The Elephant Mountain Project consists of three properties located in the Rampart-Eureka-Manley Hot Springs placer gold mining district near Eureka, Alaska. The Project can be accessed by road from Eureka, a placer mining area located about 76 miles (123 kilometres("km")) northwest of Fairbanks.
The Elephant Mountain area is partially drained by Eureka and Pioneer Creeks. Alluvial gold was first discovered in Eureka Creek in 1898 and both Creeks are two of the most significant alluvial gold bearing creeks in the Eureka-Hot Springs gold district. The northern part of the project is, in part, drained by Hutlinana and Quail Creeks which are other significant gold bearing creeks in the district.
The Elephant Mountain Project comprises at least eight targets which are interpreted to be part of the family of reduced intrusion-related gold system (RIRG) similar to the Fort Knox Mine, Ryan Lode and True North deposits located in the nearby Fairbanks Gold Mining district in Alaska, as well as the Brewery Creek, Dublin Gulch and Coffee deposits in the Yukon. These RIRG deposits are interpreted to be related to late Cretaceous-aged intrusive events within the Tintina Gold Province of Alaska and the Yukon, and are all associated with historic placer gold mining activity.
The intrusive host to the exploration targets at the Elephant Mountain Project is a multi-phase Cretaceous-aged granodiorite, diorite, syenomonzonite and granite pluton that intrudes quartzite, siltstone and shale. Similar intrusives host the known gold mineralization at the Trout, South Fork and Wolverine targets about 10 km to the northeast.
2017 Exploration Program
In July 2017, the Company completed a forty-three (43) line-km time-domain pole-dipole induced polarization ("IP") with resistivity and a thirty-nine (39) line-km proton magnetometer ("Magnetics") ground-based geophysical survey on the southernmost Elephant Property. The survey covered the South Zone and North Zone discoveries and the Central Zone target. The IP survey defined a combined 1,200 by 600 metre ("m") chargeability anomaly at the North and Pump Zone Targets, confirmed a deeper level chargeability anomaly at the Central Zone, and discovered a high priority near-surface chargeability anomaly at the 2016 South Zone Discovery. All of these targets warrant drill testing.
In August 2017, the Company completed additional soil and rock sampling, trenching and prospecting on the Trout, South Fork and Wolverine targets located on the northern group of claims (Trout and Wolverine Properties). The objective of the 2017 sampling activity is to advance these targets to the drill stage.
A decision on proceeding with a drill program is expected in September.
Background and Exploration History - Elephant Property
The Elephant Property, which is currently the largest and southernmost property in the Elephant Mountain Project, was explored for gold by Placer Dome, Inc. ("PDI") between 1989 and 1992. PDI identified a large gold-arsenic soil geochemical anomaly over the intrusive that extends for at least 6,000 feet and up to 1,500 feet wide (1,830 m and up to 457 m wide). Peak values in the PDI soil samples reached up to 1,540 parts per billion ("ppb") gold.
The Company completed a deep auger soil sampling program in 2014 and 2015 to better define the South Zone target resulting in a firm target for 2016 drilling at the South Zone. The South Zone and North Zone were tested with drilling in 2016 resulting in a significant drill discovery at the South Zone. The 2017 IP survey resulted in the definition and confirmation of four high priority chargeability targets. The South Zone, North Zone, Pump Zone, and the Central Zone are the four principle target areas which are also partly explained by the large soil anomaly on the Elephant Mountain Property.
The Elephant Property is traversed by the east-west Elephant Mountain Fault which is associated with resistivity anomaly identified in the 2017 IP survey.
South Zone Discovery
In 2016, the Company drilled on the South Zone Target, which consists of a gold-arsenic-antimony soil anomaly encompassing a 1,000 m by 250 m area with gold values exceeding 100 ppb gold. This target lies to the south of the Elephant Mountain Fault.
