Located a 30-minute drive from the city of Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska (population of the greater Fairbanks area is approximately 100,000). Fairbanks serves as a major population and supply center for the interior region of Alaska. The Golden Summit project is a large bulk tonnage gold project with significant room for expansion.
The subject of an extensive drilling campaign during 2011 – 2013, and a subsequent PEA in 2016, exploration recommenced in February 2020. Although the bulk of the current resource is hosted by the Dolphin intrusive, extent of the Dolphin intrusive is not yet known. Dolphin is the likely driver of the mineralization found in the Cleary Hill area, which are found within the permissive pathways of schist and effectively form vein swarms. The Dolphin Cleary area currently covers an area of 1400 metres x 500 metres.
In 2019, following an extensive data review of past drilling and in conjunction with the resource model and block model level plans, Freegold identified what it believed to be the potential for a higher-grade corridor of mineralization extending from the area of the old Cleary Hill mine workings towards the Dolphin Intrusive. Based on this interpretation a drill program was initiated on the project in February 2020.
Hole GSDL2001 was the initial test of this hypothesis and returned 188 metres grading 3.69 g/t Au. A second hole GSDL2002 was completed to a depth of only 165m before drilling was shutdown as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. Hole GSDL2001 encountered the expected veins, veinlets and stockwork zone within areas of intense silification. These results further confirmed Freegold’s interpretation of a robust vein swarm system. Drilling resumed on the project in June of 2020. Results from this phase of the program through until mid-December continue to validate this exploration hypothesis, with areas of higher grade and demonstrate the potential to significantly expand the existing resource.
Photos from Hole GSDL2001:
Collared in the immediate footwall of the Dolphin intrusive.
Intense silification and veining throughout a broad zone.
By December of 2020, a total of 18 holes were drilled. Assays have now been received for 10 of the holes completed in 2020.
In February 2021, drilling recommenced at Golden Summit. Emphasis will be on continuing to delineate zones of higher-grade mineralization consistent with Freegold’s interpretation, in particular the area to the north of the Dolphin intrusive. In addition, drilling will also be directed to the south of the Cleary Hill mine workings where older workings included the Colorado, Wackwitz, and Wyoming vein zones which have never been tested to depth or along strike to the east. Past drilling in the Cleary Hill area has been largely shallow in nature and it is interpreted that the Dolphin intrusive likely underlies the Cleary Hill area at depth.
Approximately 80 holes (assuming an average hole depth of 500 metres are expected to be drilled during 2021).
Although some high-grade mineralization has been intercepted in the drilling, drilling is still too widely spaced to correlate one high grade intercept to the next and the orientation of these very high-grade intercepts remains unknown. Only much closer spaced drilling will permit this correlation to be done.
The current program has multiple objectives beyond expanding the existing resource and potentially increasing its grade but also to advance the project through pre-feasibility.
- Determining the orientation of the higher-grade mineralization successfully intercepted in GSDL2001, GSDL2002 and GSDL 2005.
- Expanding the currently known resource and upgrading the resource categories as part of the efforts to further advance the project through pre-feasibility, including additional environmental baseline studies, further metallurgical test work, and cultural resource studies.
Testing other targets on the project that may have potential to host additional resources and host other buried intrusives throughout the project area. Ground geophysics and soil sampling has been conducted on these areas and further drilling is planned to test these other potential areas.
Previous Work at Golden Summit
Freegold acquired an interest in Golden Summit in mid-1991 and conducted exploration including geologic mapping, soil sampling, trenching, rock sampling, geophysical surveys, core, reverse circulation, and rotary air blast drilling on the project. Drilling completed by Freegold on the Project between 1991 and 2009 totaled 26,902 metres of core and reverse circulation drilling in 214 holes and 26,640 metres of rotary air blast drilling in 2,028 holes before a comprehensive property compilation was completed in 2010. This compilation identified the potential to delineate a resource in the Dolphin area. A ground-based geophysical survey on the Dolphin area was also undertaken which indicated that the alteration in the Dolphin Area is well defined by a low resistivity feature. This resistivity survey in conjunction with soil geochemistry and re-interpretation of previous drill results, provided the guidance for resource definition and expansion in the Dolphin area. In 2011 exploration focused on resource definition commenced.
