Three different gold rushes and some of Canada's greatest mines have been found on the Golden Triangle, located just inland from the Alaska Panhandle.
The mines include Premier, Snip and Eskay Creek. Other significant and well known deposits located within the Triangle include Brucejack, Galore Creek, Copper Canyon, Schaft Creek, KSM, Granduc and Red Chris.
Rick Mills of Ahead of the Herd noted, "After decades of productive mining and some big discoveries, the Golden Triangle went dormant. Isolated from major infrastructure, the area was expensive to conduct sampling, surveys and drill programs in, and due to its harsh winter climate, was only accessible for half a year. Not much news came out of the Golden Triangle during the 1990s and 2000s. When gold prices weakened to about $400 an ounce, several mines shut down, unable to make a decent margin against fixed costs."
Over 130 million ounces of gold, 800 million ounces of silver and 40 billion pounds of copper have been found in the area, but experts believe this is only the tip of the iceberg.
"The BC Geological Survey database has identified over 900 mineral occurrences, 67 of which have documented mineral resources," said Mills. "Lately there has been a resurgence of interest in the Golden Triangle, with something of a staking rush going on there as juniors position themselves for the next discovery hole. So what changed? The excitement is being driven by five factors."
These factors, according to Mills, are:
New Infrastructure: "New road and power infrastructure built by the British Columbia (BC) government includes the paving of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway north from Smithers; port facilities for export of concentrate opened at the town of Stewart; and most importantly, a $700 million high voltage transmission line to bring power to mining properties previously inaccessible to the grid and reliant on diesel-powered portable generators," according to Mills.
Declining Snow Cover: The retreat of glaciers reveal rocks never before seen.
New Geological Theory: A new twist is that most of the Golden Triangle's deposits are found within a few kilometers of a contact zone (Triassic-Jurassic unconformity).
Higher Gold Prices: Low gold prices shut down several operating mines in the Golden Triangle during the 1990s and early 2000s, and also squelched exploration. "Since then a tripling of gold prices has injected gold fever back into the area, and combined with a new geological theory and the above factors, breathed new life into the possibility of discoverers hitting the next Valley of the Kings or KSM," Mills asserted.
Against this backdrop, gold explorers including Golden Ridge Resources Ltd. (GLDN:TSX.V), Aben Resources Ltd. (ABN:TSX.V; ABNAF:OTCQB) and GT Gold Corp. (GTT:TSX.V) continue to report impressive results.
Mike Blady, CEO of Golden Ridge Resources, said its recent discoveries in the heart of the Golden Triangle set the company apart from the crowd.
"We are one of the few companies to make a new discovery this year, so that sets us apart from the rest of the companies in the area," Blady told Streetwise Reports. "We discovered a new gold-copper porphyry called the Williams Zone that was discovered by our team using geophysics and geochemistry, and we confirmed it with drilling."
The company acquired the Williams Zone property in 2014 from Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX:TSX; ABX:NYSE) and performed an aerial survey of the area in 2015.
"So it all started back in 2014, there was an airborne survey flown on the project in 2015, which found a single point anomaly on the north side of the project," Blady noted. "Single point anomalies generally turn out to be nothing," but subsequent exploration confirmed the company had struck pay dirt.
"In 2016, we did some reconnaissance geochemistry on that part of the property and were pleasantly surprised with a strong copper-gold anomaly. The following we year we came back and used ground-based geophysics to further delineate the Williams zone. The anomaly was covered with overburden and dense forest, so our next move was to strip back the overburden by hand and sample the bedrock, which turned out to be the first rock samples ever taken from the Williams zone," Blady said.
"The first Williams Zone hole was the culmination of the last three years of slow, methodical exploration work that led to the success we had: HNK-18-001, 327 meters grading 0.31% copper, 0.35 g/t gold, 1.94 g/t silver, which we released on August 14. An initial discovery hole of this magnitude is very exciting for our geologic team and company. Deposits in the Golden Triangle need to be large and high grade to be of economic value; this discovery is a huge step in the right direction.”
In September, Golden Ridge announced its drilling continues to intersect broad intervals of copper-gold mineralization at Williams, with holes HNK-18-005 and HNK-18-002 intersecting similar geology to HNK-18-001: 326 meters grading 0.36 g/t gold, 0.29% copper and 1.92 g/t silver for HNK-18-005 and 276.15 meters grading 0.31% copper, 0.24 g/t gold and 2.33 g/t silver on HNK-18-002.
Chris Paul, vice president of exploration for Golden Ridge, noted, "The continuity of grade and thickness at the Williams Zone is very encouraging, as are the increasing grades toward the east. The abrupt change in grade across the fault to the east suggests a portion of the high grade has been displaced, possibly downwards, and the true thickness and grade of the Williams is yet to be seen."
