Working toward the establishment
of commercial gold production

Project Summaries

Shirotnaia Project

ALH website - Shirotnaia Final detailed writeup
(1.4 MB)

The Shirotnaia Project area ("Shirotnaia"), situated in the Akkol district of Akmola province of Kazakhstan Republic (Figure 1), is in the south-eastern part of the Alhambra Resources Ltd. ("Alhambra") Northern Kazakhstan license block, and is approximately 100 kilometres ("kms") from its operating Uzboy open-pit mine (Figure 2). An eight kilometre tarmac road connects the area to Stepnogorsk (pop. 60,000) site of the corporation's gold extraction plant and operating subsidiary headquarters.

Figure 1 - Location of Alhambra's license area (orange) and the main gold deposits in Northern Kazakhstan

Figure 1- Location of Alhambra's license area (orange) and the main gold deposits in Northern Kazakhstan

Figure 2 - Location of Shirotnaia within the license area held by Alhambra

Figure 2 - Location of Shirotnaia within the license area held by Alhambra

Geological Setting

A Middle Ordovician volcano-sediment sequence, truncated by Late Ordovician to Devonian intrusions, underlies the prospect (Figure 3). The mineralization belongs to the volcano-sediment hosted Orogenic style. The Aksu/Quartzite Hills orogenic gold deposit (15.0 million ounces of gold) is situated just 3 kms to the south and actively mined by the KazakhGold Group.

The volcano-sediment sequence, primarily crystal clastic andesite tuff, volcanic breccia, porphyritic andesite-dacite and tuffaceous sandstone, rare limestone, siltstone, fine-grained sandstone, and felsic tuff, is intruded by Late Ordovician subvolcanic porphyritic andesite-dacite and lens shaped bodies of diorite. The supracrustals are gently folded, although some tight folding is reported in the south.

Figure 3 - Geological map of Shirotnaia with soil sampling grid and the RAB sampling anomaly (orange)

Figure 3 - Geological map of Shirotnaia with soil sampling grid and the RAB sampling anomaly (orange)

Although mineralization was thought to be controlled by a set of north-east striking faults, it now seems more likely that it is related to the anticline-syncline inflexion line and probably to fluid barriers formed by volcanic rocks covering sediments.

Discovery History

Soviet era regional scale prospecting discovered mineralization at Shirotnaia but the first modern exploration by Alhambra in 2002-2004 established very encouraging results. Soil sampling along 500 by 50 metre ("m") grid (609 samples) was followed by trenching and limited amount of rotary air blast ("RAB") drilling along 5 lines 40 to 80 m apart. Five mineralization zones 240-540 m long and 1 to 20 m wide were defined.

Figure 4 - Shirotnaia soil sampling results

Figure 4 - Shirotnaia soil sampling results

Figure 5 - RAB sampling results, the maximum grade in a hole is shown

Figure 5 - RAB sampling results, the maximum grade in a hole is shown

Exploration continued in 2005 with trenching and hydro-core lift ("KGK") drilling on 40 m and 80 m spaced lines, respectively. Some 2,100 cubic meters of trenches were dug and 2,023 channel samples taken. KGK holes were drilled 10-20 m apart to the depth of =30 m. Some 3,800 m were drilled and 1,864 samples taken. It was established that the mineralization zone is of a complicated shape and trends northeast ("NE") and dips northwest ("NW") at an angle of 60-75º. It extends up to 700 m and varies in width from 97 m in the central part to 2-9 m at the flanks. Also several smaller size parallel zones were outlined.

In 2006 exploration efforts were concentrated at the previously established mineralization and its possible extension to the southwest ("SW"). Trenches along lines 40 m apart were made as the total amount of trenching was 3,845 cubic meters with 3,711 channel samples. KGK drilling was done NW and NE of the central part of the established mineralization along 120-80 m spaced lines with 10 m distance between the holes. Average depth of the drilling was 28 m. 197 holes totaling 5,444 m were drilled and 2,083 samples were taken. An additional ore shoot dipping NW at an angle of 50-450 was discovered southeast ("SE") of the main mineralization zone.

2007 RAB drilling sampled the NE and SW extensions of the known mineralization and core drilling was done in the central area. Some 818 RAB holes on a 200 x 50-20 m grid totaling 3,760 m and 1,120 samples and 18 core holes totaling 2,117 m and 2,000 samples were completed. RAB holes established the extension of the mineralization in a NE direction while the core holes confirmed the continuation of the mineralization to depth and its dip to the NW at an angle of 60-70º.