Access to Golden Summit
Timeline of Resource Delineation at Golden Summit
- 1st NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource was calculated using previous drilling completed in the Dolphin area (77 drill holes 11,802m.) Using a 0.3 g/t cut-off grade, indicated mineral resources totalling 7,790,000 tonnes grading 0.695 g/t (174,000 ounces) and Inferred mineral resources totaling 27,010,000 tonnes grading 0.606 g/t (526,000 ounces) were estimated.
- 29 core holes (6,329.5 meters) in the Dolphin area and 18 core holes (3,509.9 metres) in the Cleary Hill area were drilled.
- Updated NI 43-101 was released in December using a 0.3 g/t cut-off resulted in an increase in the Indicated mineral resource category to 17,270,000 tonnes at 0.62 g/t (341,000 contained ounces) and 64,440,000 tonnes at 0.55 g/t (1,135,000 contained ounces) in the Inferred mineral resource category.
- A further 55 core holes were drilled (16,602.6 meters).
- October 2012, an updated NI 43-101 resource expanded the Dolphin Resource to encompass the eastern portion of the Cleary Hill area. Using a 0.3 g/t cut-off the indicated mineral resource category increased to 73,580,000 tonnes at 0.67 g/t (1,576,000 contained ounces) and the inferred mineral resource category to 223,300,000 tonnes at 0.62 g/t (4,437,000 contained ounces).
- An additional thirteen core holes (5,138 meters) were drilled and an updated NI 43-101 compliant gold resource was calculated for the Dolphin/Cleary area based on the ten holes completed during the winter drill program, of which eight were incorporated into the Resource. Using a 0.3 g/t cut-off this resulted in an increase in the Indicated mineral resource category to 79,800,000 tonnes at 0.66 g/t (1,683,000 contained ounces) and 248,060,000 tonnes at 0.61 g/t (4,841,000 contained ounces) in the Inferred mineral resource category. Three additional holes were drilled after the updated resource was completed, and were not included in the mineral resource update.
- As part of the preliminary economic assessment (“PEA”) a conceptual open pit, based on $1300 Au, was produced by Tetra Tech. As a result only blocks falling within this pit were reported as a mineral resource using a 0.3 g/t cut-off.
Golden Summit Mineral Resource
(US $1300 - Pit Constrained)
Grade (g/t) Au
Current Indicated Mineral Resource
Current Inferred Mineral Resource
- In 2017 a total of 27 holes were drilled in an area north of the current resource area to determine if the current oxide resource could be expanded to the north as well as to establish boundaries to the current oxide resource. A series of vertical holes, spaced roughly 50 metres apart, were drilled to an average depth of 70 metres. The results of the 2017 program demonstrated the potential for expansion of the current oxide resource at Golden Summit with the majority of the holes returning average grades above the internal cut-off used in the Preliminary Economic Assessment completed in January 2016.
There are three main rock units found throughout the property in particular, Fairbanks Schist, Chatanika Terrane, and intrusive rocks. Both the Fairbanks Schist and Chatanika Terrane have been subjected to one or more periods of regional metamorphism. The intrusive bodies are post-metamorphism. Chatanika Terrane rocks lie structurally above the Fairbanks Schist and north of the Chatanika Thrust fault and comprise the northernmost portion of the property. Intrusive rocks are relatively minor on the Property, and are primarily represented by the Dolphin stock, although small granitic dikes are known in several locations. The Dolphin stock is located on the ridge between Bedrock and Willow Creek. Initial diamond core logging identified five intrusive phases within the Dolphin stock, including: 1) fine- to medium-grained, equigranular to weakly porphyritic biotite granodiorite; 2) fine- to medium-grained, equigranular to weakly porphyritic hornblende-biotite tonalite; 3) fine-grained biotite granite porphyry; 4) fine-grained biotite rhyolite to rhyodacite porphyry; and 5) rare fine-grained, chlorite-altered mafic dike.
Small dikes of granodiorite cutting tonalite have been observed in core, and altered granitic dikes cut both altered and unaltered granodiorite and tonalite. This suggests multiple phases of intrusion and hydrothermal alteration. Two radiometric age dates, including two sericite Ar40/Ar39 plateau age dates (McCoy, 1996), place some constraints on the timing of crystallization and mineralization. The sericite ages were obtained from two different samples representing two distinctly different styles of gold mineralization. One sample, from stockwork style mineralization, was 90.1 Ma. Another sample, from a sericite shear-zone, was 88.3 Ma. These ages are quite similar to ages from Fort Knox (86.3-88.2 Ma). Due to age and chemical similarities, most associate the Dolphin and Fort Knox intrusive rocks with widespread intrusive-related gold deposits in the Tintina Gold Belt.
