The assay labs are slow right now. It seems like every junior mining company has an "assays pending" press release. However, there is one company that I'm watching closely, because its Unga Project has huge potential.
Heliostar Metals Ltd. (HSTR:TSX.V; RGCTF:OTC) is a C$42 million junior gold explorer. It emerged in October 2020 from the merger of two exploration companies, Heliodor Metals and Redstar Gold. Charles Funk, the new company's CEO, is one of the brightest young geologists in the sector today. He's the former Vizsla Resources VP Exploration, where he helped drive the company's success at its Panuco silver and gold project.
The new company has a flagship project in Alaska called Unga and several impressive exploration projects in Mexico. But it's the drilling at Unga that I'm excited about.
And I'm impatiently waiting for drill results.
Heliostar's Unga Project is a brownfields site. It holds the old Apollo, which went into production in 1891. It contained both surface and underground workings. The Apollo mine, on the property, operated from the late 1880s to the early 1920s. The nearby Sitka Mine ran from 1900 to 1922. Both mines produced gold from high-grade ore.
There are two major faults that acted as conduits for the gold mineralization in the region. They form long corridors that run southwest to northeast across Unga Island and extend onto Popof Island.
To date, geologists mapped the exposed portions of the fault corridors over 10 kilometers long and up to 1 kilometer wide. That's an area roughly a quarter of the size of Manhattan Island. And the whole region has the potential for gold deposits. Those rocks show all the hallmarks of good host material—thick quartz veins, breccias and stockworks.
There are several secondary faults cut the main faults at an angle. These intersections offer opportunities for gold mineralization, yet few had attention in the past.
That's the case with Heliostar's Aquila target. It's a series of outcropping epithermal veins that indicate "structural dilation." That's geo-speak for a wide spot in the veins due to crossing faults. Wide spots in veins often allow more gold and silver to concentrate. Surface samples collected back in the 1980s supported that theory. The best of those surface samples ran 11.4 grams per ton gold and 53.5 grams per ton silver.
That's exciting. However, the follow up drilling back then had trouble with core recovery. And then nothing happened for 40 years…
Fast forward to the present. Heliostar had three drill rigs running in October 2020. And it reported first results on November 23, 2020…and they were interesting.
The first result, from hole AQ20-01, hit 4.46 grams per ton gold and 6.8 grams per ton silver over 3.6 meters. The highlight was a 1.1-meter section that contained 9.1 grams per ton gold and 11.8 grams per ton silver. The interval was shallow, starting at 37.5 meters below grade.
And since then, we just waited for more information. That's probably the most frustrating part of owning juniors…the waiting. At Aquila, it took 40 years for those results…what's another few weeks?
But it's the new year and the bottleneck on assay results began to break up for many other companies. And it should do the same for Heliostar. I'm excited about the potential at Unga and the results from Aquila. These rocks have high-grade potential and Heliostar is a tiny market cap.
Success at Aquila could turn this tiny, newcomer into an overnight success story.
If you haven't heard of Heliostar yet, they are one to look at.
Reach Matt Badiali at www.mattbadiali.net.
Matt Badiali is a geologist and independent financial analyst. He spent fifteen years researching and writing about great investments inside the natural resources sectors. He can be reached at www.mattbadiali.net.[NLINSERT]
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