Why Yukon?

Starting in October 2010 and continuing through spring 2011, Carlin and Constantine, in a 50/50 joint venture (“JV”) established a large land position in an emerging gold frontier in the Yukon’s Selwyn Basin.  The JV currently controls 4,967 claims in the Mayo and Watson Lake mining districts.  The claims are distributed in twelve project blocks that total 1,000 square kilometers (385 square miles).  Areas were selected to explore for ‘Carlin type’ mineralization. The discovery by ATAC Resources Ltd. of the Osiris Zone at its Rau Project contains mineralization which is characterized as Carlin type, and emphasizes the opportunity to find other similar deposits within the Selwyn Basin portion of the Tintina Gold Belt.  The Joint Venture moved quickly after the discovery announcement to establish a large land position in this emerging gold frontier, acquiring areas with permissive geology and drainages with strong geochemical anomalies.

Carlin geologists feel that the JV holdings have potential for Carlin-type gold deposits similar to the new Osiris discovery.  Carlin-type potential is supported by several important local and regional features:

  • Favorable regional trace element stream sediment geochemistry.
  • Carlin-type gold mineralization and alteration with orpiment, realgar and cinnabar occurrences.
  • Favorable carbonate bearing host rocks in the stratigraphic section.
  • Prominent regional scale thrust fault in the area of the new claims, similar to the regional thrust fault belts in the Carlin-type environment in Nevada.
  • Presence of regional antiformal traps, favorable for gold mineralization.
  • Setting for the new claims along the ancient North American continental margin, similar to many Nevada gold deposits.

Area selection was aided by a utilization of a Yukon government geochemical database containing over 30,000 regional silt samples collected from across the Territory.  The staking was focused on areas with regional, geochemical stream silt anomalies with elevated values in gold, arsenic, antimony and mercury, located primarily in lower Paleozoic strata with associated carbonates.  Geochemical silt values in excess of 300 ppb gold and 3,000 ppm arsenic are present on some of the staked claims.

In spite of the similarities in the geological setting with the Great Basin of the western United States (host for Nevada’s Carlin-type deposits), the Selwyn Basin has experienced very little exploration for this type of deposit.  This fact is significant, because Carlin-type deposits in Nevada are large, economically significant and tend to occur in clusters and along “trends”.  Therefore the discovery of an individual deposit increases the likelihood of additional discoveries in the region.  Carlin-type deposits in Nevada have produced more than 100 million ounces of gold since the initial discovery in the 1960s.  The deposits are distributed over a large area and include several +10 million ounce deposits.  These are encouraging features when it comes to exploring for Carlin-type deposits in an underexplored region like the Selwyn Basin.

The JV combines Carlin Gold’s extensive experience exploring for Carlin-type deposits in Nevada with Constantine’s expertise and familiarity in operating exploration programs in the North.

The 2011 field program has just recently been completed.  Phase one sampling-intensive coverage was completed on all of the twelve properties.  Follow-up sampling and geological evaluation has been completed in prospective areas defined by this initial coverage.  Area selection was based on both arsenic data generated by an on-site portable x-ray fluorescence analyzer, as well as laboratory assays as they became available.  Overall, approximately 13,000 soil, silt and rock samples were collected during the program.  With only about 30% of the laboratory results completed, three areas have been the focus of follow up work.