Pilot Gold is pleased to announce that it has commenced a 10-hole core drilling program for metallurgical and other purposes at its Goldstrike Project in southwestern Utah. The primary target is Carlin-style shallow, oxide gold mineralization on the 7 km long "Historic Mine Trend".
The ten core holes will be drilled using PQ large diameter core, and will be used to:
Provide sample material for metallurgical studies, including column testing, scheduled for later in 2016.
Provide samples for density measurements, needed for accurate resource estimation.
Further infill areas of the "Historic Mine Trend" now being targeted with the ongoing RC resource definition program.
Provide for better definition and modeling of structural and stratigraphic controls on mineralization.
Provide sample material as needed for engineering studies.
The contractor for the core drilling program is Major Drilling of Salt Lake City, Utah. The metallurgical program will be overseen by consulting metallurgist Gary Simmons, who has directed a large number of metallurgical programs in similar rocks for Pilot Gold and its predecessor Fronteer Gold Inc.
The core drilling program was originally planned for late 2016. However, given the positive results from RC drilling to date, the program was moved up in order to commence metallurgical testing sooner and receive results in 2016.
The core holes will replace previously-planned RC holes, to avoid unnecessary duplication and cost. Eight of the holes will be located in the eastern portion of the Historic Mine Trend (Km 6 N and Km 5 N), with two located in the western part of the Historic Mine Trend.
The objective of the 2016 RC and core drilling program is to target unmined and/or undrilled areas between and around the historic pits, and to drill test down-dip to the north of, and laterally beyond, the Historic Mine Trend into areas where gold has been confirmed but not systematically drilled off. The holes will average approximately 150 metres in length. The scope of the program is open-ended and dependent on results.
At least 100 RC drill holes are covered in the Phase 1 2016 drill budget. The core holes and metallurgical study costs are a supplement to the RC drill program budget. The metallurgical program will test the amenability of oxide material in newly-discovered areas of mineralization to leaching, over a range of particle sizes. Historical mining at Goldstrike (1988-1994) was 100% run of mine material that returned approximately 75% recovery on the heap leach pads.
The goal is to advance the Goldstrike Project to a resource estimate by year end, incorporating new and historical RC drill hole data over a broad area.
Goldstrike is located in the eastern Great Basin, immediately adjacent to the Utah/Nevada border, and is a Carlin-style gold system, similar in many ways to the prolific deposits located along Nevada’s Carlin trend.
Like Kinsley Mountain and Newmont’s Long Canyon deposit, Goldstrike represents part of a growing number of Carlin-type systems located off the main Carlin and Cortez trends in largely underexplored parts of the Great Basin. The Goldstrike Property comprises 96 km2 of US federal lode claims, patented (private) claims and Utah State leases.
Previous mining at Goldstrike occurred from 1988 to 1994, with 209,000 ounces of gold produced from 12 shallow pits, at an average grade of 1.2 grams Au/tonne. Historical gold recovery is documented to be 75% from run of mine (1). The historic mine is now fully reclaimed.
Over a 12-month period, the Company compiled and digitized approximately 20 years of historical exploration and mining data, including 1519 shallow drill holes, ~100,000 blast holes and surface geological and geochemical data. A robust 3D model was generated, followed by a successful "proof of concept" 18 hole RC drill program in late 2015.
Oxide gold mineralization is dominantly hosted in sandstone and conglomerate in the basal portion of the Eocene Claron Formation, along a regional unconformity that is virtually untested where it dips under shallow sedimentary and volcanic cover.
The Claron Formation extends down dip of mineralized surface exposures, which are present throughout the northern half of the Goldstrike Property, an area covering approximately 42 km2. The entire area is considered prospective for gold mineralization. In addition to the exposures in the Historic Mine Trend, six other large windows to the northwest of the Historic Mine Trend expose the basal Claron Formation, and all contain drill-tested oxide gold mineralization.
In particular, the Mineral Mountain area, located approximately 4 km north of the Historic Mine Trend and as described in the Report (as defined below), contains a current Inferred Resource of 41,144 ounces of gold, contained in 3.4 million tons of material grading 0.0122 ounces per ton (0.418 g/t) of gold. Additional drilling may expand the mineralized footprint of this zone, which is open in several directions, and is planned for 2016.
Gold is also present in Mississippian through Permian carbonate shelf strata immediately underlying the Claron Formation, where they constitute the principal host rocks in the westernmost two pits on the Historic Mine Trend. While these rocks are more typical of Carlin-style host rocks, and are exposed over the entire southern half of the property, they have not been extensively tested. The overall potential in these rocks is relatively unknown, but presumed to be significant.