In one sense, White Gold (TSX-V: WGO, OTC – Nasdaq Intl: WHGOF, FRA: 29W) could be considered famed Yukon prospector Shawn Ryan’s project development company. Years ago, Ryan explored and staked swaths of the Yukon’s Dawson Range to the south of Dawson City. The claims were optioned to many junior exploration companies. The companies went in, did the work, significant discoveries were made by some that led to take outs by majors like Kinross and Goldcorp, but unfortunately for others, they ran out of time and money, so all those claims reverted to Ryan. Shawn spent the next 3 years reviewing all the data, picking the best projects, assembling them and then partnered with PowerOne Capital to create White Gold Corp where all the properties were rolled into, with the goal of owning and exploring the entire land package systematically and with a regional view of the district.
As David D’Onofrio, White Gold’s CEO puts it, “We started out with over 30% of the district and $25 million worth of free work because when the options expired all the data came back to Shawn.”
With a million plus acres to explore, White Gold is confident it has a district scale opportunity. “We’ve seen three new gold deposits discovered in the district in recent times, two of which we have since been acquired and added to our portfolio totaling about 1.5 million ounces of gold” said D’Onofrio. “Discoveries come in clusters and the more discoveries you have, the greater the chances of additional nearby discoveries.”
In its most recent press release https://www.resource-capital.ch/en/news/view/white-gold-corp-to-acquire-qv-gold-project-from-comstock-metals-ltd-includes-230000-oz-gold-inferr.html D’Onofrio stated, “This property has a 230,000 oz gold deposit, a number of exciting targets, and has seen very limited exploration to date. We are confident that our team, including Jodie Gibson who originally oversaw the discovery drilling, is well positioned to maximize the value of the VG deposit and the other highly prospective targets on the property. Also the similarities of the deposit and targets on this property to Golden Saddle and Vertigo provide a unique opportunity to leverage our team’s experience in the White Gold District.”
The fact that there is already a 230,000 oz gold resource (4.4 million tonnes grading 1.65 g/t gold) with only minimal work completed to date, is valuable to White Gold as this property is only 10km from White Gold’s flagship Golden Saddle deposit. However, it is the targets on the property with similarities to White Gold’s Vertigo discovery, and the opportunity to deploy White Gold’s Drones to Drills exploration strategy on these targets which really makes this an exciting acquisition. White Gold will have full access to the data Comstock has already developed through soil sampling, GT Probe sampling, trenching, IP-Resistivity surveys, airborne magnetic-radiometric surveys, geological mapping/prospecting and minor RAB drilling. This data is already suggesting that the targets on the QV project are similar to the Golden Saddle deposit and the new discovery at Vertigo which saw grades up to 304 g/t gold just 20km to the west.
The key differentiator to the whole Dawson Range is that historically it was never glaciated. “This means that the soil sitting on top of the bedrock is directly indicative of what is underneath. Glaciers can displace this soil kilometers from its original position, so not having this issue makes it much easier for us to evaluate targets and plan our drilling. To capitalize on this we utilize a soil sampling approach that the company has successfully relied on in the area, as well as new technologies we have started to deploy to better understand the regional structures such as LiDAR,” said D’Onofrio. In fact, this non-glaciation has been a huge factor in the discoveries at the massive Coffee Project (Goldcorp) directly to the south of White Gold’s holdings, and the Golden Saddle which was initially acquired by Kinross, who then rolled it into White Gold Corp for their 20% interest in the Company.
District scale discoveries might be defined as a series of mineable deposits which share common geological features, yet each deposit will be different. This appears to be the case in the White Gold District. And what makes the opportunity so significant is that this whole district has only seen limited modern exploration, and its in a great mining jurisdiction – Canada. Yukon operators are blessed with a supportive government who has committed heavily to funding infrastructure in the area, including the Yukon Resource Gateway project. This is a $360 million dollar set of road upgrades to improve access to the Yukon’s mineral resources, and the first section to be built runs right through White Gold’s land position. Good road access radically improves the economics of any mine construction project.
In addition to its recent acquisition in the district, D’Onofrio was particularly interested in discussing the company’s new Vertigo discovery.
“At Golden Saddle we’ve seen consistent high-grade gold, but Vertigo is different,” said D’Onofrio. “We’re seeing high-grade grab samples up to 304 g/t and returning drill intercepts up to 22.47 g/t Au over 30.46m from surface along with excellent geophysical results over a full kilometer. To see these kinds of grades, at surface, 2 kilometres from an existing road is very promising – we’re seeing a huge ounce potential. On top of this we’ve identified half a dozen other excellent targets along that trend that we’re excited to drill test.”
