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Miners for pennies

January 8th, 2013

Gold producers Fire River and Galantas release Alaska and Northern Ireland drill results

by Greg Klein

An operating gold mine isn’t necessarily a fast track to profitability, which helps explain why Fire River Gold TSXV:FAU trades for pennies. But high-grade assays released January 8 could boost confidence in the company.

The results come from a 103-hole, 9,781-metre underground program at the Nixon Fork Project’s Crystal Mine in Alaska’s Tintina Gold Belt. Some highlights show:

  • 1,120 grams per tonne gold, 11 g/t silver and 0.02% copper over 1.5 metres
  • 126.3 g/t gold, 51.6 g/t silver and 3.63% copper over 5.99 metres
  • (including 219.13 g/t gold, 89.7 g/t silver and 6.17% copper over 3.34 metres)
  • 186.18 g/t gold, 51.6 g/t silver and 3.89% copper over 1.55 metres
  • 214 g/t gold, 1 g/t silver and 0.01% copper over 1.1 metres
  • 32.86 g/t gold, 1.8 g/t silver and 0.06% copper over 3.73 metres
  • (including 54.8 g/t gold, 2 g/t silver and 0.1% copper over 1.52 metres)
  • (including 25.5 g/t gold, 2 g/t silver and 0.01% copper over 1.52 metres)
  • 5.85 g/t gold, 3 g/t silver and 0.17% copper over 7.46 metres
  • 160.5 g/t gold, 80 g/t silver and 2.65% copper over 0.38 metres.
Underground drilling continues at Fire River Gold’s Nixon Fork project.

Fire River Gold has set a 2013 target of 35,000 gold ounces
for its Nixon Fork Project in Alaska.

True thicknesses are estimated at approximately 95%. Drilling continues.

Nixon Fork has produced 12,000 gold ounces since Fire River began production in July 2011. The company’s 2013 target is substantially higher—35,000 ounces with cash costs estimated at $800 to $900 an ounce. The company attributes the more ambitious goal to a number of improvements that followed a management shakeup last summer. By November Fire River announced its carbon-in-leach circuit was fully commissioned, mill throughput had increased from an average 86 tonnes per day to 126 tpd and better plant maintenance had further increased productivity.

Fire River shares opened January 8 at $0.075, a penny and a half above the previous close. The stock reached $0.08 but slid back to another $0.06 close.

Another producer trading for pennies, Galantas Gold TSXV:GAL operates the Emerald Isle’s only gold mine. Assays released January 8 from the open pit Omagh Gold Property in Ulster show short intervals but include “the best result so far on [the] Joshua Vein, possibly the best on the whole Galantas Northern Ireland gold licence,” according to president/CEO Roland Phelps.

Highlights from South Joshua include:

  • 23.6 grams per tonne gold, 38 g/t silver and 2.2% lead over 2.4 metres
  • (including 64 g/t gold over 0.8 metres)
  • 2 g/t gold, 2.7 g/t silver and 0.1% lead over 0.9 metres
  • 4.6 g/t gold and 11.4 g/t silver over 0.3 metres.

A Central Joshua assay shows:

  • 6.9 g/t gold, 25.1 g/t silver and 1.8% lead over 0.8 metres.

North Joshua highlights include:

  • 8.6 g/t gold, 48 g/t silver and 2.8% lead over 1 metre
  • 7.4 g/t gold, 10.6 g/t silver and 0.6% lead over 1 metre
  • 3.2 g/t gold and 1.2 g/t silver over 1 metre.

Intercepts are estimated true widths. Down-hole depths range from 29 metres to 92 metres.

The last phase of drilling totalled 16,347 metres but Galantas plans another 1,600 metres to follow up on South Joshua’s 23.6 g/t gold result. More assays are expected within eight to 10 weeks, the company stated.

Galantas shares opened January 8 at $0.04 and closed on the day’s high of $0.045.