Mr. Ewan Downie reports
I-80 GOLD LAUNCHES 2023 EXPANDED RUBY HILL DRILL PROGRAM
An expanded 2023 drill program is now under way at i-80 Gold Corp.'s 100-per-cent-owned Ruby Hill property, located in Eureka county, Nevada.
Due to the substantial success of the 2022 drill campaign, which included multiple new discoveries, additional rigs have been added such that a total of six core and RC drill rigs have been or are being activated. The primary targets of the first part of the program will be the Hilltop corridor, which includes polymetallic carbonate replacement deposit (CRD) mineralization, including the Upper Hilltop zone, skarn mineralization in the Blackjack and Hilltop Corridor targets, and multiple untested geophysical anomalies.
"Outstanding results and new discoveries at Ruby Hill confirm the potential to grow resources in multiple gold and polymetallic target areas," stated Ewan Downie, chief executive officer of i-80. "We are currently assessing the potential for a restart of the processing infrastructure at Ruby Hill for either gold or base metal mineralization, including the economic opportunity, timing for start-up and the low capital requirement. As such, we are focusing our drill program to help us better understand what the priority should be."
The Hilltop corridor is a 1.5-kilometre-long, alluvial-covered trend immediately south of the Archimedes pit believed to be host to multiple feeder fault structures. This trend is largely untested by previous drilling owing to the alluvial cover. The discovery of the Upper and Lower Hilltop zones in the second half of 2022, combined with hole iRH22-61, the first hole drilled to test for mineralization to the east of Hilltop and south of the Blackjack Deposit, confirms the company geological team's model that the Ruby Hill property could be host to multiple types of mineralization and several large-scale deposits.
Upper Hilltop zone
The Upper Hilltop zone is a near-surface, high-grade CRD zone that was discovered on the south side of the Archimedes pit that was first drilled in August, 2022. Previously released results from drilling in the Upper Hilltop zone (see press releases dated Aug. 30, 2022, and Nov. 14, 2022) returned high-grade intercepts include:
0.9 gram per tonne gold, 515.3 grams per tonne silver, 10.5 per cent zinc 28.9 per cent lead over 28.3 metres in hole iRH22-43;
1.9 grams per tonne gold, 631.3 grams per tonne silver, 7.4 per cent zinc and 33.0 per cent lead over 18.3 metres in hole iRH22-53;
60.2 grams per tonne gold, 908.7 grams per tonne silver, 1.1 per cent zinc and 15.7 per cent lead over 10.0 metres in hole iRH22-55.
Additional results from the 2022 program testing both the Upper and Lower Hilltop zones remain pending and will be released upon receipt.
The Blackjack deposit was discovered by previous operators, Barrick Gold and Homestake Mining Co. High-grade polymetallic (zinc, lead, gold and silver) skarn mineralization located immediately below the Archimedes pit was intersected in numerous holes but was never brought to resource status. Highlight historic intercepts drilled into the Blackjack deposit include:
27.3 per cent zinc, 3.2 grams per tonne gold and 13.0 grams per tonne silver over 24.5 metres in hole HC1751;
28.0 per cent zinc, 4.9 per cent lead, 0.3 gram per tonne gold and 195.0 grams per tonne silver over 17.1 metres in hole BRH-06C.
Two directional core rigs are currently drilling this target so that i-80 can complete a National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource for the deposit and additional stepout drilling will also be completed.
Hilltop corridor drilling
In late 2022, hole iRH22-61 was drilled east from one of the Upper Hilltop drill platforms to test for skarn mineralization, similar to the Blackjack deposit, proximal to the Graveyard Flats intrusive complex. Hole iRH22-61 intersected high-grade mineralization approximately 450 metres to the south of Blackjack, assaying an impressive 12.3 per cent zinc over 39.8 metres
(see press release dated Dec. 19, 2022). This target area remains wide open for expansion and is currently being tested by additional drilling.
Geophysical surveys have been completed over the Hilltop corridor area and have identified several highly prospective anomalies that are believed to have the potential to represent additional massive sulphide targets. Several of these anomalies will be tested in the 2023 drilling program.
Ruby Hill processing plant
i-80 has two processing facilities -- Ruby Hill and Lone Tree, and studies have been commissioned for the start-up of both sites so that the company can better assess the preferred economic development scenario for the timing and sequencing of its planned mining operations. In November, 2022, the results of a scoping study commissioned to provide preliminary capital and operating cost estimates for the potential restart of the existing Ruby Hill mill and leach circuits to operating status, including a potential conversion to a flotation plant for the processing of polymetallic (base metal) mineralization.
The study was completed in to consider processing of oxide gold and/or base metal mineralization, including preliminary estimates of the capital and operating cost required for converting the process plant from a mill/leach facility processing oxide gold mineralized material to a base metal flotation plant producing two concentrates (lead/silver and zinc concentrates).
The Eureka (Ruby Hill) mining district has a history of high-grade polymetallic CRD production that began in the 1860s and spanned a period of more than 100 years. Historic mined grades rank amongst the highest for any CRD district in the world. Since the 1960s, the CRD potential of the Eureka district has been largely overlooked in favour of exploration for Carlin-type gold deposits and the company considers the opportunity to be substantial.
The Ruby Hill property is one of the company's primary assets and is host to the core processing infrastructure within the Eureka district of the Battle Mountain/Eureka trend, including an idle leach plant and an active heap leach facility, and is host to multiple gold, gold-silver and polymetallic (base metal) deposits.
The company has submitted for approval its plan to develop an underground mine at Ruby Hill with mineralization accessed through a ramp from the Archimedes open pit. Work is also progressing for the completion of updated mineral resource estimates (gold and polymetallic zones) and an initial economic study for the gold zones (only).
Quality assurance/quality control procedures
Historic intercepts did not contain silver, lead and zinc standards, and, therefore, the accuracy of the historic results is undetermined. i-80 is in the process of completing resampling with standards of historic core. All samples were submitted to ALS Minerals of Sparks, Nev., which is an ISO 9001 and ISO 17025 certified and accredited laboratory, independent of the company. Samples submitted through ALS are run through standard prep methods and analyzed using Au-AA23 (gold; 30-gram fire assay; ALS) and ME-ICP61a (33-element suite; 0.4-gram four-acid digest/ICP-AES; ALS). Overlimit samples of silver, lead and zinc are analyzed by ore-grade methods comprising HF-HNO3-HClO4 digest, HCl leach and ICP-AES. Additional samples overlimit ore-grade methods are analyzed by acid dissolution and titration. ALS also undertakes its own internal coarse and pulp duplicate analysis to ensure proper sample preparation and equipment calibration. i-80 Gold's QA/QC program includes regular insertion of CRM (certified reference material) standards (gold and polymetallic), duplicates and blanks into the sample stream with a stringent review of all results.
Tyler Hill, CPG-12146, senior geologist at i-80, is the qualified person for the information contained in this press release and is a qualified person within the meaning of NI 43-101.
About i-80 Gold Corp.
i-80 Gold is a well-financed, Nevada-focused mining company with a goal of achieving mid-tier gold producer status through the development of multiple deposits within the company's advanced-stage property portfolio with processing at i-80's centralized milling facility that includes an autoclave.
We seek Safe Harbor.
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