It is still a very tough market for gold explorers. Andrew Pollard, CEO of Blackrock Gold (V.BRC) knows this. The fact that Blackrock’s share price has gone from $0.03 to as high as $0.30 since Pollard became CEO in May of 2019 is encouraging but, Pollard is well aware, what matters are results.
Blackrock reported completion of its first (of four) drill holes at its Silver Cloud project in Nevada. The core is at the lab for assay, however, Bill Howald, Blackrock’s Executive Chairman, was encouraged by what he’s seen so far, “The first hole drilled at Silver Cloud in over 15 years has intercepted an intensely silicified interval with up to 10% sulphide in a strongly altered porphyry intrusive. Placer Dome previously intersected high-grade gold, including 1.5 metres grading 12.5 g/t gold, from a similar altered porphyry unit at the Northwest Canyon Target located 1.5 kilometres to the west. Hole SBC19-002 is currently being drilled in this area. Naturally, this is a very encouraging result and supports our view that a high-grade gold deposit may exist at depth at Silver Cloud.”
Howald knows what he’s talking about. He is one of the few geologists in the world who are credited with finding over 100 million ounces of gold. And he lives in Nevada, only two hours from the property.
Howald is just one reason why Blackrock has been outperforming the gold junior market since Pollard took over. The property itself is a huge plus. Located in the Northern Nevada Rift Trend, Silver Cloud hosts a known gold system which has not yet been systematically explored. Back in 2001 Teck intersected high grade intercepts below the Silver Cloud Mercury mine including one of a meter and half of 157.7 gpt gold. Two kilometres to the west of this intercept, Placer Dome intersected 12.2 meters of 5.53 gpt gold in 2002.
At the time gold was trading for less than $300 an ounce which explains why these huge companies were willing to walk away from such a prospective property.
Added to that is the fact that both companies were interpreting their results as indicative of individual deposits oriented North to South. Blackrock’s geophysical and geochemical work, along with more advanced mapping, suggest that the two intercepts may well be part of a single, East-West oriented, structure.
This revisioning of the potential deposit suggests significant size. So does the fact that most of the gold found in the North Nevada Rift is found about 1500 meters above sea level. Or roughly 200 to 400 meters from the surface of Silver Cloud. This means the actual drill holes are not excessively deep (or costly).
Add to that the fact that Silver Cloud is located only 8 kilometres from Hecla’s Hollister 1.3 million ounce gold mine and only 20 kilometres from Hecla’s 3.5 million ounce Midas mine and Blackrock seems to be in the right neighbourhood.
Pollard and Howald are off to conferences in the US and Europe over the next six weeks. While they are away the assay results from the first hole should become available and, with a bit of luck, the results from the second hole will be in by the Christmas lull. So far, Howald and Pollard are liking what they are seeing in the core they have got. Now it is a question of whether that core holds gold in quantities similar to what Teck and Placer Dome discovered back in the early 2000s.
If it does, the market is likely to pay very close attention.