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The Drill Down: Best Gold Assays (May 10-17)

The Northern Miner’s Henry Lazenby highlights the best gold assays of the past week, May 10-17. Drill holes are ranked by gold grade x width as identified using the Mining Intelligence platform.

Explorers active in Finland and the United States led this week’s ranking of top gold assays. Rupert Resources (TSXV: RUP) reported among its best intercepts yet at the Rupert Lapland-Ikkari gold project in Finland. In the U.S., i-80 Gold (TSX: IAU) confirmed high-grade gold over substantial widths at the Granite Creek underground project in Nevada. And Dateline Resources (ASX: DTR) said infill drilling at the Colosseum gold-rare earths project in California had confirmed a consistent ore distribution.

Rupert Lapland Ikkari in Finland

Hole 124043 at Rupert Resources’ project in Lapland cut 120 metres at 6.2 grams gold per tonne from 45 metres depth, for a width x grade value of 744.

This intercept is the third-best achieved at Ikkari. Combined, all three of its intercepts make hole 124043 the second-highest yielding drill hole of all time at Ikkari, with a total width x grade of 1,028.

The project, about 900 km north of Helsinki, could produce 200,000 oz. of gold a year through a potential open pit mine, according to a November 2022 preliminary economic assessment.

Intense veining and foliation overprinted by stockwork-like irregular veins characterize the main mineralized zone, with gold mainly hosted by disseminated and vein-related pyrite.

The drill results confirm the robust nature of the Ikkari resource, which will likely feature a low strip ratio during the early years of mining.

Rupert Resources is targeting a prefeasibility study later this year.

Granite Creek in Nevada

I-80 Gold reported the week’s second-best assay, with hole GCPU24-02 cutting 28.9 metres at 22 grams gold per tonne from 200.9 metres depth for a width x grade value of 636.

The May 14 result was part of a batch of seven new holes drilled in the underground campaign, focusing on defining mineralization within the South Pacific Zone (SPZ) at Granite Creek. Located just north of the current mine workings, the zone is expected to become the main mining area.

The main decline is also being extended to access the SPZ, and the company expects to start the initial stopes here by mid-summer.

The underground drill program targets the southern and upper parts of the deposit, where mining is to start. The results show high-grade mineralization continuity, with some of the best to date in the SPZ, i-80 said.

The company is ramping up a large-scale surface drill program to further define and expand the SPZ before updating the resource and completing a feasibility study expected before year-end. Four drill rigs will be used for the ongoing 30,000-metre program.

Granite Creek is near Nevada Gold Mines’ Turquoise Ridge and Twin Creeks mines, at the intersection of the Battle Mountain-Eureka Trend and the Getchell gold belt. High-grade mineralization occurs in a similar geological setting to the multi-million-ounce Turquoise Ridge mine, near a major regional fault on the eastern edge of the Osgood Mountains intrusive complex. The Granite Creek deposit remains open at depth and along the strike.

Colosseum in CaliforNIA

Dateline Resources’ hole CM24-16 at its Colosseum project returned the week’s third best assay results. The hole cut 104.7 metres grading 3.65 grams gold per tonne from 77.2 metres underground, for a width x grade value of 382.

The main takeaway for the company is that the drilling confirmed consistent gold grades in a broad zone.

Dateline is completing infill and extensional drilling in the south pit.

It first reported results from diamond-drill hole CM24-16 in April, with 88 metres at 4.18 grams gold per tonne on the northern side of the breccia pipe. The company extended the hole to pass through the sedimentary breccia, resulting in last week’s updated intersection.

Dateline is planning a resource update next month. The results from CM24-16 will be included. Results from reverse-circulation drilling will be incorporated later this year.

Dateline, which acquired Colosseum in 2021 from Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD), is applying new software to interpret induced-polarization and magnetic geophysical surveys done in the 1980s by Amselco, a unit of BP that owned the mine. The data will create 3-D images up to 200 metres deep.

Colosseum holds a global resource of 20.9 million tonnes grading 1.2 grams gold for 813,000 oz. gold, according to a July 2022 technical report. It breaks down to 6.9 million tonnes measured for 258,000 oz. at 1.2 grams gold, 322,000 oz. at 1.2 grams indicated and 235,000 oz. at 1.3 grams gold inferred.

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