TV Tower is a high-sulphidation epithermal and porphyry gold-copper property located in the Biga District of northwestern Turkey, close to established infrastructure. Discovered by Teck Resources and Pilot Gold (formerly Fronteer Gold), the project hosts numerous gold discoveries to date and abundant untested targets. A project-first resource estimate on the KCD target returned an Indicated Mineral Resource of 996,000 AuEq ounces (23.06 Mt at 1.34 g/t AuEq) and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 351,000 AuEq ounces (10.77 Mt at 1.01 g/t AuEq) 2. Recent drilling has focused on the Kayalı and Karaayı targets (collectively “K2”) in the southern part of the tenure. Work at K2 demonstrates the presence of a 4-km-long silica cap with multiple gold-oxide targets, associated supergene copper zones and two copper-gold porphyry systems. Drilling by Pilot Gold has returned some of the highest-grade gold, silver and copper intervals ever reported in northwestern Turkey.
The Valley Porphyry is the most recent discovery at TV Tower and the third porphyry system identified by our team. The discovery was made through systematic and rapid exploration from initial concept to discovery in six months. Comprehensive soil sampling defined a 1,400 metre by 400 metre, northwest-trending copper and gold-in-soil anomaly located to the south of the property’s K2 high-sulphidation oxide gold trend. Individual soil samples returned up to 1,600 ppm copper and up to 830 ppb gold. Drill results to date show that the Valley Porphyry system can produce intervals of higher grades.
Favourable location, mining-friendly jurisdiction
The road-accessible project resides on the Biga Peninsula of northwest Turkey, an area featuring numerous open pit coal, quartz and clay mines, ceramics factories and a major power plant. The project has an extensive road network and drill targets all lie on land administered by Turkey’s Ministry of Forestry. There are no settlements or agriculture on the property. TV Tower is located adjacent to Alamos Gold's Kirazlı¹ gold project and 20 km to the northwest of Pilot Gold and Teck Resources Limited’s Halilağa project.
TV Tower is a joint venture between Pilot Gold (60%) and Teck Madencilik Sanayi Ticaret A.Ş. (40%), a Turkish subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited.
Pilot Gold is project operator at TV Tower and increased its interest in the project from 40% to 60% through sole-funding of a $21-million exploration program March 12, 2015.
The project is largely covered by Cenozoic intermediate to felsic volcanic rocks, which were subject to extensive hydrothermal alteration. The area is host to a large number of gold, copper, and silver targets, including examples of high sulphidation and low sulphidation epithermal mineralization, as well as copper-gold porphyry mineralization at depth.
Two discoveries, numerous untested targets
First-pass drilling in 2010 resulted in new discoveries at the Küçükdağ (“KCD”) and Kayalı targets, which host high sulphidation epithermal gold systems. Ongoing exploration by Pilot Gold continues to uncover robust new targets, including the Columbaz low sulphidation epithermal gold-silver vein target, where float samples of the vein have returned up to 92 g/t gold and up to 396 g/t silver.
In 2012, Pilot Gold completed an aggressive exploration program that consisted of 14,440 metres of diamond core drilling at the KCD target, property-wide airborne magnetic/EM geophysical surveys and surface mapping and geochemical sampling. Drilling at the KCD target returned high-grade intercepts (227 g/t gold over 12 metres in KCD-50) as well as long intervals of gold mineralization (5.94 g/t gold over 137.1 metres in KCD-39) in a zone that also contains significant silver and copper. A near-surface zone of silver-only mineralization that partially overlies the high-grade gold-silver-copper zone has also been identified.
In 2013, Pilot undertook core and RC drilling, geologic modeling and surface work. Seventy-two drill holes comprising 16,735 metres were completed at KCD. Drill highlights included:
- KCD-142: 15.3 g/t gold over 45.2 metres, including 386 g/t gold over 1.5 metres
- KCD-134: 327 g/t silver over 14.5 metres, including 547 g/t silver over 8.5 metres
- KCD-108: 93.0 g/t silver over 122.7 metres
- KCD-102: 25.7 g/t gold, 47.2 g/t silver and 2.12% copper over 16.5 metres, including 142 g/t gold, 141 g/t silver and 3.39% copper over 2.0 metres
A new zone of near-surface, oxidized gold mineralization up to 10 metres thick was discovered through four drill sites spaced approximately 130 metres apart, overlying the silver zone and north of the high-grade sulphide gold zone.
