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Nighthawk Announces 2018 Drilling Program Of A Minimum Of 25,000 Metres And Expands Targeting Program Within Its Indin Lake Gold Property

Toronto, Ontario, March 21, 2018 – Nighthawk Gold Corp. (“Nighthawk” or the “Company”) (TSX: NHK; OTCQX: MIMZF) is pleased to announce the initiation of its 2018 drill campaign consisting of a 25,000-metre diamond drill program on its 100% owned Indin Lake Gold Property in the Northwest Territories, Canada.

Three drill rigs will be in operation from early March until late September focussed on the continued exploration for high-grade gold zones within the Colomac Gold Project (“Colomac”), the ongoing delineation of known high-grade gold zones such as Zone 1.5, and drilling of select priority gold targets within its vast regional land package (Figure 1).  Extensive geological mapping, prospecting, and ground geophysical programs will begin by mid-June, directed at better defining known targets and generating new opportunities, with the goal of advancing Nighthawk’s many regional showings and deposits to a drill ready status.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Drilling will continue to expand Colomac Zones 1.0, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, Goldcrest, and Grizzly Bear (Figure 1) along strike and to depth, and to explore for other potential zones of higher-grade mineralization within the sills.
  • One drill will be active throughout the regional Indin Lake Gold Property for the entire 2018 program testing gold targets within the Leta Arm Gold Project (“Leta Arm”, which includes the North Inca and Diversified Mines, the #3 and Lexindin showings), the Damoti Lake gold deposit, Treasure Island showing, and other top prospects.
  • Drilling has commenced at Leta Arm to test North Inca and Diversified from lake setups to follow up on the Company’s 2011 drill results as well as test the down plunge and strike extensions of the vein systems.
  • Drilling is planned for the Company’s high-grade Damoti Lake gold deposit (“Damoti”). A 2005 resource estimate* pursuant to National Instrument 43-101, reports a measured and indicated resource, at a cut-off grade of 8.00 grams per tonne gold (“gpt”, “Au”), of 40,600 tonnes grading 26.17 gpt Au, and an inferred mineral resources of 17,800 tonnes grading 16.38 gpt Au (see press release dated, November 17, 2005, for Anaconda Gold Corp.).  The Company believes there is opportunity to grow this resource beyond it’s current high-grade core.
  • Damoti is central to the logic for consolidating the Indin Lake Gold Camp, as it represents a very high-grade satellite deposit that could augment any future Colomac gold production.  It also shows the prospective grade and contained gold ounces that regional assets may contain, and their potential to strengthen Nighthawk’s 100% controlled district play centered on Colomac, a mutli-million-ounce deposit with significant growth possibilities.
  • 2018 will see the continuation of focused mapping and prospecting programs directed at advancing Nighthawk’s many regional showings and deposits in preparation for drilling, and to generate new opportunities through escalated exploration activities.
  • The main objectives of the 2018 program are to better define and expand on the dimensions of higher-grade mineralization intersected to-date, to explore for other new zones of near surface higher-grade material, to become more aggressive with regional exploration and drilling activities, and to advance the Company’s many priority deposits and showings that are key to the evolution of this early gold camp and potential mining activities at Colomac.

*Note:  The reader is cautioned that a qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimates presented in this news release as current resources. The Company has not verified these historical resources and is not treating these historical estimates as current mineral resources. While these estimates were prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101, there is no assurance that they are in accordance with current standards and these resource estimates should not be regarded as consistent with current standards or unduly relied upon as such. Nighthawk includes these historical estimates for information purposes as they represent material historical data which have previously been publicly disclosed. (In 2005, a report titled “Technical Report and Resource Estimate on the Damoti Lake Property, Northwest Territories, Canada” was prepared for Anaconda Gold Corp. by P & E Mining Consultants Inc. and authors Eugene Puritch P.Eng, and Wayne D. Ewert P.Geo (see Anaconda’s profile at www.sedar.com for a copy of this historic report)). To Nighthawk’s knowledge, the 2005 Technical Report is the most recent resource estimate available regarding the Damoti Lake deposit.

