New Found Gold expands Queensway project drilling to 500,000 metres, Newfoundland; shares up

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New Found Gold Corp. [NFG-TSXV; NFGC-NYSE American] has expanded the exploration program at its 100%-owned Queensway project, located on the Trans-Canada Highway 15 km west of Gander, Newfoundland. To date, the company has completed approximately 80% (319,000 metres) of its current 400,000-metre diamond drill program at Queensway. Approximately 60,000 metres of drill core is pending assay.

Highlights: During 2022, New Found drilled 184,911 metres of core, employing an average of 14 drill rigs. This equates to 3,555 metres of core production per week, with significant operating efficiencies experienced in the second half of the year.

Following the holiday break, New Found has restarted drilling, and moving forward, the company intends to use an average of 12 drill rigs, including a maximum ramp-up to 14 drill rigs throughout 2023 as it continues its aggressive exploration program. As a result, New Found is now planning to drill a total of 500,000 metres as part of its continuing drilling program at the Queensway project by the end of 2023.

With 319,000 metres of drilling completed to date, the company is forecasting 181,000 metres of core production during 2023. This expanded drill program is fully financed out of the company’s current cash and marketable securities balance of $90-million.

Exploration drilling will include a hybrid of targeted drilling, aimed at expanding existing zones and identifying new zones in highly prospective areas, as well as grid drilling, aimed at testing open swaths of prospective strike along main fault structures, with a strong emphasis on the west side of the Appleton fault zone (AFZ). Drilling is also planned for the parallel JBP fault zone at Queensway North, the newly optioned VOA ground to the north, and at Queensway South.

Greg Matheson, CEO, stated: “The Queensway project is rare in my experience as an exploration geologist as it covers 100+ km strike of two regional-scale deformation zones that are known to be spatially associated with gold mineralization – the AFZ and JBP. Our 2021 and 2022 drilling focused almost entirely along the east side of a 3.5 km corridor of the AFZ, which led to multiple discoveries, including Keats, Keats North, Golden Joint, Lotto and Lotto North.

“On Nov. 28, 2022, the company reported 42.6 g/t gold over 32 metres at Keats West as part of a developing new discovery located on the west side of the AFZ, a domain that has seen little exploration. At Queensway North there is no shortage of targets. A significant amount of drilling is needed to expand on the several discoveries made to date and test prospective regions within the footprint of the Au-bearing damage zone that surrounds the AFZ.

“Looking regionally, the Queensway project covers a multitude of known gold prospects, structures and prospective geological environments. This includes the JBP, which parallels the AFZ and remains underexplored, despite the presence of high-grade gold found on surface and in drilling. At Queensway South, we see the potential for additional gold discoveries along the southern extensions of both the AFZ and JBP faults, which extend for over 90 km. Recognizing our success rate to date, and acknowledging the size of this canvas, we are excited to continue to aggressively pursue further potential high-grade gold discoveries at Queensway.”

The Queensway project is intersected by the Trans-Canada Highway and has logging roads crosscutting the project, high-voltage electric power lines running through the project area and easy access to a highly skilled work force.

In early trading on January 3, New Found Gold shares gained $0.09 to $5.54.

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