Fondaway Canyon is an advanced-stage gold property located in Churchill County, Nevada. Since gold was first discovered there in 1977, the project has been the subject of multiple exploration campaigns along a 3.5-kilometer east-west mineralized corridor (Figure 1), totaling over 700 reverse circulation and core drill holes, small-scale open pit mining of the oxidized zone at surface, and underground development for exploration and bulk sampling.
More recently, the first of three drill campaigns at Fondaway Canyon was undertaken by Canagold Resources, which published a resource estimate in 2017. It 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.
Since then, Getchell Gold has carried out two drill programs, one in 2020, the other in 2021. The aim is to significantly upgrade the 2017 resource estimate into a new RE, that will combine the drill results from all three drill programs, along with the assays from 2022 drilling at Fondaway Canyon. The National Instrument 43-101-compliant resource estimate is targeted for late September, of this year.
Two consecutive years of field work have resulted in significant discoveries, expanded gold zones and consistently successful drill results. Mineralization within the Central Area’s delineated envelope has been considerably expanded; to date, it ranges 600 meters E-W along strike, 800m down-dip to the SW, and is approximately 100m thick.
Within this envelope, substantial high-grade shear vein structures with significant depth extents contribute to the potential. The drilling has yet to test the full extent of the gold mineralization and the mineralization remains open in most directions.
“We have been and continue to be extremely successful in our drill programs and look forward to formally quantifying the mineralization defined to date,” says Getchell’s President Mike Sieb, in the June 23 news release. “I expect this is only the first such exercise as we continue to expand and delineate the extensive gold mineralizing system so readily evident at Fondaway Canyon.”
The company has engaged Apex Geoscience out of Edmonton, Alberta to conduct the new resource estimate. Privately owned and independent, the geological consulting company has wide-ranging Nevada Carlin-type gold experience, including the completion of multiple mineral resource estimates and preliminary economic assessments for various companies across the region.
The day after the news, June 24, GTCH bounced 11 cents, for a gain of 19.6%, on the Canadian Stock Exchange.
Exploration to date
During the 2021 drill program, 10 holes for a total of 3,874 meters were completed, all of which returned significant gold mineralization. These 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 in 2021, the best was hole FCG21-16, which targeted the North Fork Zone. Stationed on the canyon floor at the junction of Fondaway Canyon and North Fork, hole FCG21-16 was drilled steeply to the northeast as a step-out from three previously completed holes.
The hole encountered a gold interval grading 6.3 g/t Au over 50.7m, with a higher-grade core grading 10.4 g/t Au over 25.0m and 6.1 g/t Au over 6.1m. This stand-out intercept 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.
The first hole of the 2022 program, FCG22-17, was collared on the canyon floor on the same drill pad as hole FCG21-16. It was designed as a 25-meter step-out to the northwest, from the high-grade intercept encountered in FCG21-16. More follow-up drill holes are planned to bracket and expand upon the North Fork Zone mineralization.
Earlier this month Getchell released partial results from hole 17, which hit shallow mineralization starting at 66.1 meters downhole. Results were therefore received for the upper 119.5m. The intercept highlighted 5.4 grams per tonne gold over 51.9m, with a higher-grade interval featuring 17.7 g/t Au over 9.9m. Assays are pending for the remainder of the hole, to a depth of 348.7m.
“This is a spectacular start to the 2022 drill program especially with the discovery of high-grade gold mineralization lying shallow below the canyon floor,” said Getchell’s President Mike Sieb, in the June 15 news release. “The mineralizing system at Fondaway Canyon continues to impress and we wait with anticipation for what the year will bring.”
A second drill hole, FCG22-18, collared on the same pad as FCG22-17 and FCG22-16, was completed to 437.1m, with the bottom portion representing a 100m step out from the closest North Fork Zone drill intercept. This hole was designed to test the up-dip extent of the mineralization found in hole 16, and the extent of the zone to the northeast, where no drilling has been done. Assays are pending.
A compelling aspect of Fondaway Canyon is the open-pit/ high grade potential, as demonstrated by the 2021 drill results, and the results so far in 2022, starting with June 15th’s.
Our reasons for believing a new resource estimate will improve substantially on the previous (2017) one, are as follows:
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 ore 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.
The 2022 drill campaign is bigger than last year’s and initially focuses 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 last two years of drilling.
The company notes that additional drilling, both infill and extensional, will be required to further define and add to the gold mineralization model at Fondaway Canyon.
With two active drill rigs, one at Fondaway Canyon and the other at Getchell’s Star copper-gold-silver project, I’m expecting a steady flow of results throughout the second half.
Getchell Gold Corp.
Shares Outstanding 95.5m
Market cap Cdn$64.0m
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