VANCOUVER — The first hole in a five-hole drill program testing outlying targets within Kiska Metals’ (KSK-V, KSKTF-O) Whistler project hit almost 400 metres of gold mineralization, including 106.9 metres grading 1.22 grams gold per tonne, in a new zone.
Hole 1 probed the Island Mountain target, which is 23 km south of the Whistler deposit. The hole returned a 382.9-metre intercept grading 0.68 gram gold that started essentially at surface and spanned two zones: the upper 150 metres consisted of hydrothermal breccia mineralization grading 0.72 gram gold, while the lower 106.9 metres comprised pyrrhotite veins and vein halos grading 1.22 grams gold.
Copper assay results are still pending.
The Island Mountain target hosts anomalous copper and gold grades in diorite porphyry covering an area 2.5 km wide by 4 km long. The discovery hole was collared on an exposure of hydrothermal breccia at the southern end of the porphyry trend that measures 150 metres in diameter. Surface rock samples from the breccia graded as high as 1.19 grams gold, 5.2 grams silver and 0.2% copper.
For its second hole at Island Mountain, Kiska decided to take a significant step to the north. Hole 2, collared 1.7 km north of hole 1, cut 202.3 metres grading 0.13 gram gold, starting 12 metres down-hole. The hole was lost due to technical difficulties prior to reaching its target depth.
Kiska only planned to complete two holes at Island Mountain during the current drill program but will return to the target next year. Future targets are fairly apparent, in that similar gold and copper-bearing breccias outcrop 600 metres northeast and 500 metres southeast of the discovery hole.
The three other holes drilled in the 2009 program tested three other targets within the large Whistler property: Lightning, Digger, and Raintree West. A 2008 hole at Raintree West, which sits 1.5 km east of the Whistler deposit, returned 160 metres grading 0.59 gram gold, 6.02 grams silver and 0.1% copper. Digger is of interest because it produces a magnetic anomaly and significantly anomalous copper grades in soil samples. And outcropping quartz veins hosted within diorite porphyry rocks at Lightning have produced grab samples grading as much as 1.97 grams gold, 184 grams silver and 0.11% copper.
In addition, Kiska recently completed a two-dimensional induced-polarization (IP) survey at Whistler and is almost finished a three-dimensional IP survey. The results from both surveys will help guide drilling plans next year, when Kiska plans to punch at least 15 more holes into regional targets.
Kiska is the company borne from the recent merger of Geoinformatics Exploration and Rimfire Minerals. With the merger complete, Kiska can now focus on exploration. But beyond simply exploring the Whistler project, Kiska’s exploration efforts at Whistler are designed to fulfill the requirements to trigger Rio Tinto (RTP-N, RIO-L) subsidiary Kennecott Exploration’s back-in decision. Geoinformatics optioned the Whistler property from Kennecott in 2007 and earned a 100% interest by late 2008, subject to Kennecott’s back-in decision.
After a recent renegotiation, that decision will be triggered when Kiska completes 20 drill holes totalling at least 7,000 metres and finishes the IP surveys. At that point, Kennecott will have to decide which of three options it wants to pursue. It could exercise its back-in right, which would require the major to pay Kiska twice the amount it has spent on the project to date for a 51% interest; Kennecott would then have the option of financing all programs up to a development decision to increase its stake to 60%. It could decide to finance a supplemental exploration program and make its back-in decision after receiving those results. Or it can relinquish its back-in right and revert to a 2% net smelter return royalty.
The 440-sq.-km Whistler project is 150 km northwest of Anchorage, in Alaska. The project is home to some 40 gold-copper porphyry targets that all lie within 10 km of the project’s only defined deposit. The Whistler deposit hosts 30 million indicated tonnes grading 0.87 gram gold, 2.46 grams silver and 0.24% copper, as well as 134 million inferred tonnes averaging 0.64 gram gold, 2.18 grams silver and 0.2% copper.
Kiska recently raised $4.95 million in a brokered private placement, selling 9 million units at 55¢ apiece. Each unit consisted of a share and half a warrant exercisable at 80¢ for 18 months.
On news of the Island Mountain drill hits, Kiska shares gained 2¢ to close at 74¢. Since debuting on the Venture board as Kiska in early August, the company’s share price has ranged from 54¢ to 84¢. Kiska has 48 million shares outstanding.