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Vol. 16, No. 9 Week of February 27, 2011
Providing coverage of Alaska and Northwest Canada's mineral industry

Mining News: Junior grabs another 50 Ryan properties

Ryan Gold vies to become one of Yukon’s largest holders of quartz claims; confirm significant gold anomaly at Ida Oro Property

Rose Ragsdale

For Mining News

Ryan Gold Corp., the junior created when Valdez Gold Corp. merged with Ryan Gold Inc. in December, said it has defined a significant gold-in-soil anomaly during initial exploration of its Ida Oro Property in Yukon Territory.

In mid-February, the company also reported signing a letter agreement to purchase 50 properties, comprising about 6,631 quartz claims located throughout the Yukon from Shawn Ryan and Wildwood Exploration Inc.

“Having acquired the Ida Oro and Fifty Mile projects from Ryan Gold Inc. last fall, we are extremely excited to move ahead with this acquisition,” said Ryan Gold CEO Michael Skead, who previously led Valdez Gold’s exploration of properties in Yukon and Alaska.

In the 2010 merger, Ryan Gold Inc. shareholders controlled more than 66 percent of the outstanding shares of the newly created company. In addition to Shawn Ryan and Cathy Wood, other larger shareholders in the combined company include Montreal-based Osisko with a 14.4 percent interest and Toronto junior Corona Gold Corp. with about an 8 percent stake.

Under terms of this latest agreement, Shawn Ryan will enter into an exclusive five-year employment agreement with Ryan Gold Corp. in which the prospector/entrepreneur will be appointed president of the company.

“Shawn is one of Canada’s most successful prospectors. His disciplined, scientific and ‘big-picture thinking’ approach is recognized as having led to the current gold rush in the Yukon, which surpasses the 1897-1899 Gold Rush,” Skead said.

The acquisition also will make Ryan Gold one of the largest landholders in the Yukon, with about 10 percent of all the territory’s quartz claims, and having access to ground-truth exploration soil sampling and trenching teams along with the team we are building, Ryan Gold will be able to quickly and effectively explore these highly prospective regional targets, according to Skead.

After years of prospecting, funding and managing their extensive claim holdings, Ryan said he and his partner and wife, Cathy Wood, “are very pleased that we will now be able to focus our exploration efforts exclusively with Ryan Gold. We are very excited by the transaction about to take place. We feel the management of Ryan Gold has a common vision with regards to their exploration approach and a highly respected geological team. Ryan Gold has the ability to fund a sustained and systematic exploration on properties in the new Yukon gold rush.”

Separately, Ryan Gold reported hiring Ian Gendall as vice president-exploration. Gendall spent 22 years working on projects in South Africa and South America and is credited with leading exploration teams to gold and porphyry copper discoveries in Ecuador and Brazil. His former employers including Gencor, BHP Billiton, Anglo American plc, Chapleau Resources Ltd. and Magellan Minerals Ltd.

A graduate of Rhodes University in South Africa with a master’s degree in exploration geology, Gendall will be responsible for designing, implementing and coordinating Ryan Gold’s systematic and aggressive exploration program in the Yukon and Alaska.

Exploration identifies intrusive bodies

Ryan Gold Jan. 28 said a soil geochemistry survey on Ida Oro conducted in August confirmed a strong central gold-in-soil anomaly (>150 parts-per-billion gold) extending for 4 kilometers, or 2.5 miles, in a north-south direction and about 1 kilometer, or 0.62 mile, in an east-west orientation. The soil sampling also shows well-defined coincident arsenic, antimony, mercury and copper anomalies. This gold-in-soil anomaly also coincides with a magnetic low (magnetic signal) within the main magnetic body, as defined by helicopter-borne geophysics.

The Ida Oro project is located about 90 kilometers, or 56 miles, east of Dawson City in the Dawson Mining District, and 25 kilometers, or 16 miles, east of the Brewery Creek Mine Property, currently being explored for new economic gold deposits by Golden Predator Corp.

A total of 5,490 grid auger soil samples were collected by Ground Truth Exploration Ltd. of Dawson City, Yukon. The attached figure shows the compilation of gold in soils for 6,705 samples (1,215 samples collected in earlier campaigns) collected at a 50-meter sample spacing along 100-meter-spaced lines.

The exploration program also included a detailed helicopter-borne magnetic and radiometric survey. The helicopter borne survey was conducted by Canadian Mining Geophysics. Flight lines were flown at 100-meter spacing, and totaled 1,170 kilometers oriented north-south with 128.8 kilometers of tie lines spaced at 1,000 meters oriented east-west. The survey identified three intrusive bodies, one large and two smaller bodies located northwest of the larger intrusion.

The soil samples were collected using handheld augers by Ground Truth and were processed by Acme Analytical Laboratories Ltd. using sample preparation and analysis in Whitehorse, and Vancouver, B.C. laboratories, respectively.

In November, Ryan Gold staked an additional 2,192 claims around the initial Ida Oro claim block, bringing total claims staked by the junior in the Ida Oro area to 2,461.

Deal encompasses range of properties

The claims that Ryan Gold has agreed to acquire from Ryan and Wildwood Exploration cover 134,174 hectares, or about 518 square miles, and are grouped in 11 major project areas spanning various prospective geological terrains throughout the territory. The properties represent all of Shawn Ryan’s precious metal interests that are not currently part of joint ventures with Ryan Gold or third-party companies.

Under the agreement, consideration payable to the vendors includes: cash consideration of C$7.5 million payable in three installments – C$2.5 million on closing, C$2.5 million on the first anniversary of closing and C$2.5 million on the second anniversary of closing; share consideration of 7.5 million common shares of Ryan Gold issuable on closing; a 1 percent net smelter return royalty on all the Yukon properties; potentially a series of bonus payments of C$750,000 on any project area triggered at the following exploration expenditure levels:  C$7.5 million, C$15 million and C$25 million for a maximum amount per property of C$2.25 million.  The bonus payments can be made in cash or common shares of Ryan Gold at Ryan Gold’s discretion.

Completion of the transaction is subject to various conditions including the signing of a definitive agreement and gaining regulatory and third-party approvals.

The properties being acquired in the deal range from grassroots exploration targets, where ridge and spur soil geochemical sampling has identified exciting targets for more detailed follow-up exploration, to more advanced exploration targets where grid soil geochemical sampling, mapping, geophysical surveys and very limited drilling campaigns have been conducted. The more advanced projects include the Nug and Mahtin projects located in the Ross River and Mayo areas, respectively.



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