Nighthawk steps up Indin Lake exploration
Mining Explorers 2021 - January 27, 2022
Last updated 1/26/2022 at 4:13pm
After kicking off 2021 with a major upgrade and expansion to the mineral resources at Indin Lake, Nighthawk Gold Corp. launched the largest drill program ever at this 930-square-kilometer (359 square miles) gold property in Northwest Territories.
According to the May calculation, Indin Lake hosts 38.7 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 1.81 grams per metric ton (2.25 million ounces) gold, a 35% increase over the 2020 resource estimate, and 11.5 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 2.13 g/t (790,000 oz) gold, a 60% increase over last year.
Due to slow assay turnaround times, this resource only included results from 67% of the 22,993 meters drilling completed in 2020.
By the time the resource was published, Nighthawk was already well into the first phase of a 72,325-meter drill program, the largest ever at Indin Lake.
This expansive program was split between resource expansion and exploration drilling.
Roughly 87% of the Indin Lake resource is found at the Colomac project, which includes four deposits within a roughly 80-square-kilometer (30 square miles) area at the center of Indin Lake.
Gold was encountered while testing extensions to all four of these deposits – Colomac Main, Goldcrest, Grizzly Bear, and 24/27.
This includes intercepts that suggest the north pits at Colomac Main may be larger than originally thought; shallow high-grade gold mineralization at Goldcrest; extensive visible gold in expansion area north of Grizzly Bear; and a potentially large expansion area at 24/27.
"One of our main goals for this year's drilling program was to increase the in-pit resources on known deposits. Given the results published to date from the main Colomac deposit, the Grizzly Bear deposit, and now 24/27, we have been very successful on this front," Nighthawk Gold President and CEO Keyvan Salehi said in October. "The results from phase I drilling at 24/27 were significantly better than expected, returning some of the best intervals obtained to date, where these results are expected to notably increase the total in-pit resources at 24/27."
The exploration portion of the 2021 program targeted three primary areas of the Indin Lake property – Kim & Cass, Fishhook, and Echo-Indin – with the potential for higher-grade, near-surface mineralization.
Lying about 15 kilometers (nine miles) southwest of Colomac, Cass hosts 2.9 million metric tons of historical resource averaging 2.66 g/t (245,311 oz) gold. Drilling carried out by Nighthawk in 2014 extended the gold mineralized corridor at Cass by 700 meters, where it remains open along strike and to depth. Kim is a historically drilled zone about 3,000 meters northeast of Cass.
Fishhook, a target near the southern end of the Indin Lake property where historical drilling cut 8.6 meters averaging 14.21 g/t gold and 13.6 meters averaging 7.36 g/t gold.
The 2021 program is expected to dedicate considerable efforts to validate the historical data and continue to extend the resources along strike.
Echo-Indin is a candidate for near-surface, high-grade gold deposits to augment the Colomac project about eight kilometers (five miles) to the east.
Other targets drilled last year include the Laurie Lake and JPK targets toward the north end of the Indin Lake property; Nice Lake, an underexplored target about 1,000 meters east of Colomac; and Andy Lake, a prospect about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) south of Colomac where sampling has returned grades as high as 42.8 g/t gold.
Much like 2021, Nighthawk plans to significantly expand the Indin Lake resource and set new records for exploration during 2022. To clear this higher bar, the company is looking at completing 100,000 to 125,000 meters of drilling across the district-scale Northwest Territories gold property this year.