74 g/t gold; 1.98 meters averaging 18.7 g/t gold; and 6.97 meters averaging 6.66 g/t gold.

The deepest hole historically drilled at SH-1, BM-01, cut 5.48 meters averaging 23.99 g/t gold. During 2021, Heliostar tested this SH-1 depth expansion area. Assays were pending at the time of this report.

The company also completed the first successful drilling of the Apollo vein since the mine closed nearly a century ago. Highlights from the early results of 2021 drilling at Apollo include: 3.05 meters averaging 88.3 g/t gold; 4.57 meters averaging 7.98 g/t gold; and 10.67 meters averaging 8.65 g/t gold.

Drilling has also turned up intriguing results at Aquila, a zone of outcropping epithermal quartz veins at the southwest end of the Shumagin trend. This discovery target was identified in the 1980s, but drilling at that time was hampered by poor sample recoveries.

Heliostar had better success with its 2020 Aquila discovery hole cutting two zones of gold mineralization – 3.6 meters averaging 4.46 g/t gold, and 17.4 meters averaging 2.24 g/t gold and 3.2 g/t silver.

Highlights from 2021 follow-up drilling at Aquila include: 7.62 meters averaging 2.45 g/t gold; 3.05 meters averaging 6.51 g/t gold; and 18.28 meters averaging 1.77 g/t gold.

Heliostar's 2021 drilling also tapped broad widths of porphyry gold and copper mineralization at the Zachary Bay target about 4.8 miles (7.7 kilometers) north of the SH-1 deposit.

The company says its compilation of historical drilling and geophysics, combined with detailed field mapping carried out early in 2021, indicated a large porphyry system under shallow overburden at Zachary Bay.

Two reverse circulation holes drilled last year helped to confirm this interpretation.

Hole ZBRC21-01 cut 118.9 meters averaging 0.15 g/t gold and 0.15% copper from a depth of 9.1 meters to the bottom of the hole.

Hole ZBRC21-02, drilled at the edge of a magnetic high, cut 100.6 meters averaging 0.19 g/t gold and 0.09% copper from a depth of 9.1 meters to the bottom of the hole. The bottom three meters of this hole averaged 0.41 g/t and 0.14% copper.

Although increasing grades at the bottom of ZBRC21-02 correspond with the hole approaching the most intense magnetic high within the Zachary Bay target, limitations of the RC rig forced an end to the hole before testing the magnetic zone. The company says this is a clear target for follow-up drilling.

Heliostar's longer-term plan for Unga is to increase the high-grade gold resource found there to more than 1 million ounces and reestablish a mine at this historic gold project in Southwest Alaska. At the same time, the company plans to unlock the much larger potential of this highly prospective property that has seen very little in the way of systematic exploration.

"Systematic exploration is proving very successful to unlock the Unga district," said Heliostar Metals CEO Charles Funk.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Author photo

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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