In 2008 exploration continued with RAB drilling at the eastern, western and south-western flanks of the previously discovered mineralization. There were several successive stages of drilling along 1,000 x 50, 500 x 50, 200 x 100 and 40 x 5 m grids. Most of the holes were 4 m deep targeting geochemical anomalies in alluvium and saprolite. In total, 36,800 m was drilled and 17,050 samples were taken. This sampling returned significant although patchy gold anomalism at the eastern and south-western flanks while in the NE direction gold anomalies were traced at the distance of 1,800 m from the previously established mineralization.

Figure 6 - Trench sampling results

Figure 6 - Trench sampling results

Results and future exploration directions

Soil sampling established the presence of a +50 ppb gold anomaly with peaks of 1.0 ppm gold ("Au"). It is elongated in a NE direction, 3.2 kms long and 1.6 kms wide and covers an area of 3.2 sq km. In its central part it remains open to the south where the old waste dumps are. Gold anomalism in soil is supported by a +100 ppb silver anomaly coinciding with it and continuing to the NE (Figure 4). This indicates a probable plunge of the gold mineralization zone in a NE direction.

Only a part of the established gold and silver soil anomalies was checked by RAB drilling. Where it was done, it outlined, according to the maximum gold grade in a hole in +100 ppb anomalous contour, an anomaly which is about 4.2 kms long and 0.9 kms wide (Figure 5). Gold grades in soil and saprolite inside the contour reach 51.6 grams per tonne ("g/t") Au. As a deeper penetrating geochemical tool RAB drilling demonstrates an extension in a NE direction of the gold anomaly in soil and saprolite at depth confirming probable plunge of the mineralization zone there. The entire RAB anomaly delineates an area of 1.8 sq kms which should be accepted as a primary target for future exploration.

The area trenched covers only the SW part of the established RAB drilling anomaly (Figure 6). Trench sampling results outlined a zone of about 1.7 kms long and up to 54 m wide of mineralization containing several parallel areas of gold mineralization with average grades up to 2.87 g/t Au. The zone is inconsistent mostly because some trenches penetrated to saprolite while others outcropped alluvium only. Trenching results also demonstrate the presence of another NE trending mineralized zone oblique to the main one and situated southward from it. It seems that the second zone has a similar width and average grade. Higher grade mineralization and a thicker area of gold mineralization could occur at the possible intersection of these zones.

Figure 7 - KGK and core drilling results

Figure 7 - KGK and core drilling results

A limited amount of KGK drilling covering only a small part of the RAB anomaly determined a 700 m long and 2-97 m wide zone of mineralization with a complicated shape (Figure 7). It is hard to determine the exact shape

Figure 8 - Cross-section along line 28 (see Figure 7 for location) with KGK and core drilling results

Figure 8 - Cross-section along line 28 (see Figure 7 for location) with KGK and core drilling results

correctly because most of the samples characterize the gold distribution in saprolite only, not in hard rocks. However, KGK drilling definitely confirms its possible extension to another zone at least 400 m to the NE and the presence of parallel zones southward of the main zone. 13 core holes were drilled in the central part of the main zone and 5 on its SW extension. The latter holes established only a low grade mineralization zone with the best intercept of 24 m @ 0.54 g/t Au while the former not only confirmed the presence of mineralization there but also its continuation to a depth of more than 120 m (Figure 8) and it still remains open at depth. Core drilling also established consistently higher grades at depth reaching up to 13.5 g/t. These higher grades obviously represent a sulphide zone of gold mineralization.

Figure 9 - 2010 Proposed drilling program

Figure 9 - 2010 Proposed drilling program

The 2010 exploration program at Shirotnaia (see Figure 9) is to continue core and non-core drilling to the south and northeast of the central part of the anomaly where KGK drilling in 2006 established significant intervals of gold mineralization. The first phase of drilling includes 26 holes for approximately 3,900 m. Assuming positive results, a second phase of core and non-core infill drilling totaling approximately 3,500 m is planned.


Please direct any inquiries to:

Alhambra Resources Ltd.
Head Office
Suite 3A, 4015 - 1St Street S.E.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 4X7
Phone: (403) 228 2855
Fax: (403) 228 2865
E-mail: ir@alhambraresources.com