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Hunt for minerals to meet global demands moves at furious pace PUBLISHER, Glenn Dredhart

welcomes 400 delegates to CIM Gala Dinner during the 2019 Canadian Mining Expo in Timmins, Ontario

It’s not often that we take a bow here at Mining Life and Exploration News - in this case, we think it’s appropriate. For more than three decades now, we’ve been at the center of Ontario and Quebec’s prolific, multi-billion-dollar exploration industry. While other publications and media outlets have come and gone, including a number of recent departures, we’re still here. It’s been a crazy year. The global COVID-19 pandemic impacted every aspect of our lives.

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We now wear masks to go grocery shopping. Going to the movies is on hold indefinitely as we binge-watch our favourite shows a second or third time on streaming services. Concerts are canceled until further notice. Weddings and funerals are looked at as potential “superspreaders” for the virus. On the ground however, here in the heart of Canada’s world-class mining districts, the rough and tumble pioneering spirit of mineralhunters is undaunted. Despite the fact that this microscopic virus caused a number of temporary production shutdowns, or hit the pause button on dozens of diamond drill rigs, the excitement running through mine country is more than palpable, it’s electric. Whether it’s Newmont’s all-electric Borden Mine near Chapleau, or the dozens of exploration projects scattered throughout northwestern Quebec and the northeast and northwest regions of Ontario targeting electric vehicle minerals – electric is the word of the day –


check that, word of the year! Truth be told, it isn’t easy to keep up with all the activity. District and resident geologists as you will read in this edition of Mining Life are busier than ever. The appetite for information and the hunt for minerals to meet global demand is moving at a furious pace. Which brings me full circle to the focus of my comments this month. We continue to shine a spotlight on the very heart of the exploration

industry. Through this publication and our associated website MiningLifeOnline.net, we are proud of our record and commitment to highlighting the men and women who manage the companies that are driving this fast-paced mineral exploration industry. This edition is focused on Northwestern Ontario and towns like the historic gold mining community of Red Lake. Go ahead, try to find a place to

rent there these days, or hire a geologist. Better yet, stay on top of things by visiting MiningLifeOnline.net on a daily basis. While other media companies have pulled up stakes, we’re taking things to the next level. The exploration industry is stepping up their game – so are we. Stay tuned.

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Thunder Bay takes lead in Mining Readiness Study For decades, newcomers and travelers through Alberta were often mesmerized by the landscape of the seemingly never-ending prairies dotted with towering “rigs” drilling for oil. Today, in the fall of 2020, a newcomer to northwestern Ontario is likely to get the same impression – What’s going on here? “Rigs” are everywhere. Mining exploration has reached a fevered pitch in the northwest part of Ontario as companies from around the world have descended on the vast region north of Lake Superior in search of precious metals such as gold, silver, nickel, copper, platinum, and palladium, and a string of other metals and minerals like cobalt and lithium that are needed for the new economy, including electric vehicles, solar energy and more. It’s hard to find accommodations in some of the smaller towns like Red Lake. Motel rooms are booked solid, small businesses and contractors are seeing a much-welcomed boost in business – geologists, like a 10-pound bass, are out there but they’re hard to find. Some of the biggest mining companies in the world are putting their fingerprints on the region. Along

with high-profile precious-metals investors like Eric Sprott, Rob McEwen and others, they are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into junior mining companies, providing jobs for drillers, putting assay labs into overdrive, and striking a series of Impact Benefit Agreements (IBA’s) with the region’s First Nations communities. It’s one giant recipe for success. It’s so busy that the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (TBCEDC) is undertaking a Mining Readiness Study. The study is underway and is being led by the accounting firm of MNP LLP in partnership with TBT Engineering. “Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario are well-positioned to capitalize on, and support, the mining industry and major exploration projects,” says Thunder Bay CEDC Project Manager of Mining Services, John Mason. Mason says MNP and TBT Engineering will lead an analysis of needs and opportunities specific to the following themes: mine supply and service/business development, workforce/training/education, infrastructure, economic impact, and R&D/value added opportunities,

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specific to the 6 mines and 15 major exploration projects located in Northwestern Ontario. “Gold and palladium are leading the way on the exploration front at the grass roots and advanced levels,” according to Mason. “Currently 35-40 exploration diamond drills are active in Northwestern Ontario.”

Mining and Exploration snapshot (September 2020): Barrick Gold-Hemlo Mine Williams Mine is on track to produce 213,000 ounces of gold from open pit stock piles and underground, the latter being the mine’s future. Head grades are 3.89 g/t gold. Aggressive exploration is taking place on site and west of the mine. Evolution MiningRed Lake Mine Evolution released a new mineral resource at Red Lake Mine, of 11.0 million ounces, calculated by Roscoe Postle Associates. Ore reserve estimation, exploration($50M), and mill/processing upgrades continue. Newmont Corp.Cont’d on pg. 8


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Cont’d from pg. 6

Musselwhite Mine Musselwhite Mine completed full staff return to work protocols. Underground conveyance and materials handling will be completed by year-end. The mill is fully operational with ore trucks delivering feed directly to surface via the portal. Thunder Bay is the host for much of the workforce. New Gold Inc.-Rainy River Mine Underground development via ramp to access the Intrepid Zone, has commenced, to allow production by 2021; this deposit, which grades above 3.5 g/t will supplement current open pit production. In addition, further exploration is taking place northeast of the mine. Harte Gold-Sugar Zone Mine The Sugar Zone mill is processing gold ore at 800 t/ after a successful restart on August 5th. Grade control resource expansion drilling are underway at the Sugar Zone North and South target areas. Impala CanadaLac des Iles Mine Lac des Iles continues as a low mine cost palladium mine employing the SLS (Sublevel Shrinkage) mining method. Ore is conveyed via shaft as well through portal access into the open pit to the mill. Planned growth to a mine rate of 12,000 t/d, and workforce expansion to 800 personnel, is in the works, with many current employees already residing in Northwestern Ontario. PureGold Mining-Madsen Mine Pure Gold and JDS Mining(EPC) continue to construct the Madsen mill. Development schedule will see a December gold pour, as Canada’s newest gold mine. The 2 million ounce orebody will equate to a

13 year LOM (Life of Mine) Generation MiningMarathon Project Working thru a Feasibility Study for the Marathon Palladium-Copper Deposit, which is the largest undeveloped palladium resource in Canada @ 8.6M ounces. Exploration drilling is currently probing a 650 metre vertical, MT geophysical anomaly and the W Horizon target west of the orebody. Battle North Gold (previously Rubicon)-Bateman Gold Project Battle North raised $61M for predevelopment, exploration and development of the Batemen/Phoenix deposit. The company is completing a Feasibility Study on the orebody, pegged currently at 979,000 ounces (M&I). A modern 1250 t/d mill is on site. First Mining GoldSpringpole Lake Deposit The 4.67 M ounce Springpole Lake gold deposit is going through a Pre-Feasibility Study scheduled for an early 2021 completion. First Majestic Silver Corp. holds a silver streaming deal with First Mining Gold for 50% of payable silver in exchange for a $22.5M (U.S.) injection into the project. Clean Air Metals-Escape Lake/ Thunder Bay North Project The Current Lake PGE Deposit has an historic estimate of 741,000 ounces of Pt Eq. Clean Air’s goals are to expand the intrusion and conduit trends with aggressive drill programs, and produce an updated palladium/platinum resource, consolidating both project areas. Noront ResourcesEagles Nest Deposit Noront estimates the Ring of Fire

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road construction could commence in late 2021, following the Webequie and Marten Falls led environmental assessment process and engineering/design work. Road construction would take 4 years and by 2025 would be planned to coincide with opening of the Eagle’s Nest copper-nickel-PGE deposit. 2023-2025 would be the construction and development “window” for the mine and concentrating mill. Frontier LithiumPAK and Spark Deposits The PAK deposit represents North America’s highest grade concentration of low iron spodumene and is Ontario’s largest resource. Near term goal is to build a demonstration concentrator, as well as define the potential to produce lithium hydroxide chemicals for the electric vehicle and lithium battery market, through a formal PEA study, led by WSP and XPS Expert Process Solutions. Avalon Advanced MaterialsSeparation Rapids Deposit Avalon raised finances to collect a bulk sample specifically for metallurgical process development and exploration on pegmatites west of the main deposit. Met work will include optimization of petalite concentration processing for the glass industry and secondly, pilot studies designed to recover high purity lithium hydroxide battery materials. Rock Tech Lithium Inc.Georgia Lake Deposit Working through project approval and permitting of the Georgia Lake Lithium deposits. “Project definition” and “notice of project status” have been accepted. Provincial EA Cont’d on pg. 10