The rocks at Vertigo show visible gold, reminiscent of the Yukon gold rush of the 1890’s. While the Klondike River was the more talked about placer river of the gold rush, Henderson Creek which is in the watershed from Vertigo was actually the richer discovery. Real Jack London territory.
“We think we may have discovered the source of that placer gold,” said D’Onofrio.
Exploring a million plus acres of land is a challenging task. However, Shawn Ryan and Groundtruth Exploration, the exploration services company run by Shawn’s wife, Cathy Ryan, have systematized soil sampling, mapping, and RAB drilling on an almost industrial scale. When I visited the White Gold camp this summer, I watched their core shack in operation. While there was certainly conventional core, there was also a fascinating parallel process where, meter by meter, crushed samples were being processed using handheld XRF scanners with the results being logged in real time. This allows the geos to make first pass assessments of particular ground in hours rather than weeks. Meaning more ground could be covered, more targets identified and more discoveries made in the exploration season.
White Gold is unique in that it has two majors as strategic partners: Agnico Eagle and Kinross which collectively own 40% of White Gold. “We work with them in lockstep,” said D’Onofrio. “Our majors are not surprised by our discoveries as they share the same beliefs as us and are very pleased. They visit the site regularly and we plan together. They want to see us prove out our discoveries and they bring lots of expertise. They want us to succeed as we all want to build the next mining district in the Yukon.”
In fact, given the scope and scale of White Gold’s discoveries, there may be the opportunity to build several mines or develop several pits and leverage shared facilities. D’Onofrio is even more optimistic, “I believe there is the potential for 5 to 10 mines. You could truck ore from multiple deposits.”
White Gold has had no shortage of new discoveries this season, marking three more in addition to Vertigo. On the company’s Betty property, which is directly adjacent to Goldcorp’s Coffee project (also discovered by Shawn Ryan), the Company discovered more near surface Gold mineralization. This is hosted in the same fault structure as Coffee and is showing comparable grades. White Gold also discovered two satellite targets on trend with the Golden Saddle deposit – the GS West which is just 750m from its flagship Golden saddle deposit and the Ryan’s Showing returning 20.64 g/t Au over 6.10m. This all supports David’s theory that there is something very significant going on in this district.
For now, the company is going to continue to follow up on the targets it has identified and grow its existing deposits. 2018 was a big year for White Gold, and 2019 is looking to be even bigger.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Information
This news release contains "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements" (collectively, "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "plans", “proposed”, "budget", "scheduled", "forecasts", "estimates", "believes" or "intends" or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results "may" or "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. In this news release, forward-looking statements relate, among other things, to the completion of the Acquisition; the anticipated benefits to the Company, the Vendor and their shareholders respecting the Acquisition; the Company’s objectives, goals and exploration activities conducted and proposed to be conducted at the Company’s properties; future growth potential of the Company, including whether any proposed exploration programs at any of the Company’s properties will be successful; exploration results; and future exploration plans and costs and financing availability.
These forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions and estimates of management of the Company at the time such statements were made. Actual future results may differ materially as forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company and/or the Vendor to materially differ from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors, among other things, include: the expected benefits to the Company and Vendor relating to the Acquisition; expected benefits to the Company relating to exploration conducted and proposed to be conducted at the Company’s properties; the receipt of all applicable regulatory and third party approvals, as required, for the Acquisition; failure to identify any additional mineral resources or significant mineralization; the preliminary nature of metallurgical test results; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, including to fund any exploration programs on the Company’s properties; business integration risks; fluctuations in general macroeconomic conditions; fluctuations in securities markets; fluctuations in spot and forward prices of gold, silver, base metals or certain other commodities; fluctuations in currency markets (such as the Canadian dollar to United States dollar exchange rate); change in national and local government, legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments; risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations pressures, cave-ins and flooding); inability to obtain adequate insurance to cover risks and hazards; the presence of laws and regulations that may impose restrictions on mining and mineral exploration; employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; availability of increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development (including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses, permits and approvals from government authorities); the unlikelihood that properties that are explored are ultimately developed into producing mines; geological factors; actual results of current and future exploration; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be evaluated; soil sampling results being preliminary in nature and are not conclusive evidence of the likelihood of a mineral deposit; title to properties; and those factors described in the most recently filed management’s discussion and analysis of each of the Company and Vendor. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the Company and Vendor believe, or believed at the time, to be reasonable assumptions, the Company and Vendor cannot assure shareholders that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking statements, as there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information, or the material factors or assumptions used to develop such forward-looking information, will prove to be accurate. Neither the Company nor the Vendor undertakes any obligations to release publicly any revisions for updating any voluntary forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable securities law.
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