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i-80 Gold Corp
Symbol IAU
Shares Issued 298,152,335
Close 2024-01-17 C$ 1.99
Market Cap C$ 593,323,147
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i-80 Gold drills 114.3 m of 9.5% Zn at Ruby Hill

2024-01-17 09:44 ET - News Release

Mr. Tyler Hill reports


i-80 Gold Corp. has released positive results from continuing drilling at the company's 100-per-cent-owned Ruby Hill property located in Eureka county, Nevada. The results are from the 2023 program that continues to demonstrate significant potential to expand high-grade polymetallic mineralization in the Hilltop fault structure and within the Hilltop corridor.

The East Hilltop zones were discovered while testing the eastern extension of the Hilltop fault structure, where high-grade mineralization had previously been identified in the Upper and Lower Hilltop zones. Permitting for additional disturbance was completed in mid-2023 and drilling from new drill set-ups resumed in the second half of the year. This program has confirmed high-grade mineralization in both the carbonate replacement deposit (CRD) type and skarn zones, and stepout drilling is confirming significant growth potential with mineralization remaining wide open for expansion. The table entitled "Highlight new assay results from Ruby Hill" provides a summary of recent drill results. Recent highlight results include:

  • East Hilltop (skarn and CRD):
    • 1.5 grams per tonne (g/t) gold (Au), 274.6 g/t silver (Ag), 4.7 per cent zinc (Zn) and 4.3 per cent lead (Pb) over 13.2 metres (iRH23-48);
    • 22.4 per cent Zn over 5.8 m, and 197.2 g/t Ag, 7.5 per cent Zn and 5 per cent Pb over 6.1 m (iRH23-49);
    • 9.5 per cent Zn, 0.3 per cent copper (Cu) and 12.6 g/t Ag over 114.3 m (iRH23-50), including:
      • 17.7 per cent Zn, 0.4 per cent Cu and 10.2 g/t Ag over 36.6 m; and
      • 12.9 per cent Zn, 0.6 per cent Cu and 48.8 g/t Ag over 15.2 m.
    • 0.2 g/t Au, 36.3 g/t Ag, 7.1 per cent Zn and 1.4 per cent Pb over 6.1 m (iRH23-57).
  • Upper Hilltop (CRD):
    • 2.1 g/t Au, 514.8 g/t Ag, 3.1 per cent Zn and 23.4 per cent Pb over 10 m (iRH23-52);
    • 14.7 g/t Au, 253.3 g/t Ag, 0.4 per cent Zn and 8.7 per cent Pb over 7.5 m (iRH23-52);
    • 0.6 g/t Au, 332.9 g/t Ag, 8.8 per cent Zn and 18.8 per cent Pb over 32 m (iRH23-54);
    • One g/t Au, 469.4 g/t Ag, 6.8 per cent Zn and 15.6 per cent Pb over 23.6 m (iRH23-56).
  • Exploration (Hilltop corridor):
    • 252 g/t Ag and 22.3 per cent Zn over 1.5 m (iRH23-55);
    • 1,181 g/t Ag, 19.5 per cent Zn and 10.2 per cent Pb over 1.5 m (iRH23-55).

"Drilling continues to intersect extremely high-grade polymetallic base metal mineralization in multiple zones at Ruby Hill," stated Tyler Hill, chief geologist of i-80. "These results include multiple new intercepts in the East Hilltop discovery area, including the most significant copper mineralization identified to date. High-grade, silver-rich skarn mineralization was also intersected in stepout drilling along the untested southern extension of the Graveyard Flats intrusive."

The 2023 drill program at Ruby Hill was focused on defining mineralization in the Hilltop, Blackjack and FAD deposits for the completion of an initial National Instrument 43-101-compliant resource from these zones. Significant high-grade mineralization was confirmed in all targets and the deposits remain wide open for expansion. In addition to drilling, geophysical surveys have recently been completed to cover the untested Hilltop corridor to the FAD deposit located approximately two kilometres to the south of Hilltop.

Drill program

The continuing drill program at Ruby Hill is focused on defining and expanding mineralization in the multiple zones that make the property a core asset for i-80. This drilling will be included in an initial resource estimate for the polymetallic deposits. Some of the core from the program is being utilized for metallurgical testing in relation to a proposed partnership with a third party that, upon closing, will acquire a minority interest in the property. Current drilling is being financed by this third party.