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Cont’d from pg. 08

is underway; geochemical testing/ water monitoring programs are in place. Rock Tech also has a joint venture agreement with Ardiden (Seymour Lake Lithium Deposit). Greenstone GoldHardrock Gold Deposit Design engineering, infrastructure planning, and permitting, continue led by the Greenstone Gold team. Premier Gold and Centerra Gold have a January 2021 court date to settle legal proceedings, between the two partners, concerning the Feasibility Study and development plans for the Hardrock Open Pit Mine. The open pit resource is 7.1 M ounces. Treasury MetalsGoliath and Goldlund Deposits Treasury Metals acquired the Goldlund Deposit, which adjoins the Goliath Deposit claim block, from First Mining Gold. Treasury has initiated an economic evaluation of both deposits. Mill processing and mining optimization are being considered for the 2 M ounce combined resource. Zen Graphene-Albany Deposit Following from a bulk sampling program in 2019, “Albany Pure” Graphene/Graphite products have been produced for customer testing and analysis. Metals Creek ResourcesDona Lake Gold Mine Project Exploration drilling tested the Main and B Zones, as well a hole was completed piercing beneath the lower most level of previous development. (A historic drill hole from

previous owner Placer Dome encountered 21.08 metres of 4.36 g/t gold below workings). Main Zone drill results from Metals Creek in 2020 included 8.45 g/t over 3.15 metres. Kesselrun ResourcesHuronian Gold Mine Project Exploration has commenced on the Fisher, Fisher North, (Peter) McKellar Zones and the Huronian Mine Main Zone. The objective is to drill test newly interpreted structural control targets for gold mineralization. Auteco MineralsPickle Crow Gold Mine Project Auteco continues with a major 45,000 metre drill program at Pickle Crow. A new inferred resource was recently updated; the Pickle Crow Mine contains 2.8 million tonnes grading 11.3 g/t gold, equating to 1M ounces (3.5 g/t cutoff grade). Focus is on the Core Trend. Great Bear ResourcesDixie Project Great Bear continues to intercept encouraging drill results at the LP Fault Target. A 140 metre segment was drilled and returned 10.5 meters of 81.22 g/t gold in one of the initial holes. 126 of 300 planned drill holes have been completed into the LP Fault target. Great Bear’s Dixie Project is one of the largest drill hole exploration programs in Canada. A comprehensive geological and mineralization update will be released by the company in the near future. Laurion Mineral ExplorationIshkoday Project Laurion is developing an open pit

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model at the Ishkoday Project (includes the former Sturgeon River Mine). A three km by one km area is being targeted , that hosts goldsilver and gold-zinc mineral occurrences. The project database includes 307 drill holes as well as extensive geological and geophysical datasets. Landore ResourcesBAM Gold Deposit Landore has commenced a 14,000 metre fall/winter drill program on the BAM Gold Deposit with three goals in mind: resource infill and extension, depth potential, and exploration target definition (follow up of till geochemistry surveys). The existing deposit resource sits at 1.3 M ounces. Polymet Mining Corp.NorthMet Deposit PolyMet’s goals for the immediate future with respect to the large NorthMet copper-nickel-PGE deposit, located in the Duluth Complex of Northern Minnesota include: engineering and project optimization and continued compliance of environmental permits. Premier Gold MinesHasaga Gold Project Premier Gold Mines are completing a 25,000 metre exploration drill program on the Hasaga Project, Red Lake, as a follow up to a 2017 gold discovery. The Epp-C and Epp-D zones are priority targets. The $4 M program will culminate with production of an updated mineral resource estimate; current resource is 1.1 M ounces (Indicated) and 0.6 M ounces (Inferred)


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Barrick implements major changes at Hemlo New Faces and New Equipment

Barminco crews and equipment have mobilized to start the development of the new portal. Project Superintendent J.P. Kayumba & Barminco Jumbo operator Adam Pickering pose with the new 421 Sandvik Jumbo before drilling the first round of what will be the entrance to the new portal.

By Kevin Vincent

One of the world’s biggest gold miners is breathing new life into a historic, small-town gold mine and the company is bringing the community along for the ride. Barrick Gold Corporation made news this summer when Warren Buffett broke his longtime investment wedding vows (our words, not his) and funneled more than US $600 million into the global mining giant. But that news was likely ignored by most residents of Marathon, Ontario this August as Barrick, which operates the Hemlo Gold Mine, announced it would continue a community investment program in the region designed to prop up existing, local small businesses as well as new business startups. Mine manager Adam Foulstone says the program announced earlier this year in the midst of the COVID pandemic was well received by the community, so they’ve decided to extend the support program. To date, the company has distributed

more than $630,000. Foulstone told Mining Life, “We established a stimulus package for the local communities where they can access $5000-$10,000 loans at a very low interest rate funded by Barrick – we’re going to keep that going for quite some time – not necessarily tied to COVID.” “We also did a lot of work around donating PPE and sanitizer and shared insight into how to start up a small business in line with provincial requirements,” he added. “Because PPE was so scarce for a while, we had some in stock, so it was easy for us to assist.” In addition, during the second quarter, company representatives met weekly, with all local First Nation Chiefs, CEO’s, local town Mayor’s, CAO’S and Health Leads on COVID-19 mitigation plans for open and transparent partnership sharing. Barrick also met with First Nations communities on new exploration permits and 3-year plans, completed our legal review with our So-

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cial Economic Agreements with our First Nation Partners and are moving to signing. Barrick assisted the local First Nations to Shelter in place and allow their workers from the Mine site to self-isolate with family while still being compensated. Barrick’s Chief Operating Officer also worked closely with the Ontario Mining Association to lobby on implementing COVID-19 testing for remote high-risk communities. That strategy seemed to work at the Hemlo/Marathon operation as the company didn’t (at the time of this writing) experience any COVID cases or interruptions in production. On the development front, Hemlo took possession of two new Sandvik autonomous jumbo drills for the company’s high-speed development goals, and eight Sandvik 45-ton haul trucks. The new trucks move more ore than the company’s existing fleet and it includes an Cont’d on pg. 14


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Minister Rickford

Leads a charge in bolstering Ontario Mine Development By Kevin Vincent

After languishing for nearly a decade and a half under Liberal party rule as one of the most challenging jurisdictions in the world to find and start a mine, Ontario is back in the game. Jobs are being created. First Nations communities are benefiting. And contractors are flourishing. It’s all part of the Ford government’s strategic commitment to revitalizing one of Canada’s economic powerhouses, Ontario’s resource sector, mining in particular. Since he was named Ontario’s

Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Indigenous Affairs, Conservative MPP Greg Rickford of Kenora has presided over three new mine openings – Harte Gold’s Sugar Zone, Newmont’s Borden Lake, and now, IAMGold/Sumitomo’s Cote Lake Mine. That’s no accident. Since taking office, the Ford government made a commitment to reduce the nearly 300,000 provincial regulations that hamstring Ontario businesses. To assist the mining sector, the government created the Mine Working

Group, a cross-section of industry and community stakeholders, to assess those regulations and make recommendations to Queens Park. Rickford chairs those meetings and Premier Ford has made it a point to attend as many as possible. The ministry has developed a set of policies to aid clients on implementation of relevant Mining Act provisions and regulations. Changes have been made to the Mining Act, including new regulations to promote mineral exploration and development in a manner that recognizes Aboriginal and treaty rights. “This has been a challenging time for this sector in this province and across this country,” Rickford said recently. Rickford said the impact of COVID-19 has had a profound effect on mining operations including production and financing. Speaking at the IAMGold, Cote Gold ceremonial sod-turning event September 11th, Rickford said the project demonstrates the industry’s resilience and perseverance during trying times.

Hemlo to spend $18 million in production equipment Cont’d from pg. 12

ejector box which means it does not need to lift the box to dump it. The jumbo drill software allows it to drill holes on its own, even between shift changes. Foulstone says the company intends to replace the entire production fleet, roughly $18 million worth. That’s over and above the company’s $25 million exploration budget. Aussie contractor Barminco took over the underground operations in early August. The company employs 330 workers including 33 senior personnel who have moved to the Marathon area from Australia, including shift bosses, jumbo operators, and production drillers. “Things are starting to come to-

gether now, we really only commis- well”. sioned the new equipment in late The mine was underperforming in August, so we will see how that 2018 and the Barrick takeover included a robust turnaround plan turns out,” said Foulstone. In early September, Foulstone says designed to boost Hemlo’s slumpwork began on a new access por- ing output. The company is on track tal, opening an entirely new ore- to meet 2020 guidance of 200,000 to 220,000 ounces and thanks to a zone for the company. “It’s the third mining front, which will multi-million dollar investment as come into production in Q3 of 2021 many as 240,000 to 250,000 ouncwhich will take the mine to around es by the end of 2021. two million tons per year, which is The new portal has been designed a pretty big milestone for us,” said to accommodate the newer, larger Foulstone. “It’s one thing getting it haul trucks. approved – it’s another to just start Heading into the fourth quarter of The portal Wesdome Minesthat’s Kiena 2020 gold mine near says Val d’Or, Quebec. a new for anGold operation Foulstone that considering the adjustments for COVID, the over 30 years old.” Foulstone says it bodes well the mine was slightly over budget but mine’s future which he told Mining otherwise, very healthy. Life is “likely underestimated as

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Focus on the opportunities not the issues “It was only a year and a half ago, the Cote Gold project was at a standstill,” said Rickford. “And the future of the project and the jobs that come with it, were in jeopardy.” “We know that it is through no small feat, what it takes to get a mine in the ground. It takes the collective efforts, including indigenous leadership, political leadership and especially Team Cote Gold for their perseverance and commitment to making this a realization.” “It was indeed a year and a half ago that this project was buried in regulatory delays,” Rickford told the audience, which included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Our government was proud to step in and help advance this project with urgency. We actually developed a SWAT Team – it was an all-ministers approach across the government in Ontario – we committed to Cote Gold and we committed to

the local (First Nations) leadership to cut through the previous government’s bureaucratic red tape and inaction that stalled this industry in Northern Ontario.” Rickford says the Ford government is committed to standing alongside companies like IAMGold as they responsibly advance projects that will boost the province’s economy and provide jobs to Ontario families and simultaneously bolstering First Nations communities like Flying Post and Mattagami FN. “We are proud to add Cote Gold to Ontario’s roster of mining success stories,” said Rickford. Rickford also had a less than subtle message for other members of the audience suggesting it’s time the province focus on opportunities instead of minute issues. His sentiment was echoed by the chiefs of the Flying Post and Mattagami First Nations who praised the

company’s commitment to Impact Benefit Agreements that will funnel millions of dollars in construction contracts, jobs and other social benefits into their communities over the life of the mine. Rickford also has his eyes on another potential region – the Ring of Fire. In his dual role as Minister of Northern Development as well as Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Rickford, a lawyer, is continually facilitating talks between companies like Noront Resources and the region’s First Nations leaders to try to develop a path to production. The Ring of Fire, a massive chromite discovery, has been mired in delays for more than a decade. Rickford and Ford have committed to working with First Nations communities in the region, including resource-sharing agreements that would benefit those communities throughout the life of the project.

