Miranda Gold Corp. (TSX-V: MAD) has signed a Letter of Intent with Agnico-Eagle USA Limited (TSX: AEM), whereby Agnico may earn a joint venture interest in the Ester Dome project, located in the Fairbanks mining district of Alaska.
Under the terms of the Letter of Intent, which is to be replaced by a definitive option agreement, Agnico can earn a 51% interest in Ester Dome by spending US$4,000,000 in qualifying expenditures over a five year period. Agnico may then elect to earn an additional 19% interest (for a total of 70%) by completing a feasibility study or by spending an additional $10,000,000 at a rate of no less than $1,000,000 per year.
The Ester Dome project consists of 181 Alaska state mining claims covering approximately 13.8 sq. mi (35.7 sq. km) and is located 5 mi (8 km) from Fairbanks, Alaska. The Fairbanks District has produced over 9.5 million ounces of alluvial gold. Over 3 million ounces of alluvial gold were mined on the flanks of Ester Dome and the property covers the majority of the upland source area for these 3 million ounces.
The geology of Ester Dome comprises a suite of metamorphic rocks, primarily schist separated by thrust faults and cut by igneous sills and small stocks. The mineralization on the Ester Dome project is prospective for both high-grade vein and shear-hosted gold deposits and larger tonnage bulk minable gold deposits. Fairbanks area gold deposits, such as Fort Knox (+6 million ounces) that is hosted in an intrusive stock and characterized by sheeted quartz veins and shears, as well as True North (1.3 million ounces) that is hosted in complex imbricate shears with quartz veins in metasediments, provide target analogues for exploration at Ester Dome.
The most recent exploration on Ester Dome was conducted by Placer Dome Exploration ("PDX") in 1998. The best drill hole reported by PDX intercepted 19.7 ft of 2.7 oz Au/t (6 m of 91.2 g Au/t) from 360 to 381 ft (110 to 116 m).
More details on the project can be obtained at
Miranda's work on Ester Dome in 2010 has consisted primarily of limited reconnaissance prospecting that identified quartz veins in schist and intrusive rock, data compilation, and the completion of a soil grid consisting of 367 samples. The purpose of the soil grid was to confirm, delineate and tighten the spacing of an irregularly sampled and undrilled soil anomaly previously identified by Placer Dome. The soil anomaly has dimensions of approximately 6,000 ft (1,830 m) by approximately 1,200 ft (366 m). This soil anomaly is proximal to a cluster of small mapped and inferred intrusive bodies that occur in an area measuring approximately 1.5 sq. mi (4 sq. km). Small gold placer workings occur immediately downstream from the area containing the intrusive bodies and soil anomaly.
Results from soil sampling are in the process of being compiled and evaluated. Miranda has also submitted a permit to build a road through the central part of the soil anomaly with the intent of providing outcrop exposure for mapping, sampling and access to drill targets.
Agnico will continue to compile the large historic database for the project in anticipation of the 2011 exploration season.
The data disclosed in this press release have been reviewed and verified by President & CEO Ken Cunningham, P.Geo, BSc. Geology and Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
Source: Miranda Gold Corp.