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-Manley 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 Project comprises at least six 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 Kaminak's 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 Elephant Mountain 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 and Wolverine targets about 10 km to the northeast.
2017 Exploration Program
On July 24, 2017, the Company announced that a geophysical crew had completed a forty-three (43) line-km time-domain pole-dipole induced polarization ("IP") survey with resistivity and a thirty- nine (39) line-km proton magnetometer ("Magnetics") ground-based geophysical survey. 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 and identified a near-surface chargeability anomaly at the 2016 South Zone Discovery that requires drill testing.
Further soil and rock sampling, trenching and prospecting will also be completed on the Elephant, Trout and Wolverine Properties.
A drill program, which is currently anticipated to commence in the fall is currently in the planning stages.
Background and Exploration History
The Elephant Property, which is currently the largest 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, North Zone, Pump Zone, and Central Zone are the four principle target areas partly explained by soil anomaly on the Elephant 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. On October 31, 2016, the Company announced 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 July 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 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 the drill hole EL 16-15. The best assay results from this drilling include an intersection of 0.52 gpt gold over 3.04 m which includes 1.13 gpt 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 north west of EL 16-14. The best assay results from this drilling include intersection of 0.59 gpt gold over 2.44 m and second intersection of 0.48 gpt 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 gpt gold over 147.1 m including a 0.63 gpt gold over 48.2 m.
True width of the mineralization at the North Zone is currently unknown although correlation of the greater than 0.50 gpt gold mineralization for the North Zone drilling shows an apparent sub-horizontal orientation over a distance of about 350 m.
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 acquired in 2017 is located about eleven (11) km northeast of the South Zone discovery and hosts two (2) known gold targets. 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 gpt gold associated with a quartz vein hosted within shearing in the intrusive. The Trout Target remains open for expansion in size.
The South Fork target is a 10 to 20 m wide 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 gpt gold. Fine placer gold can be readily obtained in the primary creek immediately downstream from the structure. 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. Further soil sampling, rock sampling and possible trenching is required to delimit the target areas and prioritize drill targets.
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 gpt gold. Significant gold mineralization in samples are typically associated with quartz veins hosted within intrusive. Quartz veinlets with visible gold that have not yet been assayed were recovered from this Wolverine target in 2016. The Wolverine target remains open for expansion and 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 and test additional targets at Trout and South Fork.
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.