Chief Danny: Saddle Zone

Prospect, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au; Cu
Other commodities As
Ore minerals chalcopyrite; gold
Gangue minerals quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale TC
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-4
Latitude 63.2042
Longitude -142.8983
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Saddle Zone prospect is about 1.5 miles north of VABM 3345 'Tetlin' and about 9 miles northwest of the center of Tetlin Lake. The prospect is centered about 0.5 mile south of the center of section 34, T. 17 N., R. 13 E., of the Copper River Meridian. The location is accurate to within 500 feet.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

There is little specific information about the Saddle Zone prospect other than it was discovered and drilled in conjunction with the Peak Zone prospect (TC040), about 2 miles to the south-southwest (Contango Ore Inc., 2012). Both of these zones are considered part of the Chief Danny prospect. It is assumed that they share the same geology and style of mineralization, although they are offset vertically by a fault.
The Saddle Zone prospect was first identified in 2009 in the search for the source of anomalous panned-concentrate, stream-sediment samples (Contango Ore Inc., 2012). Soil augering and geochemical surveys in 2010 and 2011 expanded the potential area of mineralization. Three holes were drilled on the Saddle Zone prospect in 2011; only 'weak mineralization' was found.
There is little detailed mapping in the area. Foster (1970) indicates that the rocks in the area are mainly Paleozoic or Precambrian biotite gneiss and schist or Paleozoic phyllite and schist. A cross-section through the drill holes at the nearby Chief Danny prospect indicates that the rocks are mainly greenstone and schist (Contango Ore Inc., 2012). The Saddle Zone prospect is associated with a strong magnetic low.
District and regional scale northeast and northwest trending faults are present on the project and are often associated with gold and copper mineralization in this terrane (Avalon Development Corporation, 2014).
As of 2014, the prospect is described as a diatreme polymictic breccia that is gold and arsenic rich, and copper poor. This diatreme is interpreted to be an ignimbrite filling a magmatic diatreme vent and is periphery to a prospective gold-silver target (Freeman, 2014).
Geologic map unit (-142.900520605633, 63.2038504115291)
Mineral deposit model Insufficient data to assign.
Age of mineralization Only that it is younger than the Paleozoic or Precambrian host rocks (Foster, 1970).
Alteration of deposit Not described.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
The Saddle Zone prospect was first identified in 2009 in the search for the source of anomalous panned-concentrate stream-sediment samples (Contango Ore Inc., 2012). Soil augering and geochemical surveys in 2010 and 2011 expanded the potential area of mineralization. Three holes were drilled on the Saddle prospect in 2011.
Peak Gold, LLC is a joint venture formed in 2015 between Contango ORE Inc. and Royal Alaska, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Gold Inc., to explore the Tetlin project area south of Tok, which contains the Peak and North Peak polymetallic gold-silver-copper skarn deposits (TC040), and numerous other prospects and prospective targets (including TC041). Royal Alaska has the option to invest up to $30 million through October 2018 to earn up to a 40 percent interest in the joint venture; through December 31, 2016, Royal Alaska has earned a 20.6 percent interest (Athey and Werdon, 2017).
With a budget of $11 million aimed at expanding the gold- and copper-rich skarn deposits in the Tetlin project area, Peak Gold conducted Alaska’s largest exploration program for 2016. Peak Gold completed a three-phase drilling program: 19 core holes drilled in Phase I, 62 holes in Phase II, and 37 holes in Phase III, for a total of 20,522.8 m. The 2016 drilling traced a roughly 2,000-meter-long arc of contiguous, high-grade skarn mineralization, which is about three times the footprint of the Peak deposit described in Contango’s 2013 initial resource. One hole drilled in the 2016 expansion area cut three gold-rich intercepts, including 38.88 meters averaging 51.62 grams of gold per tonne from a depth of 14.5 m, which was the best intercept at Tetlin in terms of high grades over broad widths. The North Peak area remains open to expansion on the northwest and southeast portions, as the last holes drilled were still in gold bearing skarn (Athey and Werdon, 2017).
Indication of production None
Reserve estimates Contango’s December 2013 Tetlin project area report states an indicated resource of 5.97 million tonnes at a grade of 3.46 grams of gold per tonne (664,000 ounces of gold), 11.8 grams of silver per tonne, and 0.25 percent copper. In addition, there is an inferred resource of 3.85 million tonnes at a grade of 2.07 grams of gold per tonne (256,000 ounces of gold), 14.28 grams of silver per tonne, and 0.23 percent copper. These estimated resources are based on 16,010 meters of core in 78 of 130 holes, assuming prices of $1,318 per ounce of gold, $21.55 per ounce of silver, and $3.25 per pound of copper (Athey and Werdon, 2017). An updated resource is planned for release in 2017.
Production notes None.

Additional comments

This prospect is on Tetlin Native lands and Contango Ore Inc. is operating under a 10-year lease with the Tetlin Village Council that begin in July 2008.



Avalon Development Corporation, 2014, Tetlin Gold-Copper-Silver Project, January 2014 Summary: (as of June 3, 2014).
Contango Ore Inc., 2012, Corporate overview: (February, 2012).
Freeman, C., 2014, Geology and Mineralization of the Peak Zone Au-Cu-Ag Deposit, Tetlin Project, Alaska, for Avalon Development Corp and Contango ORE Inc., (as of June 3, 2014).
Reporters D.J. Grybeck (Contractor, USGS); V.C. Zinno (Alaska Earth Sciences, Inc.); M.B. Werdon (DGGS)
Last report date 8/26/2017