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

By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

101.7m of massive sulfides at Waterpump

Drilling taps wider zones over 200m from bonanza discovery North of 60 Mining News – July 22, 2022


Last updated 7/28/2022 at 1:48pm

Highly mineralized core from Western Alaska’s 2022 drilling at Waterpump.

Western Alaska Minerals Corp.

A box of core from the 101.7-meter intercept in hole WPC22-18 with high-grade massive galena in a dolomite matrix, along with thick zones of intermingled massive pyrite.

Western Alaska Minerals Corp. July 20 reported that drilling has cut 47- and 101.7-meter-thick intervals of massive sulfide mineralization at the high-grade Waterpump Creek carbonate replacement silver-zinc-lead target on its Illinois Creek project in western Alaska.

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.

In 2021, Western Alaska drilled nine holes focused on updating and expanding this resource. Highlights from that 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.

Focused on expanding upon the high-grade mineralization encountered last year, Western Alaska's 2022 drilling at Waterpump Creek began with closely spaced holes to identify the ore controls and trends of the bonanza grade sulfides tapped in hole WPC21-09 and then transitioned to wider spaced holes to trace the identified trends.

In early July, the company reported that four holes – WPC22-07, WPC22-08, WPC22-011 and WPC22-13 – cut significant massive sphalerite (zinc mineral) and argentiferous galena (silver-rich lead mineral) in a matrix of secondary dolomite, which is similar to the high-grade intercepts cut during the 2021 drilling at Waterpump Creek.

Having established the orientation of mineralization, Western Alaska has tapped impressively thick zones of sulfides with wider step-out holes.

Hole WPC22-17 cut 47 meters of massive sulfide and banded dolomite sphalerite mineralization a little more than 200 meters south and 30 meters west of hole WPC21-09.

Even further afield and more impressive, hole WPC22-18 cut 101.7 meters of the same mineralization another 50 meters to the south.

Both these holes were drilled vertically, and the true-thickness of the WPC22-17 is estimated to be 38.5 meters.

Massive zinc-lead-silver mineralization in core from Waterpump Creek.

Western Alaska Minerals Corp.

Iron-rich zinc mineralization with infilling intergrown dolomite crystals that are cut by veinlets of silver-enriched galena encountered in hole WPC22-07 drilled at Waterpump Creek.

The true-thickness of the WPC22-18 intercept, however, is not yet determinable. Western Alaska says the exceptionally long interval may indicate high-angle chimney-style mineralization linking the manto-style (flat-lying) mineralization encountered previously. The company says this relationship is common in carbonate replacement deposits like Waterpump Creek, but additional drilling is needed to understand the geometry encountered in these two holes and their relationship to earlier massive sulfide intercepts.

While Western Alaska is encouraged by the massive sulfides observed in the drill core, the company cautions that assays are pending from all the holes drilled so far this year, and the significance of the mineralization encountered this year will not be known until results are back from the lab.

Assay results from holes WPC22-07, 08, 11 and 13 are expected soon.

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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