May 19, 2011 Vancouver, Canada - Fire
River Gold Corp (TSXV: FAU) (OTCQX: FVGCF) (FSE: FWR) ("FAU" or the
"Company") is pleased to announce additional high grade gold
intercepts arising from its drill program at the Nixon Fork Mine,
Table 1: New Drill Results
Hole N11U-036 was drilled in the 3300 zone
in a portion of resources that extend from 208 mASL (meters above sea
level) to 285 mASL. It helps to define a stope that is included in the
mining plan for the first six months of operations, shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Grade Shell (1 g/t) for 3300
Orebody, 208 to 285 mASL
Holes N11U-035 and 037 were drilled in the
upper portion of the mine near surface on the 3300 zone at an elevation
of 383 mASL. They define what will become a two-level 20 m high longhole
stope that will be mined in the first six months of operations, shown in
Figure 2: 3300 Zone from 363 to 383 mASL
Hole N11U-036 represents the best intercept
of the ongoing 28,000 m 2010/2011 drill program so far. The following
table shows all intercepts for the which the grade multiplied by the
thickness exceeds 300 gram -- meters:
Table 2: Intercepts Exceeding 300 Gram-
To understand the significance of these and
all previously released drill intercepts, it is important that one
understands the geometry of the stopes, the mining methods that will be
employed, and the overall mine operating plan.
Geometry and Geology of the Deposit:
The Nixon Fork Mine is a skarn deposit. Gold, silver and copper
mineralization occurs along the contact of a quartz monzonite intrusion
in limestone. The orebodies take the form of pipes that are more-or-less
continuous vertically with steep dips of between 50 and 70 degrees, with
occasional fault-induced off-sets.
The mineralized zones are defined geometrically by a low grade
mineralization shell, producing massive stopes, as large as 30 m in
diameter. Grade shells were used to represent the mineralization in both
Figures 1 and 2. Figure 3 shows the 1 g/t mineralized shells that form
the Crystal and Mystery Mine zones.
Figure 3: Grade Shells for the Nixon Fork
Mining Zones (1 g/t)
Looking back at Figures 1 and 2, the shapes of the grade shells are
quite regular. Inside these grade shells are very high grade intercepts,
such as those listed on Tables 1 and 2. The challenge for mine
operations will be to capture all of the high grade intercepts while
minimizing the inclusion of low grade material to achieve a high grade
blended mill feed.
These zones will be thoroughly definition-drilled before mining occurs,
often to less than 6 m x 6 m density. A geological model will be
produced prior to mining that will be based on the mining cut-off grade
(nominally 10 g/t at today's prices). Figure 4 shows a geological model
for the same segment of 3300 zone that is represented in Figure 2. The
numerous light blue solids represent portions of the zone whose grade
exceeds 10 g/t.
Figure 4: Geologic Model and New Drill
Intercepts (3300 Zone)
Also shown in Figures 4 are new results from
our 2011 program, including drill hole N11U-036 (just released). The
intercepts are represented by colored cylinders on the drill holes. The
length of the cylinder represents the length of the intercept. The grade
of the intercept is represented by the cylinder size and its color as
indicated in the legend. The fact that these cylinders occur outside the
grade shell indicates that they are in addition to the known resource
The stope shown as an example in Figure 4 will have its geological model
updated to include the new intercepts prior to mining. However,
regardless of how much drilling is done, the stope mineralization will
not be fully understood until it is mined. The "gaps" between these
solids indicate either that they are cut off by a low grade intercept or
that the information is not available.
These zones will require a considerable amount of drilling, and the
results will always be a mixture of low grade and high grade hits. Up to
and including hole N11U-037, there have been 100 drill holes completed
in 2010 and 2011; 32 with no significant intercept, 27 with low grade
hits (<10 g/t), 27 with hits between 10 and 30 g/t and 14 with hits
greater than 30 g/t. This ratio is typical of past drilling on the
property and is expected to be typical of the drill results going
Because of the numerous gaps between drill holes, an important feature
of mining will be thorough testhole sampling prior to abandoning a stope.
Regardless of how dense the diamond drilling is, additional pockets of
high grade mineralization will be discovered by sampling jackleg and
jumbo drill cuttings. I like to call this "scratch and sniff" mining.
These assays will be used to plan additional extraction through slashing
walls, breasting backs, or benching floors prior to abandoning or
filling the stope. A quick turn-around of numerous assays will be
essential to mine functionality.
Demonstrating this concept, Figure 3 shows the results of some drill
cuttings assays in the 3300-208 stope drift from jackleg testhole
drilling. One wall hole in the diagram shows an assay of 232 g/t and
another at 171 g/t, neither of which was discovered by diamond drilling.
These will be slashed before this level is filled. It should be noted
that the assays on this diagram were performed in-house and should not
be relied upon, since they were not verified by an independent assayer.
Figure 5: 3300 Zone at 208 mASL Stope
Showing Test Hole Assays
Selectivity will be paramount to mining operations at Nixon Fork Mine.
Accordingly, a drift and fill method is most appropriate. As there is no
liquid fill, stopes will be filled with loose waste from the development
program. Drift and fill mining will be done in 3 m lifts, with access
provided on a temporary basis to each mining horizon through a
combination of benching and breasting stope accesses.
In some instances, shrinkage stoping will be deemed to be more
appropriate. This will be accomplished by accessing the stope vertically
with using a man raise. The stope will then be mined upward one slice at
a time in 3 m vertical lifts using jackleg drill. For each 3 m lift,
only the swell from the broken muck will be removed from the lowest
extraction level to keep the floor at a working height from the stope
back. At the end of the stope's life, it will be full of broken ore,
which will then be mucked out to the mill. Shrinkage stoping will allow
for grade selectivity in that the final extent of the stope can be
determined by testhole sampling. However, any low grade inclusions will
have to be taken with the ore, diluting the final grade.
