This year’s drilling at Ranch was strategically planned to support the development of a maiden resource estimate — a crucial part of the forthcoming preliminary economic assessment (PEA) update. The Ranch project is road-accessible by way of the company’s Lawyers gold-silver project and, together, the two projects form a contiguous, 325 km2 land package in the prolific Toodoggone mining district.
Highlights: In both Thesis II and Thesis III, two distinct, broad, mineralized domains are present in the near-surface and at depth; drilling at Thesis II was designed to test deeper mineralization identified at the end of the 2022 drilling campaign: 23TH2DD005 intersected 60 metres of 4.53 g/t gold beginning 84 metres from surface (vertical depth), including 19 metres of 10.39 g/t gold.
Drilling at Thesis III returned strong near-surface mineralization: 23TH3DD013 intersected 24.32 metres of 2.93 g/t gold beginning at a vertical depth of 32 metres; 23TH3DD017 intersected 39.90 metres of 2.39 g/t gold beginning at vertical depth of 4 metres.
Confirmation and infill drilling from the 2023 season will be incorporated into a future maiden mineral resource estimate for the Ranch project scheduled for Q2 2024.
Ewan Webster, president and CEO, commented: “The 2023 drilling results at Thesis II and Thesis III represent yet another step towards unlocking the full potential of the Ranch project. Our targeted strategy for the 2023 program focused on furthering our understanding of the high-grade, near-surface potential at Ranch as we progress towards a maiden resource estimate. We view this as a stepping stone in our ongoing efforts to extend the mineralization at Ranch. Today’s notable stepout headline hole of 60 metres at 4.53 g/t gold strongly suggests that there is still much to be discovered.”
Thesis II and Thesis III represent the southern and central zones of the Thesis structural corridor, which, together with the emerging Bingo zone represents a multi-kilometre-scale structural zone that hosts multiple mineralized domains. On the regional, district and deposit scale, mineralization is largely associated with intersecting, northwest-southeast- and east-west-trending faults observed and interpreted from magnetic surveys. Regional-scale faults may act as deeper fluid conduits that promote the movement of hydrothermal fluids in porphyry and epithermal systems.
Drilling continues to enhance the understanding of how these faults interact locally to control the geometry of mineralized bodies. In particular, drill hole 23TH2DD005, a step-out hole at the southern end of the Thesis II zone intercepted 60 metres of 4.53 g/t gold beginning at a downhole depth of 141 metres. However, a subsequent step-out, drill hole 23TH2DD006, returned a low-grade interval of one m at 0.61 g/t gold, suggesting that the northeast structure separating the two holes may offset mineralization to the southwest. Alteration associated with mineralization is typically destructive of magnetic minerals and is interpreted to cause a low-to-moderate magnetic signature compared with surrounding unaltered rocks. The Thesis technical team is developing new drill targets in the low-to-moderate magnetic lineaments that parallel known mineralized trends. Broad, high-grade mineralization, like in 23TH2DD005, continues to highlight the potential for expansion and discovery across the Ranch project in the coming year and beyond.
Thesis Gold, following its strategic merger with Benchmark Metals, is unlocking the combined potential of the Ranch and Lawyers gold-silver projects in the Toodoggone mining district of north-central British Columbia, Canada.
A 2022 preliminary economic assessment for the Lawyers project alone projected an open-pit mining operation yielding an average of 163,000 gold equivalent ounces annually over a 12-year span. By integrating the Ranch project, the company aims to enhance the economics and bolster the overall project’s potential. Central to this ambition is the expansive 2023 drill program, which aims to define the high-grade underground resource at Lawyers and augment the near-surface high-grade deposits at Ranch.
The company’s road map includes releasing a combined Ranch-Lawyers resource estimate by Q2 2024, with an updated preliminary economic assessment slated for Q3 2024.