Northern Freegold gearing up

Northern Freegold Resources is preparing to launch a $7-million exploration program on its Yukon property in May.

Northern Freegold Resources is preparing to launch a $7-million exploration program on its Yukon property in May.

The Vancouver-based exploration outfit plans to drill 25,000 metres of core samples this summer at its Freegold Mountain property, 70 kilometres northwest of Carmacks.

That’s nearly twice as much drilling as it did last year. But the company, which has poked around the property since 2006, has done bigger exploration programs before.

It’s all part of the company’s quest to find out what lies beneath its claims on Freegold Mountain. The property is now nearly 200 square kilometres in size.

The company currently estimates it’s sitting on several million ounces of gold and copper, along with millions of tonnes of molybdenum. And it expects to find a lot more.

John Burges, Freegold president and CEO,

hopes to expand the company’s resources and raise its public profile.

“My goal is to increase the visibility of the company, which means more research coverage and investor coverage, particularly out of some of the big money centres,” said Burges.

One big advantage the company enjoys over its peers is easy access. The property is on the government-maintained Freegold road so “we’re able to truck in all our rigs and equipment,” said Burges. “Our exploration costs are pretty low compared to most folks.”

Freegold Mountain is also near electrical transmission lines, which could come in handy to help power a mine.

Company presentations describe Freegold as lying along the same geological trend as Capstone’s Minto mine, the Carmacks copper deposit and Western Copper and Gold’s Casino project.

Burges ranks the property’s resources as the third-biggest in the territory, behind Capstone’s Minto property and Victoria Gold’s Eagle project.

And he touts the company, which has a market capitalization of $26 million and stock trading last week at 25 cents, as undervalued compared to its peers.

“We’re trading at $8 per resource ounce of gold,” he said.

Some of this summer’s drilling targets were identified last year with a gadget that uses jolts of electricity to peer deep into the earth. Named Titan 24, it’s been used with success by Capstone Mining to identify new ore deposits near its Minto mine.

At Freegold Mountain, the technology has identified an eight-kilometre-wide anomaly that appears to connect existing finds.

“This is a big system,” said Burges.

Three diamond drills and a reverse-circulation drill will be on site this summer to help prove this up.

In January, the company released its first estimates for its Revenue deposit. It has inferred resources of 1.1 million ounces of gold, 10.2 million ounces of silver, 287 million pounds of copper and 90 million pounds of molybdenum.

The company’s other deposit on the property is named Nucleus. Its inferred and indicated resources are 1.7 million ounces of gold, 2.7 million ounces of silver and 129 million pounds of copper.

“What’s exciting is the prospect for expansion,” said Burges. Both deposits remain open in all directions and at depth.”

The company aims to have a preliminary economic assessment, or scoping study, done by early 2013. That’s usually followed by a pre-feasibility study, which would provide an early business case for building a mine.

Up until Burges took over, Northern Freegold was led by its founders, Bill Harris and Susan Craig.

Harris prospected with his father in the area, and later consolidated neighbouring claims during bear markets. Harris remains a director of the company.

Craig, who resigned as president and CEO in September, now works as a vice-president of Skyline Gold Corp. It is exploring the Iskut region of northwestern B.C.

Before joining Northern Freegold, Burges worked for Knight Capital Group in New Jersey. He previously worked in London and New York for 13 years for Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch as a director

their investment banking practices.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com