Herbert Glacier test drilling done for season; new mine partnership finalized

Two Vancouver-based mining companies say they’ve finished this year’s test drilling for gold and silver deposits at Herbert Glacier. Both companies have also finalized their joint venture agreement for development of a mine.

Quaterra Resources in June of last year partnered with Grande Portage for exploration and development of the area. Grande Portage committed to spending $1.25 million dollars in exploration costs before next June in exchange for a 65-percent interest in the project.

In late 2007, Quaterra Resources acquired the 1700 acre property, now with as many as 91 federal mining claims either staked or leased from three local prospectors. There are at least four to five significant veins that strike east-to-west and dip sharply to the north around the Herbert Glacier about 18-miles north of downtown Juneau.

In a statement issued Wednesday by both companies, the agreement appears to differ little from when it was first announced last year. It includes a new provision that if any party does not contribute their proportionate share of development costs, then a dilution formula will be invoked if any party’s interest is reduced to 10-percent or less. The partner’s interest will be automatically converted into a 1-percent net smelter returns royalty, which may be acquired by the other party for $1 million.

Field test drilling at Herbert Glacier is now over for the season. Both companies announced that they completed 46 drill holes from 9 platforms totaling 6532 metres of diamond drilling.

Some of that drilling has included high-grade concentrations of gold from 2- to 6-ounces per ton. One test drill revealed nearly 39-ounces of silver per ton.

Assays from the latest set of test drilling are still pending from a laborartory.

Grande Portage President Ian Klassen said in a printed statement that they’re delighted with the significance of the results. He says they intersected five separate high grade bodies, four of which are new discoveries.

“A new vein which was previously only hypothesized now shows as much potential for gold as our other big veins,” wrote Klassen.

A test drilling schedule for 2012 that will help define the ore bodies is expected to be submitted for permitting during the last quarter of 2011.

Admiralty Enviromental of Juneau has been hired to do baseline water studies that are required under State of Alaska’s Large Mine permitting requirements.