Kootenay Gold (TSXV: KTN) Keeps the Drills (and Heads) Turning

by ResourceX Investor - Date: 2007-10-21 - Word Count: 1025 Share This!

This year, the summer doldrums in the resource sector were anything but dull for the boys at Kootenay Gold (TSXV: KTN). With drills turning at Jumping Josephine (BC), Promontorio (Mexico) and Connor Creek (BC), autumn is proving to be a harvest season of results and new announcements by the company and its various JV partners.

Most notable was the announcement regarding Jumping Josephine (JJ), a joint venture effort with Astral Mining (TSXV: AST). With most Phase I drill results already in from JJ, the central question on most investors' minds was: Would the work completed to date warrant a Phase II drill program?

Jumping Josephine is an 11,665 hectare gold property in southern British Columbia. The property hosts the historic Granville Mountain mining camp and several newly discovered vein-hosted gold showings, including JJ Main, JJ West, Albion-Dubrovnik and Bonanza Pass. Previous work on the property by a number of other exploration companies turned up assays of interest, but it was not until Kootenay's early exploration work uncovered the JJ Main and West, Albion-Dubrovnik and Bonanza Pass targets that serious exploration work took place.

The Phase I drill program comprised 2000 meters on three targets: twenty holes at the JJ Main Zone, 400 meters in five holes on the Albion and Dubrovnik targets and a further 500 meters in two holes at the Bonanza Pass. Final results were reported on September 11, along with the exciting news that exploration would indeed continue at JJ in a minimum 3500 meter (approximately 12,000 ft) Phase II drill program.

Phase I work on the JJ Main showing during 2006 revealed a gold bearing stockwork zone up to 10m in width and 240m long. This area yielded assays up to 133.91 g/t gold from one-meter channel samples. Notably, there was a consistent return of high-grade intervals, too, including 5m grading 19.2 g/t Au, 7m grading 31.19 g/t Au, 4m grading 25.24 g/t Au and 10m grading 5.0 g/t Au, and so on. The JJ Main zone is characterized by silicified and sericitized quartz monzonite hosting a distinct zone of multiphase stockwork veining and breccia zones. Mapping and geochemistry completed to date suggest that this structure may extend for over three kilometers.

The most recent results returned from JJ Main were variable. Hole 07JD016 included 10 meters (32.8 ft) averaging 1.17 grams per tonne gold from hole 07JD016, with one meter at 4.14 grams per tonne gold. Although all holes were mineralized, some drill cores were sent to another independent laboratory for a second opinion. Nevertheless, the results at Jumping Josephine did warrant a Phase II program, to begin this fall, which will target what Kootenay and Astral believe is a strong south-plunging mineralized shoot within the JJ Main gold zone.

According to a recent news brief, "The shoot has been intersected to date by holes drilled on the southernmost two sections, spaced 60 meters apart, and so far it appears to be increasing in width to the south. The drill is currently completing a fence of holes along a section 30 meters further to the south. Astral has only just begun to test the potential of JJ Main structure which, based on mapping, geophysics and surface geochemistry, may extend for over three kilometers."

Kootenay appears to be proving its acumen for choosing properties with potential for early stage discoveries that increase shareholder value. The JJ Main, JJ West, Albion-Dubrovnik and Bonanza Pass targets at Jumping Josephine were all discovered by Kootenay after the company purchased the property. Between September and December 2006, Kootenay four times reported notable sampling and trenching results at JJ, including 21.43 g/t Au over five meters. Consequently, the company's stock steadily increased from about $0.56 to $0.66. Finally, on the news of 7.0 m of 31.19 g/t Au, the stock jumped to over $1.

The case at Kootenay's Promontorio Silver Project, which consists of four contiguous claims covering 37,000 hectares in northwestern Mexico, may prove to be even more providential. Chip sampling in the Pit Breccia returned 480 grams per tonne silver, 2.51 grams per tonne gold, 11,199-ppm lead and 17,284-ppm zinc over a true width of 19 meters. These findings lead to the presently ongoing 3000-meter drill program, of which 13 holes are complete and have been sent for laboratory testing. Results are imminent, but what can we expect from this previously producing mine camp?

The only feasibility study completed for Promontorio was prepared in 1973, prior to Canadian Securities Commission's NI-43-101, which regulates disclosure by Canadian exploration companies listed on the TSX Venture - in other words, it doesn't necessarily stand up to post-Bre-X standards. That said, no one is claiming Promontorio to be the next world-class polymetallic mine. The original ore reserve estimate was fairly modest: 384,000 metric tons grading 0.12% Cu, 2.80% Pb, 1.74%, Zn, 367 g/t Ag and 1.5 g/t Au, to a depth of 100 m below the floor of the open cut. Certainly with those grades at such a shallow depth, such a reserve estimate would indicate an economically viable mine. Yet the shallow, open-at-depth nature of this potential ore deposit argues for a substantial exploration program to both confirm and expand up the historical work. As such, the present 3000-meter drill program could make (or break) Promontorio as a major participant in the Mexican resource sector.

Maybe it's the clairvoyant vision of director Richard Hughes (widely seen as the Canadian mining icon partly responsible for bringing Hemlo to production) or the mine-finding prowess of CEO James McDonald who co-founded multiple successful mining companies, but each of the stories behind this growing company (19 million shares outstanding) is beginning to take form. Keep a close eye out for more results this fall.

This article is intended for information purposes only, and is not a recommendation to buy or sell the equities of any company mentioned herein. It is based on sources believed to be reliable, but no warranty as to accuracy is expressed or implied. The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author except where statements are attributed to individuals other than the author, in which case the opinions are those of the individual to whom they are attributed.

Related Tags: finance, gold, business, resources, drilling, metals, mining, tsx, junior, ktn, jj

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