Drill results from Pilot Gold’s (PLG-T) early stage joint-venture project with a Turkish subsidiary of Teck Resources (TCK-T, TCK-N) sent the junior explorer’s shares up 3% to $1.87, with 1.8 million shares changing hands.
Results from the latest eight holes at the TV Tower project include 12 metres of 193 grams gold per tonne, 9.8 grams silver per tonne and 0.46% copper in drill hole 50. The interval, which shows visible gold, is from a vertical depth of 100 metres from surface, and represents true width.
These are the third consecutive set of strong assay results at the Kucukdag (KCD) target, which is returning long intervals of gold, silver and copper mineralization with areas of high grades, the company says.
Pilot Gold’s chief geologist Moira Smith comments that the intervals “form part of a newly recognized stratiform zone of mineralization that may have significant dimensions.”
CEO Matt Lennox-King says that while the model was originally a breccia-hosted deposit, the team now sees mineralizing fluids pooling out along a porous unit within the volcanic stratigraphy. “Everything is dipping shallowly, so you are getting tabular mineralization rather than a steeper, more restricted mineralization,” he explains in an interview. “Beyond the high grades, the key thing is that each hole we drill shows more of this stratigraphic mineralization, which means the footprint of the deposit is growing quite rapidly.” At these grades, he adds, “the rocks are reasonably predictable, so it is with great confidence that we can march along strike and drill successful holes.”
Pilot Gold hopes to have a maiden resource estimate out on KCD by mid-2013.
Tara Hassan of Haywood Securities writes that the latest batch of drill results demonstrate high-grade mineralization, and the company’s updated geologic model suggests there is potential for increased tonnage at the target.
“The results confirm the potential for significantly increased dimensions than originally thought for the KCD zone,” she comments in a note to clients, adding that Pilot “remains undervalued relative to peers trading at US$43 per equivalent oz. gold, versus both global and Europe-only peers averaging US$56 per equivalent oz. gold and US$65 per equivalent oz. gold.”
Pilot owns 40% of the project but has the option to increase its stake to 60%, and describes TV Tower as one of the largest gold systems in western Turkey. The property is located beside the Kirazli gold deposit owned by Alamos Gold (AGI-T) and just 20 km northwest of the Halilaga copper-gold project, another joint venture partnering Pilot and Teck.
Hole 50 was collared 70 metres northwest of hole 39, which returned 5.94 grams gold, 12.6 grams silver and 0.53% copper over 137 metres in September.
Smith reiterates that the geological model for the KCD zone has evolved from breccia-hosted mineralization to high-grade stratiform mineralization, which she believes increases the zone’s tonnage potential.
Other notable results from the recent drilling include 2.11 grams gold, 7.4 grams silver and 0.046% copper over 43 metres, and 2.69 grams gold, 4 grams silver and 0.39% copper over 22.5 metres in hole 58. Hole 57 returned 1.11 grams gold, 12.5 grams silver and 0.318% copper over 24 metres.
Rock-chip sampling has also uncovered new targets, including the Columbaz low-sulphidation epithermal vein system, which returned 39 grams gold and 290 grams silver.
The TV Tower project lies in a 71 sq. km tract of northwestern Turkey’s Biga Peninsula. Targets on the property range from high- and low-sulphidation epithermal gold and silver to porphyry gold-copper. TV Tower contains multiple gold mineralization zones nestled within what appears to be a large, highly altered volcanic centre.
Many zones have widespread epithermal alteration with supporting geophysical and geochemical signatures typical of such high-sulphidation gold deposits as Alamos Gold’s Kirazli and Agi Dagi projects, and porphyry copper-gold deposits like Halilaga.
Pilot aims to have 10,000 metres drilled this year and 25,000 to 30,000 metres drilled next year, with half exploring the KCD zone and the remainder exploring other targets on the property. The company has bulk-tonnage and bonanza-style epithermal targets in the centre of the property, with a drilled gold discovery called Kayali in the south. “TV Tower is a series of projects on one property,” Lennox-King says. “KCD is leading the charge with spectacular drill results, and as that goes on, we are going to bring the other targets online.”
Pilot Gold has 85.2 million shares outstanding, and as of September, its institutional shareholders included Newmont Mining (NMC-T, NEM-N) (11.8%); Royce & Associates (5.4%); Teck Resources (5.4%); Beutel Goodman (2.8%); Kleinheinz Capital Partners (2.0%); and BlackRock Advisors (1.1%). Pilot Gold’s management and insiders hold about 3.6%.
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