The emergence of Western Alaska Minerals
Mining Explorers 2021 - January 27, 2022
Last updated 1/26/2022 at 4:19pm
As a milestone toward achieving its mission to unlock the vast precious and base metals potential across its 35,520-acre Illinois Creek Mining District property, Western Alaska Copper & Gold successfully listed on the TSX Venture Exchange last November.
Western Alaska Minerals Corp., the new name for the exploration company with a decade of success as a private explorer, gained its TSX.V listing via a reverse takeover merger with the already listed 1246779 B.C. Ltd.
Prior to the combination, 1246779 B.C. raised C$5.2 million through the issuance of 6.12 million shares at C85 cents each.
"Access to the public capital markets will allow us to fully utilize our three company-owned drill rigs in a greatly expanded program so that we can unlock the potential of the Illinois Creek District," Marrs said.
During the transition, Western Alaska continued to advance exploration at Illinois Creek, which hosts a historical open-pit mine and heap-leach operation that produced roughly 150,000 ounces of gold and 500,000 oz of silver during three years of mining between 1996 and 2002.
This abbreviated operation left plenty of gold and silver behind.
According to a calculation completed last year, Illinois Creek hosts 8.7 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.9 grams per metric ton (253,000 oz) gold, 34.4 g/t (9.6 million oz) silver, and 0.21% (40 million pounds) copper; and 3.3 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.99 g/t (104,000 oz) gold, 36.2 g/t (3.8 million oz) silver, and 0.21% (15 million lb) copper.
Western Alaska's 2021 program included roughly 3,250 meters of drilling in 25 holes, including eight holes to test expansion targets south and east of the Illinois Creek resource.
Much of the drilling targeted Waterpump Creek, a silver-rich carbonate replacement deposit about four miles northeast of the Illinois Creek open pit.
Based on 58 holes historically drilled by Anaconda Minerals Company and Novagold Resources Inc., 166,000 tons of historical resource averaging 9.5 oz/t (295 g/t) silver, 16.1% lead, and 5.5% zinc was calculated for Waterpump.
Looking to establish an expanded resource that is compliant with modern reporting standards, Western Alaska completed nine holes at Waterpump during the 2021 exploration season.
The best hole, WPC21-09, cut 9.3 meters of 540 g/t silver, 23.5% zinc, and 16.1% lead.
An extensive drilling program to extend the mineralization down dip and along strike is planned for early this year.
The 2021 program also included two holes at Last Hurrah, a similar silver enriched carbonate replacement prospect about 2,000 meters southwest of Waterpump.
Another six holes were drilled at Honker, a prospect about six miles north of the Illinois Creek deposit that could provide an additional source of high-grade gold ore.
A 2,000-meter geophysical anomaly extending south of Waterpump and along the east side of Last Hurrah indicates a connection between these two silver-rich targets.
A connection that will likely be further tested this year.
Another six holes of the 2021 program were drilled at Honker, a high-grade gold target about six miles north of the historically mined Illinois Creek deposit.
A gold-rich quartz vein that is one to five meters thick has been traced for 800 meters at Honker. Historical bulk samples collected from Honker averaged 26.5 g/t gold and 26.8 g/t silver.
Metallurgical testing shows this mineralization is amenable to heap leach recovery, indicating Honker could be a good source of satellite ore for Illinois Creek.
The Illinois Creek District property also hosts Round Top, a large porphyry copper deposit about 10 miles northeast of the past-producing mine; and TG North, a potentially larger but lower grade zinc-lead-silver carbonate replacement target associated with Round Top.
As a private company, Western Alaska completed 9,933 meters of drilling in 40 holes at Round Top.
Highlights from this drilling include 64.7 meters of 0.65% copper-equivalent; 166 meters of 0.51% copper-equivalent; 209.7 meters of 0.28% copper-equivalent; and 64 meters of 0.74% copper-equivalent.
Western Alaska plans to compile the results from drilling at Round Top into a maiden resource for the copper-gold deposit.
Looking ahead at the 2022 summer season, Western Alaska plans to explore some of the higher-grade targets the Illinois Creek property has to offer.
"We have pursued exploration of our properties as a private company since 2008, but now as a public company we can accelerate our drilling programs at Waterpump Creek and Last Hurrah carbonate replacement deposits and our advanced high-grade Honker Gold prospect," said Marrs.