In both 2018 and 2019 I had the pleasure of joining the Yukon Mining Tour and visiting multiple exploration and development companies across the Yukon. In both years I had the opportunity to visit White Gold (TSX-V:WGO; OTC-Nasdaq Intl: WHGOF; FRA: 29W) and meet legendary Yukon prospector and White Gold founder Shawn Ryan.
You can see the view from the helicopter above the White Gold Camp last summer:
View from a helicopter above some of White Gold's claims in the Yukon
Off in the distance you can see where there is placer mining still taking place to this day .
The Yukon is a special place and every summer it comes alive with tourists and mining exploration teams. The famous Klondike Gold Rush began after gold was discovered near Dawson City in 1896. An estimated ~40,000 people braved the harsh cold and wilderness to reach the Klondike gold fields in the winter and spring of 1897-1898 after the discovery became known in 1897. With the influx of American stampeders, the Canadian government decided to create a separate territory to better control the situation. In 1901, after many had gone back, the Census put the population of the territory at 27,219, not far from where it is today (~40,000).
It's estimated that more than 20,000,000 million ounces of gold have been pulled from the earth in the Yukon since 1896, mostly through placer mining. It is the relationship between placer gold and its hard rock sources that interests most modern gold exploration in the Yukon. White Gold has carefully acquired a massive property package directly to the south of Dawson near the Yukon and White Rivers. The tributary creeks of the Yukon River, such as Thistle Creek (Dawson Mining District) are prolific sources of placer gold and the old dredge at Thistle is still there to this day:
When one visits the White Gold Camp you are flown into a landing strip at Thistle Creek (next to the old dredge) and then you drive into camp. White Gold has staked claims all around the most prolific placer mining creeks in the District.
The White Gold Camp near Thistle Creek, Yukon Territory
In my opinion, White Gold is the premier Yukon gold exploration play due to its massive and under explored property package (over 420,000 hectares/1 million acres) that was assembled by Mr. Ryan over the last twenty years making White Gold a true district scale opportunity.
White Gold’s value is also attractive due to its 1,750,000 gold ounces across its Golden Saddle, Arc and VG Deposits, with potential for expansion. One of only a limited number of exploration companies with resources that size in a tier one mining jurisdiction.
White Gold also has a strong shareholder base and tight share structure:
With Kinross, Agnico Eagle, and management/insiders accounting for roughly 60% ownership one would think the retail float is ~40% of the ~132 million shares outstanding. However, Eric Sprott and other institutional investors hold roughly another 10% of White Gold’s shares outstanding. This leaves retail investors with about 35,000,000 shares to trade/accumulate. White Gold is among the tightest share structures of a company with more than 100 million shares outstanding I’ve ever seen.
Before delving into the exploration potential of White Gold’s 420,000+ hectare property package, we can see that White Gold is backed by senior producers Agnico Eagle and Kinross along with a management team that has plenty of skin in the game.
White Gold also has an experienced management team (over 80 years of experience in minerals exploration, development, and finance) with multiple discoveries under their belt. The relationships with Agnico Eagle and Kinross also provide significant technical expertise and support which allows White Gold to more effectively explore such an enormous set of mineral claims.
Shawn Ryan, founder of White Gold and an expert in the Yukon and leader in his field, serves as White Gold’s Chief Technical Officer and director. With 25 years of experience, his prospecting and specialization on advanced soil work led to the discovery of millions of gold ounces including the Golden Saddle & Arc, Coffee, and QV gold resources, all in the White Gold district. His success led to the winning of the 2011 PDAC Prospector of the Year Award, 2010 Spud Huestis Award and the 1998 Yukon Chamber of Mines Prospector of the Year Award. Shawn continues to work with his technical teams, constantly innovating his methodological exploration techniques.
With over a decade of experience in corporate finance and capital markets with a focus on the natural resource sector, White Gold CEO and director David D’Onofrio has served in a variety of executive roles and director positions. As an executive with the PowerOne Group, he provides a depth of expertise in assisting emerging companies in accessing capital, advising on mergers and acquisitions and managing their businesses.
The key to understanding the White Gold value proposition is explained well by this slide from the corporate presentation:
White Gold has 3 advanced-stage projects, which comprise over 1,750,000 ounces of gold resources the company holds. However, the real upside is in the six discovery-stage projects (2 of which will see diamond drilling this summer and RAB drilling on others), and the large number of early stage properties. The blue-sky discovery potential at Titan, Vertigo, the JP Ross Property, Ryan’s Surprise, Golden Saddle West, Betty (Contiguous to Newmont’s Coffee Deposit) and the early stage properties is where the really juicy upside in White Gold exists in addition to the ounces in the ground.
