Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - May 13, 2021) - Heliostar Metals Limited (TSXV: HSTR) (OTCQX: HSTXF) (FSE: RGG1) ("Heliostar" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the start of its 2021 drill program at the Unga project in Alaska. The company mobilized three drill rigs to the project in April and has completed five holes so far, across the SH-1 and Apollo targets.
Heliostar CEO, Charles Funk, commented, "This program is the earliest commencement of drilling undertaken at the project in its history. With three drill rigs operating, the company plans to complete an initial 7,000 metre program to follow-up and extend the open gold intersections defined last year at SH-1, Apollo, and Aquila. The company has C$7.2 million in cash and investments and closing the recent capital raise has allowed us to expand the Phase 1 program. Heliostar looks forward to some of the earliest assay results from summer projects in Alaska and Canada in 2021 due to this early start."
Figure 1: Location of Heliostar's main 2021 targets at the Unga Project, Alaska
To view an enhanced version of Figure 1, please visit:
Unga Program Details
The company is taking a four-prong approach to the 2021 Unga exploration program to expand upon the existing resource, expand two new open gold intersections and drill test new targets:
- At the SH-1 Resource (an inferred resource of 384,000 ounces at 13.8 grams per tonne ("g/t") gold), drilling will focus on expanding the resource beneath open intersections;
- At the historic Apollo-Sitka Mine, drilling in 2020 found gold mineralization beyond the footprint of the former mine and drilling will aim to define the historically defined, but never mined, zones of gold-, silver- and base metal-rich mineralization;
- Expansion drilling at Aquila, to follow up on the 2020 discovery of 31.6 metres at 1.8 g/t gold, including 5.75 metres at 5.56 g/t gold;
- District-scale exploration to advance high priority targets to drill-ready status and drill test the highest ranked opportunities.
This program employs two reverse circulation (RC) drills and a diamond drill core rig. Each drill will be used to maximize its comparative advantages. Diamond drilling will be focused on SH-1 to match previous drilling for confidence in any future resource estimation.
The company will employ RC drilling on the large, earlier stage targets such as Aquila, Apollo, and the broader district prospects. RC drilling has the advantage of rapid penetration for greater speed, ease of transport and small footprint, which are ideal for preliminary assessment work.
Figure 2: Longitudinal section of SH-1 Resource Area with location of 2021 planned drilling shown
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Drilling at SH-1 is targeting the down-dip extension of high grade gold mineralization below the Main zone. The 2020 results from shallow drilling support the interpretation that the high grade zone dips more steeply than previously recognized, an interpretation that will guide the deeper drilling planned for 2021. Hole BM-1 is the deepest hole in the resource and intersected 5.48 metres grading 23.99 g/t gold and is open to depth (Figure 2).
Hole SH20-09 was drilled in 2020 to test the downdip extension of the Main zone but did not reach the target depth. It intercepted low grade veins similar to those observed in nearby holes, however, did not reach the depth required to intersect the interpreted continuation of high grade veins. As such, follow-up drilling to test the target depth is the initial priority at SH-1.
The Apollo drill program focuses on the Apollo Shaft 2 area before expanding to include drilling at Sitka Mine, to the east, and the Apollo Shaft 1, to the west (Figure 3). The Apollo Shaft 2 area has never been drilled despite being the focus of significant historic exploration at the time of original mining between 1886 and the 1920s that comprised shaft sinking, drifting, and cross cutting to discover veins. Historic reports note that many drifts and crosscuts encountered veins with gold, silver and base metals. These zones of defined mineralization were not mined due to the lack of flotation technology to treat sulphide ore, technology that has now been industry-standard for multiple decades.
Figure 3: Apollo plan map with completed 2020 drillholes and planned 2021 drillholes shown
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Historic exploration reached depths of more than 225 metres below surface by way of a vertical mine shaft, from which hundreds of metres of horizontal drifts and cross cuts were run. Reports from historic sources provide information on the presence of veins in these developments but provide much less information on their exact locations and orientations. Available data suggests panels of steeply dipping veins that project from Shaft 2 to the northeast and southwest.
The company is testing this area by drilling fences of holes to clearly define the location and orientation of veins before stepping out along strike and at depth to define the extent of mineralization.
At Sitka, drilling from 2020 (APS20-04) intersected a stockwork zone of quartz veins that returned 24.99 metres at 1.06 g/t gold equivalent adjacent to historic workings. Drilling will continue to test the extents of mineralization along strike from this intercept and from the historic workings.
Figure 4: Aquila plan map with completed 2020 drillholes and planned 2021 drillholes shown
To view an enhanced version of Figure 4, please visit:
The Aquila drill program will principally test the Amethyst Vein which returned 31.6 metres at 1.8 g/t gold, including 5.75 metres at 5.56 g/t gold, from hole AQ20-01. This drill hole was the only hole to intersect the target structure during the 2020 drill program (Figure 4). A recently-completed compilation and digitization of historic trenching results indicates that this mineralized structure is continuous at surface over a strike length of more than 700 metres (Figure 4). Mineralized widths from trenching range from 5 to 15 metres and mineralization is unconstrained at depth by drilling.
In addition to drilling at the Amethyst Vein, the 2021 drill program will further expand upon the 2020 discovery by systematically stepping along strike and to depth to determine the full size of the mineralized vein zone.
2021 Exploration Plan Summary
The company is excited about the aggressive 2021 drill program. Unga is a highly endowed mineral system that hosted multiple historic mines. We believe it has much more to offer and our initial goal for the project is to increase resources on the project to greater than one million ounces of gold. Our current exploration plan is designed to answer some critical questions regarding the extent of gold mineralization at SH-1, Aquila and Apollo. And our field reconnaissance should identify new targets for exploration.
About Heliostar Metals Ltd.
Heliostar is a well-financed junior exploration and development company with a portfolio of high-grade gold projects in Alaska and Mexico. The company's flagship asset is the 100% controlled Unga Gold Project on Unga and Popof Islands in Alaska. The project hosts an intermediate sulfidation epithermal gold deposit, located within the district-scale property that encompasses 240km2 across the two islands. Additional targets on the property include porphyry, high sulphidation and intermediate sulphidation epithermal veins. On Unga Island, priority targets include: the SH-1 and Aquila, both on the Shumagin Trend, the former Apollo-Sitka mine, which was Alaska's first underground gold mine and the Zachary Bay porphyry gold-copper prospect. Gold mineralization at the Centennial Zone is located on neighbouring Popof Island within four kilometres of infrastructure and services at Sand Point.
In Mexico, the company owns 100% of three early stage epithermal projects in Sonora that are highly prospective for gold and silver. Cumaro forms part of the El Picacho district, while the Oso Negro and La Lola projects are also prospective for epithermal gold-silver mineralization.
The Company's disclosure of technical or scientific information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Stewart Harris, P.Geo., Exploration Manager for the Company. Mr. Harris is a Qualified Person as defined under the terms of National Instrument 43-101.
For additional information please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Heliostar Metals Limited
Investor Relations Manager
Heliostar Metals Limited
Phone: +1 778 357 1313
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Forward-Looking Information. This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "projects", "potential" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur. Forward-looking statements in this press release include Heliostar's plans to continue aggressive exploration at Unga in 2021 and its goal of defining a resource in excess of one million ounces, its plan to continue infill drilling to expand to depth where the system remains open, and its belief that the SH-1 prospect has considerable potential for expansion. Although Heliostar believes that the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not a guarantee of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, weather, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company's management on the date the statements are made. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change.
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