In its quest to become a self-funded gold mining company, Golden Predator Royalty & Development Corp. is making major changes this year and mounting an unprecedented exploration offensive in Yukon Territory during the 2010 summer field season.
The Vancouver, B.C.-based junior unveiled a name change May 21 and the appointment of a new vice president of exploration for its Canadian assets.
Golden Predator said it would become “Golden Predator Corp.,” effective May 25. The company said the name change was made to reflect its mandate of establishing a self-funded gold company focused on Yukon Territory. Its common shares and trading warrants will continue to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols GPD and GPD.WT.
Golden Predator also said Corwin Coe, a 30-year mining industry veteran, will lead its exploration team in Yukon Territory as its vice president, exploration (Canada.)
A seasoned Yukon explorationist, Coe joined Golden Predator in 2010 having most recently served as vice president or exploration for Northern Freegold Resources Ltd. During that stint, he played an integral role in delineation of a (greater than) 1-million-ounce gold deposit at Northern Freegold’s Freegold Mountain property in Yukon.
Aggressive Yukon explorationGolden Predator released details April 29 of phase 1 of a multi-phased 2010 Yukon exploration program that calls for extensive drilling on five projects.
The aggressive program is part of the junior’s goal of becoming an independent major player in Yukon’s gold mining sector.
“Everything we do is toward furthering our objectives in the Yukon,” Golden Predator Chairman and CEO William M. Sheriff told investors at a Yukon Mining Alliance forum in New York April 22. “I believe Yukon Territory is the No. 1 jurisdiction on earth.”
Despite this, Sheriff said the territory is in its infancy in modern exploration and development unlike other popular jurisdictions which are much more mature. Yukon, in addition, will be leading the First World in permitting time, he added.
Sheriff said the company is so impressed with its Yukon projects that it is shifting US$1 million out of its Nevada budget to invest in Yukon exploration. He also said the company expects to be fully self-funded within the next 12 to 15 months.
Sheriff said Golden Predator’s 2010 exploration plans call for spending US$1 million each on drilling at five Yukon projects. Phase I will include a total of 20,000 meters of reverse circulation and diamond drilling at the Gold Dome, Clear Creek and Brewery Creek projects and an additional 5,000 meters of RC drilling at the Eureka and Antimony projects.
“We are bringing RC drilling to the Yukon,” Sheriff said. “We will probably get six to seven times the effectiveness for every dollar we’re putting into the ground.
Between the five projects, he said Golden Predator plans to drill a total of 400 holes in Yukon Territory this year. “If we were doing core holes, we would be doing good to get 100 holes,” he said.
The company also is working to launch Silver Predator Mines Inc., a new junior that will focus on exploring and developing commercially viable silver resources in Yukon Territory and Nevada.
“We look to get Silver Predator publicly traded in June,” Sheriff said.
Yukon exploration will be focused on specific targets generated from data acquired during the company’s 2009 drilling programs, historical data on the properties acquired by the company late last year and the interpretation of new geological and geophysical data.
Drilling is anticipated to begin at Gold Dome, Eureka and Brewery Creek June 1, and at Clear Creek and Antimony Mountain June 15 and July 1, respectively.
Gold DomeGolden Predator said its phase 1 program at Gold Dome will be the largest exploration program ever undertaken on the property.
The Gold Dome property comprises 508 claims covering about 10,500 hectares, or 25,935 acres, and hosts one of the largest gold-in-soil anomalies in Yukon Territory.
Though it was discovered 35 years ago and has a 30-square-kilometer gold bismuth anomaly at the headwaters of a major placer district with continuous production since 1906, Sheriff said no known source of the placer gold has ever been mined.
The property, which is road accessible year-round, is located within the Mayo Mining District about 25 kilometers, or 16 miles, northwest of Mayo in central Yukon and within 20 kilometers, or 12 miles, of existing hydroelectric power.
All 60 holes drilled on the property have found gold mineralization, Sheriff said.
