Drilling at Getchell Gold’s (CSE:GTCH, OTC:GGLDF) flagship Fondaway Canyon gold project is well underway and a second project, Star, has just started to be drill-tested.
In an exploration update, the company says it has sunk a drill into its Star copper-gold project, comprised of two main mineralized occurrences — the formerly producing Star Point copper mine, and the Star South copper-gold-silver prospect — for the first time.
“Having successfully closed a non-brokered financing this week to top up our treasury, we can now fully focus on drill testing the copper targets at the Star project and further delineating the extensive gold zones at the advanced exploration stage Fondaway Canyon project,” said Getchell Gold’s President, Mike Sieb, in the June 2 news release. “The Getchell team is thrilled to have two active drill rigs on the ground at two different Nevada projects. We look forward to sharing exploration results through the end of this very active 2022.”
Multiple priority drill targets have been identified at the Star property. A geophysical survey delineated four additional anomalies exhibiting characteristics of porphyry-style mineralization, which will be tested during this year’s maiden drill program.
Star Point is the site of a near-surface, high-grade copper oxide mine operated during the 1940s and ‘50s. Previous development focused on a 300 x 300m area at the southern edge of a north-south trending promontory. The surface is covered with various pits, portals, shafts, open cuts and associated dumps. Underground development consists of several short shafts, winzes and tunnels of varying lengths, leading to a series of stopes and drifts.
The Star South prospect is 2 km south of the past-producing mine and comprises a series of pits, artisanal adits and associated dumps within a 300 x 150-meter area. These adits appear to follow high-grade copper-gold-silver mineralization hosted within quartz veins that are associated with shears trending in several different orientations.
As with Star Point, malachite and azurite mineralization is abundant (Figures 2 and 3) and indicative of high copper content, with Star South being additionally enriched in gold and silver (Table 1).
As part of a 2011 sampling campaign, a significant portion collected from the dumps in the area, reported impressive grades of copper, gold and silver in combination. Out of 89 samples, 40 graded over 1% Cu, 21 were over 1 gram per tonne Au, with three reporting >5 g/t Au, and 20 samples graded more than 30 g/t Ag, with 5 reporting >100 g/t Ag.
In an earlier AOTH interview regarding Star, Brad Aelicks, a geologist and manager at Pyfera Growth Capital Corp, offered:
“The intriguing part about what we’re seeing on surface is that there is what I would refer to as leakage from what appears to be a very powerful system.
“The leakage has been mined just in small adits [mine entrances] at the Star Point area, what was being mined was pretty high-grade copper with lovely silver credits, and really nice gold credits. So this is a multi-element system that has leakages, every open structure that you walk across on the property has signs of mineralization, and what intrigued me most when I first visited this project was seeing the contact between the upper plate and the lower plate rocks, sedimentary sequences, in Nevada.
“This is a really critical contact that you see in most of the big mines in Nevada,” he observed. However, the real target at Star is not this tight (1 to 3 meters wide) structure, but what lies beneath. Says Aelicks:
“The challenge for Getchell is not to be distracted by all these ‘rat holes’ and to really step back and look at the project on a broader scale to see if they find the heat source, and ultimately believe that there is a gold-copper porphyry system that would be driving these metals.”
Induced polarization (IP) surveys done in 2018 and 2020 worked up some good drill targets, that Getchell plans on drill testing this summer. Both of the two main occurrences at Star, Star Point and Star South, lie over-top of low-resistivity, high-chargeability geophysical anomalies, that are characteristic of porphyry-style mineralization. The surface mineralization, as Aelicks hinted at, is interpreted as potentially deriving from a larger source at depth.
The first hole, at Star South, therefore targets “a large multi geophysical survey line anomaly that links up with the high-grade copper, gold, and silver mineralization at surface (Figures 4 and 5).”
Meanwhile, work is ongoing at Getchell’s flagship Fondaway Canyon, an advanced-stage gold property located in Churchill County, NV. The project has been the subject of multiple exploration campaigns in the late 1980s and early ‘90s.
