Iceland lies within the North-Atlantic Igneous Province and owes its existence to an underlying mantle plume and to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that runs through the country. The trace of the mantle plume runs from the eastern coast of Greenland in the west across to Faeroes and Scotland in the southeast. However, the crustal structure of Iceland differs somewhat from the oceanic crust as it is considerably thicker due to anomalous volcanic accumulation. Conditions for exploration in Iceland are favorable as the land is relatively baron with good bedrock exposures and limited sedimentary and vegetation cover.
Exploration for gold in Iceland started in the early 20th century when early prospectors Björn Kristjansson, a politician and a bank manager, and Einar Benediktsson, a famous poet and entrepreneur found a number of gold-rich localities. The most notable of these were in Mogilsa and Thormodsdalur. The latter being located about 20km East of the city centre of Reykjavík and SE of the lake Hafravatn on the East side of Iceland.
Thormosdsdalor was discovered in 1908 to be more exact and produced mineral concentrate from 1911 to 1925 when over 300 meters of tunnels were developed and various surface mining operations were undertaken by three different companies. However, due to the economic recession in Europe during and following World War I, exploration all but came to a halt until a short stint during world war two that was short lived by a German company. No production figures are available from these endeavors.
Renewed interest for gold exploration in Iceland developed in and about 1989 when the close connection between geothermal activity and gold deposition, even in low salinity environments, became apparent. This led to limited reconnaissance surveys financed by private and governmental sources and gave new life to the project when it suggested that many Au-Ag deposits of this class represent fossil geothermal systems. Geologists from Orkustofnun looked at the area from the theoretical perspective and found visible gold in cores from geothermal wells. This led the government to create an entity around gold in Iceland, and called it Málmís later which did extensive, low-density reconnaissance surveys over the property.
In 2004, Iceland Resources entered into a Joint Venture agreement with Melmi ehf, Málmís hf (majority government owned) and Gold Ísland Limited. However, Melmi, at the time, was the owner of the Thor project license which was first granted in October 2004 and Melmi was owned by Málmís (51%) and Gold Ísland (49%).
Studies in 2005/06 and 2013 indicated that mineralization has been identified as a low sulphidation bander epithermal chalcedony-ginguro deposit. Petrographic analysis of the vein material identified gold occurring in its free form and also as part of an assemblage with pyrite and chalcopyrite in the area. Furthermore, the Petrographic and XRD studies show an evolution of the vein system from the zeolite assemblage to quart adularia and lastly to minor calcite. However, the limited wall rock alteration suggests that the geo-thermal system may have been relatively short-lived, but intense and a systematic geochemical sampling campaign may be able to use the alteration and pathfinder elements to vector towards a “Thor type” gold bearing system. These data also support the hypothesis that the mineralization observed at Thor is geochemically analogous with other highly productive LSa epithermal gold systems around the world.
Thirty two holes were drilled in 2005/06, into the vein system, totaling nearly 2,439 m. These drill holes generally extend to 100 m and indicated significant grades and thicknesses confined to two shoots along the vein structure (Fleming et al. 2006). A 450 m deep, temperature-gradient hole (HS-27) was, in addition, drilled slightly to the west of the vein system, where it intersected Au-enriched veins at depths down to 450 m. The Au grades of the veins in the holes are variable, which is not surprising and range from 0.5 g/t Au to a maximum of 415 g/t Au over 40cm which is Iceland highest recorded gold intercept. Other notable intercepts from the diamond drilling are 33.5m of 8.0 g/t Au (true thickness) and 5.2m of 35.4 g/t Au (true thickness).
Also noteworthy is that Twenty-three select samples were collected from trenches previously sampled on the Thor project by 2 professionals who both confirmed the gold grades and the geologic setting. Gold grades from these samples ranged from 0.005 g/t Au to 13.55 g/t Au and silver grades ranged from 0.5 g/t Ag to 6.8 g/t Ag. The average grade of the combined 22 samples was 2.26 g/t Au gold.