There are three styles of gold occurrences that have identified on the Property, including: 1) intrusive-hosted sulfide disseminations and sulfide-quartz stockwork veinlets (such as the Dolphin gold deposit); 2) auriferous sulfide-quartz veins; and 3) shear-hosted gold-bearing veinlets. All three types are considered to be part of a large-scale intrusive-related gold system on the Property.
General geology of the Fairbanks Mining District, Alaska. Data from Newberry, and others, 1996 modified by Avalon Development, 2008, Freegold Ventures, 2021.
Metallurgical Test Work
Metallurgical testing for the Project was initiated in 2012 with bottle roll tests being performed on 10 different drill samples with a primary objective of obtaining a preliminary indication of the cyanide leaching characteristics of the oxide mineralogy within the deposit. This test work was performed by Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA). A second set of process test work started in 2013 and continued into 2014 on five different mineralogical composites. These tests were performed by SGS Canada Inc. (SGS). As part of this test work SGS received 279 drill core samples that were composited into five different rock types: oxide, transition, hornfels sulfide, intrusive sulfide, and schist sulfide. This test work primarily focused on investigation of various processing methods for the recovery of gold from sulfide materials. Additional bottle roll and column leach test work was performed later in 2014 to investigate grind sensitivities on four drill core composites of different mineralogy and to examine heap leach behavior in the oxide material. The different composites were designated as oxide, transition, intrusive sulfide, and hornfels sulfide. These composites were initially subjected to coarse bottle roll tests conducted at five different feed sizes.
One column leach test was performed on the crushed oxide composite to determine heap leaching characteristics of the material. These tests were performed by McClelland Laboratories, Inc with results received in January 2015. Gold extractions over 80% were achieved within 14 days on coarse crushed material (80% -25 mm). The column test was permitted to run for 65 days and final extractions were 85% for gold.
Further metallurgical test work to date has indicated that optimum treatment of the sulphide portion of the resource is by flotation of the sulphide followed by oxidation whereupon recoveries in excess of 90% are achieved.
PRELIMINARY ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT HIGHLIGHTS:
The following preliminary economic assessment analysis includes inferred mineral resources, which are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them, and are therefore not categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized.
Project cost estimates and economics are prepared on an annual basis. Based upon design criteria presented in the Tetra Tech Report, the level of accuracy of the estimate is considered ±35%.
NI 43-101 Technical Report Golden Summit Project. Preliminary Economic Assessment Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska USA, as amended and restated May 11, 2016.
A Two Phased Project:
Based on a gold price of US$1,300/oz, highlights of the Golden Summit Project PEA include:
- A post-tax NPV5% and IRR of $188 million and 19.6% respectively;
- A mine life of 24 years with peak annual gold production of 158,000 ounces and average annual gold production of 96,000 ounces;
- 2,358,000 ounces of doré produced over life of mine;
- Total cash cost estimated at US$842/oz Au (including royalties, refining and transport);
- Ability to execute Phase 1 with low initial capital; initial and sustaining capital costs, including contingency, estimated at $88 million and $348 million respectively;
- A payback of 3.3 years post-tax; and
- Favorable geopolitical climate; completion risk is offset through strong legislative and financial support at state and federal levels.
Net Present Value (0%)
Net Present Value (5%)
Source: NI 43-101 Technical Report Golden Summit Project. Preliminary Economic Assessment Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska USA, as amended and restated May 11, 2016
NPV @ 5%(Millions)
Drilling recommenced in February 2021 with three drill rigs and is expected to continue throughout 2021. Drilling is initially being focussed on the Cleary-Dolphin area, with 40,000 metres planned (approx. 80 holes). The program will continue to test Freegold’s hypothesis that there is potential for a higher-grade corridor of mineralization that may extend from the area of the old Cleary Hill workings towards the Dolphin intrusive. Infill drill to upgrade and expand the existing resource categories will also be undertaken as well as cultural resource and environmental baseline work aimed at advancing the project through pre-feasibility.