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identifies high priority palladium target at its Marathon Deposit By Kevin Vincent

As markets continue to focus on the dramatic 2020 spike in gold and silver prices, companies like Generation Mining have their sights set on another important precious metal – palladium. And the company isn’t shy about categorizing what they’ve found as “extreme palladium enrichment” and a potential open pit mine that could produce for at least 14 years. The project would produce an average of 194,000 PdEq ounces per year over a 14-year mine life (including credits for copper, platinum, gold and silver), said the company in its August 2020 MD&A filed with regulators. In July 2020 Generation formally commenced a Feasibility Study on the Marathon Project. The Feasibility Study is expected to take approximately 7-8 months, with completion expected in early 2021. The largest use for palladium today is in the production of catalytic converters. On cars, the catalytic converter is attached to the exhaust pipe. A metal casing contains a ceramic honeycomb. The honeycomb is coated with a mix of platinum, palladium and rhodium. These so-called “noble” metals are near perfect when it comes to resisting oxidation, corrosion and acid. That means they can stand up to bad weather and the chemicals released by a car engine. Platinum and palladium in catalytic converters act as catalysts. Catalysts are compounds that can trigger a chemical reaction without being affected themselves. The

honeycomb structure inside a catalytic converter maximizes the surface area where reactions can take place. Palladium is also used in jewelry, dentistry, watch making, blood sugar test strips, aircraft spark plugs, surgical instruments, and electrical contacts. Palladium is also used to make professional concert or classical flutes. In early August, Generation Mining Limited announced preliminary results from its Spartan Magnetotelluric survey over a portion of its Marathon Deposit. The resource, including the W Horizon and structures to the west of the deposit, which are believed to have provided a favourable environment for enriched palladium mineralization. In a news release the company said, “Analysis of the MT data has identified a prospective target which consists of a discrete, previously undrilled, conductive MT anomaly situated at a vertical depth of approximately 650 meters downdip and immediately west of the Marathon Palladium Copper Deposit.” The company raised just over $10 million at the beginning of 2020. “The anomaly is at a depth beyond the depth penetration capabilities of a pre-existing airborne electromagnetic survey of this area (completed by a previous operator) and most importantly, the anomaly is more conductive than Marathon Palladium Copper deposit mineralization.” The company says consequently,

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the anomaly constitutes a high priority drill target given its coincidence with the presumed down dip extension of the Marathon series gabbros, which constitute the feeder zones to, and are the host of, PGM-Cu mineralization at the Marathon Deposit. The data has the company excited. “Of specific interest in the immediate vicinity of the MT anomaly are extensions to the W Horizon which is recognized in scientific literature as a zone of extreme palladium enrichment.” Generation acquired its interest in the Marathon property in July 2019 through a joint venture with Stillwater Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Sibanye Gold Limited. Sibanye is a leading international precious metals mining company, with a diverse portfolio of PGM operations in the United States and Southern Africa. Generation has earned a 51% interest in the Marathon joint venture and has the option to increase its interest to 80% by completing a Preliminary Economic Assessment Cont’d on pg. 18


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Feasibility study and restart of permitting process underway at Marathon Palladium Copper Project Cont’d from pg. 16

and spending $10 million on the Marathon Property over a fouryear period. The company filed a PEA in February 2020 and has spent $5.7 million on the property to date. The company has also recently launched a feasibility study and environmental assessment. The company is well financed for the next phases of work, including the feasibility study and the restart of the permitting process, both of which are underway at the Marathon Palladium Copper Project, with approximately $13.5 million in cash. G-Mining is progressing with pit designs and sequencing that will prioritize the high grade Pd values for initial production to bring increased palladium production into the first half of the mine life and increase copper production in the mine’s later years. Ausenco’s plant design is expected to update the quality work that was done in prior studies with newer technology, which in turn will improve concentrator operability and lower capital costs, while increasing palladium recovery without sacrificing copper recovery. This flow sheet is expected to be validated with the current metallurgical test work that is progressing at SGS-Lakefield. SGS-Lakefield commenced metallurgical test work which is being

Exploration drilling at Crawford Project, north of Timmins.

overseen by Steve Haggarty, P.Eng, a metallurgical engineer who has operating and design experience from a 40 year career with Teck, Homestake Mining and Barrick Gold. As outlined in the PEA, extensive metallurgical testing was completed in the past. The objective of the current studies is to evaluate modifications to the process plant design which could simplify the circuit with a decrease in capital expenditures, a decrease operating costs and the potential for improved recoveries of palladium, platinum, gold, and copper. Knight-Piesold is updating the past tailings dam designs to reflect current best available practices and technologies. At this early stage, the work on the Feasibility Study

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will consider an optimized processing and mine production rate that is more aggressive than that outlined in the PEA and contemplates starting at 5,000,000 tonnes per year and expanding to 8,000,000 tonnes per year after five years. According to the company’s publicly filed documents, actual palladium production will average 107,000 ounces annually over the mine life, at a cash cost per ounce of $US504 and an all-In sustaining cost of $US586 per ounce, net of by-product credits. Generation completed a NI-43-101 PEA in February, 2020 which it says provides a compelling base case assessment for the development of the Marathon Palladium Mineral Resource by open pit mining.


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Harte Gold anticipates 50% production

bump at the Sugar Zone Mine by the Q4

By Kevin Vincent

It’s as busy as a beehive at the Sugar Zone Mine and the elusive sweetspot is within reach for the mine operated by Harte Gold, just north of White River. The company began a restart of mine and milling operations in mid-July following COVID-related production cutbacks to protect employees. By mid-summer the company announced that all mine activities commenced at the Sugar Zone mine. Backfill, waste and ore development were meeting or exceeding expectations. Long-hole blasting and ore haulage rates are improving daily. A significant stockpile has been built-up to feed the mill. The transition to an owner-operator workforce is proceeding as planned. The company says significant interest has been received from mine contractors looking to transition to full-time Harte Gold employees and potential new hires, with over 1,000 resumes pouring in and a special emphasis on owneroperators. The company expects it will save anywhere from $60-$100 per ounce with the owner-operator program. Harte Gold is targeting 1200 tonnes-per-day (tpd) throughput at the mill – an increase from 800tpd

- all with an eye toward increasing gold output and of course, profitability. A study on that expansion is expected to be finalized by the end of this year. On the financial side, in late August, the company announced it closed a US$18.5 million non-revolving credit facility provided by AHG (Jersey) Limited, secured by a second priority ranking lien on the company’s assets. That facility matures on June 30, 2023 and accrues interest at a rate per annum equal to 14%, which is payable in common shares of the company. US$1 million of the proceeds from the credit facility were used to prepay part of the company’s currently existing non-revolving term credit facility with BNP Paribas and the other lenders from time to time. AHG (Jersey) is willing to open its checque-book a little further. The credit facility also maintains an uncommitted US$20 million accordion option, which can increase the aggregate principal amount available under the Credit Facility to US$48 million. The Sugar Zone produced just over 27,000 ounces in 2019, the first full year under Harte Gold management. The company expects to produce about the same in 2020

Page20 20 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

(24,000) but a big jump to as much as 65,000 ounces in 2021. On the exploration side, the company has budgeted for 16,000 metres of ore definition and extension drilling for this year. Sam Coetzer, President and CEO of Harte Gold commented: “During my visit to the Sugar Zone mine earlier, I was encouraged by the focus and commitment of the team to effect a positive restart. The underground team is highly motivated to achieve its goals and the processing team is eager to turn on the mill. Mine management is also well underway to deliver a seamless transition to owner-operator, which is expected to be completed over the next few months. At press time Harte Gold announced the appointment of Frazer Bourchier as President, CEO and Director of the Board of Directors, effective September 21, 2020. Mr. Bourchier will replace Sam Coetzer, who has stepped down from the position of President and CEO, for personal reasons. Sam will continue to serve on Harte Gold’s Board of Directors. The Company also announces Martin Raffield is stepping down as Executive Vice President and COO of Harte Gold, effective September 21, 2020. Dr. Raffield is a resident of the United States and made the decision to resign due to constraints on cross border travel due to the pandemic. Dr. Raffield will remain as a consultant to the Company until completion of the Feasibility Study, expected in Q4 2020. Dan Gagnon, currently General Manager of the Sugar Zone Mine, has been appointed Vice President, Operations, effective September 21, 2020.


