Scott Berdahl is the CEO of Snowline Gold Corp. As a second-generation Yukon prospector and a professional geologist, he has spent more than two decades combing both hills and geological databases for signs of mineralization. He studied geology at MIT, where he co-authored a paper in Science, and at KAUST in Saudi Arabia.
Jupiter: An Epizonal Orogenic Gold Discovery in Yukon’s Selwyn Basin
The district-scale Einarson project covers a Neoproterozoic to Cambrian sequence of passive-margin clastic and carbonate rocks within and near the structurally complex eastern margin of Yukon’s Selwyn Basin. Focused exploration in 2010 began to assess the region’s potential for Carlin-style gold mineralization despite the lack of records of previous boots-on-the-ground gold exploration. Snowline Gold Corp. formed and acquired the Einarson project in 2021 to focus on regional gold discovery opportunities for Carlin-type, intrusion-related and vein-type gold deposits. Recent exploration identified a series of auriferous quartz vein float boulder trains, drawing attention to the opportunity presented by this latter mineralization style.
In 2021, Snowline drill-tested and discovered the in-situ Jupiter vein system with a 4300 m program. Jupiter is a blind target expressed as float boulders and a 3 km long gold-in-soil anomaly. Drilling has so far discovered an extensive, mineralized system with intersections up to 13.2 g/t gold over 6.5 m (J-21-011), along a 1.1 km long region that is up to 200 m wide. The veins are in a structural corridor of highly deformed, latest Neoproterozoic Narchilla Formation sedimentary rocks. The host siltstones are relatively unmetamorphosed but are altered and have variably mineralized halos locally with zones of quartz flooding.
The vein system has several crosscutting vein phases and typically yields multiple mineralized intersections per hole. The veins are quartz and carbonates with a range of textures. Mineralization has high gold-to-silver ratios; is typically associated with acicular arsenopyrite and pyrite and has trace amounts of visible gold, as observed in J-21-020. The veins are locally ribbon-textured with carbonaceous bands but also contain breccias and open-space quartz textures. These and other features indicate that the system is likely an orogenic vein system that was shallowly emplaced, thus is best characterized as an epizonal orogenic gold vein system, similar to recent discoveries in Newfoundland.