Northern Freegold Resources Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : NFR

Northern Freegold Resources Ltd.

March 05, 2010 09:15 ET

Northern Freegold Increases Gold Grade and Ounces at Freegold Mountain Project, Yukon

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 5, 2010) - Northern Freegold Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:NFR) is pleased to announce an updated NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate for the Nucleus deposit, which is located on the road accessible 198 square kilometer Freegold Mountain Project in the Yukon Territory. The new estimate shows an overall increase in grade and expansion of the defined ounces and is open to expansion laterally and at depth. In addition further drilling has defined a number of higher grade zones which also remain open within the overall resource. Recent metallurgical test work of higher and lower grade ore types shows excellent gold recoveries. The Nucleus deposit is a near surface, bulk tonnage, potentially open-pittable intrusion related gold deposit.

Highlights

  • NI 43-101 Inferred Resource of 1,004,000 contained ounces of gold within 35.82 million tonnes @ 0.87 g/t gold (0.4 g/t cutoff) which includes a higher grade zone of 184,000 contained ounces of gold within 2.2 million tonnes @ 2.55 g/t gold (0.4 g/t cutoff)
  • The grade of the Nucleus deposit has increased by 32% and the contained ounces has increased by 31% from the initial NI 43-101 resource estimate released in July, 2009 based upon 0.4 g/t Au cutoff
  • Initial metallurgical testwork shows excellent gold recoveries in the 92 to 98% range on material from the Nucleus deposit
  • Nucleus deposit mineralization begins at surface and is open to expansion in all directions and at depth
  Updated NI 43-101 Inferred Resource Initial NI 43-101 Inferred Resource (released July 27/09)
  Total Higher Grade Zone Total
Cutoff
Au g/t)

Tonnes
Grade Au(g/t) Contained
Au ounces

Tonnes
Grade Au(g/t) Contained Au ounces
Tonnes
Grade Au(g/t) Contained Au ounces
0.30 51,019,000 0.71 1,173,000 2,551,000 2.28 187,000 67,570,000 0.50 1,082,000
0.40 35,821,000 0.87 1,004,000 2,243,000 2.55 184,000 36,210,000 0.63 733,000
0.50 25,900,000 1.03 862,000 2,078,000 2.71 181,000 20,470,000 0.77 509,000

Bill Harris, Chairman & COO commented, "We are pleased with the significant increase in both the grade and ounces in the Nucleus deposit. The identification of higher grade zones and the potential to expand upon them and possibly find others is of significance. The updated 3D geologic modeling has identified a number of priority targets for follow up that have the potential to continue to expand the resource. Planning for the 2010 exploration program is currently underway with a focus on expanding the resource at Nucleus and to test the potential to define new resources on the property in other target areas."

2009 Drill Program

The 2009 10,000m drill program was successful in expanding and confirming the continuity of the overall Nucleus resource and particularly in defining the geometry and controls to the higher grade zones identified in 2008 drilling, allowing identification of a higher grade resource. 3D geologic and resource modeling also shows a number of NW trending gold mineralized corridors which remain open to further expansion. The modeling also shows mineralization to the north and south of the Nucleus resource which warrant follow up. These areas will be the focus of drilling at Nucleus in 2010.

The higher grade zones which formed a higher grade resource remain open for further testing. These include a steeply dipping ore zone on the east side of the Nucleus deposit which remains open to the east, to the west and at depth. Selected drill holes from within this zone intersected 34.09 m of 1.95 g/t gold , including 5.11 m of 6.82 g/t gold (GRD09-131(i)) and 46.96 m of 14.51 g/t gold (GRD08-073(i)). A shallow south dipping zone on the west side of Nucleus which remains open to north, south, west and at depth is also part of the higher grade zone. Selected drill holes within this zone intersected 5.20 m grading 18.26 g/t gold (GRD06-34(i)); 11.10 m of 1.79 g/t gold (GRD07-51(i)) and 4.14 m grading 1.79 g/t gold (GRD09-161(i))

In 2009, NW trending corridors were defined by the drill program which intersected zones of gold mineralization within these structures both inside and outside of the initial resource model. For example, hole GRD09-144(i), at the western end of one of the corridors intersected 16.22 m at 2.96 g/t gold, while hole GRD09-128(i) towards the eastern end within the same corridor intersected 25.38 m of 1.25 g/t gold. In another NW trending corridor, hole GRD09-15(i)1 returned 15.20 m at 1.40 g/t gold at its western end, and hole GRD09-135(i) returned 59.81 m of 0.81 g/t gold and 17.59 m of 1.89 g/t gold at its eastern end. The 2010 drill program will target the extension of these zones to the northwest and southeast.