Dr. Michael Byron, President & CEO commented, “Our 2018 exploration season will be more aggressive than our 2017 season, which was our most active and extensive to-date. With a cash balance of $26 million, our planned budget of approximately $11 million will allow us to expand our exploration activities outside of Colomac to advance some of our most prospective Indin Lake area deposits and prospects as we continue to develop our core theme of an evolving gold camp centred on Colomac’s exceptional multi-million-ounce growth potential.  Our Damoti Lake deposit is key to this thesis, being an example of the incredible high-grade gold mineralization over sizable widths that we feel is indicative of the untapped opportunities this gold camp has to offer. We are confident that our evolving understanding of the camp will fuel many additional new discoveries, that like Damoti, will play a significant role in the economical viability of a future Colomac mining operation”.

2018 Regional Drill Targets

Damoti Lake Gold Deposit

The Damoti Lake gold deposit lies 28 kilometres (“km”) south of Colomac. Mineralization is hosted in folded iron-formation associated with fold related fracturing and hydrothermal alteration where gold is preferentially located within fold noses and parasitic structures. A small historical, but high-grade, near-surface deposit was previously defined showing excellent expansion potential (see press release dated, November 17, 2005, for Anaconda Gold Corp.). An independent, National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource estimate was completed in September 2005 for Anaconda Gold Corp. (Refer to report “Technical Report and Resource Estimate on the Damoti Lake Property, Northwest Territories, Canada”, dated December 22, 2005, available under Anaconda’s profile at www.sedar.com), who at the time were considering a mining operation that targeted the highest-grade portion of the deposit.  Using a cut-off grade of 8.00 gpt Au, the measured and indicated mineral resource estimate for the deposit totaled 40,600 tonnes grading 26.17 gpt Au, with a further inferred mineral resource estimate of 17,800 tonnes grading 16.38 gpt Au. Resources completed prior to the implementation of NI 43-101 are referenced in the technical report and suggest the potential for a larger lower grade deposit. Damoti was also the subject of a 1996 underground exploration program via a shallow ramp into the heart of the high-grade resource.

In 2009 and 2010 Nighthawk drilled a total of 13,647 metres to explore for new zones throughout the property (Table 1).  Damoti is important to the consolidation of the Indin Lake Gold Camp, as it represents a very high-grade satellite deposit that could augment any future Colomac gold production.  It also reveals an opportunity that regional assets may represent in terms of grade and contained gold ounces to strengthen Nighthawk’s 100% controlled regional play centered on Colomac, a mutli-million-ounce deposit with significant growth possibilities.

Numerous drill ready targets exist on the property that the Company will be testing later in the 2018 program.

Table 1.  2009 - 2010 Damoti Project Drill Highlights

Hole ID Core Length (metres) Gold Grade (g/t) Mineralized Zone News Release
D09-377 23.50 13.91 Horseshoe August 25, 2009
including 9.60 20.95 Horseshoe August 25, 2009
D09-380 22.30 9.31 Horseshoe August 25, 2009
including 4.60 22.06 Horseshoe August 25, 2009
D09-382 5.00 21.35 Horseshoe September 16, 2009
including 2.65 39.60 Horseshoe September 16, 2009
D09-387 6.90 4.31 Horseshoe October 27, 2009
D09-389 6.00 4.53 Horseshoe October 27, 2009
D09-389B 4.25 7.81 Horseshoe October 27, 2009
including 1.80 17.68 Horseshoe October 27, 2009
D10-416B 8.00 16.12 Red Mountain July 6, 2010
including 1.50 60.25 Red Mountain July 6, 2010
D10-418 3.00 7.93 Red Mountain July 6, 2010
including 1.80 12.40 Red Mountain July 6, 2010
  16.25 2.60 Red Mountain July 6, 2010
including 4.25 6.84 Red Mountain July 6, 2010
D10-20B 20.00 5.60 Red Mountain August 4, 2010
including 8.50 9.81 Red Mountain August 4, 2010
D10-394C 38.50 3.24 BIF Island May 18, 2010
including 6.50 8.62 BIF Island May 18, 2010
D10-396B 22.50 5.81 BIF Island May 18, 2010
including 10.25 10.53 BIF Island May 18, 2010
D10-397 28.15 4.76 BIF Island May 18, 2010
including 7.00 15.85 BIF Island May 18, 2010

Leta Arm Gold Project

Leta Arm lies 15 km southwest of Colomac, along the Leta Arm Fault Zone (“LAFZ”), a broad feature parallel to the northern extension of the West Bay - Indin Lake Fault Zone; a major regional structure hosting the former producing Giant and Con gold mines to the south (13 million ounces of historic gold production).

