Wels is a gold discovery in a previously unrecognized mineral district 60km south of Goldcorp’s 4 Moz Coffee deposit. The area comprises 350 contiguous ‘quartz claims’ covering an area of approximately 7,200 hectares. High grade rock samples close to surface have been found in 3 adjacent zones over 2 x 4km zone but to date, only 20% of the property has been explored in any detail. Wels has only seen two drill programs (2015 and 2017) during which a total of 1674 metres were drilled.
Good infrastructure: Located 20km east of a disused airstrip which is connected to the main Alaska highway near Beaver Creek.
Positive Relationships: Located in the traditional territory of White River First Nation with which K2 has a cooperative relationship.
Environmental Considerations: The exploration site is 7km NW of Wellesley Lake and 5km East of White River. K2 is committed to ensuring the highest quality of work and monitoring in keeping with the company’s commitment to responsible exploration.
Highlights to Date
Rock sampling - 178 samples collected to date identify numerous targets and indicate multiple lithologies host gold on the property. Significant grades include 1003 g/t surface sample at the Saddle, and 28.2 g/t and 13.6 g/t in gabbro at Southwest Spur, and 1.93 g/t and 1.67 g/t in quartzite at Chai.
Drilling - 1674m diamond drilling from 6 pads and 15 holes, approximately 50m apart returned mineralization in each hole. 2015 drilling returned 97.5m @ 0.76 g/t, including 3.11 g/t over 19.5m and 5.71 g/t over 9 m with visible gold. 2017 drilling returned 28.5m @ 2.37 g/t, 12.50m @ 5.08 g/t and 144m @ 0.28 g/t with visible gold in 3 drill holes. The main high grade mineralized zone (Saddle Zone) is 10-30m width and at least 125m in strike length, and remains open both east and west and at depth. In addition, two new higher-grade zones have been identified; a new 1.5-4.5m wide high-grade zone (the “South Saddle Zone”) parallel to the Main Saddle Zone 75m to the south and also a far less well-defined zone 50m to the north (the “North Saddle Zone”). The mineralization intersected to date starts at shallow depths, is open along strike and to depth, with the deepest hole drilled to date terminated at 158.5m.
Soil sampling - 1,984 samples taken to date. Soil sampling has been the most useful exploration method to define mineralized zones and samples and has identified multiple gold targets for further exploration work. Analysis was done for Au and multi-element ICP. Gold at Wels has an affinity for Ag, As, Bi and Sb.
Host rocks to the mineralization include granite (Saddle), gabbro (Gunpowder and Pekoe), and quartzite (Chai). Examples of this type of granitoid intrusion similar to the Saddle intrusive at Wels are:
- Eagle and Olive (Victoria Gold) – Eagle: 3.6 Moz M&I @ 0.63 g/t; Olive: 0.33Moz M&I @ 1.08 g/t.
- Fort Knox (Kinross) - >6 Moz mined historically and 0.9 Moz @ 0.42 g/t remaining
- Shotgun (TNR) - 0.71 Moz @ 1.06g/t
- Red Mountain (IDM) - 0.58 Moz M&I - 8.75 g/t
- Scheelite Dome, Clear Creek, Ida-Ora (Exploration projects)
Other deposits that are considered of a similar general type but not directly related are Donlin Creek -32 Moz 2.91 g/t and Pogo - 5.6 Moz at 12.5 g/t. The property is located above the historic glaciation level therefore the soils have not experienced regolith disruption.
The Wels Gold Property is underlain by rocks of displaced Selwyn Basin (NAb) Terrane White River Formation, included by sills and intrusions of Triassic gabbro. Locally, but off the claims are Yukon Tanana Terrane and Slide Mountain Terrane rocks. These terranes are overlain by a younger overlap assemblage of Donjek Group mafic volcanic and hypabyssal rocks to the south.