Further targets have also been identified to the north and south of the Nucleus deposit from the resource modeling and drilling. The southern edge of the Nucleus Zone contains higher grade material and needs to be tested for the potential to host gold mineralization similar to the northwest trending structures mentioned above. The resource model also identified mineralization further to the north of the Nucleus Zone from 2007 RAB drilling which warrants follow up testing. Additional information including a video of the deposit will be available www.northernfreegold.com within a few days.

Also in 2009, a regional mapping program conducted in conjunction with reinterpretation of a 2006 airborne geophysical survey identified large-scale northwest-southeast structures with potential to host mineralization within the Nucleus zone and on a property wide scale. Based on this information, a number of new targets were staked at Freegold Mountain at the end of the season.

2010 Exploration Program

Planning for the 2010 exploration program at Freegold Mountain is still underway. As noted above, the 2009 drill program and updated model from the Nucleus deposit has identified drill targets for possible expansion of the deposit area. Expanding the ounces at the Nucleus deposit will be one of the main priorities for the 2010 program. In addition, there are several targets identified at the Freegold Mountain project which with additional drilling, could lead to the development of further resources. The regional program conducted in 2009 in conjunction with reinterpretation of a 2006 airborne geophysical survey has identified several large scale targets for testing in 2010. The 2010 program will be announced once all compilation and and planning work is completed.

(i) results previously released, please refer to prior news releases

Metallurgical Recovery Highlights

G&T Metallurgical Services Ltd. was commissioned by the Company to conduct preliminary gold recovery metallurgical testing on separate composite bulk samples that were respresentative of bulk tonnage low grade oxidized and non-oxidized samples, as well as higher grade sulphide-rich material that comprises the Nucleus deposit.

Initial results indicate excellent overall gold recovery from the material. Oxidized and non-oxidized samples averaging 0.59 g/t gold and 0.54 g/t gold respectively returned recoveries of 98% gold on a 48 hour cyanidation bottle roll test. Higher grade sulphide-rich samples averaging 10.9 g/t gold recovered 86% gold on a 48 hour cyanidation bottle roll test, which increased to 92% when combined with gravity concentration.

Nucleus Zone Resource Estimate

Mineral resource estimates were carried out by Mr. Joseph Campbell, B.Sc., P. Geo., President of GeoVector Management Inc. and Dr. Allan Armitage, PhD, P.Geol (AB), a consulting geologist with GeoVector Management inc. and independent Qualified Person's as defined by National Instrument 43-101. The inferred mineral resource was calculated using Gemcom GEMS 6.2.1 software.

The inferred mineral resource estimate for the Nucleus Zone covers an area of approximately two square kilometres and is based on 265 drill holes totaling ~42,000 metres and included 2006-2009 diamond and rotary air blast (RAB) drill holes completed by NFR as well as historical drill hole data from 1988-2004 drilling. More than 25,000 assays were available to create the resource estimate. The assay database was verified and domained into subpopulations by rock type, oxidation level, drill method, and drilling results by campaign. Verifications were also carried out on drill hole locations, down hole surveys, lithology, specific gravity values (SG), trench location and assay data, and topographic information. Average SG values chosen for the resource estimate were 2.63 for low grade ore and 2.80 for the higher grade zones, and these were applied to all blocks within the respective block models.

A review of grade distribution in the model shows a relatively strong orientation in a northwest striking, near vertical orientation. This orientation was used in the block models to control the search ellipse for interpolation of grade within the block model. The northwest grade orientation was also the strike direction identified for most of the higher grade, sulphide intersections.

