What are Blue Star Gold’s exploration goals for 2022?
The Blue Star team is following up on a very successful 2021 exploration program. The goals for the 2022 program include expanding the resource base on our Ulu and Hood River projects by following up on 2021 results and evaluating additional high-priority targets for discovery potential. To accomplish this, we are planning a multi-prong approach. We plan to expand the airborne magnetics coverage to include all our Ulu and Hood River project landholdings for more detailed geological interpretation. We’re also planning regional style geochemical surveys to source new and support existing target areas. Detailed mapping and prospecting will be conducted, and the highest potential targets based on our current level of knowledge will be prioritized for drill testing.
Currently, the drill plan is scheduled to entail approximately 7,500-8,000 metres that will test multiple target zones, with mobilization of the program in May 2022.
How are the drill metres and targets being prioritized?
Given the objective of adding ounces the drill program will initially follow up on the 2021 successes such as the strong results from the Gnu, NFN, Central-C and the Flood-Axis target zones. A portion of the drilling will also be earmarked for undrilled, high discovery potential targets that are the result of a compilation of all the known showings and prospects into a single database for the first time. More than 100 targets have been compiled across our properties to date and include three key styles of mineralization: acicular arsenopyrite (Flood Zone style), polymetallic vein (Gnu and NFN style), and a less understood gold enriched massive sulphide style.
Prioritization of the targets is based on proximity to the known Flood Zone Deposit and its related infrastructure, previous successful drill areas, and high-quality new targets resulting from screening with our developing exploration toolbox.
Why are there so many prospects or targets?
Previous operators were focused on the Flood Zone Deposit as a feeder source to existing mine plans or development plans. The Blue Star team is the first group to look at the area as a high potential exploration project since the early days in the 1990s when BHP held the project. At that time only limited exploration was undertaken to evaluate regional targets as work was focused on the known deposit or was directed at low-cost prospecting work which resulted in identifying more gold showings. Since we have consolidated and expanded the Ulu-Hood River and Roma land packages we have, for the first time, put significant effort into compiling all of the historical and known mineral showings into a single dataset. This provides us the ability to rate and rank the gold targets for drill testing using a number of different methodologies and parameters which is important given we have more than one style of mineralization in our extensive land package.
You mentioned an exploration toolbox, what is that?
In a simplified form, we look at a deposit as needing a good geological structure, a receptive or reactive rock unit and a gold-bearing fluid. Therefore, our exploration toolbox is a set of data and tools that allow us to collect or screen for these criteria and, in effect, assist us in identifying, up-grading, or down-grading potential targets. We are constantly working to develop additional tools for each style of mineralization. At the Flood Zone, the mineralization style we recognize is the presence of fine acicular arsenopyrite, a strongly silicified corridor that has a geophysical signature and the proximity of high-iron and high-titanium bearing mafic volcanic rocks. All of these characteristics are important when exploring for other deposits similar in mineralization style to the Flood Zone Deposit.
The team is always looking at innovative ways to add to the exploration toolbox; this season we will evaluate geophysical tools to identify structures and veining that resemble the new vein system discovered in 2021 which is approximately 750 metres NE of the Flood Zone Deposit. The technical team has completed desktop reviews of a real-time ambient noise tomography system which may contribute to subsurface structure interpretations and assist in identifying new targets. Blue Star has also committed, as a research sponsor, to be an early user in Canada of Portable PPB Pty Ltd’s detectORE™ patented low-level gold by pXRF technology. It enables rapid remote on-site gold results to ~20 ppb Au levels daily, instead of weeks to many months for each batch.