Time To Yodel In The Yukon, Canadian Stock Exchanges
By E. A. Schiller
Yukon’s fame started with the famous Klondike gold rush of 1896 to 98 and continued more or less to today with a few “boom and bust cycles” thrown in over the years. Although gold was discovered on Fortymile Creek in 1850 it wasn’t until Skookum Jim and partners made the historic gold discovery on Rabbit Creek in the Klondike in August of 1896 that precipitated one of the worlds’ biggest gold rushes. The Territory’s second most important mining event took place at Keno -Hill in 1906 with the discovery of high-grade silver/lead veins at Keno-Hill. Actual production did not commence until 1925 and continued off and on until January, 1989. Total production over this period was 6,769 tonnes of silver ( 217 million ounces), 273,622 tonnes of lead, 153,198 tonnes of zinc and 1,800 tonnes of cadmium from 4.9 million tonnes of ore that averaged 40.5 oz/t, 5.6% lead and 3.1% zinc. In 2010 Alexco Resources Corp (AXR-TSX) commenced operations in the camp with a planned production of 2.8 million ounces of silver in 2011 from the underground Bellekeno deposit. Three additional underground deposits are being explored in addition to a tailings area. Two of the more advanced projects Lucky Queen and Onek released in July initial indicated and inferred resource estimates, respectively of 7,644,000 and 5,188,000 ounces of silver and recoverable gold, lead and zinc. Alexco stock trades around $7.20, up from around $3.00 in mid 2010.
Zinc/lead/silver was mined from the Faro ore body near Vangorda Creek in the Anvil Range between 1970-1982 and later between 1985-1992 and 1995-1998. Throughout the Territory a number of small gold-silver mines had intermittent production in past years. Whereas mechanized placer gold mining (dredges) took place in the early to mid 2000s currently mom and pop run placer gold operations are scattered through the Territory with an annual production of about 100,000 ounces.
The time to yodel in the Yukon started in recent years with many major gold discoveries using advanced exploration methods. Leading the group was the Strategic Exploration Group, a collection of junior resource companies headed by Archer, Cathro & Associates (1981) Limited based in Whitehorse. Archer and Cathro are super geoscientists, legends in their own time and provided the Group with unrestricted access to its unparalleled proprietary mineral database. The Group is a collection of junior resource companies under the Strategic Metals Ltd. (SMD-TSX-V) umbrella comprising ATAC Resources Ltd. (ATC-TSX-V), Rockhaven Resources Ltd. (RK-TSX-V) and ARCUS Development Group Inc. (ADG-TSX-V). Strategic is a Yukon-focused company that has assembled an exceptional portfolio of more than 150 property and royalty interests. Through project farm-outs and investments, the company has rapidly grown its working capital to more than $150 million. Midas Touch is the company’s’ main project for Carlin-style gold mineralization in the vicinity of ATAC Resources’ new Osiris discovery. The Silver Range project comprises multiple large-scale targets of bulk-tonnage silver-lead-zinc-copper-potential. This project has been transferred to Silver Range Resources Ltd. by way of a Plan of Arrangement and to be completed shortly. Strategic trades around $3.80 up from around $3.00 earlier in the year. Strategic’s stable of company interests are 9.8% of ATC, 26.1% of RK, 19.9% of Silver Range when is starts trading shortly, 19.9% of Wolverine Minerals Corp. (WLV-TSX-V), 9.9% of Alix Resources Corp.(AIX-TSX-V), 7.5% of Silver Predator Corp. (SPD-TSX-V), and a minor stock position in ADG. WLV, AIX and SPD in addition to having Yukon projects are active explorers in the US. Strategic’s stock trades around $3.35, up from around $3.00 earlier this year.
ATAC Resources is the flag ship of the Strategic Exploration Group focused on developing a Carlin-type gold discovery at its 100% owned Rackla Gold Project. The Rackla Gold Project was a grassroots discovery made by ATAC in 2006 and exploration to date has been focused within the Rau Trend on the Tiger Zone, a high-grade at/or near surface oxide gold target. In 2010, the discovery of the Osiris Zone shifted the focus to the Nadaleen Trend, 100 km to the east of Tiger zone where drilling has confirmed four Carlin-type gold discoveries at the Osiris, Conrad, Eaton and Isis zones. In 2011, ATAC is conducting an aggressive 40,000 meter drilling program to identify additional Carlin-type gold discoveries within the 125 sq./km Nadeleen Trend and to further define the Osiris, Conrad, Eaton and Isis zones. All four zones have yielded favourable gold-bearing intersections all of which demonstrate the potential for one or more economic deposits are present. In July, the first 2011 hole (OS-11-010) on the Conrad Zone cut 82.29 metres of 4.08 g/t Au within an expanded interval of 114.93 metres grading 3.15 g/t Au. All four Zones are or will be drilled this summer. ATAC stock in late July traded around $9.35 up from around $2.00 in mid-2010 and around $7.00 earlier this year.
Rockhaven is exploring the Klaza property, a high grade and bulk tonnage gold-silver prospect located in the Mt. Hansen mining camp within the Dawson Range Gold Belt. Rockhaven with farm-in partner Mill City Gold Corp (MC-TSX-V) are drilling gold-and silver-rich veins at Mount Hinton in the Keno Hill mining district. Rockhaven stock trades around $1.30 up from around 80 cents earlier this year.
For investors looking at a kick at a gold situation with lots of upside cannot go wrong with a position in Strategic or ATAC. The Yukon is one of the best mining friendly jurisdictions in Canada besides being one the best places to find gold and if you are lucky you might even learn how to yodel.
For those of you who have been uranium believers and especially Hathor Exploration Ltd (HAT-TSX) shareholders were elated to see HAT’s recent drill hole intercepts on their Far East Zone of 52 metres of 2.40% U308, including 9.5 metres of 5.61% U308 (Hole MWNE-11-700). Encouraged with these results the originally planned 7,500 metres of drilling has been extended to a 10,000 metre drill program. Terra Ventures Inc. (TAS-TSX-V) owns a 10% carried interest to completion of a positive feasibility study. Hat trades around $3.00, up from $1.60 earlier this year. Under review at this time is a planned amalgamation of the two companies subject to Terra shareholders approval on August 2. TAS trades around 58 cents up from 30 cents earlier this year.