Honker

Prospect, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NL
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-4
Latitude 64.1272
Longitude -157.9818
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Honker prospect is about 4.2 miles southwest of the summit of Khotol Mountain (VABM 2844) in the Kaiyuh Mountains. It is in the southwest quarter of section 1, T. 16 S., R. 4 E., of the Kateel River Meridian. The prospect location is at the top of hill 1810 and centered on the Main Vein which trends north-northeast for approximately 600 meters.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The country rocks at the Honker prospect consist of Paleozoic to Proterozoic (?) schists of mostly greenschist facies and include chlorite schist, quartz-chlorite-muscovite schist, variably hornfelsed, banded, light and dark gray metasedimentary rocks, and minor graphitic schist rubble (Flanigan, 1998; Patton and others, 2009). Medium-grained granodiorite float also occurs at the prospect. The metamorphic rocks generally strike east-west and dip 20 to 40 degrees south. High-temperature contact metamorphism is indicated by the presence of andalusite crystals and garnet porphyroblasts. The metasedimentary rocks are very resistant and cap the top of hill 1810. Hornfelsing and silicification of these rocks are probably due to the intrusion of the nearby Early Cretaceous Khotol Mountain pluton (Patton and others, 2009). A schistose quartzite unit overlies the metasedimentary rocks (Flanigan, 1998).
The Honker prospect consists mainly of two subparallel, gold- and silver-bearing quartz-arsenopyrite veins that trend N 20 E to N 25 E. It also includes gossan; banded and massive sulfides in calcareous chlorite schist; and disseminations, blebs, and clots of sulfides in hornfelsed sedimentary rocks (Flanigan, 1998). These principal veins are brecciated and oxidized. The larger vein (Main Vein or Honker East) may be as long as 950 meters, has a true thickness (identified by drilling) of 1-5 meters, and a vertical extent of 150 meters. The smaller vein (West Vein or Honker West) is up to 3 meters thick and is traceable at the surface intermittently along strike for up to 300 meters (Flanigan, 1998).
Large, resistant, boulders up to 0.5 meters in diameter of dark reddish-brown, massive, ropy and siliceous, vuggy gossan are more prominent than boxwork gossan and fracture-veined limonitic material. Gossan at the Honker prospect is not as abundant as at Waterpump Creek (NL020) or Illinois Creek (NL023), but is also due to the oxidation of sulfides (Flanigan, 1998). The most abundant vein material at Honker is milky-white or pale green quartz and scorodite, and siliceous breccia that locally contains limonite. Disseminated arsenopyrite and traces of malachite are present locally. The arsenopyrite is generally euhedral and coated with chalcocite (Flanigan, 1998). Brecciated material is matrix supported and composed of rounded and angular fragments of schist, quartz, arsenopyrite, and minor gossan, cemented by quartz, scorodite, iron oxide, and small amounts of arsenopyrite. Additional sulfides occur as disseminated grains, blebs, and pods in the metasedimentary rocks, generally without gold (Flanigan, 1998). Electron microprobe analysis and polished section petrography also identified gold and silver tellurides, selenides, and sulfosalt minerals, chalcopyrite, marcasite, bismuth-bismuthinite solid solution, stibnite, galena, electrum, and native gold (Flanigan, 1998).
Drill holes intersected three narrow zones of banded and massive pyrrhotite and pyrite, with traces of chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite, and scheelite. These zones appear to be conformable with the quartz-chlorite-muscovite schist. Sparse, disseminated, very-fine-grained arsenopyrite and pyrite occur between the intercepts (Flanigan, 1998).
Mineralized rock samples from the Honker prospect average 0.13 ounce per ton (oz/t) gold and 0.17 oz/t silver. Copper ranges up to 5400 parts per million (ppm), lead up to 935 ppm, and several samples contained anomalous tungsten (25-270 ppm). The mineralization includes little or no zinc, manganese, antimony, or mercury, but arsenic values range higher than 5 percent in the richest drill hole intercepts. Samples of drill core assay up to 1.12 oz/t gold and 2.33 oz/t silver, and average 0.13 oz/t gold and 0.27 oz/t silver. The banded and massive sulfide intercepts assay up to 0.078 oz/t gold and 0.08 oz/t silver (Flanigan, 1998).
Arsenopyrite thermometry indicates that ore mineralization temperatures at the Honker prospect were between 300 and 350 degrees Celsius (Flanigan, 1998). These temperatures and the fact that the veins cut the schistosity of the host rocks make it unlikely that metamorphism is responsible for mineralization (Ellis, 2013; Flanigan, 1998).
K-Ar and Ar/Ar dating of sericite near the ore and white mica from the Khotol pluton demonstrate that mineralization and Khotol plutonism were coeval at about 113 Ma (Flanigan, 1998). The presence of anomalous Sb, Sn, and native Bi suggests that mineralization at Honker was related to magmatic fluids derived from the pluton, and the distribution of Au, Ag, As, and Bi among the Honker, Waterpump Creek (NL020), and the Illinois Creek (NL023) deposits indicates zoning peripheral to it (Flanigan, 1998).
Geologic map unit (-158.05344567048, 64.1063400100754)
Mineral deposit model Plutonic-related, epigenetic lode Au-Ag; Polymetallic veins? (Cox and Singer, 1986, model 22c).
Mineral deposit model number 22c?
Age of mineralization K-Ar and Ar/Ar dating of sericite near the ore and white mica from the Khotol pluton demonstrate that mineralization and Khotol plutonism were coeval at about 113 Ma (Flanigan, 1998).
Alteration of deposit Metasedimentary rocks are hornfelsed and silicified. Locally, the schist is altered to clay and iron-stained. Oxidation of sulfides has produced gossan (Flanigan, 1998).

