HighGold Mining Inc. [TSXV-HIGH; OTCQX-HGMIF] provided an update on its 2023 exploration and development program including final drill results at the Johnson Tract polymetallic Gold Project in south-central Alaska, USA. The project hosts the high-grade JT Deposit with an Indicated Resource of 1.05 Moz at 9.39 g/t gold equivalent (AuEq) with average true thickness of 40 metres.
Completion of a comprehensive work program to support the permitting of an underground exploration ramp, including six hydrogeology-geotechnical drill holes, related hydrogeology test work, engineering, and multiple environmental and cultural studies.
Infill drilling yielded thick, high-grade mineralization typical of the JT Deposit in hole GT23-004 with 56.6 metres at 7.8 g/t AuEq, including 33.6 metres at 12.1 g/t AuEq, and including 4.9 metres at 34.9 g/t AuEq.
Narrow high-grade and broad low-grade mineralization intersected in 2023 step-outs at Ellis Zone with 2.2 metres at 57.0 g/t AuEq previously reported in hole DC23-070; 1.4 m at 11.6 g/t AuEq in hole DC23-071; 47.1 m at 0.7 g/t AuEq in hole DC23-087; and 64.1 m at 0.7 g/t AuEq in hole DC23-088.
Encouraging new zones of veining and JT-style alteration intersected in first pass drilling of new prospect areas, warranting additional follow-up in 2024.
“We had a busy and productive field season this year,” said Darwin Green, President & CEO. “We completed a significant drill program aimed at expanding existing zones and targeting new discoveries. Results from the drill program are encouraging and will serve to inform ongoing drill planning and targeting as we continue to evaluate the multi-deposit potential of the Project. Infill hole GT23-004 is a reminder of the exceptional width and grade that characterizes the JT Deposit.
“Another major step to advancing the project is advancing the permitting and development of an underground exploration ramp. The Company is well capitalized to continue advancing these important value-added activities through 2024 and beyond.”
Highgold has begun preliminary scoping work to evaluate conceptual direct-shipping-ore (DSO) scenarios. The project’s location near tidewater offers the potential for DSO via bulk marine transport (the lowest cost form of bulk shipping) either direct to Asia or to existing coastal mills at mines in Alaska and British Columbia.
A key component of de-risking the project is the development of an underground exploration ramp to the JT Deposit. The exploration ramp will provide a platform to conduct cost-effective tightly spaced definition drilling in the highest-grade portions of the known deposit to support future engineering and economic studies. The 1,800-metre long ramp, which is parallel to and slightly outboard of the trend of mineralization, will also provide access to efficiently test multiple deep exploration targets.
In support of this, the company successfully completed a comprehensive field program from July to October 2023 consisting of hydrogeological test work, engineering, and numerous environmental and cultural studies. Over the coming months, the data from these studies will be incorporated into the project design and form the basis of the exploration ramp permitting that is planned to commence in early 2024.
In connection with the exploration ramp plan, a Section 404 permit application was submitted earlier this year to the US Army Corps of Engineers for a 2.6-mile (4 km) portal access road and expanded airstrip.
The company completed six drill holes to carry out hydrogeological and geotechnical studies along the alignment of the proposed 1800-metre long underground exploration ramp, which is designed to be developed within unmineralized rock units in the hanging wall to the JT Deposit. One of the drill holes (GT23-004) was extended through the JT Deposit as an infill hole and to characterize ground and water conditions for future mine modeling. GT23-004 intersected typical JT-style Au-Cu-Zn mineralization and returned:56.6 metres at 7.8 g/t AuEq (4.87 g/t Au, 0.61% Cu, 3.5% Zn), including 33.60 metres at 12.1 g/t AuEq, (7.93 g/t Au, 0.9% Cu, 4.8% Zn), and including 4.90 m at 34.9 g/t AuEq (33.03 g/t Au, 1.2% Cu, 0.6% Zn).
Separate from the geotechnical drilling, two exploration holes stepped out 100 to 200 metres south of the JT Deposit for potential extensions along strike. These holes intersected broad zones of strong alteration with local silver-lead-zinc mineralization, including 6.0 metres at 76 g/t Ag, 0.4% Pb, 1.2% Zn in drill hole JT23-153.
The DC Prospect, located 4 km northeast of the +1Moz AuEq JT Deposit, includes the high-grade Ellis Zone discovery and numerous other mineralized showings within a series of large gossan alteration zones extending over a 1.5 km x 3.0 km area. Drilling in 2023 included 50 to 100-metre step-outs on the Ellis Zone to sketch-in resource potential and first-time tests of new targets between the Ellis Zone and East DC Prospect areas.
Mineralization has now been intersected over a length of 200 metres and to a depth of 225 metres.
Narrow high to bonanza-grade and broad low-grade mineralization have been intersected in 2023 step-out drilling at Ellis Zone, including 2.2 m at 57.0 g/t AuEq (49.9 g/t Au, 25 g/t Ag, 1.5% Cu, 8.4% Zn) previously reported in hole DC23-070, including 1.1 m at 80.5 g/t AuEq, (71.4 g/t Au, 29.7 g/t Ag, 1.5% Cu, 11.7% Zn); 1.4 m at 11.6 g/t AuEq (4.51 g/t Au, 16 g/t Ag, 1.9% Cu, 1.1% Pb, 7.0% Zn) in hole DC23-071; 47.1 m at 0.7 g/t AuEq (0.29 g/t Au, 0.5% Zn) in hole DC23-087; 1.5 m at 163 g/t Ag and 4% Zn in hole DC23-088; 64.1 m at 0.7 g/t AuEq (0.31 g/t Au, 0.7% Zn) in hole DC23-088, including 32.4 m at 1.0 g/t AuEq (0.53 g/t Au, 0.8% Zn).
Eight reconnaissance drill holes were completed across a 1km east-west trend between the Ellis Zone and the East DC prospect area. Significant results include 3.9 m at 97 g/t Ag in hole DC23-075; 1.3 m at 2.7% Cu and 23 g/t Ag in hole DC23-076; and 1.2 m at 1.6% Cu in hole DC23-080.
The company also completed five drillholes for initial testing of the South Valley and Double Glacier prospects 1.5 km and 3 km south of the JT Deposit, respectively. Further work is planned to follow-up on these drillholes during the 2024 field season.
A property-wide, 666 line-km airborne Magnetic and EM geophysical survey (MobileMT) was completed by Expert Geophysics in August 2023 to aid in discerning prospective mineralizing systems beneath covered areas.
Johnson Tract is a polymetallic (gold, copper, zinc, silver, lead) project located near tidewater, 125 miles (200 km) southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Highgold acquired the project through a lease agreement with Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI), one of 12 land-based Alaska Native regional corporations created by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. CIRI is owned by more than 9,100 shareholders who are primarily of Alaska Native descent.