Australian Resources & Investment takes a closer look at Treasure Creek, the gold-antimony project Felix Gold is developing in Alaska.
Much like Australia, Alaska has established itself as a gold mining hub, with several companies mining multi-million-tonne deposits across ‘the great white north’.
What is it about Alaska that lends itself to gold prosperity, and why would an emerging Alaskan-focused exploration company be a worthwhile investment proposition?
Felix Gold managing director and chief executive officer Anthony Reilly said it best.
“The Tintina gold province where our Treasure Creek project is located has delivered 100 years of gold production throughout the area, so it’s quite prolific,” Reilly told Australian Resources & Investment.
“The Mine Discovery Fund (Felix Gold’s founding entity and largest shareholder) were really keen to be involved in this region, so the private investment firm put a package together, which is now one of the largest claims holdings in the belt.”
Located next door to Kinross Gold’s multi-million-ounce Fort Knox gold mine, Felix Gold has established a simple strategy to discover, delineate, mine, and explore the potential to process with Kinross or toll treat its gold tonnes.
“Ideally, we won’t need to spend significant capital on processing infrastructure and building a new mill if we could partner with our next-door neighbours,” Reilly said. “And I don’t know what scenario would exist where we wouldn’t be able to do that if we were of a commercial scale.”
The Fort Knox mine has a 16 million-tonne-per-annum mill that is operating at only 55 per cent capacity and receives a head grade of less than 0.65 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, considerably less than assays returned by Felix.
After commencing a maiden drill program at Treasure Creek in April 2022, Felix Gold announced it had made a discovery at the Northwest (NW) Array prospect in early August last year.
This included an 89.9m intersection at 1.2g/t gold from 32m deep, and 33.5m at 1.63g/t from a depth of 1.5m.
This seemingly opened the floodgates for more high-grade intersections at Treasure Creek, with a 3.1m at 9.92g/t gold intersection announced in mid-September 2022 and a 6.1m at 3.74g/t including 1.5m at 8.73g/t gold intersection announced later that month, as well as countless more high-grade announcements to close out 2022.
By the end of last year, Felix Gold had enough evidence to feel confident that a large-scale hydrothermal gold system was presenting in various clusters.
Furthermore, Treasure Creek had also shown the potential to host antimony, a globally recognised critical mineral used in the manufacturing of smartphones and computers. Antimony’s anti-corrosion and fire-retardant properties also make it a key material for the defence industry.
Last year’s 14,000m drill program has enabled Felix Gold to calculate 3.6 million ounces of JORC-compliant exploration targets to underpin its 2023 drilling efforts, where an infill drill program commenced in May.
Felix Gold announced its second batch of assays from infill drilling in late-July, demonstrating the continuation of shallow gold mineralisation at NW Array, including a 30.5m intersection at 3.02g/t gold from 7.6m deep.
Drilling had also intersected high-grade stibnite – the mineral that hosts antimony – including a 6.1m hit of more than five per cent stibnite (the upper limit of laboratory testing) from a depth of 30.5m.
Having completed the required exploration, Reilly said the goal for Felix Gold was to release a maiden mineral resource estimate this year.
“The infill drilling program has just completed and we’ll be receiving further assays back through August,” he said. “We’ll then interpret and model that data and we hope to release a maiden resource for Treasure Creek in the fourth quarter of this year.
“So by October, we’ll hopefully be able to put our stake in the ground and say, ‘This is what we’re starting with’.”
Given the extent of mineralisation so far, with the release of its maiden resource Felix Gold is optimistic Treasure Creek has the endowment to support a bona fide gold-antimony mine. It’s just a matter of discovering and delineating it.
Felix Gold also has a mining-friendly Alaskan Government by its side, as well as relevant infrastructure to tap into when Treasure Creek is mine-ready.
Reilly said given what is eventuating at Treasure Creek and the profile of operating gold mines nearby, the project would likely become a bulk mining operation.
“We won’t be mining high-grade veins … Treasure Creek is a large system,” he said. “When you break it all down, it’s a bulk mining operation and it’s going to be mined right alongside a high-capacity, high-throughput mill.
“Treasure Creek mineralisation is shallow near surface, so it’s open-pitable and quite cheap from an operating expense perspective.
“True to its name, our team is optimistic that Treasure Creek is going to deliver.”
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