4,953 acres surrounding the recent discovery of gold in quartz veins and disseminated gold mineralization associated with sericite-quartz-pyrite alteration, where recent drilling by Aston Bay has intersected significant gold mineralization, including 35.61 g/t Au over 2.03m and 24.73 g/t Au over 3.57m including 62.51 g/t Au over 1.39m core length.
The previous program, completed by previous owner, consisted of three holes on the Buckingham Property, all of which intersected significant gold, including 15.57 g/t Au over 4.1m and 11.69 g/t Au over 3.1m. In addition to gold-bearing quartz veining, the previous drilling intersected a zone of sericite-pyrite alteration yielding 0.4 g/t Au over 24m including 0.71 g/t Au over 13.72m (all historic intercepts are core intervals, i.e., not true width; see March 4, 2019 Aston Bay press release).
2020 Drilling Program
Ten large diameter (HQ) oriented diamond drill holes totaling 1,218 metres (m) were completed with significant gold intersected in seven of the holes, including high grade gold intersections in quartz vein and broader zones of lower grade gold mineralization in zones of sericite-quartz-pyrite alteration.
Drill hole locations with the significant intercepts from the Phase 1 drilling are presented in Figure 1; these intercepts along with selected intercepts from previous drilling are presented in a longitudinal cross section in Figure 2. Refer to the June 27, 2019 Aston Bay news release for additional information on previous drilling.
Quartz Vein Mineralization - “Buckingham Vein”
Three drill holes (BUCK20-014, -015 and -016) targeted the south-east extension of the Buckingham Vein. The previously known south-east extent of the vein was delineated in 2019 Aston Bay drilling that yielded 24.7 grams/tonne (g/t) Au over 3.3 m including 34.2 g/t Au over 0.5m and 24.7 g/t Au over 3.57 m including 62.5 g/t Au over 1.39 m in BUCK19-003 and -004. A hole drilled by a previous operator in 2016 (WAR16-004) located 35 m southeast along strike from the two Aston Bay drill holes yielded modest results of 0.9 g/t Au over 1.7 m in a zone of poorly recovered quartz-altered rock and quartz veining, casting doubt on continuation of a productive vein. The current drilling by Aston Bay, however, yielded core-length intercepts of 5.81 g/t Au over 6.29 m including 29.9 g/t Au over 0.92 m, 19.25 g/t Au over 1.4 m and 14.54 g/t Au over 1.06 m in quartz vein from BUCK20-014, -015 and 016, representing a 35 m along-strike extension and a 50 m down-dip extension of the Buckingham Vein.
Zones of Disseminated Sericite-Quartz-Pyrite Mineralization
Seven drill holes (BUCK20-007 through BUCK20-013) targeted the transition from the Buckingham Vein into a zone of gold-bearing sericite-quartz-pyrite mineralization. Previous drilling by Aston Bay and a previous operator intersected broad zones of gold mineralization (2.2 g/t Au over 18.0 m and 1.9 g/t Au over 22.2 m in BUCK19-005 and 0.7 g/t Au over 13.7 m in WAR16-006) west of and northwest along strike of the Buckingham Vein. Four of the current drill holes (BUCK20-007, -008, -009 and 010) that were collard along the line of strike or west of the vein intersected broad zones of lower grade, but significant, gold mineralization (e.g., 0.37 g/t Au over 52.66 m, 0.24 g/t Au over 30.79 m, 0.40 g/t Au over 22.73 m, and 1.01 g/t Au over 9.00 m). No significant intersections were noted in the three drill holes collared north of the strike of the Buckingham Vein (BUCK20-011, -012 and -013).
Figure 1: Drill hole locations with significant gold intercepts for 2020 Phase 1 drilling, Buckingham Gold Project, Virginia. Local grid.
Figure 2: Longitudinal cross section with significant gold intercepts, Buckingham Gold Project, Virginia. 2020 Phase 1 drill intercepts in white boxes; previous drill intercepts in blue italics. View looking northeast.
Phase 2 of the diamond drill program at Buckingham Gold Property located in Central Virginia, USA has been completed. Phase 2 of the 2020 Buckingham drill program comprised seven (7) large diameter (HQ) oriented diamond drill holes totaling 803 metres (m), which added to the 1,218 m drilled in ten holes in the first phase of the program in March; results from two of these holes have been previously reported (see August 4 and 10, 2020 Aston Bay press releases).
