Junior shakeup in the White Gold District

The White Gold District in the Canadian Yukon territory is continuing to see movement, this time among junior gold explorers hoping to grab a piece of the action.

Last week Taku Gold (TSXV:TAK) said it has picked up four White Gold properties from Golden Predator Mining (TSXV:GPY), including one from Golden Predator’s subsidiary, Golden Predator Exploration. The four properties are 40 Mile, Korat, Chopin and Lucky Joe. According to Taku Gold the highlight of the all-share deal is the acquisition of the Lucky Joe prospect, since it butts up against Taku’s Rosebute project to the north. The company adds that it will be able to capitalize on Goldcorp (NYSE:GG, TSX:G) recently building a road to access the Coffee gold project the gold major acquired from Kaminak Gold:

“The combined Lucky Joe-Rosebute property is located in the heart of the White Gold area, approximately 50 kilometres south of Dawson City and roughly 29 kilometres north of White Gold Corp’s Golden Saddle Deposit. It is situated in close proximity to the Northern Access Road currently being built by Goldcorp to access the multi-million-ounce Coffee gold deposit. A seasonal road provides direct access to the eastern edge of the combined property,” the press release states.

Adding the Golden Predator assets more than triples its land package to 42,847 hectares, or in terms of claims, from 658 to 2,107.

Before the deal Taku Gold had five White Gold properties, which it has been exploring since 2010. Adding the Golden Predator assets more than triples its land package to 42,847 hectares, or in terms of claims, from 658 to 2,107.

Acquired by renowned Yukon prospector Shawn Ryan in 2010, the Rosebute property features two gold-in-soil zones based on 5,158 soil samples. A geophysical survey was also flown. Taku Gold says it plans to start geochemical work immediately on the combined Lucky Joe-Rosebute property and it notes that White Gold (TSXV:WGO) is drilling the Lira target which is just to the west of the Lucky Joe property. Taku Gold will therefore be conducting grid sampling on the western boundary of Lucky Joe. Lucky Joe itself has seen some exploration for copper but little has been done to determine its gold-bearing potential, according to Taku.

The company earlier this month picked up the Keynote property from an un-named seller for $35,000 plus 300,000 shares. Keynote is adjacent to the prolific Keno Hill silver camp but Taku says it is interested in the property for its gold potential, naming the Eagle Gold deposit by Victoria Gold (TSXV:VIT), which has identified a proven and probable reserve of 2.66-million ounces, as proof of the Keno Hill area as also being highly prospective for Yukon gold.

Golden Predator’s key Yukon assets are 3 Aces, which it says has a 40,000-metre drill program underway, and the past-producing Brewery Mine.

The White Gold District, whose first discovery was in 2009 with the Golden Saddle, has been humming with major gold miner interest over the past year or so.

In March U.S. gold producer Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) signed an earn-in agreement with Yukon-focused explorer Goldstrike Resources (TSXV:GSR), to develop its flagship Plateau property.

With the USD$39.5-million earn-in agreement, Newmont joined rivals Agnico-Eagle and Goldcorp (NYSE:GG,TSX:G), which purchased Kaminak Gold and its Coffee project for $520 million, in their pursuit of prospective Yukon gold properties. Goldcorp also paid C$1.9 million for a 19.9% share in Independence Gold (TSXV:IGO), which is also exploring the White Gold district.

In May Kinross Gold (TSX:K,NYSE:KGC) unloaded all five of its White Gold properties to newly formed White Gold in a cash and share deal worth around C$60 million.