Gladiator Metals (TSXV:GLAD) has updated shareholders on the latest developments in its exploration activities at the Whitehorse Copper Project, a site with a history of copper production. The company’s recent efforts include compiling historical drilling data, conducting a LIDAR survey, and sampling in areas around the Arctic Chief mining pits.
Gladiator CEO, Jason Bontempo commented in a press release: “The Arctic Chief Trend continues to develop as a significant exploration opportunity with outcropping copper-gold skarn mineralization now mapped by Gladiator extending for at least 2.4km of strike and external to past historical operations. Previous successful exploitation of the Arctic Chief Trend was very limited in scope and depth, with only minor amounts of drilling being undertaken outside of the past production area. Mineralization remains open in all directions (along strike and at depth) at all of the defined prospect areas. Regional programs are still active in the Whitehorse Copper belt with the results of ongoing drone borne magnetics anticipated shortly”.
The focus of the current work is the Arctic Chief Trend, where historical records indicate past production of high-grade copper ore. Gladiator Metals has charted several prospective zones extending over a 2.4km strike. The trend contains two shallow historic open pits, named East and West, which previously yielded copper ore with significant gold content.
Historical records, as cited by a report from 1984, indicate that the Arctic Chief area produced over 200,000 tonnes of copper ore with grades of 1.4% copper and 1.0 g/t gold. Despite these figures, past mining efforts were confined and shallow, with minimal drilling beyond the mined zones, suggesting the presence of unexplored mineralization along strike and at depth.
Gladiator Metals’ review of historical drilling has uncovered indications of potential mineralization extending from the small excavations. Notably, the previous drill samples were tested only for copper, despite high-grade gold being present, as recent sample analysis showing gold values reaching up to 19.9 g/t. Future assays will now also test for gold, silver, and molybdenum, recognizing their historical contribution to the site’s value.
The company has retrieved drill records from the Yukon Geological Survey and incorporated them into a database, standard within the industry. Detailed historical drilling data and rock chip sampling results have been made available for public access.
On the regional exploration front, Gladiator Metals has identified over 30 new high-grade targets suitable for drilling. These sites are linked with copper-rich skarns along the boundary where the Cretaceous Whitehorse Plutonic Suite meets the clastic and carbonate metasediments of the Triassic to Jurassic Lewes River Group. This contact zone extends over 35km and is considered underexplored but highly promising for high-grade copper and other minerals.
Gladiator Metals’ exploration efforts are facilitated by the accessible nature of the Whitehorse project, which benefits from existing infrastructure and its proximity to the city of Whitehorse. The company also notes the advantage of having an established partnership with the project’s landholders and a local drilling service provider.
Highlights from the project are as follows:
Best Chance Prospect
Recently collated historic drilling (51 holes for 5,038 metres) none of which had been previously reported by the Company, highlight significant mineralization that remains unmined and extends over more than 250m with mineralization remaining open along strike and at depth. Downhole mineralization includes:
- BCH-024: 15.94m @ 3.19% Cu from 29.96m
- BCH-022: 16m @ 1.6% Cu from 25.15m
- BCH-029: 14.94m @ 1.75% Cu from 27.43m
- BCH-023: 46.27m @ 1.0% Cu from 24.38m
- BCH-010: 20.18m @ 1.5% Cu from 88.51m including 10.36m @ 2.56% Cu from 93.09m
- BCH-006: 51.66m @ 0.67% Cu from 12.13m
- BCH-037: 17.07m @ 1.5% Cu from 74.37m
In conjunction to the historic drill data compilation, Gladiator undertook reconnaissance, investigation and sampling of outcropping mineralization proximal to historic drilling. Sampling identified multiple zones of outcropping mineralization in the Best Chance prospect area with results including:
- Outcropping skarn mineralization 150m to the north of the drill area. Rock chips include:
- 8.12% Cu and 0.2g/t Au (H678262)
- 2.39% Cu (H678263 – No Au assay)
- Outcropping skarn mineralization 150m to the south of the drill area. Rock chips include:
- 3.15% Cu and 3.5g/t Au (H678352)
Undrilled high-grade copper and gold mineralization 400m to the NE of two small open cut mining pits located at Arctic Chief historic mining area defined by rock chipping with results including:
- 6.02% Cu and 0.3g/t Au (H678347)
- 3.86% Cu and 1g/t Au (H678349)
- 2.55% Cu and 0.1g/t Au (H678453)
Undrilled high-grade copper and gold mineralization defined by rock chipping around small, historic underground workings 200m to the West of the Best Chance prospect area with results including:
- 12% Cu and 4.4g/t Au (H678356)
- 4.09% Cu and 3.8g/t Au (H678310)
Empress of India Prospect
Undrilled high-grade copper and gold mineralization defined by rock chipping of multiple zones over more than 400m of strike with results including:
- 23.7% Cu and 0.1g/t Au (H678385)
- 13.4% Cu and 0.3g/t Au (H678332)
- 12.95% Cu and 0.1g/t Au (H678332)
Arctic Chief Prospect
The results above over the various prospects comprising the Arctic Chief trend are in addition to a previously announced data compilation completed at Artic Chief Prospect (News release dated 31 July 2023) which included (refer to Figure 3 for locations):
- Unmined Intersections:
- AC-015: 17.1m @ 1.52% Cu from 26.49m
- AC-013: 13.35m @ 1.42% Cu from 20.85m
- AC-051: 6.79m @ 3.14% Cu Fr 80.47m
- AC-035: 6.71m @ 2.24% Cu Fr 29.44m
- Mined Intersections:
- XAC-001 21.33m @ 1.48% Cu from 6.1m
- XAC-002: 8.43m @ 2.31% Cu from 37.75m
- XAC-004: 30.48m @ 1.83% Cu from 15.24m
- AC-002: 21.03m @ 3.95% Cu from 21.34m including 9.75m @ 7.81% Cu from 29.87m
- AC-009: 23.17m @ 1.10% Cu from 19.2m
- AC-010: 27.09m @ 1.49% Cu from 23.2m including 9.96m @ 3.18% Cu from 40.33m
- AC-022: 11.34m @ 2.06% Cu from 35.72m
- AC-026: 14.2m @ 1.8% Cu from 22.04m, including 7.62m @ 3.01% Cu from 23.56m