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Nighthawk Gold has started drilling work on the first phase of its 2021 exploration program at its Indin Lake Gold property, about 200 kilometres north of Yellowknife.

Phase one of the program started in the third week of March and is expected to be completed by the end of July, the company said in a news release on April 13.

75,000 metres of drilling possible

The first phase is planned to be made up of 41,420 metres of planned drilling across more than three holes.

About 55 per cent of the drilling aims for greenfield targets, or areas not yet charted; and 45 per cent aims at resource expansion.

Richard Roy, vice president of exploration with Nighthawk Gold stands inside a drilling machine at the Grizzly Bear target within the Colomac Centre, part of the company’s Indin Lake Gold property, about 200 kilometres north of Yellowknife. photo courtesy of Nighthawk Gold

Three drills are currently active and Nighthawk expects to increase the number to five by the end of April.

“For 2021, we would ideally like to complete upwards of 75,000 metres of drilling (total drilling for the year), but we have yet to assign targets for the Phase II program,” said Suzette N. Ramcharan, vice president of corporate development with Nighthawk.

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The camp has been expanded to accommodate up to seven drills, which would allow 100,000 metres of drilling, depending on the success of the first phase.

Multiple exploration objectives

The program has three objectives: drilling to increase the in-pit resource of all known mineralized zones; exploring greenfield targets with a focus on near-surface, higher grade potential targets near the Colomac Center of Nice Lake, Laurie Lake, Andy Lake and others; and target assessment to evaluate and expand known mineral deposits in the Cass and Kim Zones and the Treasure Island Zone at Indin.

Nighthawk also plans to undertake a till sampling program to identify gold-bearing areas covering a 15-kilometre radius around the main Colomac deposit, one of several projects inside Nighthawk’s 899-square-km Indin Lake property.

“We are very excited to embark on the 2021 program, which will be our most ambitious drilling campaign to date,” said Richard Roy, vice president of exploration. “We have assembled a mix of targets that support our two-year goals with an emphasis on near-surface mineralization. We believe that this approach can rapidly identify quality ounces that can contribute significantly to the global resources of the property.”

The exploration push comes almost one year after the company announced a deposit containing 13.49 grams of gold per tonne over 56 metres from holes of its 2019 exploration program, the strongest since the Toronto-based Nighthawk acquired the Colomac Gold Project in 2011.

Access to the Indin Lake property is expected to be improved through the construction of the Tlicho all-season highway, said Nighthawk president Keyvan Salehi, in March.

That highway is scheduled to be open in the fall of 2021.  

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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