International Tower Hill Mines (TSE:ITH)(AMEX:THM) unveiled Monday a historical resource estimate for its 100 percent-owned Placer claims near the Livengood gold project located around 70 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.
The company, which acquired the Placer claims in December, said a report completed by Alaska/Nevada Gold Mines in 2006 estimated a resource of roughly 5.2 million cubic yards of gold-bearing gravel at an average grade of 1.0 gram per tonne (g/t) in several defined areas within the Livengood Placer claims.
This amounts to a total gold resource of around 230,000 ounces in the measured and indicated resource categories, International Tower Hill said.
The company noted, however, that after the calculation of this resource, which is not NI 43-101 compliant, and prior to the purchase of the Placer property by the company in 2011, mining operations completed in 2010 resulted in a reduction to measured resources of 7,100 ounces.
Placer gold was first discovered in the Livengood area in 1914, and led to a gold rush that recovered approximately 530,000 ounces of placer gold from the district since that time.
The company said the historical resource estimate is relevant to indicate that sufficient potential exists on the Livengood Placer claims to justify exploration expenses, and also as a guide to the prioritization of potential development efforts.
"The potential for significant alluvial gold to be found in the Livengood Placer claims, as illustrated by the existence of the historical resource estimate, represents a truly exciting opportunity for International Tower Hill Mines to create significant value for our shareholders in the near term," said president and CEO, Jim Komadina.
"While our main Livengood development team continues to focus solely on advancing the large Livengood Gold Project towards permitting and development into a large-scale gold mine in North America, we have a highly experienced placer mining team assessing the potential of the Livengood Placer property with a view to determining as soon as possible if a resource sufficient to warrant future production may be identified."
Records exist for 2,370 placer drill holes that were completed on the Livengood Placer claims since 1933.
The company is planning a confirmation drill program of 2,275 metres on the Livengood Placer claims beginning in April of this year, to assess whether the historical drilling data can be used in the calculation of a current NI 43-101 resource for the property.
Richard Hughes, P.E., of H2T Mine Engineering Services, a qualified person as defined under NI 43-101 who reviewed the historical resource estimate on behalf of the company, concluded: "We concur with the methodology used by ANGM and believe that its resource analysis is reasonable as presented by category, subject to an uncertainty presented by a 2010 production shortfall. To develop a NI 43-101 compliant placer resource.
"A more detailed analysis of the resource category assignment should be conducted to include complete detailed drill log take-off and spatial consideration for category allocation. The effect of underground drift mining on the resource calculations needs to be clearly understood. I strongly recommend resource definition be improved by utilizing new drilling methods in the measured and indicated areas."
International Tower Hill Mines controls a 100 percent interest in the Livengood project accessible by paved highway 70 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska. In 2012, the company is focused on the rapid advancement of the property while it continues to expand its current resource and explore its 145 square kilometre district for new deposits.