Golden Ridge is also conducting Induced Polarization (IP) surveys, and in late August reported successful results.
"The IP survey successfully delineated a strong chargeability anomaly which is coincident with the porphyry mineralization drilled in the Williams Zone in 2018," stated the company. "Two 3-km-long IP lines were completed during the Phase I survey and the anomaly is open along strike to the north and south and at depth."
The company noted that the data shows "high chargeability values at the Williams Zone which merge with high to very high chargeability values in the Lower Alteration Zone (LAZ), suggesting connectivity of the two zones."
As for what is the next step in Golden Ridge's exploration plans, Chris Paul stated, "The results so far have been excellent and once all the IP data, assays and geology are compiled, we plan to design additional step-out drill holes and continue targeting the extensions of the system along strike and at depth in the next phase of drilling."
Meanwhile, several other companies are reporting significant strikes in the Golden Triangle.
Aben Resources reported it had discovered the South Boundary Zone of its Forrest Kerr Golden Triangle project, and in late August provided an update on its exploration drill program currently underway at the property.
The company announced it had intersected mineralization 1.5 km south of the North Boundary Zone in the newly discovered South Boundary Zone area.
The majority of drilling has taken place at the North Boundary area, the location of high-grade precious and base metal mineralization discovered in 2017 drill holes, as well as the site of the first reported drill hole of 2018. Hole FK18-10 "has four separate high-grade zones with the best zone returning an interval of 38.7 g/t Au over 10.0m including 62.4 g/t Au over 6.0m starting at 114 meters downhole."
"This new discovery of mineralization 1.5km south of the North Boundary Zone is a major development for the Company and further highlights the robust discovery potential at the Forrest Kerr Project," said Jim Pettit, president and CEO of Aben Resources. "The mineralizing system at the property is apparently widespread and well-developed with high-grade mineralization being discovered at shallow depths over a large area. We believe we have only just scratched the surface at the newly discovered North and South Boundary Zones and an expanded drill program is currently underway with assays pending for most of the holes drilled to date."
Aben has followed up with the announcement that an eight-hole stepout drill program at the North Boundary Zone intersected "shallow, high-grade gold mineralization" and included highlights of 5.08 g/t Au over 12.0m in hole FK18-12; 23.3 g/t Au over 2.0m in hole FK18-13; and 10.62 g/t Au over 3.0m in hole FK18-17.
The company also noted that so far it has received assay results for about 3,000 meters out of a total of 10,000 meters of drilling conducted this season.
GT Gold Corp. (GTT) has also been announcing summer drill results. On Sept. 10, GT Gold reported the discovery of a major new gold-copper-silver porphyry at the Saddle North target on the Tatogga property.
"Commencing at just 79 metres down-hole, hole TTD085, the first Saddle North hole of the 2018 season, intersected a very broad interval of sheeted vein, vein stockwork and disseminated style Au-Cu-Ag mineralization, centered on a monzodiorite intrusion with common strong potassic alteration," the company stated.
Charles Greig, vice-president of exploration for GT Gold, commented, "These terrific hole 85 results, and visual intercepts in holes 90, 93 and now hole 98, indicate possibly the most important new copper-gold-silver porphyry discovery in the northern part of the Golden Triangle since the discovery of the nearby Red Chris deposit, which is within sight of our property. The scale and grade of the Saddle North intrusion is outstanding, and we believe the best of it is intact, at surface beneath thin glacial sediments, and to depth."
"We see tremendous upside for expansion, and again, as was the case with Red Chris, further grade increases at depth. The Company now has enviable options before it: near-surface bulk-tonnage and potential deep high-grade underground-style gold at Saddle South, coupled with a massive new copper-gold-silver porphyry system right next door," Greig added.
According to the company, additional assays are pending, drilling is continuing, the system remains open along strike in both directions and at depth.
Earlier announcements involved the Saddle South target. On Sept. 4, GT Gold announced the continued rapid expansion of the Saddle South discovery, with new high-grade gold intercepts east, west, south and to depth along 1,000 meters of east-west trend and to 350 meters of north-south width.
Those intercepts included 9.55 g/t gold over 40.89 meters from 534.00 to 574.89 meters in hole TTD079.
And on August 8, the company reported the intersection of high-grade gold in stepout drilling both to the east and west of its 2017 Saddle South gold discovery and, additionally, the discovery of a new and deeper high-grade trend to the south.
"We are very pleased with the early success of the drill program at Saddle South this season," said Steve Burleton, GT's president and CEO. "All holes have hit mineralization as we step out to the east and west, and our deep drilling encountered high grades and strong widths along a new and well-mineralized trend not far south and east of the area drilled in 2017. . .We look forward to further demonstrating the true potential of the Saddle discovery area—both North and South."
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