Drill hole locations with the significant gold intercepts can be seen in Figure 1 and in a longitudinal cross section in Figure 2. Refer to the July 27, 2019 and August 5, 2020, Aston Bay news releases for additional information on previous drilling.
Figure 1: Plan map with drill hole locations and final results for 2020 Phase 2 drilling, Buckingham Gold Project, Virginia. Select significant assay intervals from previous drill programs noted. Local grid in metres.
Figure 2: Longitudinal cross section with significant gold intercepts, Buckingham Gold Project, Virginia. 2020. Final Phase 2 drill intercepts in white boxes; previous drill intercepts in blue italics. View looking northeast.
In this recently completed Phase 2 drilling, four of the drill holes (BUCK-018 through BUCK-021, see Figure 1) targeted the along-strike projection of the Buckingham Vein; all four holes intersected quartz vein material indicating an along-strike extension of 150 m from the 2019 drilling for a total known strike length of over 200 m for the vein. Photographs of the quartz vein intercepts are presented in Figure 3. Three of the drill holes intersected gold mineralization in the quartz vein: 33.50 g/t Au over 1.29 m in BUCK-018, 1.40 g/t Au over 2.75 m including 2.90 g/t Au over 1.25 m in BUCK-019 and 6.56 g/t Au over 2.18 m in BUCK-020. BUCK-021 intersected quartz vein material over 1.08 m core length approximately 25 m vertically below the gold-bearing quartz vein intersection in BUCK-020; the BUCK-021 yielded no significant gold, however.
Figure 3: Photographs of quartz vein intervals intersected in HQ-sized diamond drill holes: a) BUCK-018, b) BUCK-019, c) BUCK-020 and d) BUCK-021 with examples of visible gold noted in each intersection depicted at right, indicated by red arrows. Assay results pending. Scale as noted.
Figure 4: Photograph of quartz vein intervals intersected in HQ-sized diamond drill hole a) BUCK-018 and b) BUCK-19 with examples of visible gold depicted at right, indicated by red arrows. Scale as noted.
BUCK-022 and -022b intersected gold-bearing quartz vein at approximately 12 m vertically below the surface. Core recovery was poor in BUCK-022 yielding 12.50 g/t Au over an estimated 1.5m core length, but a re-drill of the top section of the hole yielded 37.70 g/t Au over 1.50 m in BUCK-022b. Also intersected deep down the hole in BUCK-022 were zones of altered volcaniclastic rock with thin quartz veinlets yielding 1.44 g/t Au over 10.03 m starting at 44m downhole, 6.26 g/t Au over 1.46 m starting at 60.16 m downhole and 0.32 g/t Au over 19.32 m starting at 92.12 m. Similar zones of mineralization were intersected in BUCK-023: 0.57 g/t Au over 21.72 m starting at 24.42 m downhole and 0.77 g/t Au over 9.72 m starting at 65.71 m. BUCK-021 was drilled underneath a gold in soil anomaly west of the vein and did not intersect any significant mineralization.
Buckingham Main Zone
The NW-SE trending Buckingham Main Zone, which comprises a series of visible gold-bearing quartz vein outcrops that extend over a strike length of some 150 m have yielded grab sample assay values up to 701 grams per tonne (g/t) Au. Previous drilling included core-length intercepts of up to 35.6 g/t Au over 2.03 m and 24.7 g/t Au over 3.57 m (2019 drilling) and 5.81 g/t Au over 6.29 m including 29.9 g/t Au over 0.92 m, 19.25 g/t Au over 1.4 m and 14.54 g/t Au over 1.06 m (2020 Phase 1 drilling) in gold-bearing quartz veins, as well as 2.2 g/t Au over 18.1 m and 1.9 g/t Au over 22.2 m in adjacent but separate sericite-quartz-pyrite alteration zones (see June 27, 2019 and July 22, 2020 Aston Bay releases).
The gold-bearing system is hosted within a package of likely Cambrian-age sediments, including greywackes with minor quartz-arenites (phyllite, schist and quartzites), within the Appalachian orogenic belt. This region is the site of the historically prolific Pyrite Belt which hosted a reported 250 gold mines that were in production prior to the California gold rush of 1849 but has seen little recent mineral exploration. Gold production has also occurred to the south in the Carolina Slate Belt, notably at OceanaGold’s Haile Mine located in South Carolina with commercial production commencing in 2017 and slated to produce up to 150,000 ounces of gold per year.