Northern Empire Resources Corp. (TSX-V: NM) released results from its Daisy Deposit as part of its 2018 15,000-metre drill program to expand resources at the Sterling Gold Project in Nevada. These results will go towards an updated resource due in the first half of 2019 and indicate the potential for an open pit, heap leach operation. The Daisy Deposit is located within the Crown Block of deposits in the north of the Company’s property.
Drill hole D18-003C was a vertical core hole that returned an intercept of 123.93 meters of 1.41 grams per tonne (g/t) gold (Au). The intercept included 38.25 meters of 3.09 g/t Au and oxides in the hole extended to a depth of 173 meters.
This is the third drill hole Northern Empire has reported from the Daisy Deposit. Results from last year included 47.24 meters of 1.47 g/t Au in hole D17-001 and 21.34 meters of 1.83 g/t Au in hole D17-002. All historical drilling at Daisy occurred before the introduction of NI 43-101 reporting standards, so confirmation drilling is required to expand the resource. Historical drilling was also all reverse circulation (RC), so core holes are vital for developing a comprehensive geological model.
In comparison to historical holes near D18-003C, yesterday’s result encountered mineralization closer to surface than expected. In concert with nearby mapping and sampling which returned surface grades of up to 15g/t, these results are demonstrative of the potential this system could be larger than previously thought.
Michael G. Allen, President and CEO, commented:
“D18-003C is the first of at least 10 exploratory, resource expansion, and infill holes that we plan to drill into the Daisy Deposit as part of our 15,000-meter program. The exceptional grade of these results is very encouraging. All of the mineralization from 67.88 to 173.22 meters down the hole was oxidized, as was the final 2.87 meters of mineralization. For the high-grade core of the deposit, where we cut 38.25 meters of 3.09 g/t gold, cyanide solubility assays averaged 90% of fire assay, indicating that the Daisy deposit may be amenable to open pit mining with heap leach recovery of gold.”
The broad intervals of relatively shallow, high-grade oxide mineralization present here are key if Daisy is to ever benefit from a low cost and efficient open pit, heap leach operation. The advantage of heap leach mining is that they generally have low all-in sustaining costs and provide rapid payback to the operator. The average grade of heap leach operations in Nevada is approximately 0.7g/t gold, which would make the inferred resource at Daisy of 174,000oz of gold at 2.12g/t triple that.
The Daisy Deposit is located in the Bare Mountain district known for its legacy of past production. The trend is along an east-west structure that hosts Barrick’s Bullfrog Mine on the westernmost extension and stretches to the east where Northern Empire’s SNA deposit and Corvus Gold’s (TSX: KOR) Mother Lode deposit. Mother Lode is located completely within Northern Empire’s claim package. Along this trend, more than four million ounces of gold have been extracted or identified in situ.
With several high-grade historical holes and showings, Northern Empire’s overall land package remains underexplored and numerous regional targets demand follow-up. For 2018, Northern Empire management put together a large exploration program with the intention to expand the resource through drilling. The company’s exploration is starting to demonstrate the potential at the Daisy Deposit.
The market has been responding positively to drill results. Since initial results released from the Daisy deposit on October, 04, 2017, shares in the company have moved from 77 cents per share to a year-high of $1.43, and at close of Feb. 23, 2018, $1.30. Upon release of the most recent results from Daisy, the stock rose 12 cents to $1.39 on 231,088 shares.
The company is also responding positively to these results with immediate plans to mobilize an additional drill rig to Daisy. Currently rigs are working on the SNA and Secret Pass deposits which are part of the Crown Block of deposits which includes the Daisy Deposit. In addition, field crews are mapping extensions of the known deposits and new drill targets.
This is just the beginning for Northern Empire in Nevada. Nevada is one of the largest gold producers in the world, renowned for open pit deposits which are amenable to heap leach mining. The early results from Daisy are indicating that the company is on the right track to adding high grade ounces to support the case for another open pit, heap leach mine in Nevada.