Prospecting and sampling has resulted in the discovery of gold values in grab samples of quartz vein material from the intrusive including 12.98 grams per tonnes ("g/t"), 5.21 g/t, 4.44 g/t. 3.02 g/t, 2.59 g/t and 2.18 g/t gold. PDI collected a stibnite-bearing (antimony sulphide) grab sample in 1991 in this area that assayed 12 ounces per ton gold (411.4 g/t gold). PDI drilled two (2) holes in the South Zone in 1992 without explaining the soil anomaly.
The Company completed four diamond drill holes from three setups on the South Zone soil anomaly in September 2016 and received encouraging results from two drill holes. Weighted average gold results for the mineralized zone in two closely spaced holes are 4.09 g/t gold over 4.6 m and 3.87 g/t gold over 4.6 m. The true width is currently unknown.
Summary of Intersections Drill Holes EL 16-14A & EL 16-14B
|Drill Hole||From (m)||To (m)||Interval (m)||Gold (g/t)||Silver (g/t)|
The gold mineralization in EL16-14 A&B is related to a zone of inter-layered diorite and syenomonzonite associated with pervasive pyrite-arsenopyrite calcite and silica replacement of the diorite layer with a massive stibnite-bearing fault fill that appears to parallel a contact between a diorite layer and the syenomonzonite. Associated high grade intercepts of 20.39 g/t and 24.9 g/t gold in both drill holes are correlated. The structure that hosts the massive stibnite is currently interpreted to be a steeply dipping structural zone striking northwest parallel to the eastern margin of the South Zone soil anomaly.
Drill holes EL 16-14 A&B (Azimuth 235 degrees, Dip -45 degrees) were drilled from the same setup on the eastern margin of the South Zone soil anomaly and is the same target hole that was re-drilled after EL 16-14A was lost and re-drilled as EL 16-14B. After re-establishing the hole, it was re-drilled past the same target at an interpreted slightly shallower angle. Thus, these two drill intersections are estimated to be less than three (3) m apart. The remaining portions of the drill hole have not been sampled.
The 2017 IP survey identified a resistivity anomaly associated with the drill intersection in the South Zone Discovery but also identified a very significant near-surface chargeability anomaly which was not explained by the 2016 drilling and represents a high-priority drill target for follow-up.
The remaining two drill holes (EL 16-15, EL 16-16) that tested the South Zone anomaly have transected primarily oxidized, sheared and faulted diorite, granodiorite, and/or syenomonzonite with inliers of altered clastic sediments. EL 16-15 which underlies the western portion of the South Zone soil anomaly, intersected a wide oxidized and disrupted zone which includes multiple areas of faulting, brecciation and clay gouge. Only about 68% of the core was recovered for the entire 114 m length of drill hole EL 16-15. The best assay results from this drilling include an intersection of 0.52 g/t gold over 3.04 m which includes 1.13 g/t gold over 1.06 m. This intersection is associated with one of the zones of clay gouge breccia and fault rubble and 24% of the core was not recovered through this interval suggesting possible loss of oxidized mineralization.
EL 16-16 is located on the east side of the South Zone soil anomaly 249 m northwest of EL 16-14. The best assay results from this drilling include intersection of 0.59 g/t gold over 2.44 m and second intersection of 0.48 g/t gold over 2.44 m. These intersections are associated with minor pyrite and arsenopyrite associated with a quartz veinlet zone in syenomonzonite and a clay gouge zone in silicified and carbonate altered diorite and sediments.
North Zone Discovery
On the North Zone Target, PDI completed eight (8) drill holes in 1992. On the surface, pervasive disseminated pyrite-arsenopyrite with intense sericite alteration of granodiorite covers about one square km outcrop area. The best of the PDI drill holes returned an average grade of 0.514 g/t gold over an interval of 99.4 m and bottomed in mineralization.
In September 2016, Endurance completed one diamond drill hole EL 16-13 (Az 180 Dip-45) which tested a slightly higher grade core of the prior drill section within this broad low-grade zone. EL 16-13 was drilled to a total angled depth of 180.75 m and encountered silicified and phylllic (sericite) altered granodiorite throughout the entire core length. About 150 m of this length, starting at surface, encountered up to 1.5% pervasive disseminated pyrite and arsenopyrite with arsenopyrite and pyrite bearing quartz veinlets. The entire length of the drill hole is in-part oxidized with the oxidation related to fractures and oxidized quartz-sulphide veinlets. Assay results are 0.40 g/t gold over 147.1 m including a 0.63 g/t gold over 48.2 m.