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7 million ounces at Hardrock By Kevin Vincent

Greenstone Gold believes it has 7 million ounces at its Hardrock property, worth more than USD $13 billion or $17 billion Canadian and up to 15 years of production and local employment. Hardrock is a 50/50 joint venture between Premier Gold Mines Limited and Centerra Gold Inc. The Hardrock property is just 4km south of Geraldton, 275km northeast of Thunder Bay. The company continues to go through a series of permitting applications as it advances the project while waiting for more favourable conditions in light of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. In early July, the project cleared a major federal hurdle on the path to reopening the mine. Premier announced that it received federal cabinet approval of the Schedule 2 amendment as published in Canada Gazette Part 2 on June 10, 2020. “The completion of the amendment to Schedule 2 of the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations is a significant permitting milestone for the Hardrock Project,” said John Begeman, Executive Chairman of Premier. “The

amendment was completed according to a streamlined regulatory process that few other mines have achieved and reduced the approval timeline by 10 months. GGM was eligible for the streamlined process as a result of the federal government’s assessment of the quality and depth of GGM’s regulatory and Indigenous engagement throughout the work and level of support from stakeholders.” “This is a very significant milestone for the Project and the culmination of six years of effort which included extensive field work, assessments

and consultation with the Indigenous communities, local communities and federal/provincial agencies,” stated Begeman. The company signed an economic impact agreement with the leaders of the Long Lake 58 First Nations community in 2018. Greenstone is advancing plans to design, construct and operate the open-pit gold mine, processing plant and ancillary facilities, collectively known as the Hardrock Project. The project encompasses the Cont’d on pg. 24

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Alamos Gold

Reports best surface exploration hole to date at

Island Gold By Kevin Vincent

much greater widths include the best surface exploration hole ever drilled at Island Gold and further extend mineralization from one of the highest-grade portions of the ore body,” said John A. McCluskey, President and Chief Executive Officer. Cont’d from pg. 22 “They not only demonformer Hardrock, MacLeod-Cockshutt and strate the significant Mosher underground mines which operated potential for additional from the late 1930s until about 1970 and togrowth in Mineral Regether produced more than two million ouncserves and Resources es of gold. Site rehabilitation work was underbut further validate taken during the 1990s. our decision to install GGM proposes to mine the Hardrock deposit a shaft as part of the as an open pit over a Life of Mine (LOM) of Phase III Expansion,” approximately 15 years. Project infrastrucadded McCluskey. ture will include a process plant operating Combined with a new 365 days per year and a mill with throughput study that helped to averaging 27,000 tonnes per day. The overall green light expansion Project schedule will consist of the following plans, Island Gold is phases: growing. • Construction: Years 1 to 3, with ore stockThat’s great news for piling commencing after the first year of conthe mine which, like struction many other mines in • Operation: Years 1 to 15, with Year 1 repreCanada, had to temposenting a transition from construction to oprarily suspend operaeration tions in March due to • Closure: Years 16 to 20 for Active Closure the coronavirus panand Years 21 to 36 for Post-Closure. demic. At Island Gold, In the meantime, in order to help protect the operations were sushealth of employees, their families and compended on March 25, munities from COVID-19, GGM’s Community 2020 given the unique Relations Office in Geraldton continues to reset up of the operamain closed until further notice. tion with a large porGGM has implemented a Return to Work Plan tion of the workforce and restarted some activities on site while foloperating on a fly-in, lowing all necessary safety precautions. fly-out basis and beManagement, investors and employees have an extra bounce in their step these days after Alamos Gold’s latest drill results at the Island Gold Mine near Dubreuilville. “These new high-grade results over

Page24 24 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

ing housed within a camp located directly within the local community. The company restarted operations in a phased approach at the beginning of May 2020 and ramped up to budgeted mining and milling rates of 1,200 tpd in the month of June. The Company incurred $4.5 million in COVID-19 costs at Island Gold in the quarter, mainly related to labour costs for idle employees and additional transportation and lodging costs. The new results from surface exploration drilling at the Island Gold Mine released further extending the high-grade gold mineralization. The company says reported drill widths are true width of the mineralized zones, unless otherwise stated.

Highlights included: • 28.97 g/t Au (26.89 g/t cut) over 21.76 m (MH25-04); and • 15.38 g/t Au (14.19 g/t cut) over 15.02 m (MH25-03).

2020 Surface Exploration Drilling Program – Island Gold Mine Exploration activities at Island Gold remain focused on continuing to define new near mine Mineral Resources and building on the success of the 2019 drilling program. After being temporarily suspended on March 25, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the surface directional diamond drilling program resumed in early June with three drill rigs currently drilling. A total of 16,660 m of surface directional diamond drilling has been completed as of September 15, 2020.

Island East Results Drillholes MH25-03 and MH2504 intersected wide, high-grade gold mineralization 40 m and 100 m, respectively down-plunge from the high-grade Inferred Mineral Cont’d on pg. 26


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Lac des Iles Mine team rises to Covid challenge

By Kevin Vincent

“As a team and as a greater community, we are always stronger together. The team at LDI and the people of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario are resilient, and collectively we have risen to the challenges associated with COVID-19,” said Tim Hill, Chief Executive Officer, Impala Canada at the time of the outbreak. The company has since made substantial contributions to a number

of community groups as part of its CSR engagement plan. The unsettling death of one of their employees stole the headlines from an otherwise exciting takeover for Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., also known as the Implats Group, the parent company of Impala Canada. Implats is one of the world’s foremost producers of PGMs. The low-cost Lac des Iles Mine immediately boosted Implats’ value

Cont’d from pg. 24

Resource block which contained 719,800 ounces, grading 18.74 g/t Au (1.2 million tonnes) as of December 31, 2019. These intercepts have true widths approximately three to four times greater than the 5.3 m average width of this Inferred Mineral Resource block indicating the zone has widened in the area of these holes. Using the cut weighted gold grade for metal factor calculation, drillhole MH25-04 is the best surface directional hole drilled to date at Island Gold in terms of gold content for a drill hole intersect. Expansion Study In mid-July, Alamos released results of a positive Phase III Expansion Study conducted on the Island Gold mine. Based on the results of the study, the company is proceeding with an expansion of the operation to 2,000 tpd. This follows a detailed evaluation of several scenarios which demonstrated the Shaft Expansion as the best option, having the strongest economics, being the most efficient, productive and best positioned to capitalize on further growth in Mineral Reserves and Resources. Phase III Expansion Study Highlights – Shaft Expansion · Average annual gold production of 236,000 ounces per year starting in 2025 upon completion of the shaft. This represents a 72% increase from the mid-point of initial 2020 production guidance · Industry low average total cash costs of $403 per ounce of gold and mine-site AISC of $534 per ounce starting in 2025, a 19% and 30% decrease from the mid-point of initial 2020 guidance, respectively · After-tax net present value (“NPV”) of $1.02 billion at a 5% discount rate and an after-tax internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 17%, using a base case gold price assumption of $1,450 per ounce and a USD/CAD foreign exchange rate of $0.75:1 · After-tax NPV of $1.45 billion and an after-tax IRR of 22%, at a 5% discount rate using a gold price assumption of $1,750 per ounce and a USD/ CAD foreign exchange rate of $0.75:1 · Mine life of 16 years, double the current eight-year Mineral Reserve life. This is based on a mineable Mineral Resource of 9.6 million tonnes grading 10.45 grams per tonne of gold (“g/t Au”) containing 3.2 million ounces · Lowest combined capital and operating costs of all scenarios evaluated Page26 26 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

and strengthens cash flow to advance what it calls its journey toward delivering sustainable shareholder returns. It also diversified the group’s production base with a palladium-rich operation in an established, low-risk mining jurisdiction. “Impala Canada will accelerate our progress against a number of key strategic imperatives,” stated Nico Muller, CEO and Executive Director of Implats. “The acquisition is an important development in the evolution of the Implats Group into a sustainable PGM producer. Over the past three years we have developed a strong understanding of the Canadian operation and its management team and are encouraged by its focus on palladium, its reliable growth potential, its highly engaged team and the revenuegenerating potential of the Lac des Iles Mine. This acquisition is a positive development for Implats and our stakeholders.” The former Chief Financial Officer of NAP, Tim Hill, was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Impala Canada. The NAP corporate office in Toronto became the regional office for Implats, while NAP’s finance and exploration offices remain in Thunder Bay. “We are proud to play a significant role within a larger, integrated global PGM producer. We are confident that Lac des Iles will continue to be one of Canada’s largest, lowest-cost and safest underground mines, producing a metal that contributes to a cleaner global environment. We look forward to benefiting from the technical, operational and financial resources of a global company as we continue to pursue our palladium production, development and exploration objectives in Canada,” said Hill. The remote mine is 90 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay and employs 800 people, many on a twoweek rotational basis.


