The program was initially described in press releases dated September 7 and October 10, 2023, and was led by Robert Edie, Westward’s vice-president, exploration, over the course of several weeks in the field.
A total of 353 surface rock chip samples were collected and visually logged: Toiyabe project – 29 samples collected; Turquoise Canyon project – 182 samples collected; and East Saddle project – 142 samples collected.
Samples collected in the nine-claim gap between Toiyabe and Turquoise Canyon (the TCC gap, 100%-owned by Westward) have been included in Turquoise Canyon.
A total of 606 soil samples with 100-metre spacings were also collected at the East Saddle project and southern extent of the Toiyabe project, covering the exposed lower-plate carbonate window.
All rock chip and soil samples will be analyzed for gold and multielement pathfinders. Assay results received in conjunction with field observations will be used to prioritize areas for future mapping with detailed Anaconda-style folios. These folios will complement the existing Anaconda-style maps previously completed on high-priority areas of the Toiyabe project. Geochemical anomalies – in particular gold, arsenic, mercury and antimony – will be plotted and analyzed to further vector in on zones with elemental signatures typically associated with Carlin-type gold deposits.
Robert Edie noted: “I’m very pleased to have discovered an array of specimens on the property which exhibit features consistent with Carlin-type gold deposition. Strong, surface-level oxidation is an important characteristic of these deposits and relates to the abundance of pyrite formed, a key component of gold-hosting systems. Tectonic breccia speaks to the structural preparation of host rocks; the gold-bearing Carlin fluid uses these structural pathways to rise from depth where it interacts with the meteoric water table and geochemically precipitates gold — preferentially into carbonate rocks.”
Commenting on the East Saddle project, Edie continued: “Decalcification and silicification of carbonate rocks is a distinct marker of Carlin-type gold deposition. It occurs when gold-bearing Carlin fluid dissolves calcium carbonate from limestone host rocks and deposits silica pervasively. In addition to silica, the process also deposits gold and other pathfinder elements. The discovery of decalcified, silicified limestone at East Saddle suggests that the area has experienced a Carlin-type mineralizing event.”
In addition to continuing modelling work and new target delineation following the 2023 field season, now coming to a close, the company continues to evaluate several external growth opportunities via mergers and acquisitions.
The company also announced that its compensation and corporate governance committee has approved and granted an aggregate of 2.4 million stock options, and 2.2 million restricted share units (RSUs) to Westward management and its board of directors. The options, which vest immediately, are exercisable at a price of 15 cents per common share of the company for five years from the date of grant, being November 24, 2023. The RSUs granted will vest over of 24 months, with 50% vesting November 24, 2024, and the remaining 50% vesting on November 24, 2025.
Westward Gold is a mineral exploration company focused on developing the Toiyabe, Turquoise Canyon and East Saddle projects located in the Cortez Hills area of Lander County, Nevada, and the Coyote and Rossi projects located along the Carlin trend in Elko County, Nevada.