Miranda Gold Corp has announced that Agnico-Eagle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Agnico-Eagle Mines, has started a drilling programme on its Ester Dome project located in the Fairbanks mining district of Alaska.

Agnico, Miranda’s funding partner at the project, which consists of 181 Alaska state mining claims covering approximately 13.8 square miles, plans to drill about 1,800m in nine holes.

The 2012 drilling campaign was created to continue testing a large northwest-trending soil anomaly associated with a cluster of granitic bodies intruding schist and quartzite, and to offset mineralisation drilled in late 2011.

The programme will test internal northeast-trending geochemical highs, which may indicate higher-grade mineralisation.

It will also check for magnetic anomalies associated with anomalous gold values and mapped intrusives.

Ester Dome and the surrounding Fairbanks Mining District are considered part of the Tintina Gold Province that extends from southwest Alaska through the central Yukon and is reported to contain resources of approximately 35 million ounces of gold.