Picture of Nevada King Gold's Atlanta property

The Drill Down: Best Gold Assays (Feb. 2-9)

The Northern Miner‘s Henry Lazenby highlighted the top gold assays from Feb. 2-9. Drill holes are ranked by gold grade x width, as identified by Mining Intelligence.

The United States and Mexico delivered the week’s best drill assays, with Nevada King Gold (TSXV: NKG) leading the rankings with its Atlanta project in Nevada. Orla Mining (TSX: OLA; NYSE: ORLA) followed with the final sulphide drill results of 2023 from the Camino Rojo mine in Mexico, and Freegold Ventures (TSX: FVL) came in third with its Golden Summit project near Fairbanks, Alaska.

Atlanta in Nevada

Nevada King Gold on Feb. 6 reported that reverse-circulation hole AT23NS-174 returned 68.6 metres grading 6.9 grams gold per tonne from 117.4 metres depth, for a width x grade value of 473.

The results are from holes along updated Section 22-8N(3), initially released on Feb. 1, 2023, and updated on Oct. 30, 2023. The company says true mineralized thicknesses are yet to be determined for some holes, while for others, they are estimated to be 90-100% of the reported intercept length.

Follow-up holes cut high-grade mineralization, including 75 metres at 4.9 grams gold, following a very high-grade intercept from previous drilling.

These results confirm the presence of a high-angle west-dipping high-grade vein-like structure within a hydrothermal breccia zone, suggesting a significant vertical extent to the very high-grade zone characterized by a vuggy, strongly silicified breccia, according to the company.

The results support Nevada King’s new geological model, confirming a high-angle feeder structure. This new understanding will guide further exploration and the pursuit of potential high-grade zones throughout the deposit.

Results from the three vertical holes filled gaps in the current drill pattern and intercepted notable gold grades, contributing to the overall understanding of the deposit’s geology.

Camino Rojo in Mexico

Orla Mining reported the week’s second-best drill intercept in diamond hole CRSX23-28B, which cut 138.6 metres grading 3.21 grams gold per tonne from 701 metres depth for a width x grade value of 445.

On Feb. 7, Orla reported that the final results from the 2023 drill program at Camino Rojo comprise sulphide infill results and extension drilling.

In 2023, the company completed 37,677 metres of drilling across 56 drill holes as part of its Camino Rojo Sulphide drill program. This included a 52- hole, 35,070-metre infill program aimed at refining the geometry and extent of higher-grade components of the deposit.

The Feb. 7 update also highlighted other results from the same hole, including segments with much higher grades, such as 8.7 metres at 9.15 grams gold and 1.5 metres at 20.9 grams gold. Other highlighted drill results demonstrate similarly high grades of gold over significant widths, indicating the presence of extensive and high-grade mineralization within the deposit.

Orla has also started exploration beneath the current open pit resource boundaries, known as the ‘Camino Rojo Extension.’ This exploration has discovered a new polymetallic massive sulphide replacement mineralization style within limestone-rich formations, signalling the potential for expanding the known mineral resource. Initial results from this extension are expected soon.

The company’s Senior Vice President of Exploration, Sylvain Guerard, said in the news release the refined understanding of the deposit’s higher-grade zones and the exciting discovery under the Caracol formation are expected to influence future development planning and exploration efforts for the rest of the year.

Looking ahead, Orla plans to continue its exploration momentum, focusing on the Camino Rojo Sulphides and the Camino Rojo Extension.

A 30,000-metre drill program is slated for this year to test further and expand the deposit’s potential. Further, alongside ongoing metallurgy evaluation, a preliminary underground resource estimate for the Camino Rojo Sulphides is expected in the second half of 2024.

Camino Rojo hosts measured and indicated oxide resources of 84.4 million tonnes grading 0.72 grams gold for about 2 million oz. metal, and the sulphides portion holds 258.8 million tonnes at 0.88 grams gold for 7.3 million oz. of metal.

Golden Summit in Alaska

On Feb. 7, Freegold Ventures reported that hole GS2335 at the Golden Summit project  returned 414.5 metres grading 0.8 grams gold per tonne for a width x grade value of 332.

The results cut higher-grade gold mineralization in western expansion drilling past the Willow Creek deposit. Holes GS2332 and GS2335, located just west of Willow Creek, reported broad zones exceeding the resource grade, with GS2335 showing promising results near the surface. GS2334, drilled southwards, diverged from the primary northern drilling direction, yet it still encountered significant gold grades.

The company says these results prove the potential for resource expansion to the west along a 1.5-km-long gold-in-soil geochemical anomaly and at shallower depths.

The 2023 drilling efforts have consistently found significant mineralization, including broad zones of higher-grade gold. Notably, hole GS2333, positioned 250 metres west of the main Dolphin area, revealed several impressive grades over substantial widths, indicating the mineralization remains open in several directions.

Using a metal price of US$1,792 per oz. and a cut-off grade of 0.45 grams gold, Golden Summit hosts primary pit-constrained ore of 407.5 million indicated tonnes grading 0.92 gram gold for 12 million oz. gold, and an inferred resource of 282.3 million tonnes grading 0.85 grams gold for 7.7 million oz. of metal.

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