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

By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Illinois Creek exploration now underway

2022 drilling focused on bonanza Waterpump zinc-silver target North of 60 Mining News – May 6, 2022


Last updated 5/19/2022 at 2:52pm

Boxes with core from the 2021 drilling at a Western Alaska zinc-silver prospect.

Western Alaska Minerals Corp.

Boxes of core from the first 2021 hole drilled Waterpump, a silver-zinc prospect on Western Alaska's Illinois Creek project.

Western Alaska Minerals Corp. May 5 announced that is has raised C$5 million (US$3.9 million) to fund its 2022 exploration program at the Illinois Creek project in Alaska, which is slated to get underway later this month.

The more than 49,000-acre Illinois Creek Mining District property is home to the past-producing Illinois Creek Mine; Waterpump, a zinc- and silver-rich carbonate replacement deposit lies about four miles northeast of the Illinois Creek open pit; Honker, a high-grade gold target about six miles north of the historical mine; and Round Top, a large porphyry copper deposit about 10 miles to the northeast.

The at least 6,000 meters of drilling planned for this year will focus on step-out drilling of bonanza grade zinc-lead silver mineralization tapped last year at Waterpump Creek.

Based on previous exploration carried out by Anaconda Minerals Company and Novagold Resources Inc., Waterpump Creek hosts 166,000 tons of historical resource averaging 295 grams per metric ton silver, 16.1% lead, and 5.5% zinc.

Western Minerals confirmed the robust mineralization with nine holes drilled at Waterpump last year. Highlights from this drilling include:

16.7 meters (15.7 meters true-thickness) averaging 256 grams per metric ton silver, 0.7% zinc, and 6.4% lead from a depth of 23.2 meters in hole WPC21-02.

1.5 meters (1.4 meters true-thickness) averaging 1,337 g/t silver from a depth of 50.9 meters; and 9.7 meters (9.1 meters true-thickness) averaging 89 g/t silver, 6.3% zinc, and 7.7% lead from a depth of 63.1 meters in hole WPC21-03.

11.9 meters (11.2 meters true-thickness) averaging 149 g/t silver and 2% zinc from a depth of 35.6 meters in hole WPC21-05.

10.5 meters (9.1 meters true-thickness) averaging 522 g/t silver, 22.5% zinc, and 14.5% lead from a depth of 109.4 meters in hole WPC21-09.

A re-interpretation of the stratigraphic relationships in the Illinois Creek district suggests the transformative silver-zinc-lead potential at Waterpump Creek could be larger than previously recognized.

Map showing potential silver-zinc belt at the Illinois Creek project in Alaska.

Western Alaska Minerals Corp.

Geological, geochemical, and geophysical evidence suggests the potential for a belt of carbonate replacement silver-zinc-lead deposits extending 6,000 meters northeast from the past-producing Illinois Creek mine to Waterpump Creek target.

Approximately 4,000 meters of the initial 6,000 meters of planned 2022 drilling will focus on immediate step-outs at Waterpump Creek to gauge the overall footprint of the mineralization encountered in hole WPC21-09.

The balance will test a 6,000-meter-long Waterpump Creek-Last Hurrah-Illinois Creek carbonate replacement deposit trend.

A controlled-source audio-frequency magnetotellurics (CSAMT) geophysical survey to get underway by mid-May will help with targeting along this trend.

To fund the 2022 program, Western Alaska Minerals completed a C$5 million non-brokered private placement that involved the issuance of 4.17 million shares at C$1.20 per share.

The company says crews have reopened the Illinois Creek camp for the 2022 season and additional equipment and camp expansion materials are being delivered to site. Exploration is currently scheduled to run into early September but could be extended into October based on success.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 14 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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