White Gold (TSXV: WGO; US-OTC: WHGOF) says drilling on its Ryan’s Surprise target south of the historic Klondike gold rush territory in the Yukon bodes well for an initial resource estimate.
The Toronto-based explorer backed by Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX: AEM, NYSE: AEM) and Kinross Gold (TSX: K, NYSE: KGC) spent $6 million last year on a diamond drilling program showing gold mineralization over a 450 metres east-west by 450 metres north-south to a vertical depth of 450 metres footprint at Ryan’s Surprise, White Gold said in a news release on Thursday. The mineralization remains open in all directions, it said.
The target, named after veteran prospector and White Gold co-founder Shawn Ryan, who’s claimed multiple discoveries for the company and others, lies 2 km west of the explorer’s primary Golden Saddle and Arc deposits and 95 km south of Dawson City where miners flocked more than a century ago.
Diamond drill hole WHTRS22D029 cut 10.9 metres grading 5.34 grams gold per tonne from 266.5 metres depth, including 0.9 metre of 37.7 grams gold, 11.2 metres of 1.26 grams gold from 99.9 metres depth, and 4.5 metres of 2.74 grams gold from 75 metres depth, the explorer said. The hole extended mineralization by 50 metres along strike to the southeast, which continues to remain open, it said.
Hole WHTRS22D032 returned 1.4 metres grading 4.47 grams gold per tonne from 95.3 metres depth; 17.5 metres of 0.58 gram from 179 metres depth; 0.6 metre of 8.03 grams from 219.65 metres; and 14.4 metres of 0.69 gram gold from 315.3 metres.
“We are very pleased to have further expanded and infilled the large footprint of gold mineralization at Ryan’s Surprise,” chief executive officer David D’Onofrio said in the release. “The Ryan’s Surprise target has the ability to meaningfully increase the size of our significant gold resources.”
White Gold, which positions itself as the leader in a modern-day Yukon gold surge, says it wants to find the source of the Klondike boom of the 1890s, which helped form a young Canada and inspire writers like Pierre Berton. Its team includes Ryan, who also discovered the Coffee gold deposit being advanced by Newmont (TSX: NGT; NYSE: NEM), and Terry Brace with more than 25 years of exploration and development experience, running 20-odd early-stage properties, half a dozen discovery phase opportunities like Ryan’s Surprise and the Golden Saddle, Arc and VG projects.
The explorer says it’s planning more drilling along the Ryan’s Trend, a 6.5-km long by 1-km wide north-northwest area of anomalous gold and arsenic in soils, as it readies for an initial resource estimate, although it hasn’t said exactly when that would happen.
Agnico Eagle holds nearly 20% of White Gold and Kinross has about 16% of the explorer operating across 3,500 sq. km, the largest landholding in the White Gold region about 350 km northwest of Whitehorse. Power One Capital Markets managing director Pasquale DiCapo holds about 13% while Sprott Asset Management has less than 1%.
The Golden Saddle and Arc deposits together contain 15.4 million indicated tonnes grading 2.26 grams gold per tonne and 8.7 million inferred tonnes grading 1.28 grams gold potentially accessible by open pit, according to a 2020 technical report for the White Gold project.
The deposits contain 143,000 indicated tonnes grading 4.53 grams gold and 326,000 inferred tonnes grading 4.33 grams gold that could be amenable to underground mining.
The VG deposit, 11 km south of Golden Saddle and Arc and bought from Comstock Metals (TSXV: CSL; OTC: CMMMF) in early 2019, contains a resource of 5.3 million inferred tonnes grading 1.62 grams gold per tonne for 267,600 oz. metal, according to a 2021 technical report by White Gold. The deposit’s mineralization is almost identical in structure and characteristics to Golden Saddle, it said.
Last year’s drilling included holes at Ulli’s Ridge, 1.5 km south of Ryan’s Surprise, where hole WHTULR21D004 intersected 6.94 grams gold per tonne over 19.5 metres. New assays are pending. White Gold also probed the gap area between Ulli’s Ridge and Ryan’s Surprise and prospected on other targets along Ryan’s Trend, including follow-up rotary air blast drilling, the company said.
The Ryan’s Surprise drilling followed up assays between 2018 and 2021 that included 20.64 grams gold per tonne over 6.1 metres in hole WHTRYN18RC0001, 2.1 grams over 31.78 metres in WHTRS19D012, 8.69 grams over 12.3 metres in WHTRS20D018 and 17.4 grams over 3.47 metres in WHTRS20D013, White Gold said.
The company also has the Betty property 150 km south of Dawson City on the southern part of its land, about 15 km northeast of Western Copper and Gold’s (TSX: WRN; NYSE: WRN) Casino porphyry deposit.
Initial diamond drilling in 2021 on the Betty Ford target on the eastern strike extension of the Coffee Creek fault intersected 1.17 grams gold per tonne over 48 metres from 19 metres depth in hole BETFD21D001 while hole BETFD21D003 100 metres east cut 3.46 grams over 50 metres from 33 metres.
More assays are pending from Betty Ford and the Mascot target about 5 km southeast of Betty Ford, after initial diamond drilling last year tested three of Mascot’s mineralized zones, the explorer said.
Shares in White Gold fell 13% to 42¢ each in Thursday afternoon trading in Toronto, within a 52-week range of 31¢ and 76¢, valuing the company at $57.6 million.