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
The Honker vein system was discovered in 1981 by Anaconda Mining Company (Anaconda) during a regional exploration program. In 1982, Anaconda conducted follow-up geological mapping, ground magnetometer, induced polarization (IP), and electromagnetic (EM) surveys, geochemical sampling, and tested the Main Vein with 10 diamond drill holes totaling 1001.2 meters (Ellis, 2013). Anaconda collected 103 rock chip samples and 31 soil samples. Rock samples containing vein material averaged 8.58 grams per tonne (g/t) silver and wall rock samples averaged 0.97 g/t silver. Gold values were as high as 39 g/t. Both the Main Vein and the West Vein did not yield a geophysical response where the veins and associated gossans are exposed at the surface. However, the geophysical surveys produced magnetic and EM anomalies to the south of the outcrop area on hill 1810, and along strike of both veins. Anaconda interpreted the anomalies to the south of the outcrop areas to result from an increase in pyrrhotite and clay gouge along the veins (Ellis, 2013). Drilling highlights from the 10 drill holes include 4.8 meters at 0.211 ounce/ton (oz/t) gold and 0.42 oz/t silver, 4.9 meters at 0.11 oz/t gold and 0.21 oz/t silver, and 2.0 meters at 0.11 oz/t gold and 0.9 oz/ silver. Also in 1982, Anaconda collected two bulk samples from float material (160 and 72.7 pounds) along the Main Vein for metallurgical testing. The two bulk samples averaged 29.14 g/t gold (0.85 oz/t) and 29.48 g/t silver (0.86 oz/t) (Ellis, 2013).
Exploration on Honker ceased until 2009 when Western Alaska Copper and Gold retraced the veins, located the Anaconda drill collars and took 25 samples of vein material. In 2010 J & G Gold LLC did geologic mapping and sampling under an option with Western Alaska Copper and Gold. Channel samples were taken at 8 to 10 meter intervals along the veins. The highest gold value from the samples was 86.9 parts per million (ppm) (Ellis, 2013). In 2012 Western Alaska Copper and Gold completed an airborne magnetic and radiometric survey.
In 2014 Western Alaska Copper and Gold completed a trenching program at the Main Vein and West Vein to collect multiple samples of mineralization. These metallurgical samples were evaluated for gravity and leaching extraction methods for gold (Western Alaska Copper and Gold, 2015).
Indication of production None
Reserve estimates Inferred resources for the Honker prospect are estimated to be greater than 250,000 ounces of gold in ore averaging 1.0 ounce of gold per ton (Flanigan, 1998).

References

MRDS Number 10307896

References

Reporters C.E. Cameron (Northern Associates Inc.); N.V. King (Alaska Earth Sciences)
Last report date 3/15/2016