Barrick Gold Corp. has made two significant gold discoveries on the company’s Cortez property in Nevada. These two discoveries, known as Red Hill and Goldrush, are located on highly prospective ground, 6 km southeast of the Cortez Hills mine and 24 km southeast of the Pipeline mine. Based on the results of wide spaced drilling, the company has outlined two zones of gold mineralization along a 7-km long trend. The mineralization is primarily hosted in a favorable carbonate unit and has a tabular geometry. The new discoveries are geologically similar in style to Barrick’s Cortez Hills and Goldstrike mines. The majority of the mineralization intersected to date is refractory and occurs at depths between 150 and 500 m.
Barrick initially carried out a drill program at Red Hill to test for deeper sulfide mineralization below an area of shallow oxide mineralization. The drill program was successful in identifying favorable carbonate stratigraphy. An inferred resource of 3.5 million oz of gold from more than 28.75 million tons grading 0.123 ounces per ton gold has been defined at Red Hill and mineralization remains open in all directions. An in-fill and extension drill program is underway at Red Hill to upgrade and expand the resource.
Following successful results at Red Hill, further drilling 2 km south along the projected strike intersected 0.894 ounces per ton gold over 67.2 feet. Follow-up drilling intersected the targeted horizon along strike and confirmed the discovery of a new zone of mineralization known as Goldrush.
“Our Exploration team was able to draw on deep knowledge and expertise of Carlin-style systems to identify the concealed Red Hill and Goldrush deposits,” said Rob Krcmarov, Senior Vice President, Exploration. “We have an aggressive drill program underway to define the limits of the system as well as upgrade the resources. The mineralization in both deposits remains open in multiple directions. We have more work to do, but these discoveries have the potential to become truly world-class deposits.”
The 2011 drill program consists of a planned 264,000 feet of drilling with a budget of $26 million. The objective of the drill program is to define the ultimate extent of the Red Hill and Goldrush mineralized system and to test the gap between the two discoveries through in-fill and step out drilling. Results to date have been positive, confirming the continuity and grade of mineralization. A total of 160,000 feet has been drilled to date, leaving 104,000 feet remaining in the 2011 program.
“These two discoveries highlight the potential value and opportunities that can be created through a well structured and disciplined exploration program,” said Aaron Regent, president and CEO. “Our long-term commitment to exploration and our team’s expertise and knowledge has been instrumental in enabling Barrick to grow its reserves and resources on a consistent basis and put in place new development options for the Company.” Since 1990, Barrick’s global exploration programs have added a total of 140 million oz of gold at an average discovery cost of about $16 per ounce.