A longhole drill and remote 4 ydł scooptram have been purchased such
that the mine can employ longhole stoping. This will be normally done by
using two elevations, a drill horizon and a mucking horizon with as much
as 20 m of vertical separation. This mining method would have the least
selectivity and any high grade segments will be diluted with lower grade
material. However, it may be necessary to employ this method in stopes
with span that are so large that the backs may not be stable. In these
cases, a stable mucking brow would be established for a remote scooptram
to enter the open stope, operated by a miner standing in a safe location
on an engineered platform. The back will be pre-supported with long
bolts to minimize dilution.
All three stoping methods will be used in the first six months of
Additional equipment purchases include two x 20 t trucks, an additional
4 ydł scooptram, underground forklift, and a single boom electric
hydraulic drill jumbo. All units have been purchased and either en-route
or being rebuilt. The last unit is projected to arrive at the end of
The Mine Operating Plan
Figure 5 shows the mine plan for start up in graphical form.
Figure 6: Longsection of the Crystal and
Mystery Mines Showing Mining Plan
Production from the mine will be provided by
the upper portion of the Crystal Mine for the first six months of
operations (labelled 1 through 3) using all three mining methods
described. Area 1, the 3000X Zone, will be mined with a drift and fill
method followed by benching the floor. Area 2 contains a small longhole
stope between 370 and 383 elevations of the 3300 zone. Area 3 is the
most significant of the three. It contains a drift and fill stope at the
base elevation (208 to 214 mASL), a drift and fill stope from 214 to 220
mASL, and two shrinkage stopes with mucknig horizons at 235 mASL. The
mine plan for the rest of this area is till being developed.
It is anticipated that ongoing diamond drilling and testhole sampling on
mining will increase the mill feed from the upper portion of the Crystal
Mine, extending it life beyond the six months currently anticipated.
While the Upper Crystal is being extracted, the main ramp will be
extended to depth, which is underway. This ramp extension will open up
mining to depth on both the 3000 and 3300 zones, which are some of the
best resources on the claim in terms of grade and geological continuity.
It is anticipated that the known resources at depth will provide mill
feed for approximately one year. The extension of the down ramp has been
located in the tightly healed limestone according to the recommendations
of a Golder report on ground water hydrology. The existing ramp bottom
(shown in Figure 7) will be used a sump for the ongoing development
program, pumping to a 200,000 gal water reservoir located at 190 m ASL
level. Water will be drawn from the reservoir for production and diamond
drilling and for muckpile watering.
Figure 7: Old Ramp Bottom
A second development face has also been started -- the connection drift
between Mystery and Crystal Mines shown as a dotted line on Figure 4.
This will open up underground drill platforms for the zone between the
mines, which is thought to be the best exploration target for
identifying new zones and adding to the resources of the Southern Cross
and J5A. Water inflows from this heading will also be directed to the
sump at the old ramp bottom.
Mining beyond this 18 month period will be in the Mystery Mine, in new
zones between the two mines, and even deeper in the Crystal Mine on the
3000 and 3300 zones should additional resources be found at depth.
Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC)
Rigorous controls are in place to ensure the traceability of samples and
their results. Upon delivery core is prepped and logged with intervals
of interest and/or mineralization marked for sampling. The core is
subsequently photographed prior to cutting. Half the core is retained
for future reference and the remaining half placed in double poly bags
and sealed for shipment. Samples are delivered to ALS Chemex in
Fairbanks, AK where they are dried, crushed, and representative splits
are transported to ALS Chemex labs in either Reno, NV or Vancouver, BC
for assay. ALS Chemex complies with the requirements for the
International Standards ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025:1999. Analysis
includes Fire Assay with gravimetric finish for gold and ICP for 33
other elements. Gold assay results greater than 5 ppm are automatically
re-submitted for screen metallic analysis.
QA/QC is verified using external standards, blanks, and duplicates with
13% of all samples submitted being QA/QC check samples. Results are
examined ensuring control samples fall within 2.5 standard deviations of
certified values. Failed results are re-analyzed by the lab and/or
additional samples from the remaining core are submitted for analysis.
The Qualified Person for this news release is Richard Goodwin, P.Eng,
President & C.O.O for Fire River Gold.
About Fire River Gold Corp.
Fire River Gold Corp. is a near term production company with an
experienced technical team focused on bringing its flagship project, the
Nixon Fork Gold Mine, back into production in Summer 2011. The
Nixon Fork Gold
Mine is a permitted and bonded mine which include a ~200 tpd
processing plant with a gravity gold circuit, sulphide flotation circuit
and a gold recovery system (CIL circuit) that is scheduled to be
completed by Summer 2011. The mine also includes a fleet of surface &
underground mining vehicles, a self-contained power plant, maintenance
facilities, drilling equipment, an 85 person camp, office facilities and
a 1.2 km long landing strip.
Fire River Gold Corp is a member of the International Metals Group.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I look forward to keeping you
updated with our corporate developments.
President and COO
Certain information regarding the Company including management's
assessment of future plans and operations, may constitute forward-looking
statements under applicable securities laws and necessarily involve risks
associated with mining exploration and development, volatility of prices,
currency fluctuations, imprecision of resource estimates, environmental and
permitting risks, access to labour and services, competition from other
companies and ability to access sufficient capital. As a consequence, actual
results may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking
statements. A feasibility study has not been completed and there is no certainty
the disclosed targets will be reached nor that the proposed operations will be
economically viable. The TSX Venture Exchange or its Regulation Services
Provider have not reviewed and do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of the contents of this news release, which has been prepared
by management. We seek