Previous exploration identified 14 target zones, of which three (Tom, Toby and Hawthorne), were drilled by Golden Predator during the 2009 field season with promising results.
Drilling highlights from the Tom zone include 10.87 grams per metric ton gold over 1.98 meters from hole GD09-004; 2.56 g/t gold over 9.58 meters from hole GD09-005; 2.56 g/t gold over 9.58 meters from hole GD09-005, and 11.12 g/t gold over 25.40 meters from hole GD09-007.
Highlights of drilling in the Hawthorne zone include 3.79 g/t gold over 2.15 meters from hole GD09-012 and 5.17 g/t gold over 2.52 meters from hole GD09-015.
In addition to a minimum of 9,000 meters of reverse circulation drilling this field season, the company plans to target soil anomalies in previously untested areas of the property, following up mineralization previously identified in the Rudolph Creek-Aorta and Heon zones; complete 1,500 meters of diamond drilling targeting extensions of mineralization previously identified at the Tom zone; and follow up of mineralization identified in other areas of the property during the RC program.
The explorer said it also plans to use oriented HQ core during this program to determine the orientation and attitude of mineralization and aid in structural interpretations; and re-open and remap the Toby zone trenches to gain a better understanding of the potential controls and orientation on gold mineralization in the area, to be followed up with additional RC and/or diamond drilling.
Eureka ProjectThe Eureka property, located about 90 kilometers, or 56 miles, south of Dawson City, consists of 349 contiguous mineral claims within the White Gold area of the Dawson Range. The property is located at the headwaters of an important placer producing area. Access to the property is via the 90-kilometer, or 56-mile, seasonally maintained Hunter Creek-South Klondike road system.
Previous explorers identified three (Allen, Wealth and Childs) showings, which host gold-bearing quartz breccias and veins within extensive gold-in-soil anomalies. Limited RC drilling on the Wealth and Childs showings returned best results of 2.34 g/t gold over 3.05 meters
Golden Predator said its phase 1 program at Eureka will include a minimum 3,500 meters of RC drilling designed to test moderate to strong gold-in-soil geochemical values from a recently identified 6-kilometer-long by up to 2-kilometer-wide, (3.72-mile-long by 1.24-mile-wide ) anomaly and down dip extensions of mineralized drill-intercepts identified by previous explorers at the Childs and Wealth showings.
Golden Predator is earning a 100 percent interest in the Eureka Property, subject to certain underlying royalties.
Clear CreekAt Clear Creek, Golden Predator’s phase 1 2010 program includes 1,000 meters of oriented HQ-diameter diamond drilling on the Bear Paw breccia zone where the company plans to twin a select number of Redstar’s holes in order to determine the orientation of previously identified mineralization at Bear Paw; and drill five north-south directed holes to test a geological model that mineralization may be following an east-west trend.
The Clear Creek property comprises 132 quartz claims located in an active placer mining area that has reported production in excess of 129,000 ounces of gold. Access to the property, located about 65 kilometers, or 46 miles, from the Golden Predator’s Brewery Creek project, is by a seasonally-maintained government gravel road from the Klondike Highway.
Anomalous gold values in soil and rock on the property are associated with mid-Cretaceous aged Tombstone plutonic suite granitic stocks and the Bear Paw breccia zone. Previously identified mineralization is associated with sheeted veins in and around the stocks and hydrothermal breccias, which are spatially, and possibly temporally, related to the intrusive rocks. Redstar Resources drilled 11 holes on the Bear Paw zone between 1999 and 2000 and returned a best result of 2.3 g/t gold over 31.8 meters in ole BP00-10.
Upon completion of the diamond phase of the program, Golden Predator said it will follow up at Clear Creek with a minimum 3,500-meter RC drilling program on a grid across the established mineralization trend of the Bear Paw hydrothermal breccia. Pending the results of this drilling, other underexplored low-grade bulk tonnage targets on the property also may be tested with the RC rig. Golden Predator is earning a 100 percent interest in the Clear Creek property, subject to certain underlying royalties as described in the company’s financial statements.
