Sonoro Metals Corp. ("Sonoro"), and Northern Empire Resources Corp. ("Northern Empire"), today announced that results from the Phase 1 exploration program at the Hilltop Gold Project in Alaska ("Hilltop") have confirmed and expanded the known gold footprint, with channel samples grading up to 19.45 g/t Au and rock grab samples grading as high as 26.55 g/t Au.
The program entailed 61 soil samples to verify previous sampling, 336 soil samples to expand the anomalous gold footprint from previous sampling, 228 rock samples, and 213 m of trenching.
Highlights from this work include:
- Due diligence soil sample results confirmed a soil anomaly 400 m by 1,000 m with values above the 85th percentile ranging from 13 to 480 ppb Au.
- More widely spaced soil sampling expanded the zone of previously defined anomalous gold results 400 m further to the west and defined a zone of interest 2.4 km by 2.4 km.
- 1 m channel sampling from five trenches returned 7 m at 1.41 g/t Au in trench 3 and 10 m at 2.29 g/t in trench 5, with the best 1 m sample grading 19.45 g/t Au. Rock grab samples from trench exposed material returned values as high as 26.55 g/t Au.
- Elevated pathfinder element assays from trench samples (including As, Bi, Pb, Sb, Te & W) showed Intrusive Related Gold (IRG) affinity.
Northern Empire's Chairman, John Robins, P.Geo., stated, "The highly encouraging results from our first phase of exploration have added significant value to the road-accessible Hilltop gold project. The program has been very successful in corroborating anomalous historic results, expanding the known gold footprint of the Hilltop zone, generating high-grade in-situ gold samples, recognizing multiple widespread zones of coincident pathfinder elements and identifying new prospective target areas. With the recent announcement of the exploration program expansion at Hilltop, we are eager to get back in the field to follow up on these exciting results."
Kenneth MacLeod, President & CEO of Sonoro added, "While Sonoro has already met its 2015 financial commitments under the option agreement with Northern Empire, the results from the Phase 1 exploration program are sufficiently compelling to warrant its immediate continuation. Consequently, Sonoro has budgeted an additional $100,000 for the now-launched expanded exploration program."
The field component of the work program at Hilltop started at the end of April and was completed the first week of June. On July 28, Northern Empire and Sonoro announced plans to return to Hilltop to extend the Phase 1 exploration program.
Program Summary (Phase 1): Results
- Receipt of DNR Permit #2235 which is a five year Miscellaneous Land Use Permit for Hardrock Exploration and Reclamation and allows for trenching, drilling (including water use permit), road improvement and road construction.
- 61 due diligence soil samples were collected to verify sample results from top of bedrock soils collected in 2011 by a previous exploration group. These 61 soil samples represent 10% of the total number of samples collected in 2011, and the new results demonstrate a substantial gold in soil anomaly 400 m wide and over 1 km long in an east-west direction. Of the 61 due diligence samples collected, 27 rank at or above the 85th percentile (grading 13 to 480 ppb Au) and 4 additional samples rank at or above the 95th percentile. At each sample site, two samples were collected; 1 from the top of bedrock position as previously collected and 1 sample from the B-horizon. Results confirmed that the gold in soil values collected in 2011 are valid and that use of B-horizon soils at Hilltop is a useful exploration tool.
- 336 soil samples were collected at Hilltop to expand the footprint of known anomalous soils from historic work. Of the 336 samples collected, 51 samples ranked in the 85th percentile or higher and 17 samples ranked in the 95th percentile or higher (27ppb to 480ppb). Analysis of the soils results shows that the anomalous gold footprint has been expanded and has proven the veracity of pathfinder element 'stacking' as a useful technique for prioritizing follow-up work.
- A total of 213 meters of trenching and 228 rock samples were completed at Hilltop and focused on an area with historic high grade (Au) grabs from hand dug pits. 8 trenches were completed and were subsequently mapped and sampled. Analytical results show a potential to develop a high grade trend. The best one meter sample ran 19.45 g/t Au over one meter, with rock grab samples as high as 26.55 g/t Au. Using a 0.1 g/t Au cut-off, trench HT15-003 returned 7 m at 1.41 g/t Au while trench HT15-005 returned 10 m at 2.29 g/t Au.
- Pathfinder elements associated with gold in the trenches show a strong Intrusive Related Gold (IRG) affinity (including As, Bi, Pb, Sb, Te, W, etc). In addition, correlation coefficients for As, Bi and Te are all above 0.9.
- Project infrastructure improvements were made by upgrading access using a Cat Dozer to improve 10.5 km (6.5 miles) of road on existing trails and trap lines. ATV access from the paved Richardson Highway is now complete and readily accessible. Further work can now be done to allow for 4x4 access to key points within Hilltop in the future.