In 2017, St-Georges Eco-Mining took control of Iceland resources and the following year (2018) they hired Efla Consulting & engineering company to do a detailed drone mapping program ahead of the planned exploration on the property.
In 2020, St-Georges received the permits to drill the Thor Gold project for the first time in almost 15 years, only to be hindered by the global pandemic and travel restrictions. Early summer prospecting saw the company retrieve 3 grab samples in an area outside the initial target area for drilling and yet the samples returned grades ranging from 2.47 g/t Au – 37.4 g/t Au. After reviewing all the available data, St-Georges geological team put together a comprehensive exploration plan for the project and began drilling in early September.
Prior to the launch of their inaugural drilling campaign, the company entered into an agreement whereby the contractor would contribute $400,000 CAD towards the first phase of a total budget of $750,000 CAD the budget in lou of cash or share to be determined at a later date.
The completion of the company’s first reverse circulation drill hole at the Thor project was announced on September 15th, 2020. The hole was drilled to a depth of 124 m and was positioned to test a previous surface sample that assayed 37.4 g/t gold and 69.3 g/t silver. Due to the historical high grade nature of mineralization, a decision to sample the holes on 30 cm intervals was made by management using a standard 50 assay ton fire assay with atomic absorption finish for both gold and silver.
Not long after St-Georges completed the acquisition of Melmi EHF, the Icelandic corporation that owned the majority interest in the Thor Gold Project and the remainder of the Icelandic mineral licenses not already controlled by St-Georges. This acquisition now gives total control over the mineral licenses of the Republic of Iceland to St-Georges, making it the only junior exploration company to own all the mineral rights of a western country.
The 124m hole intersected a broad zone of low grade disseminated mineralization near surface. At depth of 41.5m the team intersected and confirmed with preliminary assays the existence of a thick interval that contained gold mineralization averaging 0.24 g/t over 80 meters with gold grades ranging from 0.01 g/t up to 6.21 g/t. Within that zone a section of 9.9 meters averaged 0.7 g/t gold starting at 55 meters depth and included 2.1 meters of 1.67 g/t gold. A separate zone assayed 6.21 g/t over 0.3 meters at a depth of 98 meters.
This RC hole was drilled at -45 degrees with an azimuth of 110°. It was drilled between two previously known mineralized and drilled areas of the project and the purpose of the hole was to test for continuity of alteration and mineralization between these two zones. Additional holes are planned along strike and at depth as a follow-up of hole TRC 20-01. Now that the company is fully funded and has an established core logging facility set up for the geological team.
Following the acquisition of Melmis, St-Georges is less restricted on the location and depth of future drilling. Based on the results from this recent hole and the compilation of data, St-Georges geological team believes that we are looking at a strong hydrothermal system that is mineralized with gold over apparent broad widths that spans more than 700 meters of strike.
2021 Exploration Campaign
The Company has imported new sampling and preliminary testing equipment at its Reykjavik Research Center. A rippler/splitter is now installed and will be used to create representative samples to be sent to ALS Laboratories in Dublin, Ireland, for new analysis. The Company geologists have submitted the buckets of the material collected during the RC drilling to XRF readings for trace elements and found significant differences that are outside the expected standard deviation compared with the lab results from last fall. The geological team has been convinced to resample this 82 meter section as part of the resampling effort already initiated on all the Thor Gold Project’s drill cores currently in the Company’s possession.
The 2021 exploration campaign will consist of the drilling of six drill holes totaling 795m, targeting the hypothesized ore shoots 90m deeper than any previous holes. Further drilling of an additional twelve holes, totaling 2,250m will test the extent of the gold mineralization along strike and improve sample density in the previously drilled zone to maximize confidence in resource estimation. The drilling has been planned very precisely with carefully thought out targets in order to provide the most useful results possible.
Information was also gathered from various news releases by St-Georges Eco-Mining