Page 27 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


EAST-WEST

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Expanding Eagle River while moving Kiena toward restart By Kevin Vincent

Emerging mid-tier producer Wesdome Gold Mines has both hands full these days. The company is enjoying successful exploration results on two fronts, their Eagle River Mine near Wawa and the brownfield Kiena project near Val D’Or. If all goes according to plan, the company will know sometime in 2021 whether they will be producing from both locations. In late summer, Wesdome revealed some spectacular drill numbers from Eagle River, including; 49.9 g/t over 4.9m; 314.4 g/t Au over 6.0m core length; and 68.4 g/t Au over 2.3m. “We are pleased with our ongoing exploration efforts at the Eagle River Mine, albeit presently at reduced capacity,” said Mr. Duncan Middle-

miss, President and CEO. That exploration suggests the Falcon Zone goes a kilometre deeper. “Intersecting the down plunge extension of the Falcon Zone with underground drilling really shows the potential of the Falcon Zone extending to the Mine 7 Zone, which is in excess of 1,000 m down plunge. This is significant, as the extension of this zone is proximal to mine infrastructure and has the potential to be included in future mine production and ultimately augment production rates in the medium term.” Middlemiss says the company continues to stringently monitor the health and safety recommendations and measures of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of the community, employees and contractors are the com-

pany’s first priority. The CEO says Wesdome is committed to supporting all health recommendations and orders as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, there have been no suspected COVID-19 cases at the company’s operations or corporate offices. At Kiena meanwhile, Wesdome is aggressively building a case to reopen the Quebec-based gold mine. Drill results there are just as impressive as the company inches toward a pre-feasibility study and production decision. “We are pleased with the ongoing drilling program that continues to focus on definition drilling of the high grade A Zone, in order to convert inferred resources to indicated resources, in advance of an updated resource estimate later in the year

The Covid-19 pandemic slowed work on the project, as NextBridge suspended work in early April. They took time to develop a plan to keep workers and communities as safe as possible before worked slowly resumed in mid-May. NextBridge aims to have strong community relations, Indigenous relations, and have a Community Investment Program, where applicants in communities along the right of way can apply for financial support for projects, initiatives, or events.NextBridge says the project will provide an estimated $200 million in economic benefits to lo-

cal Indigenous communities. As the project was being developed, six First Nation communities along the corridor formed the Bamkushwada Limited Partnership, an Indigenous economic consortium that owns Supercom Industries Ltd, a general partner corporation pursuing contracting, employment, and training opportunities. On February 20 of this year, Rickford announced a $1.5 million dollar government investment in Supercom over the next three years for training for over 170 Indigenous tradespeople who will work on the East-West Tie project.

Cont’d from pg. 28

ground-breaking ceremony held on October 2, 2019. The project consists of 11 different segments, or work-fronts. Four employee camps were also built to house construction staff. The work will move along the corridor in phases, very similar to highway and road construction. Right of way and access roads are built, and surveys are conducted to confirm the tower locations. The materials get delivered, foundations and anchors for the towers get installed, and the towers are then set into place with either cranes or helicopters.

Page30 30 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


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and subsequent incorporation into the PFS,” said Middlemiss. “The PFS will be used to determine the viability of mining the existing resources in the immediate reach of the Kiena Mine to justify a mine restart. Longer term, our focus will turn to the remaining resources on the Kiena property and the exploration potential.” Drilling productivity was initially challenged upon the return to work May 11th due to manpower issues arising from the COVID-19 regional quarantines in Quebec; however, the company now has a full complement of drillers and the drilling program is back on track. “Recent drilling has indicated the VC1 zone has now been extended down plunge over 475 metres. This zone is reasonably accessible to existing infrastructure and could be an important source of mineralization in the early days of any future mine restart.” “In addition, we are excited about

advancing the access development towards the upper levels of the A Zone mineralization that will position the company to take a bulk sample, which will validate the geological block model and assess the geo-mechanical conditions in order to complement the quality of the work being done in the PFS.” In addition to ongoing drilling, access development is currently being completed so as to position the company to take a bulk sample. Future bulk sampling will provide an opportunity to assess the geological block model and rock quality characteristics and will provide the

necessary information to complete the ongoing Prefeasibility Study, expected to be completed by H1 2021. The Kiena Complex is a fully permitted former mine with a 930-metre shaft and 2,000 tonne-per-day mill. Wesdome has had over 30+ years of continuous gold mining operations in Canada. The Company is 100% Canadian focused with a pipeline of projects in various stages of development. The Company has further upside at its Moss Lake gold deposit, 100 kilometres west of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Page 31 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


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Red Lake

A Rich History, A Rich Future

Picture: Samuel Lewis Acting District Geologist, Red Lake Office

By Kevin Vincent

It’s not a stretch of the imagination to compare the work of a district geologist with air traffic control - especially if that geologist works out of the Red Lake office of the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. Samuel Lewis is the Acting District Geologist in the Resident Geologist Program of the Ontario Geological Survey Mines and Minerals Division of the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. Try to fit that on your next business card. All kidding aside, Lewis’ office is akin to an air traffic control tower these days as dozens of mining companies, explorers, financiers, and geologists scramble to get their hands on as much government data as possible in the quest for precious metal deposits and other minerals that are in high demand around the globe. Red Lake is regarded as one of North America’s most historic and prolific gold mining regions. So, it just makes sense that companies from around the world have descended on the Red Lake district in

search of the next big mine. According to the town’s archives, “from the mid-1870s to the early 1920s, the quest for furs, then for minerals, brought Europeans to the area. In the summer of 1925, two brothers, Lorne and Ray Howey, discovered gold under the roots of an upturned tree. This event triggered the last great gold rush in North America, the birth of commercial bush flying in Canada, and the founding of the town of Red Lake.” “More than 3,000 people converged on Red Lake at the height of the Gold Rush of 1926. They traveled by dog team or by foot on the frozen rivers and lakes, over the 180mile gold rush trail. In spring, they used canoes or small boats, and before long, airplanes. Eventually the bush plane came to dominate travel to the goldfields. In 1936, Howey Bay, in the heart of Red Lake, was the busiest airport in the world, as aircraft of all shapes and sizes, on floats or skis, transported freight and passengers in and out of the area at 15-minute intervals.” It’s not quite the same today, but one couldn’t be blamed if they drew the comparison. And the air traffic control reference has a somewhat

Page34 34 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

historic significance as well. District Geologist Samuel Lewis says every day seems to include something new for the mining camp that has contributed nearly 28 million ounces of gold for the global precious metals market in nearly a century. “Red Lake is touted to be the town at the end of the road,” said Lewis. “It has a population of 4000-4500 people between Balmertown and Red Lake. With all of this activity it has been hard to find a geologist since the influx of all these projects.” Lewis is also the chair of the Red Lake CIM chapter and he says the group hosts a number of exploration roundups, meetings and social events that attract local residents and small business owners. The annual Exploration Roundup allows exploration companies to outline what they are doing and to also explain what kind of resources they might need. “Everyone knows about Great Bear, Pure Gold, Evolution and Battle North – this town has been built on mining since 1927 so the people here support the industry

Cont’d on pg. 36


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Lots of groundoptioning still taking place in Red Lake area Photo Credit: Great Bear Resources

Cont’d from pg. 34

and they like to ramp up during times like these.” One of the watershed highlights in the Red Lake resurgence has been the success of Great Bear Resources at its Dixie Lake Project. “The company believed the LP fault is a deep-tapping seismic structure that was identified by a study in 2016,” said Lewis. “Much of the mineralization is predominantly within the LP Fault and characterized by a silican sulphide in that zone.” Lewis says Great Bear has a wide abundance of mineralization on the project and it appears to be very consistent. The market agrees and at the time of this writing, the junior mining stock had soared from less than a dollar to more than $18 (CDN) a share. “Battle North (formerly Rubicon) deserves a little bit more love than they’ve been getting,” explains Lewis. “The CEO, George Ogilvie came from Kirkland Lake Gold and there he helped improve the operation of the Macassa Mine and facilitated the acquisition of St Andrew Goldfields. He’s best suited to transitioning companies from grassroots into a profitable gold

producer and that’s what this looks like on the Bateman Gold Project.” The company has increased the resource from 470,000 to nearly 1.2 million ounces and in a recent company webinar Ogilvie predicted Battle North will release a study later this year that suggests Bateman has an 8-10 year mine life. Lewis says Battle North expects to recover 44,000 ounces of gold worth $30 million during ramp development, so those development recovery dollars contribute nicely to the company’s projected $100 million capital costs. That’s a far cry from the company’s roller-coaster ride when it was known as Rubicon Minerals. For Pure Gold’s Madsen Mine project, the company used a USD$1275/ oz model in its most recent public presentation and Lewis says they’ve been actively hiring personnel, building infrastructure, and securing equipment as well. Pure Gold has an early estimate of one million ounces and another two and a half million ounces in an inferred resource. “During this process they’ve been continuing infill drilling of 30,000 metres where they are going to po-

Page36 36 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

tentially convert those targets into resource as well and delineate more of their #8 zone which is a high-grade area,” said Lewis. Pure Gold CEO Darin Labrenz is no stranger to Red Lake as he used to be the Chief Mine Geologist at the historic Campbell Red Lake Mine. Lewis says the Pure Gold team is full of top-notch individuals who are familiar with the Red Lake geology and its potential. BTU Metals is in a target generation phase where they are sampling properties and preparing to do some airborne surveys to identify anomalies. “The good thing from them is all three of their survey (methods) identify anomalies all in the same location. Dixie Creek is one of those and Dixie, if you look at the map, it lies in the LP Fault immediately south of the Dixie Lake Project.” That’s a reference, of course, to the exciting Great Bear Resources Dixie Project and Lewis says it will be exciting to see whether the same fault structure touches on BTU’s property. “West Red Lake is another one of those properties that probably deserves a little more love,” Lewis told Mining Life. “They had a technical report that identified one million ounces at 7.57gm/per ton back in 2016. To put that into perspective, that was more ounces in the ground than the former Rubicon had at the time. They (West Red Lake) have a significant land package in West Red Lake that includes three of the past producers and they also seem to be consistently finding new mineralization.” Lewis says that with more drilling he expects that West Red Lake will find more mineralization. “Hopefully if they can raise some more money they can do more drilling.” Lewis says there’s still a lot of ground-optioning taking place in the Red Lake area which makes it hard to keep track of what’s going on. It’s a nice problem to have.


