VANCOUVER – After just 10 weeks of exploration at the Plateau South project it is starting to look like Goldstrike Resources (TSXV: GSR) made a good choice when it dropped 23 other Yukon gold properties to focus on its eight best projects, as Plateau South just returned high grade gold intercepts in a first-pass drill program.
Plateau South is a 30 km long property that lies south of the Hess River, in the southern Yukon. Goldstrike inked a deal for the ground in 2011 based on Yukon government silt sampling data and favourable geology. Plateau South was not the only Yukon ground that Goldstrike liked – that summer the company acquired no fewer than 31 Yukon properties.
After the 2012 field season, however, Goldstrike terminated its interests in 23 of its projects, retaining only the eight that showed the most promise.
In fact, the company did more than keep its Plateau area lands – it expanded its holdings in the area tenfold, to almost 400 km2. Those lands are now divided into three projects: Plateau South, Plateau North, and Plateau Northeast.
At Plateau South, Goldstrike's prospecting, sampling, and mapping have tracked a west-northwest striking gold corridor along 25 km of strike. Grab samples from this corridor, which Goldstrike has dubbed the Yellow Giant, have returned grades as high as 530 g/t Au. The Yellow Giant trend parallels the Hess River, which is considered a significant regional structural break similar to those associated with gold deposits in other parts of the Yukon.
Within the Yellow Giant trend there are three areas where regional scale deformation related to intersecting northwest and northeast structures created room for large volumes of quartz and albite to invade the volcanic host rocks. That is a perfect scenario for gold mineralization, and the results of a first-pass drill program suggest gold did indeed come along for the ride.
Goldstrike got its strongest confirmation of that fact in its last hole of the season. Drilled into the Goldstack zone, hole GS-04 cut 53 metres grading 2.28 g/t Au, starting 8 metres down hole and including 10 metres of 10.91 g/t Au.
Three other holes drilled into Goldstack also encountered gold. Hole GS-1 cut 19 metres of 1.14 g/t Au followed by 10 metres of 1.55 g/t Au and then 1.2 metres of 4.27 g/t Au, all within 51 metres of surface. Hole GS-2 returned 10 metres grading 1.43 g/t Au from 4 metres depth and hole GS-3 intercepted 7 metres of 0.48 g/t Au.
Goldstack was in fact the first place at Plateau South where Goldstrike discovered gold. It was an obvious place to look for the yellow metal: an area of extensive quartz veining, stockwork, and brecciation. Three channel samples cut across the strike of the zone returned an average grade of 14.25 g/t Au over 2.4 metres.
Before drilling at Goldstack, Goldstrike had drill tested two other targets along the Yellow Giant trend. The VG zone, at the east end of the Yellow Giant trend, is a flat-topped ridge with outcropping gold mineralization over an area 2 km long and 150 metres wide. Goldstrike punched eight holes into the VG zone; hole 3, collared in gold mineralized felsenmeer, returned 9 metres grading 7.6 g/t Au starting 4.6 metres down hole.
The company says the hit came from the "eroded top of a blind, high grade gold mineralized shoot" that plunges to the southeast, aligned with the hinge of a large scale anticline fold exposed in a cliff face just to the northwest. The other seven holes drilled into VG returned short gold intercepts, such as 1.9 metres of 0.6 g/t Au, 0.4 metre of 21.62 g/t Au, and 0.6 metre of 2.58 g/t Au.
Goldstrike also stressed that it identified several other targets near VG over the summer. Grab samples containing visible gold from these discoveries returned such grades as 351 g/t Au, 318 g/t Au, and 158 g/t Au. Goldstrike says these discoveries "show that there is a strong possibility of discovering additional gold mineralized shoots in the area."
The third Plateau South zone that saw drilling this summer was Goldbank, an 11 km long zone near the middle of the property. At Goldbank a large area of silicification is apparent where northeast trending structures intersect felsic volcanics. Goldstrike says the resulting folded, strongly silicified felsic volcanic layers are so large and continuous that they are recognizable even in satellite imagery, and high grade gold mineralization has been identified in outcrop over the zone's entire 11 km strike and across its 600 metres width.
Goldstrike drilled just four holes at Goldbank, aimed at two targets where high grade gold was found in outcrop. All four returned short, low grade gold hits with considerable arsenic. Goldstrike believes the intercepts came from disseminated haloes around gold-mineralized shoots. Gold-arsenic haloes of this sort are evident at VG and Goldstack. Since Goldbank bears extensive outcropping gold mineralization and hosts numerous fold hinges identified through surface mapping and geophysics, Goldstrike believes there is good potential to find mineralized structures at Goldbank.
That will have to wait until next season, however, as Goldstrike is finished exploring for this season.
Goldstrike holds an option to earn a 100% interest in Plateau South subject to a 3% net smelter returns royalty, 2% of which can be purchased for $1 million.
News of the drill results from Plateau South did not help Goldstrike's share price, which lost 6.5¢ on the day to close at 12.5¢, a new 52-week low. In late September last year GSR shares were worth 81¢. Goldstrike has 70 million shares outstanding.
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