During the 2021 program, 10 holes for a total of 3,874 meters were completed, all of which returned significant gold mineralization. These drill holes were sunk into the Central Area, designed to follow up on the Colorado SW, Juniper and North Fork gold zones discovered in 2020, the first year of Getchell’s exploration at Fondaway Canyon.
While multiple high-grade intercepts were reported while 2021 drilling was still in progress, the company saved its best results this year for the last hole, FCG21-16, which targeted the North Fork zone.
Stationed on the canyon floor at the junction of Fondaway Canyon and North Fork, FCG21-16 was drilled steeply to the northeast as a step-out from three previously completed holes (FCG20-04, FCG21-09 and FCG21-10; refer to figure below).
The FCG21-16 interval had the greatest “gold grade x thickness” value in the 40+ year history of gold exploration and mining on the property, and likely represents a major conduit for the gold mineralizing system at Fondaway Canyon.
Furthermore, the hole intersected multiple gold intercepts downhole, including 3.1 g/t Au over 33.4m from 265.0 to 298.4m, with two higher-grade intervals grading 9.6 g/t Au over 3.0m and 6.1 g/t Au over 6.1m.
The 2022 drill campaign will be bigger than last year’s and will initially focus on the high-grade gold discovery at North Fork. The broader plan is to continue expanding on the substantive zones of mineralization discovered during the previous two years of drilling.
The goal is to tighten up each of these zones, such as North Fork and Colorado SW, to deliver a new resource estimate.
The last resource estimate for Fondaway, from 2017, showed 409,000 oz indicated gold resources grading 6.18 g/t Au and 660,000 oz inferred grading 6.4 g/t Au, for a combined 1.1 million oz. Up to 80% of these ounces are within the Colorado, Paperweight and Halfmoon zones, with the remainder found in parallel veins or splays off the main veins.
Our reasons for believing a new resource estimate will improve substantially on the previous (2017) one, are as follows:
Getchell Gold has all the right things going for it that we like to see in a gold junior. The company has capable and experienced management, a relatively tight share structure of 95 million o/s, and it is fully funded for 2022 exploration with a recently completed $1.75 million non-brokered private placement.
Getchell has two drill programs happening simultaneously, giving investors plenty of catalyst-inducing news flow to get excited about once results start rolling in during the second half of the year.
At its Star property, two mineralized occurrences, Star Point and Star South, offer discovery potential, the goal being to outline suspected porphyry-style mineralization at depth, that Getchell thinks is the heat source for the multiple surface copper, gold and silver expressions.
Fondaway Canyon is all about building ounces into Getchell’s new resource estimate that suggests the possibility of a high-grade open pit.
In fact, Fondaway Canyon is one of the best “optionality” plays I’ve ever seen. By optionality I mean there are three mining probabilities: underground, open pit or both (at the same time). Getchell could chase the 2 to 10-gram material as an underground development and the deposit’s lower-grade material would be mined as an open pit – making Fondaway a very unusual Nevada gold mine. The high-grade underground mineralization could be mixed with the ‘lower’ grade open pit material. Most Nevada gold deposits are a gram per tonne or less. Fondaway Canyon has seven or eight different zones that are all carrying significant grades into a central mineralized area. That’s exciting, and makes this project truly special.
Consider: hole 16 has four totally separate mineralized intervals that all are delivering significant, meaningful potential economic values. At the top intercept you have the 2.1 grams over 14m, then you have 6.3 grams over 50m, below that there’s 5 grams over 6m, below that, lower in the hole, there’s another 33m intercept better than 3 grams. These grades are unheard of in a pit environment.
Remember, the focus has been on North Fork and Colorado SW, but Getchell still has Pack Rat, Hamburger Hill, Paperweight, Silica Ridge, South Mouth, and the Pediment area; all of these zones have the potential to deliver new ounces.
Indeed the blue-sky potential at Fondaway Canyon is wide open, everywhere. Add a lot of juicy drill targets at Star, and Getchell Gold looks to be, imo, one hell of a gold/copper play, that remains exceptionally undervalued by today’s market.
Getchell Gold Corp.
Shares Outstanding 95.5m
Market cap Cdn$36.7m
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