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Battle North Gold

raises $61 million for Red Lake Bateman Project By Kevin Vincent

It has been a battle. After a rollercoaster few years in the financial markets, there is renewed optimism for the operators of the Bateman Gold Project near Red Lake. The company has a resource estimate of nearly a million ounces (979,000) and a fresh coat of corporate paint on the doors at head office as “A battle-tested gold developer.” The Bateman Gold Project is centred within the Red Lake mining district of northwestern Ontario, approximately 565 km by road (430 km direct) northwest of Thunder Bay and approximately 475 km by road (265 km direct) east/northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba. “This is the dawn of a new era for Battle North Gold, its shareholders and stakeholders,” said Battle North CEO George Ogilvie. Notwithstanding the company’s recent past, it managed to raise over $61 million to move forward. Ogilvie is the former president of Kirkland Lake Gold. “We believe the new name provides a fresh look at the company’s potential to create value. Fueled

by our perseverance and determination, we have significantly derisked and advanced our shovelready Bateman Gold Project in Red Lake,” added Ogilvie in a summer 2020 news release. The company announced the name change from Rubicon Minerals to Battle North on July 7th. Battle North says it has the second largest exploration ground package in the Red Lake region. “We are now just months away from the completion of the Feasibility Study for the Project, the results of which, we believe, are highly anticipated and closely watched by our investors and the many that follow the company. This will be the maiden Feasibility Study (which will include Proven and Probable Mineral Reserve estimates) for the Bateman Gold Project and is a significant milestone warranting the re-branding of the company.” The company says it is on schedule to release the feasibility study in the second half of 2020. “In addition, we are pleased with the progress of our multi-faceted exploration programs. We have

Page38 38 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

completed more than 8,000 metres of orientated drilling at the Bateman Gold Project since the data cut-off date of the NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate in January, targeting the conversion of the Inferred Mineral Resource estimates at depth into the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource categories at the F2 Gold Zone. We have also commenced infill drilling at the McFinley and Pen Zones, both of which are within 550 metres from the Bateman Gold Project existing infrastructure, including a production shaft and a permitted milling facility. All of our current exploration programs are designed with the intent to add incremental mill feed to our operational 1,800-tonne-perday, state-of-the-art mill facility. We expect to release the details of our exploration results in the coming weeks.” “We plan to review the data with respect to our 28,000-hectare regional land package in Red Lake with the goal of initiating a regional exploration campaign in the near future.” Battle North is currently evaluat-


ing quotes from vendors for various surface and underground work and equipment, including tailings management facility upgrades, underground development and ammonia treatment plant construction. The project was halted in 2015 after it rushed into production without a complete understanding of the underground operation’s complexities. Preliminary Economic Assessment: The company delivered a robust PEA that demonstrated an after-tax internal rate of return and net present value of 40.2% and C$135.2 million, respectively, based on a US$1,325 per ounce gold price assumption. The PEA contemplated at 6.2 year conceptual life of mine plan (“LOM”) averaging 79,610 ounces of conceptual gold production per year and an average all-in sustaining cost (“AISC”) of US$882 per ounce during the commercial production period.

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Page 39 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


Interview with:

Musselwhite Mine General Manager, Don Burke

AFTER

BEFORE

Picture of Fire Restoration

Picture of Fire Destruction

Mine expects to be 100% operational by Dec. 2020 By Kevin Vincent

It has been a challenging year and a half for Newmont’s Musselwhite Mine, located nearly 500km north of Thunder Bay. On March 29th of 2019, the company’s conveyor system caught fire, grinding production to a complete standstill. Then, to protect local First Nations communities from COVID-19, the mine was placed on care and maintenance on March 22, 2020 less than 1 year after the fire rendered its underground conveyor system

Pictured: Musselwhite Mine General Manager, Don Burke

inoperable. “All of the ore travels to surface via the conveyor system where it gets stockpiled for the mill.

On March 29th, in between shifts, the conveyor caught fire due to a failure of an underside roller on the conveyor and when the belt stopped rolling in between shifts, the belt caught fire,” explains Musselwhite General Manager, Don Burke in an interview with Mining Life. “Luckily no one was underground so there were no injuries, but approximately 3km of conveyor was burnt and our drifts were damaged as well,” he added. Utilizing the newest technology, the new conveyor system will have industry leading safety and fire controls. During the production shutdown and COVID-19 care and maintenance period, the company kept everyone employed. “I’m pretty happy to say that during the fire in 2019 we kept 100% of our employees all the way through that, so I’m pretty proud of the fact that we managed to find work, valuable work for everybody all the way up to present.” “We started to rebuild the mine,

Page40 40 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

even with COVID we will have the conveyor completed by the end of 2020” said Burke. Burke has been with the company for 24 years, 19 in Red Lake and the rest in Timmins. He started with Musselwhite in January 2019. March 29, 2019 is when the big conveyor fire happened. “Since establishing the secondary egress a couple of months after the fire, we’ve been in limited production mode until we get the conveyor back up and running. At that time, our conveyor was our secondary egress out of the mine and in Ontario you can’t operate without a secondary egress so we had to put a plan together to focus on three key areas: flood control (because electric systems were damaged); restore power back into the mine; and re-establish our secondary egress,” said Burke. “We were also completing a material handling winze system underground which is now scheduled to come online at the exact same time as the new conveyor, so come December 2020, we’ll be 100% operational with the new COVID reality,” said Burke. Burke says during the fire, Newmont kept everybody on site for development and stoping.


Newmont’s Musselwhite Mine

A Huge Potential! “The crews underground did a fantastic job of doing all the rehab remediating that area, and at the same time, we have the project group coming up. ”Then in March of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company temporarily suspended operations given concerns from their First Nations partners that the mine could be a conduit for the virus. “We had many conversations with our First Nations partners and we made a joint decision to put the mine on care and maintenance’ Employees were sent home and the company paid 100% of wages from March all the way through August and September when the mine came out of care and maintenance. As of now, the mine is right back at 100% complement of employees. (560 employees plus 120 contractors). All of this was happening at the same time Musselwhite had a new parent company. In April 2019, Newmont acquired Goldcorp including the Musselwhite mine. “I have to say hats off to Newmont for recognizing the potential of the mine - a lot of companies would have said we’re done – that was a huge investment to put back into the mine.” “Musselwhite has an extremely bright future ahead of us. We are mining two zones and within the next couple of years we are working toward establishing two entirely new zones and working on a third to fill the mill.” Over the next 3-5 years Mussel-

white could dramatically increase production. The exploration budget is around $11 million. “There are really good exploration results every day and we will be adding new ore in the future. There is a huge amount of optimism for Musselwhite especially considering the fantastic workforce, great exploration results, strength of our partnerships with First Nations and the resource we have.” Newmont introduced its community support fund in the early stages of COVID to sustain communities near its mine sites. Musselwhite Mine was able to direct some of those funds to the First Nation communities of North Caribou Lake, Cat Lake, Wunnumin Lake, Kingfisher Lake and Mishkeegogamang as well as the communities of Pickle Lake and Thunder Bay, where most of Musselwhite employees come from. At the time of this writing, the company had contributed close to $460,000 to various communities and stakeholders. Musselwhite has a

formal agreement with First Nation communities and councils in the vicinity of the mine: North Caribou Lake First Nation, Cat Lake First Nation, Kingfisher Lake First Nation, Wunnumin Lake First Nation, Shibogama First Nations Council and Windigo First Nations Council. In addition to revenue sharing, the agreement includes targets for employment, training and business development opportunities. Musselwhite has an additional cooperation agreement with Mishkeegogamang First Nation.

