"Results are in line with our expectations, discovering new high grade gold ounces on the acquired JV claims," said exploration manager at Kirkland, Stewart Carmichael.
"With the exploration drifts on the 5300 level already developed, access to both underground and surface drilling on the South Claims was immediate and will be ongoing throughout the year."
The surface exploration program at the site, which is using two rigs, was designed to follow up on the high grade intercept in drill hole SC-11-02, which assayed 1.74 ounces of gold per ton (opt) over a true width of around 4.6 feet, 400 feet below surface.
The company said drill hole AB-12-01 intersected a mineralized zone that returned 1.12 opt uncut over 6.5 feet of core length. This intersection is located 740 feet west of the South Claims at a vertical depth of 2,456 feet.
Drill hole AB-12-06 returned 8.52 opt uncut over 3.0 feet of core length, which was around 300 feet below surface and contained "significant visible gold", Kirkland said, adding that it appears to be associated with the high grade intercept in drill hole SC-11-02 approximately 140 feet to the east.
Meanwhile, hole 53-2147 intersected the New South Zone and assayed 11.00 opt uncut (3.57 opt cut) over a true width of 4.5 feet. This hole also included a new hangingwall vein that returned 1.33 opt over a true width of 2.7 feet.
At least one, and possibly two, new hangingwall veins were also intersected.
Drill hole 53-2150 returned 0.64 opt over a core length of 13.1 feet and 53-2151 assayed 0.59 opt uncut, (0.54 opt cut) over a core length of 20.6 feet. Further infill drilling to determine continuity between these two holes is required, the company said.
These drill programs are part of a much larger ongoing exploration initiative, in which Kirkland is currently operating nine exploration drills - six of which are located underground at the Macassa Mine, and three of which are located on surface.
One of the six underground exploration drills is testing the extension of the South Mine Complex (SMC) area on the HM and North Amalgamated properties, also former joint ventures acquired by Kirkland in late August.
A second drill is located in a recently excavated drill bay along the west boundary between the South Claims and the Macassa property. This drill is testing the down-dip and strike extension of the SMC on the South Claims, where the existing indicated and inferred resource grade is greater than 1 ounce per ton.
According to Kirkland, the earliest recorded exploration on the South Claims was in the 1920s, and after 1939, there was no other exploration work on the property until 2007 - when Kirkland and Queenston completed a surface geophysical program.
Kirkland Gold currently has a near surface resource located on the 100 per cent owned Macassa property close to the west boundary of the South Claims property.
The resource is comprised of two separate mineralized zones, which contain a combined 16,000 tons indicated resource grading 0.33 opt and a combined 16,000 tons inferred resource grading 0.31 opt.
The company said the intercepts announced from the recent surface drilling "seem to be related to this resource", but further drilling is required to confirm this relationship.