The drills have started turning. Last week White Gold announced that it has begun diamond drilling at Ryan’s Surprise. Ryan’s Surprise is 2 kilometers west of the Golden Saddle Deposit; the Golden Saddle and Arc deposits have a mineral resource of 1,139,900 ounces Indicated at 2.28 g/t gold and 402,100 ounces Inferred at 1.39 g/t gold and the VG deposit hosts a historic Inferred gold resource of 230,000 ounces at 1.65 g/t gold. Ryan’s Surprise close proximity to Golden Saddle offers the potential to add ounces that will be highly accretive to the project’s value.
The objective of 2020 diamond drilling at Ryan’s Surprise is to follow up on successful drill results from 2018 and 2019 while testing a revised geological interpretation in 2019 which indicated that the mineralized zone may strike west-southwest and dip steeply to the south-southeast.
The two diamond drill holes in 2019 drilled to the north to test this interpretation both intersected mineralization. Hole WHTRS19D012 intersected 2.85 grams/tonne gold over 4.14 meters from 142.22 meters downhole and 2.07 grams/tonne gold over 21.0 meters from 154.00 meters downhole, including 3.55 grams/tonne gold over 8.42 meters. This latter higher-grade zone appears to correlate with a mineralized zone intersected by White Gold in hole WHTRYN18RC0002 which returned 5.02 grams/tonne gold over 13.72 meters from 121.92 meters downhole, indicating a steep (70°) southerly dip.
Hole WHTRS19D0012 also intersected a second mineralized zone higher up the hole in the hanging wall which returned 2.66 grams/tonne gold over 11.00 meters from 93.0 meters downhole. This hanging wall mineralization may represent a subparallel zone which to date has only been tested by this single hole. Gold mineralization is hosted by banded quartzites in brecciated and fractured zones containing quartz veins and minor (generally < 1%) pyrite and anomalous arsenic. The current diamond drilling program at Ryan’s Surprise totals 1,500 meters in 5-6 holes which are designed to test the down-dip and strike extent of the mineralized zones.
While Ryan’s Surprise is an extremely exciting target, White Gold has begun RAB (rotary air blast) drilling and will also be diamond drilling at its Titan Target to follow up on a 2019 RAB hole which intersected 72.81 grams/tonne gold over 6.09 meters beginning at 10.67 meters depth. A near surface bonanza grade intersection like this is virtually unheard of. In addition, soil samples collected at the Titan Target contained up to 113 grams/tonne gold, the highest ever in the Company’s 400,000+ soil sample database.
The Titan Target shows two distinct gold-in-soil anomaly trends along the western (NNW trend) and southern (NE trend) margins of a circular magnetic low with a diameter of approximately 600m. Six discrete magnetic high features measuring from 100m to 325m long lie within the magnetic low. In 2019 soil sampling in the southwestern part of the target area returned encouraging gold values and rock grab samples from shallow pits in the same area comprising sheared ultramafics and massive magnetite contained fine-grained visible gold. Ground geophysical surveys show that the mineralization is associated with a resistivity low, chargeability high, and magnetic high.
Shawn Ryan (left) explaining how White Gold is learning to understand the relationship between placer gold and hard rock gold mineralization in the White Gold District. (July 2019) - see video clip here
We could begin to receive assays from the Titan drilling later this month and the news flow should remain steady for the next several months as White Gold releases batches of results from its 2020 exploration program.
A detailed trenching program is also underway on the JP Ross property which hosts multiple high grade gold trends across several targets covering an area measuring approximately 15 km x 15 km. The primary goal of this work is to collect key structural data on mineralized veins, shear zones, faults, etc. which will aid in ongoing detailed interpretations and planning for follow up RAB drilling this season.
The WGO daily chart shows evidence of strong and steady accumulation since April:
Relative Strength has remained in bullish territory since April and On Balance Volume has been trending higher - these technical conditions are characteristic of a bull market.
There are three historic resistance levels of interest at $1.40, $1.70, then $2.00. Meanwhile, the $1.00 represents major long-term support. I anticipate that dips will continue to be bought in WGO for the foreseeable future.
Disclosure: Author owns WGO.V shares at the time of publishing and may choose to buy or sell at any time without notice. Author has been compensated for marketing services by White Gold Corp.
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