Freegold makes Golden Summit connection
Mining Explorers 2022 - January 19, 2023
Last updated 1/18/2023 at 5:55pm
The success of Freegold Ventures Ltd.'s 2022 program at Golden Summit was all about connections. Thanks to a paved highway that connects the multi-million-ounce gold project to the nearby city of Fairbanks, the mineral exploration company was able to efficiently carry out drilling from February through December, and that expansive drill campaign was able to link the bulk-tonnage Dolphin deposit with the high-grade Cleary Hill Mine area to the east.
According to a 2016 calculation, Dolphin hosts 61.5 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.69 grams per metric ton (1.36 million oz) gold; and 71.5 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.69 g/t (1.58 million oz) gold.
Over the past three years, however, Freegold has significantly expanded the footprint at Dolphin, including tracing the gold mineralization east to the Cleary Hill Vein System, which hosts the historic Cleary Hill Mine that produced 281,000 oz of gold from ore averaging 1.3 oz of gold per ton before the operation was shuttered during World War II.
Hole GS2017, drilled in the Cleary Hill in 2020, cut 1.7 meters averaging 588 grams per metric ton (18.9 oz/t) gold within 219.8 meters of mineralization averaging 1.61 g/t gold.
In addition to this and other similar bonanza-grade gold intercepts, Freegold's 2021 drilling tapped intrusive rocks at depth in the Cleary Hill area, adding credence to the company's interpretation that the Dolphin intrusive that makes up the bulk tonnage deposit may underlie the historically mined area.
Due to the painfully slow turnaround times at assay labs, however, Freegold was still receiving results from its 2021 program at Golden Summit into the latter half of 2022.
Highlights from 2021 assay results reported last year include:
• 10.1 meters averaging 10.7 g/t gold in hole GS2112 (Cleary).
• 54.5 meters averaging 1.46 g/t gold in hole GS2123 (Cleary).
• 249.5 meters averaging 1.05 g/t gold in hole GS2128 (Dolphin).
• 216.4 meters averaging 2.02 g/t gold in hole GS2147 (Dolphin).
• 617.8 meters averaging 0.94 g/t gold in hole GS2151 (Dolphin).
Despite kicking off its 2022 drill program in February, roughly three months before the exploration season in Alaska begins in earnest, assays only began to trickle in around mid-year. The results received by late July, however, had provided enough drill density to connect Dolphin and Cleary.
Highlights from 2022 assay results reported through Nov. 18:
• 207.2 meters averaging 1.45 g/t gold in hole GS2201 (Dolphin).
• 190.2 meters averaging 2.52 g/t gold in hole GS2203 (Dolphin-Cleary gap).
• 206.8 meters averaging 1.78 g/t gold in hole GS2207 (Dolphin-Cleary gap).
• 420.7 meters averaging 1.36 g/t gold in hole GS2221 (Dolphin).
Freegold's drilling, along with the historic shallow underground mining in the Cleary Hill area, has outlined gold mineralization from surface to depths of more than 1,000 meters over a roughly 1,000- by 1,500-meter area that encompasses the Dolphin deposit and the Cleary Hill Mine workings. The gold mineralization in this area is hosted within high-grade quartz veins and silicified zones that occur within a broader lower-grade envelope of quartz stockwork mineralization.
Freegold says drilling continues to successfully delineate these higher-grade veins and the encompassing lower-grade mineralization to depths well below the depths of the previous drilling and well outside of the current pit-constrained gold resource.
Results from the 2020 and 2021 drill programs, as well as several of the holes drilled last year, are to be incorporated into an updated resource estimate that is expected to encompass both Dolphin and Cleary Hill.
In addition to Golden Summit, Freegold's portfolio includes Shorty Creek, an earlier-stage exploration project that lies alongside the paved Elliot Highway about 75 miles northwest of Fairbanks with the potential to host large porphyry-style deposits enriched with copper, gold, silver, tungsten, and cobalt.
South32 Ltd., which optioned Shorty Creek in 2018, decided to withdraw from the project last year.
Highlights from 12 holes Freegold previously drilled at Hill 1835, one of the primary targets at Shorty Creek, include: 91 meters of 0.55% copper, 0.14 g/t gold, and 7.02 g/t silver; 360 meters of 0.24% copper, 0.07 g/t gold, 4.04 g/t silver, and 0.03% tungsten; and 442.2 meters of 0.24% copper, 0.09 g/t gold, 4.74 g/t silver, and 0.02% tungsten.
The work funded by South32 primarily focused on targets outside the Hill 1835 area.
Freegold plans to further explore geochemical anomalies at Shorty Creek with coincident magnetic highs, as well as additional follow-up at Hill 1835.