The retreating Cambria Icefield in northwestern B.C.’s Golden Triangle region has opened up an exploration corridor on Strikepoint Gold’s (TSXV: SKP; US-OTC: STKXF) recently acquired Porter-Idaho silver project.
The project hosts two historic mines called the Silverado mine and the Prosperity-Porter Idaho mine. They lie 2 km apart on opposite sides of Mt. Rainey. The company theorizes that vein systems obscured until recently by ice cover on the mountain’s peak could connect the two mines.
“Up until the last decade or so a big glacier sat on surface,” Strikepoint CEO Shawn Khunkhun explains, “and that glacier has receded about a kilometre and a half.”
The company is testing its theory with a recently completed drill campaign. It drilled more than 4,300 metres in between as well as at the historic mine sites, and now awaits results. It wants to confirm historical data and gather geological and structural information.
Strikepoint began the 21-hole drill campaign in mid-August at Prosperity-Porter Idaho. In mid-September it added a second drill rig at the Silverado target.
Historic mining in the area focused on the Prosperity-Porter Idaho veins. They were mined between 1929 and 1931 and produced 2.2 million oz. silver. As of a 2012 resource estimate, they contain 394,000 indicated tonnes grading 868 grams silver for 11 million oz. silver and 88,900 inferred tonnes at 595 grams silver for 1.7 million oz. silver.
“Going into the drill program we started consolidating the area and increasing our land position,” Khunkhun says.
Strikepoint acquired the 8 sq. km Porter-Idaho property from Skeena Resources (TSXV: SKE; US-OTC: SKREF) in August by buying its subsidiary, Mount Rainey Silver, for 9.5 million shares and staged payments totalling $1.5 million. The final payment is due Dec. 31, 2019. Skeena will keep a 1% net smelter return royalty (NSR) on the property, although Strikepoint can buy back half of it for $750,000.
Then, in August, the company acquired the 12.5 sq. km Handsome Jack silver property from Trifecta gold for $25,000 and 250,000 shares. It adjoins the eastern end of the Porter property. Trifecta has a 1% NSR, but as with Porter, Strikepoint can buy half of it back for $500,000.
Strikepoint has since added 20.5 sq. km of contiguous property to the package through the Big, Bada and Boom claims. It staked these previously unclaimed areas in mid-September. They raise the total land position, along with Handsome Jack, to 33 square kilometres.
The company recently sampled its Big Nunatak prospect on the Big claim block. It lies 8 km southeast of the historic Porter-Idaho mine.
The company took 13 samples in September over a 150-by-120-metre area, and another 45 samples from a wider area. Initial results from the 13 samples show grades as high as 427 grams silver and 199 grams silver. The company awaits results from the other 45 samples, but says the results so far establish a 10 km long mineral trend running from the historic Silverado and Porter mines to the Big claim block.
The company has collected 396 surface samples across the entire project area, including 192 samples from the Porter, Silverado and Handsome Jack targets in its first round of 2018 exploration.
Highlights include 44,546 grams silver from a gully above one of the historic Silverado mine portals, in an area where the company says ice retreated in recent years; 25,981 grams silver from a vein found 200 metres west of the historic Porter mines; 1,330 grams silver and 16.9 grams gold 800 metres west of the nearest Porter portal from the newly discovered Silver Key vein; 9,500 grams silver and 2.6 grams gold in a gossanous zone where a fault structure was previously assumed to have blocked silver mineralization extending from Porter; and 8,900 grams silver from a group of newly discovered veins on Handsome Jack.
Going forward the company wants to incorporate its 2018 fieldwork with historical data to produce a new geological model and find more drill targets. It also intends to apply for permits outside the Silverado-Porter area.
“The first step is to get some of these drill results from the existing program before we fully solidify next year’s plan,” Khunkhun says. “There are some adits that are accessible on the property, so one of the things we might look at doing next year is bringing a rig in underground and drilling horizontally.”
In early September, the company also discovered a new gold-silver vein system at its Golden-Oly gold project in Yukon. Samples taken from the Helios vein graded as high as 37.5 grams gold and 1,150 grams silver. Since 2016, Strikepoint had been focused on its many Yukon properties.
“I hit the reset button on Strikepoint in 2016, essentially at the very bottom of the market,” Khunkhun says. “It was a tough environment for junior resource companies and a tough environment for raising capital, but my thinking was that it was an opportunity to bring in an inventory of assets. The majors were not exploring and they were depleting inventory.”
The company consolidated its shares. It brought in new management and board members. It also shifted its focus away from central and eastern Canada. It acquired a 22-property Yukon portfolio from IDM Mining (TSXV: IDM; US-OTC: IDMMF). Ryan Gold previously owned the properties and spent more than $25 million exploring them from 2010 to 2014.
Strikepoint paid $150,000 in cash and 10.5 million shares for the portfolio. It also committed to spending $1.5 million in exploration on the properties by the end of 2017. In the two months after the acquisition, Strikepoint closed two private placements totalling $8 million.
At mid-2018, Strikepoint had $5 million in cash. Its shares trade at 18¢ a piece in a 52-week range of 14¢ to 29¢. It has a $13-million market capitalization.
“A lot hinges on the success of these drill results,” Khunkhun says. “We have a historic resource, and we believe that an opportunity lies in growing that.”