Leta Arm is comprised of two historical gold mines (North Inca and Diversified) and two high-profile gold showings (#3, and Lexindin), and populates a 2.5-km section of this 10-km-long, 500-metre wide north-south trending regional deformation zone. The Diversified Mine lies 1.3 kilometres north of the North Inca Mine, with the #3 showing located between them, and the Lexindin showing an additional 1.2 km north of the Diversified shaft.  All deposits are open laterally and vertically suggesting the possibility that they may be part of a single larger system. Exploration shafts and limited underground development were completed on the North Inca and Diversified deposits in the 1940’s to explore multi-stage quartz veins characterized by high-grade gold mineralization.

In 2011 Nighthawk drilled 10,536 metres on the Leta Arm prospects (see press release dated January 17, 2018), testing a 2.4-km section of the LAFZ that resulted in the discovery of new zones and the extension of historical zones along strike and to depth. Results exceeded expectations confirming the project’s exciting near-surface discovery opportunities and potential for delivering significant mineralized widths. Drilling in 2018 will focus on extending the deposits and exploring for a potential connection along strike, while actively searching for new deposits along the LAFZ.  The Leta Arm remains a key area of interest for the Company. The abundance of its near-surface deposits and expansive mineralization, their underexplored status yet impressive mineralized widths, and proximity to Colomac, make them valuable assets as potential feed to augment possible future production at Colomac.

North Inca Mine

North Inca consists of at least 3 parallel north striking silicified zones of variable widths. Historical development was limited to vertical depths of less than 100 metres, leaving the deposit open to exploration at depth. The en-echelon nature of the quartz vein sets indicates a potential for the deposit to continue along strike. Initial Nighthawk drilling in 2011 tested the East Zone, the eastern most mineralized zone within host metasedimentary units, and near surface mineralization within metavolcanic rocks located 150 metres west (West Zone) of the East Zone. The program was successful in confirming its high-grade nature, the discovery of new zones, extending known zones laterally and to depth, and defining zone widths much broader than previously recognized.

Four holes were drilled at North Inca near the end of the 2017 campaign. Two of the holes undercut East Zone mineralization reported in 2011 drilling, in which hole NI17-01 (see press release dated January 17, 2018) drilled a gap between NI11-02 series holes and NI11-03, intersecting 13.20 metres of 2.24 gpt Au, including 8.50 metres of 3.24 gpt Au, and extending mineralization over 70 additional metres to depth where the zone remains open.  The two other holes, NI17-02 and NI17-02B, drilled a West Zone section across three subvertical vein systems and infilled a gap between the NI11-04 and NI11-05 series holes.  Both holes intersected mineralization with NI17-02 returning 9.55 metres of 4.03 gpt Au, including 3.00 metres of 8.14 gpt Au.

Diversified Mine

The Diversified deposit is similar to North Inca. The deposit's intensely silicified "Main Zone" lies within metasedimentary rocks and has been traced for 220 metres based on historical drilling and underground development. Nighthawk’s 2011 drilling confirmed the high-grade nature of the deposit's mineralization, defined zone widths that significantly exceed those previously reported, and extended the high-grade mineralization to new depths. All mineralized zones remain open laterally and to depth.

 #3 Gold Showing

The #3 gold showing lies along the LAFZ 450 metres south of the Diversified shaft and 800 metres north of the North Inca East Zone. Nighthawk believes the three metasediment-hosted gold deposits are part of the same mineralized structure as they have similar gold grades, mineralized widths, and general morphology, and when viewed in longitudinal section, share the same orientation.

Lexindin Gold Showing

Located 1.5 km north of Diversified, the Lexindin showing consists of tensional en-echelon quartz veins oblique to branches of the main shear zone. In 2011 Nighthawk prospected a 250-metre-long shear zone along the west shore of the LAFZ across from the showing. Surface grab samples assaying up to 8.81 gpt Au were taken from quartz-carbonate veins suggesting that mineralization in this area may be wider spread than previously believed (see press release dated September 12, 2011).

Treasure Island Gold Showing

Treasure Island is located 11 km north of Colomac within a 6 km mineralized corridor that hosts several gold showings. The area between its Main Zone and East Zone (located 600 metres to the east) remains untested, as does the 4 km that separates Treasure Island from the Laurie Lake gold showing to the west, thus more than 75% of this mineralized corridor is yet to be explored.

