In a wide-ranging interview, we talked with Eclipse Gold Mining President & CEO Michael G. Allen on discovering new perspective at the company’s flagship Hercules gold project in Nevada, champagne and what we can expect from the Phase 2 drill program. Part 1 of 2.
Q: What do you know now that you didn’t know before? You’ve done an initial drill program and IP survey on Hercules, an area long fragmented by ownership and approach?
Michael: We believe Hercules is not just a deposit, it’s a system. In terms of continuity of mineralization and scale, the system may be bigger than anticipated. Hercules is not an untouched greenfields project. Historic drilling proved there was gold mineralization, however, it barely made a scratch in unlocking its true potential. This is a complete untested system of significant scale in Nevada. Previous exploration at Hercules was fractionated by ownership in its past. Eclipse is the first to aggregate data and look at Hercules through a district-scale lens using a systematic, science-focused approach. We consolidated an 85-square-kilometre, district-scale land package through claim-staking and ownership consolidation. Recent drilling has highlighted the strength and continuity of the mineralized system and the IP survey identified a new “Hercules Structural Zone,” a potential feeder structure that extends more than 2,000 metres along strike and remains open for expansion. Our first phase of drilling has shown an apparent increase in thickness and grade of mineralization to the south, indicating the property-wide system could be larger than previously imagined. We believe Hercules may be a gold system potentially hosting multiple deposits over a large mineralized footprint.
Q: Nevada is U.S. Main Street for gold production and the geology is fairly well established. How does Hercules fit in with this neighbourhood?
Michael: Based on our work to date, the model is holding together in terms of the classic low sulphidation epithermal gold system that this part of Nevada is known for. It is playing out very much as we expected and hoped. The geophysics indicate the two southern most targets – Cliffs and Hercules – are coming together in the classic epithermal champagne style-glass shape. The system is as big, or bigger, than we originally interpreted.
Q: What are the goals of the Phase 2 drill program?
Michael: Our aim is to articulate the sense of scale of Hercules to the market. We are planning up to 18 reverse circulation holes, totalling approximately 6,750 metres. Drilling will test potential extensions of known gold mineralization to the east of Cliffs; the newly defined Hercules Structural Zone that runs north-south through the Northeast and Hercules targets; and geophysical targets generated by our recent IP geophysical program between the Cliffs and Hercules targets.