By Peter Kennedy
White Gold Corp. [WGO-TSXV; GFRGF-OTC], currently the largest land holder in the Yukon’s White Gold District, said Friday July 6 that it has closed a $10 million private placement of flow-through common shares.
Following the offering, Kinross Gold Corp. [K-TSX; KGC-NYSE] and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. [AEM-TSX, NYSE] will each maintain a 19.9% stake in White Gold, the company said in a press release.
The brokered private placement was comprised of 10.5 million common shares, issued on a flow-through basis, and priced at 95 cents each. Proceeds of the offering will be used by the company to fund exploration at properties in the White Gold District prior to December, 31, 2019.
White Gold shares rose 1.27% or $0.01 to 80 cents on Friday. The 52-week range is $2.01 and 61 cents.
“We are pleased to close this financing to maintain our strong financial position and continue to pursue our exciting exploration program, focused on new discoveries in the White Gold district and increasing the size of our flagship Golden Saddle deposit,” said White Gold CEO David D’Onofrio.
Headed by Shawn Ryan, the company’s Technical Advisor, White Gold is using exploration techniques developed by Ryan’s company, GroundTruth Exploration, to speed up the process of finding gold-bearing anomalies. Ryan is quick to stress that high risk nature of early stage exploration.
Ryan is the Canadian prospector who went looking for the bedrock source of the placer (riverbed) gold deposits that have sustained the Yukon mining industry since the Klondike Gold Rush. Ryan thought it must have come from a local source.
His methodical soil sampling techniques subsequently led to the discovery of a geophysical anomaly in 2004 that he later optioned to Underworld Resources, a company that was swallowed in March 2010 by Kinross in a $138 million deal.
On May 2016, Goldcorp Inc. [GG-TSX; GG-NYSE], the world’s third largest bullion producer, acquired the Coffee Project (located 130 km south of Dawson City), by striking a deal to acquire Kaminak Gold in a share exchange deal worth $520 million. Ryan was named PDAC Prospector of the Year in 2010. Other significant modern discoveries, such as Comstock Metals Ltd.’s [CSL-TSXV] QV Project (230,000 oz inferred gold resources) have been delineated on soil anomalies by Ryan’s team.
After leaving it on the back burner for a number of years, Kinross Gold agreed to sell the White Gold property back to White Gold in May, 2017. The agreement left Kinross with a 19.9% stake in White Gold.
“We know that 95% of the things that we look at are not going to make the cut,” Ryan told Resource World during an interview in Dawson City. So, to save time and money, GroundTruth uses a number of tools, including air-borne drone imagery, GT Rotary Air Blast Drills (RAB) and portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF). A RAB Drill is a remotely controlled platform that is mounted on a track and can travel almost anywhere on a mineral property.
Used in combination with drones and XRF technology, it provides a more cost effective, environmentally friendly way to conduct exploration, allowing prospectors to extend their budgets while checking mineralized systems.
“What used to take us two field seasons at a cost of $500,000, I can now do in a month for about $100,000,” Ryan said. However, he went on to explain that while RAB drills can be used to assess a project’s mineral potential, companies still need to rely on diamond core drilling and reverse circulation techniques.
White Gold’s portfolio includes 30 properties covering 390,000 hectares.
The company’s flagship White Gold property is located 95 km south of Dawson City, and is accessible by air and barge. It hosts a mineral resource of 960,970 ounces of 2.43 g/t gold in the indicated category and 262,220 ounces of inferred material at 1.70 g/t gold.
That material is hosted in the Golden Saddle and Arc zones.
“With five drills in operation, our 2018 drill program is now in full swing,” D’Onofrio said recently. “Two diamond drills will allow us to focus on aggressively growing the existing high-grade deposit at Golden Saddle, and three additional drills will be testing some of our most promising regional targets.”
The aim at White Gold is to expand the Golden Saddle deposit down dip, infill and expansion of the Arc deposit, metallurgical testing on both Golden Saddle and Arc and drill testing of other known and conceptual targets on the property, including the McKinnon, Donahue, GS East and Ryan’s Showing targets. The program is expected to include 8,000 to 10,000 metres of diamond drilling at Golden Saddle and Arc, as well as 6,000 to 8,000 metres of reverse circulation drilling on the McKinnon, Donahue, Ryan’s Showing, Arc and other areas as warranted.