Ascot Resources Ltd. (“Ascot” or the “Company”) announced that drilling for the 2022 exploration program has begun at its Premier Gold Project (“PGP” or the “project”), which is located on Nisga’a Nation Treaty Lands in northern British Columbia’s prolific Golden Triangle. Drilling was allowed to begin roughly a month earlier than last year because of the spring snowmelt.
The exploratory drilling program for 2022 will total around 18,000 m, with exploration and in-fill holes divided evenly. The Sebakwe and Day Zones will get the majority of the exploration drilling, while the Big Missouri deposit will receive all of the in-fill drillings. Drilling will begin on the surface, but when development allows, it is expected to transfer to underground drill stations, which will enable shorter drill holes and more accurate targeting.
Last year, the Company had significant assay lab turnaround delays, but this year, turnaround times are expected to be much shorter since a new third-party assay lab is being established in the town of Stewart. To ensure a speedier response, Ascot has negotiated a priority service contract with this new test lab.
Given the high levels of snowfall early in the winter, we were pleasantly surprised by the mild weather in recent months and are excited to get an earlier start than last year on this season’s exploration drilling program. With the new assay lab being established in Stewart, we look forward to receiving and reporting this year’s exploration results in a timely fashion.
Derek White, President and CEO, Ascot Resources Ltd.
White added, “The expected shorter assay turnaround times will also enable us to adapt our drill plans more effectively as the exploration program runs its course. Exploration drilling will follow up on high-priority targets at the Sebakwe and Day Zones—both of which were only discovered in 2021 and 2020, respectively.”
“These zones are proximal to existing and planned underground infrastructure, and represent the highest potential for expanding our resource and reserve base at PGP. In-fill drilling will be concentrated on Big Missouri with a particular focus on stope definition drilling for the early stages of our mine plan and ramp-up phase in 2023 and 2024,” White stated.
Two holes were drilled from the surface at the Sebakwe Zone at the end of the 2021 exploratory drilling season. From a depth of 368.3 m, the first of these holes (P21-2385) encountered 36.17 g/t Au and 20.6 g/t Ag across 7.10 meters, containing coarse visible gold.
In addition to past drilling, the new gold intercepts appear to point to the possibility of a third arcuate structure comparable to the Premier and Northern Light structures directly to the south. The high-grade intercepts are barely 600 m east of the Premier Mill structure, at a comparable height.
From last year’s pad, ten holes totaling around 4,000 m of drilling are planned. Holes will be drilled in a step-out pattern around the high-grade intercepts from holes P21-2385 and P21-2386, with a strike length of 50 m and a vertical extent of 50 m. If consistent mineralization is found, more holes will be planned.
In the drill program for 2021, the Day Zone was increased. P21-2331, the first hole, encountered high-grade gold mineralization 400 m south of the previous year’s drill holes.
P21-2384, a drill hole in which Ascot is internally analyzing preliminary stope forms for prospective extraction early in the mine life at Big Missouri, collected 58.60 g/t Au and 24.8 g/t Ag over 1.90 meters from a depth of 35 m.
Ascot has already defined a number of high-grade zones throughout a known strike length of 550 m, with mineralization open to the north and south, with only 32 drill holes thus far. This year, the Day Zone will drill 24 holes totaling about 2,000 m from four surface pads.