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Westhaven posts initial 1moz open-pit gold resource for Shovelnose

The Shovelnose gold-silver project in British Columbia. Credit: Westhaven Gold

Westhaven Gold (TSXV: WHN) has released its first resource for its Shovelnose gold-silver project in British Columbia’s Spences Bridge Gold Belt, outlining an open pit resource at the South zone.

Indicated resources are 10.6 million tonnes grading 2.32 g/t gold and 11.43 g/t silver (or 2.47 g/t gold equivalent) for 791,000 oz. gold and 3.9 million oz. silver. Inferred resources add 9.2 million tonnes grading 0.89 g/t gold and 3.47 g/t silver (or 0.94 g/t gold equivalent) for 263,000 oz. gold and 1 million oz. silver. A cutoff grade of 0.35 g/t gold equivalent was used. 

The open pit constrained resource is based on 145 surface drill holes totalling nearly 56,500 metres, 25,920 drill core analyses and 3,302 bulk density measurements at the project’s South zone. 

Westhaven is also working on an initial underground resource for Shovelnose, to be released in several months’ time.  

The 176.2-sq-km Shovelnose project is located 30 km south of Merritt, BC and accessible by highway.

“This is the first mineral resource estimate on the Shovelnose gold property, and we are pleased to report a starting inventory of over a million ounces of gold from the first of multiple mineralized zones,” said Westhaven CEO and president, Gareth Thomas in a release.  

Thomas noted that 75% of the resource is in the indicated category, and that the technical team sees potential for significant resource expansion potential.  

Indicated mineralization is largely associated with 13 individual vein zones in the South zone, whereas the inferred is associated with a low-grade surrounding halo of mineralization.  

“The 2022 expansion and exploration drill program will begin shortly, focusing on the FMN zone, where high-grade gold mineralization (15.97 metres of 9.15 g/t gold) was intersected in drilling last year,” he added.

“Targeting new discoveries on undrilled exploration targets within this large, underexplored property will also remain a key focus going forward.”

The Shovelnose project has returned some spectacular intersections over the past few years, including 17.7 metres of 24.5 g/t gold from 210 metres depth in hole SN18-14, in 2018. 

On Nov. 22, Westhaven announced it was pausing its drilling program on Shovelnose after extreme rainfall led to severe flooding in Merritt and elsewhere in BC.

Including Shovelnose, Westhaven also holds four projects totalling 370 sq. km in the 110-km, northwest-trending Spences Bridge Gold Belt.

 (This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)