Page 41 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


Delivers record results to shareholders thanks to RED LAKE Operations By Kevin Vincent

A mid-tier miner from down under is cashing in on its Red Lake investment to help take it to the next level. Australia’s Evolution Mining reported in mid-August that the company’s acquisition of the Red Lake Mine helped Evolution record Amber Adams, a $300 million USD profit, Interim Mine Mgr., up 40% from a year earRed Lake Operations lier. The company says its transformation of the Red Lake Mine is ahead of schedule as Evolution is enjoying a healthy all-in sustaining cost of $715US/oz, netting the company close to $1200 per ounce profit. In interviews with various media outlets, Executive Chairman Jake Klein said the company believes the profitability can be sustained. “We’ve got a very low-cost production base,” said Klein. “And gold prices are about $400 an ounce higher than they were a year ago.” In its latest report to shareholders, Klein revealed that Evolution paid dividends equal to a whopping $365 per ounce. Evolution also operates five mining assets in Australia where production turned out nearly 720,000 ounces in addition to the more than 27,000 ounces they poured at Red Lake. The company’s year over year cash flow increased a substantial 45% to a record AUS$1,121 million. The company managed the impressive return for shareholders without compromising safety as their reportable injuries were reduced by 18% over the same period a year earlier and the COVID pandemic protocols quickly introduced by the company in early 2020, meant there was no impact on production. Red Lake is an underground gold mine. The operation is comprised of the Red Lake, Campbell and Cochenour mines over a strike length of 7km. The Cochenour mine is connected to Red Lake by a Page42 42 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

5km haulage drift, with ore processed at the Campbell Mill.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES? Evolution acquired the Red Lake complex from Newmont-Goldcorp in late 2019 and assumed operation in the spring of 2020. While Newmont-Goldcorp was willing to hand over the Red Lake operations to an Australian competitor, the final deal was clearly constructed in a way that Newmont was confident they were walking away from a potential cash-flow bonanza. Evolution Mining signed the deal to acquire Newmont Goldcorp’s Red Lake gold complex for $375m in cash. As part of the agreement, Evolution Mining will also pay an additional $100m in contingent payments upon “discovery of new resources”. Under the $100m contingent payment terms, Newmont Goldcorp will receive $20m from Evolution Mining over a 15-year period for each one million ounces of new gold resources added to the existing Red Lake resource base. Newmont Goldcorp noted that the contingent payment is applicable to the first five million ounces of new resources. The company intends to use funds from the transaction to support its capital allocation priorities of returning cash to shareholders, maintaining an investment-grade balance sheet, and investing in a new portfolio. In late 2019, Newmont Goldcorp president and CEO Tom Palmer said: “This transaction both strengthens our balance sheet and provides ongoing exposure to new discoveries at Red Lake.” Mining at the Red Lake complex, now owned by Evolution, started around 1939. Today the company has Collaboration Agreements in place with the Wabauskang and Lac Seul First Nation groups. Amber Adams, Interim General Manager Red Lake Operations, told investors recently that the company is investing heavily at Red Lake to access higher volumes of ore. The company says mine life expectancy is more than 11 years and the long-term target is 300,000 to


Re-entry into underground and processing areas has been progressing smoothly 500,000 ounces per year. Adams says the company is budgeting heavily over the first three years at Red Lake to accommodate more technology, attack higher grades and increase production. A major summer forest fire in the Red Lake area forced the company to temporarily suspend operations. Evolution Mining Limited advised in mid-August that operations at the Red Lake gold mine, had resumed following the municipal led evacuation of the region due to the threat of the nearby forest fire. “Due to the outstanding efforts of the Ministry of Natu-

ral Resources and Forestry, together with strong support from the local community, the fire was safely contained before reaching the townships,” said Klein. “All residents of the broader Red Lake community, including our Evolution employees and contractors, are safe. There has been no damage to any of the operation’s infrastructure and, due to the diligent work of Evolution’s site team, re-entry into the underground and processing areas has been progressing smoothly.” Klein says Red Lake remains on track to deliver planned, thirdquarter gold production.

Page 43 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


Pacton Gold and Evolution Mining partner in Red Lake project Pure Gold Mining Inc. in order to define extensions of mineralized structures to support exploration and resource expansion at its Madsen Mine, scheduled to commence production this year. Madsen is adjacent to Pacton’s property, and the survey will include 13 km of seismic line data over Pacton’s claims. The resulting data will further define structural controls on the Red Lake Property, which are proximal to the Madsen project. Of note, the seismic lines on Pacton’s project closely overlap several high priority exploration areas identified using AI technology, and the data will enhance the targeting in those regions.

Survey Highlights By Kevin Vincent

After raising $6.6 million this summer, Pacton Gold embarked on a promising joint venture project near Red Lake. Shortly after raising the money, Pacton and partner Evolution Mining began an expansion drill program at the Sidace JV Project, while Pacton continued field work at its separate Red Lake exploration project. Pacton (39.5% interest) and JV partner, Evolution Mining (60.5% interest), approved the $2.44 million exploration program which included 11,500m of drilling, together with re-logging and re-sampling historic drill core and geophysics. (Drill results were not available by the time of publication).

Program Highlights • 11,500m drill program will focus on expanding all three mineralized zones at the project, including:

Main Discovery Zone (“MDZ”), Upper Duck Zone (“UDZ”) and the Anderson Zone • Permitting for the approved program is already underway • Re-logging, re-sampling and updated geological modelling already in progress • Pacton plans to contribute $2.19 million to the proposed budget for the project. Evolution Mining plans to contribute $0.25 million for a total proposed budget of $2.44 million. The Sidace property is located 28 km north east of Red Lake, at the northern extent of the Red Lake Greenstone belt. The project is an advanced gold project with three distinct zones of mineralization and more than 80,000 meters of drilling. In addition to the Sidace program, Pacton also initiated a seismic survey at its Red Lake Gold project. The 2D seismic test survey has been designed and will be conducted by

Page44 44 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

• 13 km of seismic line data over Pacton’s Red Lake property, targeting the extension of mineralized structures to support exploration at Pure Gold’s adjacent Madsen mine project. • Greater definition of high priority, AI generated exploration targets. • Line cutting associated with the survey will increase property access. Dale Ginn, Executive Chairman for Pacton Gold, commented, “We are pleased to be working with our neighbours at Pure Gold as they near production at their Madsen gold mine. The timing of the Pure Gold survey is particularly useful for Pacton. We are entering the final stages of drill targeting at our adjacent Red Lake exploration project, and the survey data will be of significant value in prioritizing our targets.”


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leads pack of emerging Northwestern Ontario gold producers By Kevin Vincent

“Our mandate is pure and simple. To dream big. To colour outside the lines. To use smart science and creativity to unlock the potential of the PureGold Red Lake Mine in Red Lake, Ontario. And become Canada’s next iconic gold company.” Someone hired a creative copywriter. The “next iconic gold company” is on track to pour their first gold bar by the end of this year and nothing, including a serious forest fire in August, or a global pandemic is standing in its way. 2020 has proven to be a watershed year for the PureGold project. The company raised $15 million through a flow-through share financing to help broaden the orebody through exploration. That caught the eye of prolific junior miner investor Eric Sprott, who bought 100% of the offering in June. Sprott’s investment didn’t stop there. His lending company, Sprott Lending Corp., also provided PureGold with a USD$65 million credit package. And with drill numbers like these, no wonder investors are happy.

Drilling results highlights: •46.7 g/t gold over 7.0 metres from drill hole PGU-0118; including193.5 g/t gold over 1.0 metre; •57.0 g/t gold over 1.0 metre from drill hole PGU-0121; •15.8 g/t gold over 2.3 metres from drill hole PGU-0117;

•7.2 g/t gold over 5.0 metres from drill holePGU-0113; including22.3 g/t gold over 1.0 metre; •12.8 g/t gold over 10.0 metres from drill holePGU-0136; including20.1 g/t gold over 5.0 metres; •9.3 g/t gold over 2.4 metres from drill hole PGU-0123; including16.2 g/t gold over 1.1 metres; and •10.6 g/t gold over 2.0 metres from drill hole PGU-0124

Investors also quickly committed to more than $13 million in share warrants in mid-2020 which meant the company was fully funded as it marches toward 4th quarter production. In August, Sprott wasn’t the only investor expressing their faith in Pure Gold’s project. Anglogold Ashanti stepped up with $5 million. “Anglogold Ashanti have once again demonstrated their strong support of PureGold as we complete construction and prepare for first gold pour at our PureGold Mine,” said Darin Labrenz, President and CEO. “This latest investment increases their shareholding in PureGold to 16%, maintaining their position as our single largest shareholder. As one of the cornerstone investors in PureGold, Anglogold Ashanti have supported us through all phases of the development of our PureGold Mine, from discovery to near term production. We would like to thank Anglogold Ashanti for being a key part of the PureGold story and for

Page46 46 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

sharing our vision for discovery, resource growth and building a longlife growth company in the Red Lake mining district.” In an interview with Mining Life, President and CEO Darin Labrenz said the company is on track for first production by the end of the year. “It’s certainly an exciting time for PureGold. We have a lot of work to do here in the tail-end but from a scheduling perspective, things are looking pretty solid on that front.” “Our target is for first ore delivery to the mill by December 1st,” said Labrenz. “This is a brown field site so it comes with an existing underground and an existing development plant and all the ancillary facilities associated with that so, most of the work is replacing older equipment with newer equipment and getting ready to be back in production.” As for their first gold bar, Labrenz says the company is hoping it will happen before Christmas, ideally by mid-December. Labrenz says the company has done well when it comes to hiring. The operational management team is in place and now the company is starting to fill out the workforce who will work under that team. “Certainly when you look at northwestern Ontario and Red Lake in particular, there’s a lot of companies who are taking on people whose work has been retrenched over the Cont’d on pg. 48