True width of the mineralization at the North Zone is currently unknown.
The July 2017 IP survey identified a 1,200 by 600 m chargeability anomaly associated with the North Zone Discovery. A large portion of this North Zone anomaly remains untested by drilling.
Pump Zone Target
The southwestern extension of the North Zone chargeability anomaly manifests as a separate lobe within the large chargeability anomaly. This portion of the anomaly is newly recognized as the Pump Zone Target, which has never been tested with diamond drilling. This western extension anomaly was identified by an IP survey completed in 2004 but never evaluated with drilling or soil samples.
Central Zone Target
The Central Zone Target, an area of no outcrop and deeper cover, is located between the North and the South Zones and associated with the northern side of the Elephant Mountain fault.
The 2017 IP survey identified elevated chargeabilities at the largest separation readings on the Central Zone Target. This target expresses itself at depth because it is interpreted to be beneath an area of deeper oxidation associated with the fault. In 1992, in the same area, PDI completed a ground based gradient IP geophysical survey which identified a chargeability anomaly with dimensions of about 1,500 m by 500 m.
The recessive Central Zone target remains untested by diamond drilling.
The Trout Property was acquired in 2017 and is located about eleven (11) km northeast of the South Zone discovery. This property hosts two (2) known gold targets, the Trout Target and the South Fork Target, both are located in the headwaters of the South Fork of Quail Creek.
The Trout Target is an intrusive-hosted soil anomaly, with values in excess of 100 ppb gold (with soil values up to 1,880 ppb gold) that outline a 1,000 m by 300 m mineralized trend. The best assay results reported included a gold-in-rock grab sample which assayed 9.64 g/t gold associated with a quartz vein hosted within shearing in the intrusive. In August, mapping, rock and soil sampling evaluated the shearing at the Trout Target with the collection of a total of 31 deep power auger soil samples and 12 rock samples. The exploration successfully outlined an 8 to 23 m wide iron-oxidized intrusive-hosted shear zone over a northeast trending strike length of about 140 m. Stibnite and arsenopyrite was observed in several of the rock samples. The shear zone is open in both directions but is more difficult to sample within the steeper coarse talus areas along strike to the northeast and southwest.
The South Fork Target is a gold-bearing structural zone hosted in clastic sediments. The structure is evidenced by a topographic linear suggesting a strike length of at least 1,000 m. A narrow ridgeline that is cut perpendicularly by this mineralized structure was drilled by ACNC (Inco) in the late 1980s. Rock grab samples collected by previous companies along the ridgeline in this structure, range up to 11.98 g/t gold. In July 2017, the Company collected a sample of quartz healed hornfels breccia that returned values of 6.6 ppm gold associated with this structure. In August, a follow-up ATV-supported program was completed. Exploration involved the collection of 132 soil samples and 102 additional rock samples. This total includes 60 rock chip samples from a shallow 100 m long trench, excavated by hand and oriented perpendicular to the strike of the gold-bearing structure. The South Fork soil grid targeted an approximate 1,000 x 300 m area centered on the gold-bearing structure. Rock sampling focused on evaluating the extent and characteristics of the gold-bearing trend. Brecciation and quartz veining, consistent with the gold-enriched samples taken in July, was observed in rock and soil sampling pits extending 200 m to the east of the trench and 400 m to the west of the trench. Brecciation and quartz veining was also observed and sampled up to 100 m to the north of the trench. Interpreted felsic dike intrusive was observed in several locations extending to the west of the trench for at least 530 m.
The Trout and South Fork targets are, in part, the origin of the placer gold that has been exploited from the south fork of Quail Creek since the early 1900s.