Brewery CreekAt Brewery Creek, Golden Predator plans a minimum of 5,000 meters of RC drilling in its phase 1 program, including extending the oxide deposits at the East and West Big Rock and Bohemian zones, and 1,000 meters of diamond drilling along the Reserve Trend to test deeper sulfide-hosted gold targets.
Sheriff said the company spent about one-third of its budget on drilling to expand the oxide deposit and the remaining two-thirds to drill deeper. He said there is 6 kilometers between the existing resource and the next known deposit, and noted that 90 percent of previous drilling was less than 50 meters deep.
Brewery Creek, a past-producing heap-leach operation, comprises 793 quartz claims and leases located about 55 kilometers, or 34 miles, east of Dawson City. Between 1996 and 2002 the Brewery Creek Mine produced more than 275,000 ounces of gold from seven near-surface oxide deposits along the 7 kilometer, or 4 mile, Reserve Trend. Five near-surface drill-indicated and inferred deposits (South Fosters, Bohemian, West Big Rock, East Big Rock and North Slope zones) remain outside of the mined areas.
Golden Predator’s 2009 exploration program at Brewery Creek included a total of 5,011 meters of diamond drilling in 30 holes. The first phase of the program focused on identifying and testing possible sulphide feeder zones to the Pacific and Blue pits and following up on deep mineralization identified in 1996 in the North Slope area. A late season program of 17 holes targeted extensions to the oxide resource that remains in the unmined Lower Fosters zone. Significant highlights of the 2009 program include: 3.20 g/t gold over 4.70 meters from hole BC09-133 in the Pacific zone; 4.72 g/t gold over 9.71 meters including 6.86 g/t gold over 4.26 meters from hole BC09-139 in the North Slope zone; 4.06 g/t gold over 8.81 meters including 7.81 g/t gold over 2.81 meters from hole BC09-142 in the Blue zone; and 6.07 g/t gold over 8.30 meters including 16.42 g/t gold over 3.05 meters from hole BC09-147 in the South Fosters zone.
The company is earning a 75 percent interest in the Brewery Creek project, subject to certain underlying royalties.
Antimony ProjectThe focus of Golden Predator’s 2010 phase 1 exploration program at Antimony is the Golden Wall target, which represents a bulk-tonnage target adjacent to the stock.
The Antimony project consists of 478 quartz claims located in the Ogilvie Mountains about 65 kilometers, or 34 miles, northeast of Dawson City. Previous explorers, utilizing geochemical sampling and detailed aeromagnetic surveys over the property, identified several areas with the potential to host intrusion related gold deposits similar to those hosted elsewhere within the Tintina gold belt, including the Pogo and Fort Knox mines in Alaska and the Dublin Gulch Deposit in Yukon.
Exploration during 2009 focused on the AJ vein, a local, high-grade expression of the broader scale hydrothermal system within the hornfelsed and skarn-altered zone around the Tombstone-age Antimony Mountain stock.
Highlights from 2009 drilling at Antimony include 12.45 g/t gold over 4.88 meters from hole AH09-0177 and 25.06 g/t gold over 3.15 meters from hole AJ09-0218.
2010 proposed exploration on the Golden Wall consists of two parts:
Detailed mapping of the area to identify the contacts of igneous intrusions thought to be related to gold mineralization and to determine the orientation of sedimentary rocks favorable for hosting mineralization, and
1,500 meters of RC drilling to test the Golden Wall target.
The company also said the drilling will utilize a heli-portable RC drill operating out of an air-supported field camp located on the property.
Golden Predator is earning a 100 percent interest in the Antimony Mountain Property, subject to certain underlying royalties.
Golden Predator also plans underground drilling and bulk sampling on its Adelaide project in Nevada with a gold project in Nevada. Further drilling is planned to potentially provide near-term production of small-tonnage high-grade ores. The company intends, through strategic use of modular mills, to become a gold producer in Nevada capable of funding its Yukon program. In addition, Golden Predator said it currently receives more than C$1 million per year from its royalty stream.