The Kayalı target is a high-sulphidation, shallow oxide gold target located approximately eight km south of the KCD target. Discovery hole KYD-01 returned 0.87 g/t gold over 114.5 metres from a depth of 4.5 metres, including 2.85 g/t Au over 15.4 metres. The 2013 drill program comprised approximately 3,500 drilled metres. Highlights include:
- KYD-39: 1.29% copper (Cu) over 34.1 metres including 1.90% Cu over 20.8 metres
- KYD-46: 15.9 g/t gold (Au) over 3 metres, within an interval grading 1.35 g/t Au over 45 metres
- KYD-51: 1.96 g/t Au over 33.1 metres, including 3.42 g/t Au over 17.4 metres
The 20 km2 Karaayı license, acquired in September, 2013, is contiguous with the Kayalı oxide gold target. The Karaayı tenure contains some of the strongest and most extensive gold-in-soil and copper-in-soil anomalies in the district. Drilling at Karaayı by previous operators intersected near-surface, oxidized, high-sulphidation style gold mineralization, which is on strike to the west of the known oxidized gold mineralized zone at Kayalı.
Infill mapping, soil and rock sampling and compilation of drill data completed by Pilot Gold in 2013 indicate the presence of a potential shallow oxide gold-mineralized system at least four kilometres long between the Kayalı and Karaayı targets. Further drilling revealed the presence of an extensive blanket of supergene copper mineralization underlying the oxide gold zones. In addition, drilling and surface work yielded the discovery of two or more copper-gold porphyry systems at K2.
The Columbaz target is located approximately two kilometres south of the KCD target. This target consists of low-sulphidation gold-silver bearing veins that have been traced discontinuously over an east-northeast strike length of up to 1,000 metres. Veins are up to 10 metres thick in some locations, and float samples of the vein have returned up to 92 g/t gold and up to 396 g/t silver.
In January 2014, Pilot Gold released an initial independent resource estimate2 for the KCD gold-silver-copper deposit. KCD was divided into a lower gold zone and an overlying silver zone for reporting of the resource estimate, as gold and silver are found in largely spatially distinct zones.
In 15 months, Pilot Gold grew KCD from a gold prospect to a deposit hosting a sizeable silver resource estimated to be Turkey’s third largest silver deposit3.
KCD will continue to progress through ongoing metallurgical testing and preliminary engineering. The silver zone at KCD measures 600 x 600 metres at surface and remains open for expansion to the north and northwest.
Gold Zone Resource:
- An Indicated Mineral Resource of 11.62 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.22 grams/tonne gold (“g/t Au”) containing 456,000 ounces gold (“Au”)
- An Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.70 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.85 g/t Au containing 46,000 ounces Au
Silver Zone Resource:
- An Indicated Mineral Resource of 11.44 million tonnes at an average grade of 46.7 g/t silver (“g/t Ag”) containing 17,182,000 ounces silver (“Ag”)
- An Inferred Mineral Resource of 9.08 million tonnes at an average grade of 52.7 g/t Ag containing 15,367,000 ounces Ag
In total on a gold equivalence basis, the KCD resource estimate, effective November 6, 2013, delineates an Indicated Mineral Resource of 996,000 gold equivalent “AuEq” ounces (23.06 Mt at 1.34 g/t AuEq) and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 351,000 AuEq ounces (10.77 Mt at 1.01 g/t AuEq) 2.
At KCD, as is typical in high sulphidation systems, gold grades are highly variable and required careful and pragmatic treatment on interpolation. This estimate was completed by ordinary kriging and high grades were controlled by a combination of assay capping and range restriction above grade thresholds, by rock type. An uncapped estimate yields over 40% more gold than this capped estimate.
The Classified Mineral Resource estimate is quoted at a cut-off grade of 0.50 g/t gold equivalent (“AuEq. At a 0.50 g/t AuEq cut-off, the strip ratio is 1.47:1. Gold equivalence was calculated using a ratio of Au:Ag of $1200:$20, at 75% recovery and copper (“Cu”) at $3/lb at 70% recovery.
Our focus today
In 2015, the focus was on the expansion of the footprint of the two copper-gold porphyry discoveries in the southern part of the property, as well as completing geochemical surveys, geological mapping and target definition across the property. Currently, there are an additional four TV Tower targets in the drill permitting stage. Management is particularly encouraged with early indications of a zone of supergene copper enrichment at the Hilltop Porphyry target. Discussions are ongoing with Teck Resources Limited and various third-parties to unlock the value and potentail of our Trukish assets.
1) The proximity to the Kirazlı and Halilağa projects does not mean Pilot Gold will obtain similar results at its TV Tower project. TV Tower is an early-stage development project without any current resource estimates and there is no certainty that any such resource estimates will ever be established.
2) For further details on the KCD resource estimate, see the NI 43-101 technical report entitled “Independent Technical Report for the TV Tower Exploration Property, Çanakkale, Western Turkey", effective January 21, 2014 and dated February 28, 2014, co-authored by Casey M. Hetman, P.Geo. with SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc.; James N. Gray, P. Geo. of Advantage Geoservices Ltd.; and Gary Simmons, BSc, Metallurgical Engineering, of GL Simmons Consulting, LLC., filed under Pilot Gold’s Issuer Profile on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com.
3) Source SNL Metals & Mining
Moira Smith, Ph.D., P.Geo., VP Exploration and Geoscience, Pilot Gold, is the Company's designated Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101 and has reviewed and validated that the information contained herein is accurate.