The fortunate problem of being a junior with too many targets

ATAC Resources’s CEO Graham Downs is excited to be working on Canada’s only Carlin-type trend in the Yukon.

ATAC (CVE:ATC) is an exploration company focussed on its 1,700 sq/km Rackla gold project. The company was originally focused on its Tiger Deposit, an oxide gold deposit, but a chance discovery of a Carlin Trend type formation six years ago shifted the company’s focus eastward.

Downs explains the significance of the discovery.

“Carlin-type discoveries can be large. They can be high grade. They can also be extremely large and moderate grade or low grade,” says They form in clusters, very much like Nevada, which makes up 75% of the gold produced in America. They are the fourth largest gold producer in the world.

Downs talked with MINING.com in August. MINING.com was touring the Yukon invited and paid for by Invest Yukon.

The Rackla Gold Project is located 55 km northeast of Keno City in Central Yukon. The project covers 1,700 sq/km and hosts two distinct trends: Rau and Nadaleen. In 2010, ATAC discovered Canada’s first Carlin-type gold discoveries within the Nadaleen Trend.  Map is courtesy of ATAC Resources.

MINING.com: What’s ATAC Resources?

Graham Downs: ATAC Resources is a gold exploration company focused on the Rackla Gold project in north-central Yukon.

MINING.com: What’s special about the Rackla gold project?

Graham Downs: It hosts Canada’s only Carlin-type gold mineralization outside of Nevada. We’ve made numerous discoveries at the eastern end of our project. Our discovery hole out there was 65 metres of 4.6 grams of gold in 2010 and year after year we keep making discoveries.

Drilling platforms in the Nadaleen Trend.

MINING.com: What’s significant about a Carlin-type discovery?

Graham Downs: Carlin-type discoveries can be large. They can be high grade. They can also be extremely large and moderate grade or low grade. They form in clusters, very much like Nevada, which makes up 75% of the gold produced in America. They are the fourth largest gold producer in the world. The Rackla Gold Project is 185 km long and the eastern part, which hosts Carlin-type mineralization at the Nadaleen Trend, is the same size or larger than the entire northern Carlin-trend of Nevada. So there is a lot of potential in the geological environment to host a lot of gold. We are just at the infancy of making discoveries at the Nadaleen Trend. It is very unique and there is a lot of potential.

Fire station at mining camp near Nadaleen Trend.

MINING.com: You were previously working on the Tiger deposit in the same area and then you came across the project you are working on right now.

Graham Downs: The Tiger deposit, which was at the western end, was our first discovery on the Rackla gold project. We found some arsenic numbers in some sediments out at the eastern end, which is now the Nadleen Trend. The Tiger deposit is primarily a oxide deposit, which is about 337,000 oz at surface with grades 3.7 grams gold so it is high grade. There is potential to develop that as we make our way out to the eastern end of the project.

MINING.com: Can you tell me something about working in the Yukon?

Graham Downs: This will be my 21st year working in the Yukon. Mining is accepted in the Yukon. It’s part of the history. It’s easy to work here. There is a lot of support from the government. The mineral potential here is bar none. It’s one of the top in the world. It’s a great place to work.

Helicopter landing at mining camp near Nadaleen Trend.

MINING.com: What’s the work you completed on the project this summer?

Graham Downs: This summer we focused on RAB drilling [percussion rotary air blast drilling] at the Anubis target, which is 10KM west of our Osiris discoveries. So it is a new area. We’ve completed about 32 holes there. We did some diamond drilling at our main target at the Conrad zone, and we have done a lot of regional exploration work around Tiger, because there is a lot of potential which remains there.

MINING.com: What are you going to be doing into 2016?

Graham Downs: We are probably going to follow up on some of the RAB drilling if we get any good results there. We will continue to work around the Rau trend and Tiger deposit and potentially more drilling at the Conrad. We have a fortunate problem of having numerous targets so we have a lot of areas we can keep drilling.


Michael McCrae waits for lift at ATAC Resources’ camp.

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