The composites were domained into waste, low grade and high grade ore populations by intersecting the points with the ore models. Capping was carried out on the populations to limit high values. The ore and massive populations were then used to interpolate grade into their respective ore models.

For block modelling block size was set at 20x20x20 metre in size. At the scale of the Nucleus deposit this provides a reasonable size for discerning grade distribution, while being appropriate for the +/- 50 meter hole spacing in the core of the deposit. To generate block grades a search ellipse was set at 200x100x150 meters in the X, Y, Z direction respectively. The long axis was oriented at 305o to reflect the observed preferential ore control direction. The vertical component (Z) is the intermediate direction based on the observed vertical structural control.

Interpolation was carried out using inverse distance squared (ID2). The number of samples used to interpolate a block grade was set at a maximum of 12. The majority of blocks had the maximum number of samples. The size of the search ellipse and the number of samples used filled almost all the blocks within the ore models with grade.

Ore results were tabulated for a range of Au cut-off grades. Based on spatial distribution of block grades a relatively contiguous body is observed at a 0.40 g/t cut-off grade. At this grade there is approximately 36Mt of ore at a grade of 0.87 g/t Au for a total of 1.04 million ounces of gold.

Resource Classification

Mineral resources have been categorized using the classification of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (2000), with the relevant definitions provided below. This classification is the basis for Technical Reports by Qualified Persons in Canada, and the classification is virtually the same as that of the JORC code (Australia) SME guidelines (USA) SAMREC (South Africa) and that of the European Union.

An Inferred Mineral Resource can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited information and sampling gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes.

Due to the uncertainty which may attach to Inferred Mineral Resources, it cannot be assumed that all or part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will be upgraded to an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource as a result of continued exploration. Confidence in the estimate is insufficient to allow the meaningful appreciation of technical and economic parametres or to enable an evaluation of economic viability worthy of public disclosure.

Qualified Person and Quality Control/Quality Assurance

All core samples from diamond drilling completed by Northern Freegold in 2009 followed NI 43-101 approved QA/QC protocols including insertion of blanks, commercial standards and duplicate core samples. Drilling and sample collection for 2009 was supervised by Wade Barnes, P. Geo. The program was performed to industry standards. For the 2009 program, assay samples were split and sent to ALS Chemex Laboratory in North Vancouver and Alex Stewart Group in Kamloops for sample preparation and analysis. Third party checks were done at ALS Chemex, Alex Stewart Group and Assayers Canada. The program included insertion of blanks and reference standards for assay grade control, as well as duplicate samples. Results were within accepted ranges. In addition the labs performed in-house standards and assay duplicates on a batch basis for in-lab quality control.

Dr. Alan Armitage, PhD., P. Geol (AB), a consulting geologist with GeoVector Management Inc. has acted as the Qualified Person, as defined in NI 43-101, for the mineral resource estimate component of the technical report. Dr. Armitage is independent of the Company under NI 43-101. A NI 43-101 report will be finalized and filed on SEDAR within 45 days of the date of this news release.

Wade Barnes, P. Geo., Senior Geologist with Northern Freegold is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, and is responsible for quality control of exploration undertaken by the Company and has reviewed and approved the technical information in this release.

About the Freegold Mountain Project

The road accessible Freegold Mountain Project is located 200 km northwest of Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon and is situated within an active exploration and mining area in the Tintina Gold Belt of the Yukon which includes the producing Minto Mine of Capstone Mining Corp. to the north, Casino Deposit and Carmacks Copper Deposit of Western Copper Corporation to the west and east, and the White Gold Property of Underworld Resources to the northwest. NFR controls 198 square km (75 square miles) within the district scale Freegold Mountain Project. Within the project expanse are at least 20 identified mineralized zones, including the Nucleus, Revenue and Tinta.