A late Cretaceous (100.94 ±.04 Ma) intrusion, very similar to the Cretaceous intrusions of the Tombstone Suite located further east in Selwyn basin northeast of the Tintina trench hosts the Saddle zone mineralization. Mineralization consists of free gold in sheeted quartz veins with sericite-calcite alteration selvages and pyrite and arsenopyrite up to 1-2% in mineralized sections and less in un-mineralized rock. The mineralized zone is typical of ‘reduced intrusion related systems’ such as Kinross’s Fort Knox deposit and Victoria Gold’s Eagle Gold deposit.
Highlights of the 2017-2018 work program:
- Drilling - Several high-grade drill intersections including DDH17-06 – 2.37g/t Au over 28.50m, and DDH17-07 – 5.08 g/t Au over 12.50m (See table 1 below). The best mineralized zone is 10-30m width, has a strike extent of 125m and remains open both east and west and at depth.
- Distribution of gold – Discrete high grade gold occurs within a lower grade halo with coarse visible gold grains observed in 2 sections (DDH17-06 and DDH17-14).
- Prospecting has identified three new areas of mineralization (Gunpowder, Chai, and Pekoe). Gold mineralization has now been discovered in 3 host rocks, granitoids (Saddle), gabbro (Gunpowder, Pekoe) and quartzites (Chai).
- Multiple soil anomalies, particularly Oolong (1200 by 500m) require further trenching and prospecting.
- Additional gold mineralization was located just north of the main known gold zone at Saddle, perhaps indicating multiple gold zones at Saddle. Further testing is required.
On the Saddle Zone, a biotite granite hosting high grade gold mineralization has been outlined by soil sampling, trenching and core drilling (2011-1017). The mineralized zone in the granite measures a minimum of 500 m on strike is by 10-30 m wide and has been drill tested to 150 m depth. The zone is open in all directions.
The 2017 drilling program included both infill and step out holes and has provided a better understanding of the nature of the gold mineralization discovered in 2014 trenching and the 2015 drill campaign.
The analytical results from the 2017 drill program confirmed the presence of a shallow, well defined high-grade gold mineralized body starting at shallow depths, located within a broader halo of lower grade gold. The mineralization is hosted by a pervasive east-west trending structural zone within a reduced non-magnetic granite. The widest high-grade gold zone is the “Main Saddle Zone”. This mineralized body is sub-vertical and approximately 10-30m wide, and has a known minimum strike extent of 125m. Visible gold has now been identified in 3 of the 15 holes drilled in the Saddle Zone.
In addition, two new higher grade zones have been identified; a new 1.5-4.5m wide high-grade zone (the “South Saddle Zone”) parallel to the Main Saddle Zone 75m to the south and also a far less well defined zone 50m to the north (the “North Saddle Zone”). Both the Main and South Saddle Zones remain open along strike and at depth. The mineralization intersected to date starts at shallow depths, is open to depth, with the deepest hole drilled to date terminated at 158.5m.
Aerial View of the Wels Saddle Zone (View North Trenches T14-01,02,03,04)
Gunpowder (700 by 400m) - The mineralized zone (“Gunpowder”) was discovered approximately 1.2km to the southwest of Saddle. In addition to the 28.2 g/t Au sample reported in the Company’s news release dated September 13, 2017, a grab and trench sample collected 15m and 215m to the south assayed 13.6 g/t and 2 g/t Au respectively. Rocks collected to date from Gunpowder appear to be gabbroic and exhibit multiple alteration and fabric features consistent with faulting.
Chai (1600 by 300m) - The recently discovered “Chai” zone is located 1km south of Saddle and is hosted in quartzite. Chai is expressed as a >1.5km long, strong east-west soil anomaly with assays up to 140.7 ppb Au (25% of soil samples were greater than 25 ppb Au). Subsequent follow-up prospecting in September returned rock samples that assayed 4.38, 1.93 and 1.67 g/t Au. The zone is predominantly covered with approximately 1-2m of soil overburden.
Pekoe (1050 by 700m) - Soil anomalies located north and west of the Saddle, including the Au-in-Soil anomaly known as Pekoe which returned assayed up to 549 ppb Au (36% of soil samples were greater than 25 ppb Au). First pass prospecting in 2018 returned rock grab assays of up to 4.07 g/t Au.