The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Second Alaska HighGold deposit emerging

Mining Explorers 2022 - January 19, 2023

After elevating the resource in the JT deposit to above 1 million ounces of gold-equivalent, HighGold Mining Inc. focused its 2022 drilling at its Johnson Tract property in Alaska largely on expanding the high-grade mineralization at the Difficult Creek target area about 2.5 miles (four kilometers) to the northeast.

Located on the west side of Cook Inlet, about 125 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, Johnson Tract is a 20,942-acre property owned by Cook Inlet Regional Inc., an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) regional corporation. Since optioning Johnson Tract in 2018, HighGold has been focused on upgrading and expanding the historical JT deposit, and exploring some of the exciting but earlier-stage prospects across the property.

According to a calculation completed in July, the JT deposit hosts 3.49 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 5.33 grams per metric ton (598,000 ounces) gold, 6 g/t (673,000 oz) silver, 5.21% (400.8 million pounds) zinc, 0.59% (43.1 million lb) copper, and 0.67% (51.5 million lb) lead.

Including the value of all the metals, this comes to 1.05 million oz of indicated resource averaging 9.39 g/t gold-equivalent.

"We are delighted to establish a high-grade indicated resource of more than 1 million ounces gold equivalent at Johnson Tract," said HighGold Mining CEO Darwin Green.

The deposit also hosts 706,000 metric tons of inferred resource averaging 1.36 g/t (31,000 oz) gold, 9.1 g/t (207,000 oz) silver, 4.18% (65.1 million lb) zinc, 0.59% (9.2 million lb) copper, and 0.3% (4.7 million lb) lead.

By the time the resource was calculated, the 2022 drill program at Johnson Tract was in full swing.

The 10,346 meters of drilling completed in 55 holes at Johnson Tract last year primarily targeted the larger Difficult Creek (DC) discovery area, where reconnaissance drilling cut one of the best gold intercepts in the world for 2021.

This hole, DC21-010, cut 6.4 meters averaging 577.9 g/t (18.58 ounces per metric ton) gold, 2,023 g/t (65 oz/t) silver, 2.15% zinc, and 0.3% copper at the Middle DC target. This bonanza-grade intercept included an incredible 1.26-meter subsection averaging 2,860 g/t (91.95 oz/t) gold, 9,990 g/t (321.2 oz/t) silver, 5.04% zinc, and 0.88% copper.

This intercept ranked No. 3 in the world during 2021 when it comes to gold-equivalent grams per metric ton, according to Australia-based Opaxe.

The 2022 drill program began with close-spaced step-out holes to determine the geometry, geological controls, and grade distribution of this exciting new zone named after the late Bill Ellis, a longtime Alaska geologist who played a key role in the initial discovery of Johnson Tract.

Highlights from the 2022 drilling at Ellis Zone include:

14.7 meters averaging 4 g/t gold, 18 g/t silver, 0.27% copper, and 4.18% zinc, including a 5.6-meter subsection averaging 7.8 g/t gold, 36 g/t silver, 0.49% copper, and 9.17% zinc.

42.8 meters averaging 3.4 g/t gold, 23 g/t silver, 0.21% copper, and 2.06% zinc in hole DC22-036, including an 18.4-meter subsection averaging 7.29 g/t gold, 50 g/t silver, 0.44% copper, and 3.92% zinc.

11.9 meters averaging 21.68 g/t gold, 30 g/t silver, 0.61% copper, and 4.2% zinc in hole DC22-043, including a 3.9-meter subsection averaging 54.2 g/t gold, 71 g/t silver, 1.26% copper, and 8.29% zinc.

35.2 meters averaging 4.2 g/t gold, 6.1 g/t silver, 0.12% copper, 1.4% lead, and 3.19% zinc in hole DC22-045, including 13.3 meters averaging 7.81 g/t gold, 6.4 g/t silver, 0.23% copper, 1.31% lead, and 2.35% zinc.

14.8 meters averaging 10.14 g/t gold, 13.8 g/t silver, 0.28% copper, and 5.97% zinc in hole DC22-045, including 6.8 meters averaging 21.29 g/t gold, 25.1 g/t silver, 0.55% copper, 0.61% lead, and 10.7% zinc

The widespread extent of mineralization exposed by erosion indicates the potential that Ellis Zone mineralization drilled so far is part of a large and partially blind mineralized system linking various DC Prospect zones together over a strike length of 3,000 meters.

"While still very early days, it appears we are well on our way to defining a second deposit at Johnson Tract to complement the existing high-grade +1Moz JT Deposit mineral resource that is also open to expansion," Green said.

In addition to the drilling at Ellis Zone, the company has completed 3,295 meters of drilling in six holes at Milkbone, which is about 1,000 meters southwest of Ellis along the longer DC Prospect trend; one hole at the Kona prospect, which lies about 2,500 meters west of Ellis; and at least four holes testing important resource growth targets at JT Deposit.

To improve assay lab turnaround times, HighGold established an onsite sample preparation facility for crushing and pulverizing drill core samples. The quicker return of assays will allow the company to more efficiently follow up on results from this year's drilling.

In tandem with drilling, HighGold's 2022 program at Johnson Tract included geological mapping, prospecting, and sampling to expand on the positive results generated from the 2021 program and refine drill targets; drone-magnetic airborne surveying; and preliminary engineering and environmental baseline studies to support project planning.

HighGold also owns four gold exploration properties – King Tut, RGS, Canol, and Stan – just south of Snowline Gold Corp.'s large land package in the Selwyn Basin of eastern Yukon.

"Following the recent and very significant new gold discoveries in Yukon's Selwyn Basin, it was time to pull our portfolio of Yukon gold properties off the back burner," Green said in September. "In our opinion, the King Tut property represents one of the best undrilled intrusive-related gold-in-soil anomalies not already controlled by Snowline Gold in this emerging new district."

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 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.


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