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Message: ATAC unlocking Rau's rich metal potential
By Shane Lasley
ATAC unlocking Rau's rich metal potential
ATAC Resources Ltd.
A pile of copper- and gold-rich rock pulled out of pit dug at the Bobcat target on ATAC Resources' Rau project in the Yukon.
ATAC Resources Ltd.'s 2019 exploration focused primarily on Rau, a 660-square kilometer (255 square miles) property at the western end of the company's 185-kilometer- (115 miles) long Rackla Gold property in the Yukon.
Rau is anchored by Tiger, a carbonate replacement body with 5.68 million metric tons of measured and indicated resources averaging 2.66 g/t (485,700 oz) gold. This project, however, hosts numerous styles of mineralization rich in copper, silver, zinc, lead and tin across a 12.5-mile- (20 kilometers) long trend.
"Mineralization styles vary throughout the Rau project, and demonstrate the potential for not just high-grade gold discoveries, but an entire suite of strategic metals," said ATAC Resources President and CEO Graham Downs
ATAC began its 2019 exploration at Rau with ground-based induced polarization and magnetic geophysical surveys over an area centered on the Rackla Pluton, which is interpreted to be a hydrothermal fluid source that mineralized many of the targets identified at Rau.
Designed to follow up on gold, copper, silver and tin anomalies identified last year, this year's work also included prospecting, soil sampling, geologic mapping and drilling.
Initial hand-pitting and prospecting near a strongly anomalous copper-in-soil location returned a sample of oxidized breccia containing 6.39 percent copper. Further prospecting 300 meters west returned a sheared siltstone cut by quartz veins containing 643 g/t silver. Both samples are located proximal to the intersection of two untested faults – defined on surface as prominent linear features – that ATAC geologist believe tapped mineralizing fluids emanating off the nearby Rackla Pluton.
This area of new mineralization is located approximately 800 meters north of the Bobcat gold-copper skarn target.
Grab samples from prospecting and hand pitting early in the 2018 program include 6.07 g/t gold with 7.41 percent copper; and 5.08 g/t gold with 3.69 percent copper.
ATAC began diamond drilling to test for the bedrock source of this mineralization at Bobcat in July, as well as obtain stratigraphic and structural information to target future drilling.
Late-2018 soil sampling identified a 1,200- by 1,000-meter silver-lead-tin soil anomaly about 1,000 meters east of Bobcat. The easternmost line of this grid contained a sample grading 14.55 g/t silver.
This area was extended with early 2019 sampling that identified a new 900- by 400-meter gold-in-soil anomaly that overlays a parallel 700- by 500-meter copper-in-soil anomaly.
ATAC says this anomaly demonstrates the robust potential for intrusion-related discoveries in the district.
"Results from the area proximal to the Rackla Pluton continue to expand the mineral potential across an emerging, regional-scale polymetallic district," Downs said.
Spotlight, a skarn target located 6,500 meters north of Bobcat, is also being investigated further this year.
ATAC discovered Spotlight in 2017. Limited follow-up prospecting work has resulted in the collection of high-grade grab samples, including 7,080 g/t (227.6 ounce per metric ton) silver and 3.27 g/t gold.
This year's prospecting also identified large quartz boulders containing 2.87 g/t gold about 2,000 meters south of Spotlight and 4,500 meters north of Bobcat
This target is located on the southern margin of a second interpreted buried intrusion identified at Rau.
In addition to its field work, ATAC received Yukon government and Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation approvals to build a 65-kilometer (40 miles) private, all-season road that will connect Rau to the Yukon highway network.
Beyond supporting exploration and development activities at Rau, this road could provide a staging area for exploration on the Orion and Osiris projects to the east.
While ATAC focused its 2019 exploration at Rau, the Orion and Osiris projects to the east remain high quality assets.
Orion, a 780-square-kilometer (301 square miles) prospect immediately east to Rau, was previously under option to Barrick Gold Corp. After two years of exploration, however, the gold major gave up its option without earning any interest in the property.
Despite Barrick dropping the property as it merged with Randgold Resources, the 7,410-meter drill program at Orion during 2018 tapped some promising results.
Much of this drilling targeted the 5,300-meter-long Anubis Fault corridor, where previous ATAC holes cut 8.5 meters of 19.85 g/t gold in the Anubis zone and 61.3 meters of 2.75 g/t gold in the Orion zone.
Four widely-spaced holes drilled by Barrick last year extended the high-grade gold mineralization along the Anubis Fault corridor.
• BDO-18-017 cut 7.61 meters of 10.5 g/t gold;
• BDO-18-018 cut 10.73 meters of 7.2 g/t gold; and
• BDO-18-019 cut 2.78 meters of 9.5 g/t gold.
Osiris is a 302-square-kilometer (117 square miles) property at the eastern end of the Rackla property where ATAC originally discovered Carlin-type gold mineralization in the Yukon.
In 2018, ATAC announced a maiden inferred resource of 1.69 million oz of gold in 12.4 million metric tons of material averaging 4.23 g/t gold.
A successful follow-up expansion drill program completed last year extended mineralization in multiple directions at the Osiris, Conrad and Sunrise zones.
Rotary air blast (RAB) drilling approximately 1,000 meters southwest of Conrad identified a new high-grade gold discovery of 6.1 meters of 3.38 g/t gold from surface.
ATAC Resources is a member of the Strategic Exploration Group, a collection of junior resource companies focused on exploring northwestern Canada. Members of the group enjoy a close working relationship with Archer, Cathro & Associates (1981) Ltd., a geological consulting firm with extensive knowledge and exploration expertise in Yukon and northern British Columbia.
Shane Lasley, Publisher
Over his more than 11 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.
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