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Western Alaska ramps up 2024 exploration

North of 60 Mining News – May 31, 2024

This year's drilling will test high-grade CRD silver-zinc-lead resource expansion targets extending southwest from Waterpump Creek.

Western Alaska Minerals Corp. May 30 announced that crews have arrived at the Illinois Creek camp in preparation for a drill program focused on expanding the high-grade Waterpump Creek silver-zinc-lead deposit into a much larger carbonate replacement deposit (CRD) mineralized system that extends more than 3.5 miles (six kilometers) to the past producing Illinois Creek gold-silver mine.

"We are thrilled to put the proceeds of our recently completed (concurrent) financings to immediate use in the field," Western Alaska Minerals CEO Kit Marrs said, referring to the C$8.7 million (US$6.4 million) in funds raised during April and May.

According to a calculation completed in January, the Waterpump Creek deposit hosts 2.39 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 279 grams per metric ton (21.4 million ounces) silver, 11.25% (592 million pounds) zinc, and 9.84% (518 million lb) lead.

Peter Megaw, a world-leading expert in CRD mineralizing systems and technical advisor to Western Alaska Minerals, sees geological, geochemical, and other evidence of a much larger high-grade silver-zinc-lead system that extends southwest through the Last Hurrah and Warm Springs target areas and onward to the past-producing Illinois Creek mine, which still hosts 357,000 oz of gold and 13.4 million oz of silver in the indicated and inferred resource categories.

The transition from higher-temperature fluids depositing copper, gold, and silver at Illinois Creek to lower-temperature fluids depositing silver, zinc, and lead at Waterpump Creek is a classic sign of district zonation patterns typical of porphyry to CRD systems.

The Waterpump Creek deposit represents the outer extent of such a system that Western has been tracing south toward the source. A fault at the south end of Waterpump Creek, however, has shifted the mineralized horizon as it continues into and through Big Hurrah.

Western narrowed in on the CRD horizon at Big Hurrah at the end of the 2023 field season and has developed drill targets at both Big Hurrah and Warm Spring to the southwest.

Western Alaska Minerals Corp.

"Continuity of mineralization from the source outward with gradually diminishing volume, often over several kilometers, has been recognized for over 100 years as a fundamental aspect of CRD systems, so it is highly probable we'll find the continuation of Waterpump Creek mineralization across the post-mineral fault," Megaw said after the 2023 drill program.

The fault-offset extension of high-grade CRD mineralization at Big Hurrah and Warm Springs are the primary targets of 2024 drilling.

"The discovery of one deposit suggests the likelihood of others nearby," said Marrs. "As such, our 2024 goal is to step out and uncover mineralized linkages to the past-producing open pit gold mine, 6km to the southwest."

Crews begin arriving at Illinois Creek property about 300 miles west of Fairbanks, Alaska, on May 14 to open camp, begin clearing the airstrip, and setting up drill pads at the newly generated CRD expansion targets at Last Hurrah and Warm Springs.

Drilling is slated to get underway on June 8.

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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