In 2011 Nighthawk drilled five holes into the Main Zone targeting a series of stacked gold zones associated with a 200 metre wide envelope of silicification along the volcanic rock-sedimentary rock contact (Table 2).  The Company realized its primary objectives of confirming historically reported gold along this contact region, testing for new zones at depth, and extending zones in all dimensions.  Reported broad zones of mineralization with internal higher-grade intersects appear to be continuous for over 150 metres along strike (open) and down dip (open).  New high-grade gold zones were also discovered at depth within altered metasedimentary rocks, and near surface within metavolcanic rocks.

Ground geophysical surveys (Induced Polarization and Magnetometer) will be completed this winter in preparation for exploration drilling later in the 2018 campaign.

Table 2.  2011 Treasure Island Drill Highlights

Hole ID Core Length (metres) Gold Grade (g/t) News Release
T11-03B 238.43 0.73 May 31, 2011
including 55.00 1.16 May 31, 2011
including 6.92 3.23 May 31, 2011
including 1.43 44.95 May 31, 2011
T11-01B 215.00 0.74 May 31, 2011
including 10.35 2.72 May 31, 2011
including 29.00 2.45 May 31, 2011
including 14.00 4.81 May 31, 2011
including 8.00 7.82 May 31, 2011
including 4.00 14.43 May 31, 2011
T11-01 14.00 1.58 May 31, 2011
  1.25 12.59 May 31, 2011

Within its 899 km2 land package Nighthawk has many other highly prospective and untested prospects in the pipeline that have been steadily advanced towards a drill ready state.  Several of these (Echo-Indin, JPK, Swamp, Andy Lake, Nice Lake) are candidates to be tested in 2018, as the Company continues to aggressively build on its regional gold camp strategy of discovering and evolving near surface gold deposits to augment the ever growing Colomac Gold Project.

 

Figure 1 - 2018 Indin Lake Drill Targets

Technical Information

Nighthawk has implemented a quality-control program to comply with best practices in the sampling and analysis of drill core.  Drill core samples were transported in security-sealed bags for analyses at ALS Chemex Assay Laboratory in Vancouver, BC (“ALS Chemex”).  ALS Chemex is an ISO 9001:2000 certified laboratory. Pulp and metallics assaying for gold was conducted on the entire pulverized sample.

As part of its QA/QC program, Nighthawk inserts external gold standards (low to high grade) and blanks every 20 samples in addition to the standards, blanks, and pulp duplicates inserted by ALS Chemex.

Qualified Person

Dr. Michael J. Byron, Ph.D., P.Geo., President & Chief Executive Officer of Nighthawk, who is the “Qualified Person” as defined by NI 43-101 for this project, has reviewed and approved of the technical disclosure contained in this news release. Please refer to NI 43-101 technical report “Technical Report and mineral resource estimate update on the Colomac Property of the Indin Lake Project”, dated June 17, 2013, as filed under the company’s profile on www.sedar.com.

About Nighthawk

Nighthawk is a Canadian-based gold exploration company with 100% ownership of a district-scale land position within the Indin Lake Greenstone Belt, located approximately 200 kilometres north of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Nighthawk is focused on advancing the Colomac Gold Project with a current inferred resource of 2.1 million ounces of gold (39.8 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.64 grams per tonne), as well as advancing its other regional gold deposits and showings within this Archean gold camp.

The Company has an experienced and dedicated team and is well funded to complete its goals and objectives over the next 18-24 months.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

NIGHTHAWK GOLD CORP.
Tel: 1-647-794-4313; Email: [email protected]
Website: www.nighthawkgold.com

Dr. Michael Byron
President & CEO
Tel: 1-647-794-4359
Michael Leskovec
CFOTel: 1-647-794-4360
Suzette N Ramcharan
VP, Corporate Development
Tel: 1-647-794-4362

Neither the Toronto Stock Exchange has neither reviewed nor accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, information with respect to the Company’s drilling program including size of program and extent of budget, exploration plans, and the timing and results thereof. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate", or "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", or "will be taken", "occur", or "be achieved".

Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is made, and is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Nighthawk to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including risks associated with the exploration, development and mining such as economic factors as they effect exploration, future commodity prices, changes in foreign exchange and interest rates, actual results of current exploration activities, government regulation, political or economic developments, environmental risks, permitting timelines, capital expenditures, operating or technical difficulties in connection with development activities, employee relations, the speculative nature of gold exploration and development, including the risks of diminishing quantities of grades of reserves, contests over title to properties, and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined as well as those risk factors discussed in Nighthawk’s annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2016, available on www.sedar.com.  Although Nighthawk has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Nighthawk does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

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