YUKON - The climates of the Yukon and South Africa are vastly different, but the two locales may have Witwatersrand-style gold deposits in common, thinks BOULDER MINING of Vancouver and its partner WESTERN PROSPECTOR GROUP. They have staked a total of five separate blocks covering about 240 km in the Indian River area to test for such a target hosted by quartz pebble conglomerate.
South of Indian River, where the claims were staked, a 500-metre-thick gold-bearing sedimentary unit hosts the quartz pebble conglomerate and also contains interbedded sandstone, siltstone and coal, according to Boulder's press release. This unit remains in place because the erosional level isn't as deep and hence there is the potential for finding gold deposits in the conglomerate itself. The regional extent of the conglomerate unit would enhance the possibility of a very large gold deposit. These conglomerates are interpreted as braided river and alluvial fan-delta deposits and are not unlike the Witwatersrand goldfields in South Africa.
The conglomerates consist predominantly of well-rounded pebbles and cobbles of vein quartz, quartzite and schist that are lithologically similar to the White Channel gravels in the Klondike district. To date, testing has found that very fine gold (0.125-0.25 mm) is disseminated in the conglomerates of the upper quartzose unit exposed along McKinnon Creek, in a number of locations along the Indian River valley west of McKinnon Creek and in the Diversion Creek area draining into Ruby Creek. Gold occurs in the matrix between the quartzose clasts and so far has not been restricted to any horizon. The gold appears to be disseminated throughout the conglomerates. Future work will be dedicated to finding ore-grade horizons within this thick conglomerate-bearing package.
As per the location plan posted on Boulder's web site (www.BoulderMining.com), the largest claim block, the Fen/Cobble, is part of the original Boulder-Western Prospector joint venture wherein Boulder has the right to earn a 70% interest. The other four groups are owned jointly by both companies at 50% each.