The Wolverine Property acquired in 2017 is located about ten (10) km northeast of the South Zone Discovery and consists of at least two gold targets primarily within a granite to monzonite host rock. The most encouraging Wolverine Target is composed of anomalous soils and rocks with values in excess of 50 ppb gold that outline an approximately 300 m by 300 m area (with soil values up to 465 ppb gold). The best reported gold-in-rock grab samples to date are up to 0.97 g/t gold. A reconnaissance program was also completed on Wolverine in July and August 2017. In July, four rock samples were collected and in August the field crew collected an additional eight rock samples and nine soil samples. The majority of the August rock samples were taken in the area where visible gold in rock was identified in 2016. The 2016 sample, which contained five grains of gold visible without a hand lens, was contained within a narrow vuggy quartz vein hosted in porphyritic rhyolite in the headwaters of Eldorado Creek, a feeder creek for Quail Creek. This sample site was revisited in August 2017 to identify additional gold bearing rocks and evaluate and determine a sampling strategy for Wolverine. This reconnaissance program resulted in the identification of another visible gold bearing rock located about 76 m from the 2016 sample. The six grains of gold observed in this single 2017 sample and visible without a hand lens are contained within the remnants of a narrow quartz vein. The host rock to this veinlet is also quartz-rich intrusive and is interpreted to be of similar genesis to the host rock for the 2016 gold sample. Two rock samples of quartz veinlets in porphyritic monzonite, located approximately 900 m south of the visible gold bearing stockwork, contained anomalous tungsten (870 and 630 ppm tungsten) with low gold values up to 130 ppb. Further fieldwork is required to define the extent of the intrusive that hosts the visible gold bearing quartz veinlets.
The Wolverine Target is, in part, the origin of the placer gold that has been exploited from the western fork of Quail Creek since the early 1900s. Several less explored targets within the Wolverine Property also exist including, an historically reported intrusive-hosted stibnite prospect and a prominent structure, similar to the South Fork target, evidenced by a topographic linear with an extent of at least 1,000 m. Further soil sampling, rock sampling and possible trenching is required to delimit the target areas and prioritize drill targets.
Under the terms of the option agreement with the private vendor on the Elephant Property, Endurance can earn a 100% interest by completing a total of US$200,000 in exploration expenditures (incurred), US$200,000 in cash payments ($75,000 paid) and delivering 400,000 Endurance common shares (issued) by December 31, 2019. The option is subject to a 2% net smelter royalty ("Elephant NSR"), and Endurance can purchase half of the Elephant NSR at any time. Under the terms of the option agreement with the private vendor on the Trout and Wolverine Properties, Endurance can earn a 100% interest on both properties by completing a total of US$200,000 in exploration expenditures, US$180,000 ($5,000 paid) in cash payments and delivering 300,000 Endurance common shares by December 31, 2024. The option is subject to a 2% net smelter royalty ("Trout NSR"), and Endurance can purchase half of the Trout NSR at any time.
The placer gold deposits, gold-in-soil anomalies, elevated gold-in-rock samples, and wide drill intersections in intrusive, and the narrower high grade drill intersections in the South Zone Target, indicate that the Elephant Mountain Project has numerous targets that warrant a systematic exploration program including further drilling to expand the discovery at the South Zone Target. Drill testing is also warranted at the North Zone Target, Pump Zone Target, Central Zone Target, and, if September results warrant, the Trout Target, and South Fork Target.
Robert T. Boyd, P.Geo. is a qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 and supervised the compilation of the information forming the basis for this summary. The PDI activity during the period between 1989 and 1992 preceded the implementation of NI 43-101 and furthermore, the original data and reports have not been completely reviewed by the Company. Therefore the historic data summarized in this release should not be relied upon. Bedrock grab samples are selective by nature and are unlikely to represent average grades within the bedrock when drilled.
All 2012 and 2015 rock and soil samples were analyzed at ALS Minerals using Au-ST43, Au-OG43, and ME-MS41. All 2016 split core samples were analyzed at ALS Minerals using Au-AA23, Au-GRA21 (>10 g/t), and ME-MS61L. No assays for antimony or arsenic were completed on core samples with values exceeding 10,000 ppm.