The Freegold Mountain Project is well situated within the stable, mining supportive jurisdiction of the Yukon. In 2003, control of resource management and development was devolved from the federal Canadian Government to the Territory. Decisions on resource development in the Yukon are now made in the Yukon. As a result of the Umbrella Final Agreement which provides a template for settlement of First Nation Land Claims in the Yukon, a single assessment approach has been developed for projects and activities in the Yukon, including resource projects. The Yukon Socioeconomic Environmental Assessment Act was developed in conjunction with First Nation and Yukoners. Eleven of the 14 First Nations in the Yukon have settled their Land Claim negotiations. The Freegold Mountain Project is located within the traditional territories of two settled First Nations: Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation and the Selkirk First Nation.

The Freegold Mountain Project is located on the Freegold Mountain Road, a government maintained gravel road. The Freegold Road connects to the Klondike Highway, an all weather paved highway, which connects to Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, and the major supply centre for the Yukon. Powerlines located along the Klondike Highway are at present 30 km from the Freegold Project boundary. The Carmacks Copper deposit will require a 12 km power line to connect to the power grid along the Klondike Highway. From this location, the power line would be within 7 km of the Freegold Mountain project boundary.

Numerous multi-milllion ounce gold deposits occur in the Tintina Gold Belt including the producing Fort Knox mine operated by Kinross Gold Corporation and the Pogo mine operated by Sumitomo Metal Mining in Alaska. Mutli-million ounce development stage projects include the recently discovered Livengood Project of International Tower Hill Mines Ltd., also located in Alaska. In close proximity to the Freegold Mountain Project area, the Carmacks Copper Deposit of Western Copper Corporation is in its final permitting stage and the Casino Copper-Gold-Moly Deposit has entered into the Yukon Environmental Assessment Process.

Northern Freegold is a well financed rapidly advancing Canadian-based precious metals exploration and development company, which brings local expertise and strong management to focus on the development of economic mineral resources on the district-scale Freegold Mountain gold and copper project in the Yukon and the Burro Creek gold and silver property in Arizona.

Northern Freegold Resources Ltd.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Susan P. Craig, President & CEO

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The information in this press release includes certain "forward-looking statements". All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation, plans for and intentions with respect to the company's properties, statements regarding intentions with respect to obligations due for various projects, strategic alternatives, quantity of resources or reserves, timing of permitting, construction and production and other milestones, are forward looking statements. Statements concerning Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources are also forward-looking statements in that they reflect an assessment, based on certain assumptions, of the mineralization that would be encountered and mining results if the project were developed and mined in the manner described. Forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from NFR's expectations include the uncertainties involving the need for additional financing to explore and develop properties and availability of financing in the debt and capital markets; uncertainties involved in the interpretation of drilling results and geological tests and the estimation of reserves and resources; the need for cooperation of government agencies and First Nation groups in the exploration, and development of properties; and the need to obtain permits and governmental approval. NFR's forward looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections of management on the date the statements are made. NFR assumes no obligation to update the forward looking statements if management's beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors should they change.

Cautionary Note Regarding Reserve and Resource Estimates

This press release has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Unless otherwise indicated, all resource and reserve estimates included in this press release have been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Classification System. NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators which establishes standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. Canadian standards, including NI 43-101, differ significantly from the requirements of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), and resource and reserve information contained herein may not be comparable to similar information disclosed by U.S. companies. In particular, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the term "resource" does not equate to the term "reserves". Investors should also understand that "inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an "inferred mineral resource" will ever be upgraded to a higher category. The estimation of quantities of resources and reserves is complex, based on significant subjective assumptions and forward-looking information, including assumptions that arise from the evaluation of geological, geophysical, engineering and economic data for a given ore body. This data could change over time as a result of numerous factors, including new information gained from development activities, evolving production history and a reassessment of the viability of production under different economic conditions. Changes in data and/or assumptions could cause reserve estimates to substantially change from period to period. No assurance can be given that the indicated level of mineral will be produced. Actual production could differ from expected production and an adverse change in mineral prices could make a reserve uneconomic to mine. Variations could also occur in actual ore grades and recovery rates from estimates.

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • Northern Freegold Resources Ltd.
    Debbie James
    Investor Relations Manager
    877.893.8757 or 604.893.8757
    604.893.8758 (FAX)
    www.northernfreegold.com