East Hilltop zones -- one of the final holes of the 2022 drilling program discovered high-grade skarn mineralization while testing the eastern extension of the Hilltop fault structure with an intercept of 12.3 per cent Zn over 39.6 m (see press release dated Dec. 19, 2022). Follow-up drilling in early 2023 confirmed expansion potential of the skarn horizon and also discovered high-grade CRD mineralization. Multiple lenses of mineralization have now been intersected at East Hilltop, including the most abundant copper grades intersected to date at Ruby Hill in recent stepout drilling.

The skarn mineralization at East Hilltop is located approximately 300 metres to the south of, and in a near-identical geological setting as, the Blackjack deposit adjacent to the Graveyard Flats intrusive. The area between Blackjack and East Hilltop remains untested. CRD mineralization is located along strike from the Upper Hilltop zone. New intercepts in the East Hilltop (CRD and skarn) zones include:

  • iRH23-48 East Hilltop -- four zones of CRD mineralization:
    • 2.6 g/t Au, 344 g/t Ag, 5.8 per cent Zn and 6 per cent Pb over 2.7 m;
    • 1.1 g/t Au, 174.4 g/t Ag, 3.8 per cent Zn and 2 per cent Pb over 15.8 m;
    • 1.5 g/t Au, 274.6 g/t Ag, 4.7 per cent Zn and 4.3 per cent Pb over 13.2 m;
    • 1.2 g/t Au, 171 g/t Ag, 6.9 per cent Zn and 3.6 per cent Pb over three m.
  • iRH23-49 -- East Hilltop zone returned five high-grade skarn and CRD intervals, including:
    • 14.3 per cent Zn over 2.7 m;
    • 22.4 per cent Zn over 5.8 m;
    • 10.9 per cent Zn over three m;
    • 111.9 g/t Ag, 4.8 per cent Zn and 2.5 per cent Pb over 4.6 m;
    • 197.2 g/t Ag, 7.5 per cent Zn and 5 per cent Pb over 6.1 m.
  • iRH23-50 -- East Hilltop (two zones) stepout with the best copper mineralization to date:
    • 9.5 per cent Zn, 0.3 per cent Cu and 12.6 g/t Ag over 114.3 m, including:
      • 17.7 per cent Zn, 0.4 per cent Cu and 10.2 g/t Ag over 36.6 m;
      • 12.9 per cent Zn, 0.6 per cent Cu and 48.8 g/t Ag over 15.2 m; and
      • 9.5 per cent Zn, 0.8 per cent Cu and 18.6 g/t Ag over 7.6 m.
  • iRH23-53 East Hilltop CRD infill (two zones):
    • 2.8 g/t Au, 230.3 g/t Ag, 0.3 per cent Zn and 1.1 per cent Pb over three m;
    • 0.2 g/t Au, 317.1 g/t Ag, 9.6 per cent Zn and 14.3 per cent Pb over 3.2 m.
  • iRH23-57 East Hilltop (skarn and CRD), 50 m stepout south of iRH22-61 (three zones):
    • 8.6 per cent Zn, 0.2 per cent Cu and six g/t Ag over 18.3 m;
    • 2.1 per cent Zn, 0.1 per cent Cu, 1.3 per cent Pb, 146.5 g/t Ag and 0.2 g/t Au over 12.2 m;
    • 7.1 per cent Zn, 1.4 per cent Pb, 36.3 g/t Ag and 0.2 g/t Au over 6.1 m.

Upper Hilltop zone -- in mid-2022, the Upper Hilltop zone was discovered with an intercept of 515.3 g/t Ag, 28.9 per cent Pb, 10.5 per cent Zn and 0.9 g/t Au over 28.3 m, leading to the definition of multiple polymetallic CRD and skarn zones on the south side of the Archimedes pit, situated along the Hilltop fault structure. Mineralization has now been defined over a strike length of approximately 750 metres, including the Upper, Lower and East Hilltop zones. Drilling in 2023 was focused on resource delineation and to acquire additional samples for metallurgical purposes. Highlight new results include:

  • iRH23-52 Upper Hilltop infill (two zones):
    • 2.1 g/t Au, 514.8 g/t Ag, 3.1 per cent Zn and 23.4 per cent Pb over 10 m;
    • 14.7 g/t Au, 253.3 g/t Ag, 0.4 per cent Zn and 8.7 per cent Pb over 7.5 m.
  • iRH23-54 Upper Hilltop infill:
    • 0.6 g/t Au, 332.9 g/t Ag, 8.8 per cent Zn and 18.8 per cent Pb over 32 m.
  • iRH23-56 Upper Hilltop infill:
    • One g/t Au, 469.4 g/t Ag, 6.8 per cent Zn and 15.6 per cent Pb over 23.6 m.