To view a map and detailed description of the Hilltop Gold Project, please visit the Sonoro website at: http://sonorometals.com/projects/usa/hilltop/
The Hilltop Project is located 70 km ESE of Fairbanks Alaska and sits within the boundaries of the Yukon Tanana Terrain (YTT) which extends from West-Central Alaska well into the Yukon. The YTT consists of deformed and variably metamorphosed mid Paleozoic and older sedimentary, volcanic and plutonic rocks intruded by Mid-Cretaceous and early Tertiary plutonic and minor volcanic rocks. Locally, the Hilltop Project sits within the 40 km long, northwest trending Richardson Gneiss Dome which is cored by a central migmatite, mantled by gneiss and surrounded by lithologically equivalent schist (Noyes el al., 2006).
Bedrock at Hilltop is dominated by a flat lying, broadly folded quartz dominated muscovite-sericte-biotite schist. Within trenches this schist varies from muscovite sericite to quartz-muscovite biotite to quartzite. Metamorphic grade is upper greenschist. Folding here is low amplitude with wavelengths from 0.5 m to 2 m. Quartz veins are common, flat-lying and conformable to the schist foliation ranging in thickness from 2 cm to 0.4 m. Local steeply dipping and cross cutting quartz veins to 1 m in width have been mapped and sampled within trench boundaries.
Within the property boundaries other lithologies found include quartz-feldspar porphyry, massive quartzite, graphite schist and quartz boulders.
All soil samples were sent to Activation Labs in Ancaster Ontario, an ISO accredited Laboratory. Gold analysis was by FA-AA (Fire Assay - Atomic Absorption), details of the procedure can be found at: http://www.actlabs.com/page.aspx?page=473&app=226&cat1=549&tp=12&lk=no&menu=64
Soil samples were also subjected to Enzyme Leach analysis. Details of the procedure can be found at: http://www.actlabs.com/page.aspx?page=746&app=226&cat1=549&tp=12&lk=no&menu=64
Rock samples from the trenches were assayed using ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry) and FA-AA and submitted to ALS Chemex in Fairbanks Alaska.
On-site Quality Assurance/Quality Control ("QA/QC") Measures
Soil samples are collected in the field using wet strength Kraft bags. Samples returned to the field office are organized and dried before shipping making sure that physical and hydromorphic contact between bags does not occur. Once dry, the sample bags are placed into labelled, secure rice sacks for shipment. Northern Empire has implemented a quality-control program to comply with best practices in the sampling and analysis of field collected samples. This program includes inserting field duplicates, standards and blanks, equivalent to 10% of the sample set, into the sample stream.
About the Hilltop Gold Project
Hilltop is an exploration stage gold project located 70 km southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and 70 km northwest of Delta Junction in east-central interior Alaska. Gold producers in the region are Sumitomo's Pogo mine (4.973 million ounces at 12.5 g/t gold; http://www.sumitomocorp.co.jp/files/topics/25649_ext_31_en_0.pdf ) located 75 km to the east and Kinross's Fort Knox mine (3.8 million ounces at 0.45 g/t gold; http://www.kinross.com/operations/operation-fort-knox-alaska-usa.aspx ) located 135 km to the north.
The 31,720 acre (12,836 hectare) Hilltop property is bordered on the south by the all-weather and paved Richardson Highway. In addition, Hilltop is proximal to high power electrical transmission lines and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Access into the interior of the property from the Richardson Highway is via a new system of logging roads and trails which makes most points within Hilltop accessible for exploration activities.
Northern Empire holds a 100% interest in the Hilltop property within the broader Richardson Gold District (excluding placer gold). Northern Empire has granted Sonoro an option to earn a 60% interest in Hilltop through the expenditure of C$3,000,000 on exploration activities at Hilltop and the issuance of 1,000,000 Sonoro shares to Northern Empire prior to December 31, 2019.
Stephen Kenwood, P. Geo. is a qualified person within the context of National Instrument 43-101 and has read and takes responsibility for this news release. Readers are cautioned that the presence of mineralization on properties adjacent to or in proximity to Hilltop is not necessarily indicative of alteration and mineralization on Hilltop.
About Sonoro Metals Corp.
Sonoro Metals Corp. is a mineral exploration company with a portfolio of properties in Alaska, USA; Sonora State, Mexico; and British Columbia, Canada. Exploration on the Hilltop Gold Project in Alaska is being managed by Sonoro's project partner, Northern Empire Resources Corp. under the direction of its Chairman, John Robins, P.Geo. Sonoro has a skilled exploration team in Mexico, headed by Hermosillo-based Chief Geologist Melvin Herdrick, with over 35 years of experience, including 9 years as Chief Geologist for Phelps Dodge in Mexico and 5 years as VP of Exploration for Pediment Gold Corp. until its takeover by Argonaut Gold in 2011. Sonoro's Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Kenwood, P.Geo., has over 20 years of experience in mineral exploration and development.
On behalf of the Board of SONORO METALS CORP.
KENNETH MACLEOD, President & CEO