A Vancouver based gold exploration company now knows how much gold might be at its Shotgun Ridge prospect located about 100 miles north of Dillingham, to the northeast of Wood Tikchick State park. TNR Gold’s 2012 drilling program provided data that leads to an estimate of 705 thousand ounces of gold at Shotgun Ridge. John Harrop is Vice President of Exploration for TNR Gold Corp. He says this work builds on previous drilling and geophysical studies.
"The drilling was successful in showing the method we were using for the geophysical works quite well at Shotgun Ridge and therefore we can use to look undercover further along the ridge and at other places on the property," said Harrop.
The drill results helped illustrate the quartz intrusions into the sedimentary rocks that are thought to contain gold.
"If the rock breaks in a little different way, you end up with a breccia, which is rock broken up at depth. Quartz and other minerals are injected into the spaces between the fragments. We have a combination of brecciated stockwork, a cluster of many small veins going in different directions. We also have feeder zones, which are much more like the what people imagine when they think about quartz veins. They can be quite thick, over 10 meters in thickness, getting up to 20 meters in thickness,"said Harrop.
Those mineralized areas stretch close to 300 meters. The company’s resource calculation is based off 20 million tons of ore containing just over 1 gram of gold per ton. Shotgun ridge is one of 4 different areas of interest. The others are Shot, King, and Winchester.
"I think the reality of Alaska and the remoteness and size of the deposit you need to have a successful deposit means we also need to put a significant amount of focus on developing additional zones. With the success of the geophyics, we're looking along the ridge for areas where we perhaps have a geochemical indication and we want to use geophysics to look deeper into the ridge," said Harrop.
TNR however, has not committed to any field work for this summer
"It's a really tough season in the exploration business. Investors are not really too enthusiastic with the resources sector as a whole at the moment. This is looking like it's going to be a slow year, which we have from time to time. One possibility is to do additional geophysics to continue developing drill targets," said Harrop.
Harrop says the project is still in its early stages. The company does want to move ahead with an understanding of the nearby ecology.
"One of the things we're certainly looking at doing for the next exploration season, whether it's this year or next year, is start working on some of the environment baseline studies, which aren't required at this stage, but provide important information of interest to local communities," said Harrop.
TNR owns a 100 percent interest in the project and has not taken on any partners at this stage. They have a total of 66 mining claims on 10,500 acres of state land.