Hilltop exploration -- at the end of the 2023 drill program, and following the receipt of approvals for drilling within the Hilltop corridor, one RC (reverse circulation) exploration hole was drilled to test for potential mineralization along the intrusive contact. This hole (iRH23-55) successfully intersected 60 metres of skarn mineralization, including four narrow high-grade intercepts. This is the only hole drilled south of Hilltop within the Hilltop corridor and is the first where extremely high-grade silver is associated with skarn mineralization. No other holes have tested this contact horizon other than at Blackjack and East Hilltop. Highlights from iRH23-55 include:

  • 252 g/t Ag and 22.3 per cent Zn over 1.5 m;
  • 1,181 g/t Ag, 19.5 per cent Zn and 10 per cent Pb over 1.5 m;
  • 120 g/t Ag and 13.7 per cent Zn over 1.5 m;
  • 159 g/t Ag, 11.3 per cent Zn and 5.6 per cent Pb over 1.5 m.

Blackjack zone - previously released results from the Blackjack deposit also intersected appreciable polymetallic mineralization, with highlight intercepts of: 19.4 per cent Zn, 19.2 g/t Ag and 0.4 g/t Au over 30.4 m in iRH23-18A; 10.7 per cent Zn and 37 g/t Ag over 47.9 m, and 15.6 per cent Zn, 8.7 per cent Pb, 420.4 g/t Ag and 0.6 g/t Au over 40.4 m in iRH23-41; and 10.1 per cent Zn, 0.6 per cent Pb, 37 g/t Ag and 0.3 g/t Au over 116.3 m in iRH23-42. Hole iRH23-18A is the southmost intercepts drilling in the Blackjack deposit that remains open along strike to the north and south.

FAD zone -- drilling was also completed at the FAD deposit as part of the program to advance resource estimates for the polymetallic deposits at Ruby Hill. This program confirmed impressive massive sulphide mineralization with the final stepout hole of the program (PC23-28), demonstrating that the deposit remains open for expansion. This drill program builds on Paycore's successful program, further defining and expanding gold-rich, polymetallic mineralization at FAD. Previously released results from Paycore's drill program included: eight g/t Au, 79 g/t Ag, 10 per cent Zn and 1 per cent Pb over 27.4 m in hole PC22-10; 7.1 g/t Au, 376 g/t Ag, 6.3 per cent Zn and 10.3 per cent Pb over 14.8 m in hole PC22-08A; and 1.1 g/t Au, 155 g/t Ag, 22 per cent Zn and 1.5 per cent Pb over 12.5 m in hole PC22-07.

The FAD deposit is located approximately two km to the south of the Archimedes pit and the mineralization being defined at Ruby Hill. To date, FAD is the largest of the known CRD zones that are being drilled on the property and remains open for expansion. Results from the 2023 drill program will be released in the coming weeks.

The CRD deposits being drilled at Ruby Hill and FAD are situated within the Hilltop corridor, a 1.5 km long, alluvial covered trend immediately south of the Archimedes pit, that is largely untested by previous drilling owing to the alluvial cover.

Geophysical surveys

Previous geophysical surveys (MT (magnetotellurics), gravity and magnetic) have identified several highly perspective anomalies that are believed to have the potential to represent additional massive sulphide targets, including the Spring Valley and Deep Blue anomalies. Several of these surveys contained sparse data south of the Archimedes pit. Recently, surveys have been extended to cover to the southern boundary of the newly acquired FAD property, including the largely untested Hilltop corridor.

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, an active heap leach facility, and is host to multiple gold, gold-silver and polymetallic (base metal) deposits.

Multiple types of mineralization have been identified in the Hilltop corridor, including skarn (Blackjack), CRD (Hilltop/historic mines), distal disseminated Au-Ag (Mineral Point), Carlin-type gold (Ruby Deeps/428/Lower Jack) and, more recently, gold-sulphide (Tyche).

The company has submitted for approval its plan to develop an underground mine at Ruby Hill, with mineralization accessed via 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 (QA/QC) procedures

All samples were submitted to American Assay Laboratories (AAL) of Sparks, Nev., which is an ISO 9001 and 17025 certified and accredited laboratory, independent of the company. Samples submitted through AAL and are run through standard prep methods and analyzed using FA-PB30-ICP (Au -- 30-gram fire assay) and IO-4AB32 (35-element suite -- 0.5 g, four-acid ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry) plus MS (mass spectrometry)). AAL 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, duplicates and blanks into the sample stream with a stringent review of all results.

Qualified person

Mr. Hill, CPG-12146, chief geologist at i-80, is the qualified person for the information contained in this press release, within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.

About i-80 Gold Corp.

i-80 Gold is a 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 facilities.

We seek Safe Harbor.

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