Cameras for COVID

The mining company response to COVID-19 has been well documented with leaders in the industry providing funds on a local and national scale, as well as shutting down susceptible operations, to tackle the virus outbreak and ‘flatten the curve’. The mining equipment, technology and services side is also doing its bit for the cause. Vision enhancement specialist PROVIX has recently released a new thermal camera to measure body and face temperatures that, it believes, will provide companies with a proactive COVID-19 detection method. Its thermal vision camera systems are normally mentioned in IM in relation to providing more productive operations in drilling, mucking, hauling, blasting, tramming, loading and rescue operations, but the Ontario-based company has recently redirected its efforts to help detect infections that could be linked to the COVID-19 virus. As PROVIX says, one of the main

symptoms of a viral infection is an abnormal body temperature. “The normal body temperature ranges from 36.5° C to 37° C, and, if it exceeds 37.3° C, it is a true pathological fever,” the company said. PROVIX’s non-contact temperature detector can achieve rapid preliminary temperature screening of people passing through the thermo-visual device, it said. The company has improved and upgraded the facial recognition technology and automatic infrared facial temperature measurement for this new system, which will measure accurate forehead temperature and report any abnormalities with an alarm, PROVIX says. “The equipment will automatically save the facial image, temperature record, passed time, name, ID card information record, etc,” the company explained. While handheld temperature reading has been commonplace during the height of the pandemic, PROVIX says this method takes

longer and puts those staff administering the test at risk of contracting the virus. Due to the consistent contact that comes with handheld body temperature devices, there is also a higher risk of spreading the virus further, PROVIX said. There is typically nowhere to record and retain this temperature data either. PROVIX says its new thermal camera device can store up to 10,000 records, which includes temperature information and identity information, while providing an integrated video management platform that allows for video preview, playback, alarm management, electronic mapping and other functions. PROVIX says the thermal camera is being used by miners as a prescreening method to proactively scan every person’s temperature that goes through security. As well as being used at over 30 mine sites in Canada, USA and parts of South America, the system has also been integrated with the NORCAT Safesite app screening questionnaire, a PROVIX spokesperson told IM.

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Page 47 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


First gold bar, hoped to be by Mid-December Cont’d from pg. 46

past several years, so we’ve been able to build a team of people who live in Red Lake and some who are coming back.” Pure Gold Mining Inc. made significant progress of construction and underground development in the first three quarters of 2020 at its Red Lake mine. During the quarter, the company received the first of three significant amended permit approvals for the RL Mine Project. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) has approved and issued an Amended Environmental Compliance Approval (“ECA”) for Air and Noise for the Project. The amended ECA sets out operating conditions relating to air and noise emissions for the RL Mine Project mining and milling operations, including all ancillary and support processes and activities, at a Production Limit of up to 1,089 tonnes of gold ore processed per day. The Company now awaits amendment of the Industrial Effluent permit (ECA Industrial Sewage Works). Initial regulatory review is complete, and the company has applied for an expedited approval of this permit amendment. The company has also filed its Closure Plan amendment and is awaiting approval before posting the necessary financial assurance.

In its quarterly report to shareholders released in August, the company stated: “The development of the RL Mine Project is continuing at a rapid pace. Engineering is substantially complete and drawing packages have been issued for many engineering components. The procurement of major equipment 95% complete, and the Company remains on track to bring first ore to the mill before year-end.” The company continues to revise the mine plan and timing of staff hires and equipment purchases as the development unfolds. From the announcement of a construction decision in August 2019 through June 30, 2020, the company has spent a total of $57.1 million on the RL Mine Project and as of June 30, 2020, forecasted a further $84.2 million to be spent on the Project through first ore to the mill.

PROGRESS Construction activities continue on site, with the site population continuing to ramp up with 90 personnel at the end of July. Physical distancing measures continued on site to the greatest extent practical, while maintaining construction productivity. Concrete installations at the water treatment facility have begun, reaching 25% complete at the end of June.

Page48 48 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page

The ball mill and grinding area steel demolition was completed during the period. Drilling for and the installation of dowels for the ball mill foundation began during June. Shipment of major components of the ball mill, the longest lead item, was expected by late August 2020. Construction of the Water Treatment Plant Access Road was completed and clearing of the 5kv and 44kV power line right-of-way was completed. Legacy tanks onsite have now been repaired and erection of the surge tank has begun. The tailings building and internal steel erection began in June, reaching 83% on the building erection and 97% on the internal steel erection. Concrete installations continued through the period. The tailings building, surge tank and plant substation concrete installations were completed. Underground development continued ahead of schedule for the first six months of the year with a total of 1,293 metres of main ramp, level access and waste development completed. The company entered into a Project Agreement with respect to the RL Mine with the Waubaskang and Lac Seul First Nations. The Project Agreement establishes a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership between Pure Gold and the First Nations. In turn, both First Nations acknowledge and support Pure Gold’s rights and interests in the development and future operation of the RL Mine. The Project Agreement provides for communication, cooperation, and collaboration between the First Nations and Pure Gold, and establishes a framework for support for current and future operations of the RL Mine and defines the long-term benefits for the First Nations. Pure Gold estimates that the total cost of the Project Agreement, over the life of mine as outlined in the feasibility study, to be approximately $14 million.


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RESOURCES

Dixie Lake Project sees 67% increase in drill activity By Kevin Vincent

The meteoric rise of Great Bear Resources over the past few years shows no sign of slowing down. The previously unknown junior acquired the rights to the Dixie Lake Project in mid-2017, followed by a provincial government supported drill program, and the rest, they say, is history. In September of 2017, the Great Bear drilled 16.84 g/t of gold over 10.40m at Dixie. That got everyone’s attention. Two months later, they confirmed a major gold structure and investors started flocking to the company. “Mineralization in the main zone is remarkably continuous over more than 500m of strike length and 60 drill holes drilled to-date, and remains open along strike and at depth,” said President and CEO Chris Taylor at the time. The company’s shares have spiked dramatically since the 2017 discovery. The company has issued a steady stream of monthly news releases that seemingly and remarkably outshine each other. “The most recent drilling along 650 metres of strike length of the multikilometre LP Fault gold system has

shown mineralization typically expands at depth,” said Taylor this July (2020). “As the system broadens, we generally observe an increasing number of high-grade gold intervals within broader halos of moderate gold grades. Gold mineralization continues to show excellent continuity within and between drill sections in all locations tested to date. A new gold zone adjacent to the LP Fault zone was also discovered at approximately 750 metres vertical depth, consistent with our model of a greater than one-kilometre wide structural zone at Dixie that has the potential to host additional new gold discoveries.” “At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reduced our drill count from five to three rigs, and implemented a series of risk mitigation protocols which will remain in place, designed to protect our staff and local communities. Great Bear has grown significantly since March, driven by our success with those three rigs. I’m now very pleased to announce that we will return to five active drill rigs this month, which amounts to a significant 67 percent increase in drill activity over recent levels.

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This will accelerate our grid drill program at the LP Fault and allow ongoing simultaneous exploration of additional targets across the property.” Approximately 180 of 300 planned drill holes remain to be completed in 2020 as part of the company’s fully-funded $21 million drill program. With approximately $48 million in cash, the company is well positioned to significantly expand its exploration activities through 2022 and the company says it will provide updates on future drill plans as details become available. Great Bear’s success seems to be endless. Exploration is almost always successful and new mineable high-grade zones are being added on a regular basis. In early August, Great Bear released drill sections that contained “significant thicknesses” of very shallow high-grade gold mineralization starting at the bedrock surface including 81.22 g/t gold over 10.50 metres. “Over the past months we have regularly intersected predictable high-grade gold intervals at the LP Fault within the broad bulk-tonnage style gold system. This positive development is underscored by both styles of mineralization extending from bedrock surface to the limits of current drilling at depth. We are currently building an updated geological model to account for the majority of this high-grade mineralization and provide early descriptions of this work in this release,” said Taylor. A month later, in early September, the company issued results from the LP Fault exploration program that were just as exciting as ever. “With increasing drill density on 50 metre centres, continuity of gold mineralization at the LP Fault is readily apparent in plan and section view. We’ve provided an up-


Enhanced plans to explore the Sobel Property dated plan map and long section in this release, showing the same intercept grade projections in both images for the first time. Our geological team continues to model the high strain and deformed quartz vein zones which host the majority of the high-grade gold within the LP Fault. We expect to be able to release the results of this work over the coming weeks. This will provide our current comprehensive interpretation of gold grade distribution characteristics within the LP Fault and will be an important step towards completion of our initial maiden resource,” said Taylor. Any day now the company will announce enhanced plans to explore their Sobel Property. “Given the identification of the new SGH targets, the company will continue exploration at Sobel through the remainder of 2020, including expansion of the SGH sample grid, additional geological mapping, prospecting, target identification and refinement. A comprehensive update on further work will be provided prior to any drilling at Sobel. Chris Taylor continued, “We’ve repeated some of the early exploration steps taken at our flagship Dixie project and have identified two new potential gold targets at the Sobel property within the right rocks. These are located near regional D2 fold hinges and fold axes that are expected to potentially be significant gold controls. We believe these areas are prospective for Hinge zone (Dixie)/ RLGM-style gold-bearing quartz veins within mafic host rocks. Our next steps include additional mapping, expansion of the SHG grid, rock sampling, and planning for preliminary drilling which may be

undertaken as early as winter 2020 - 2021.” With everything that has happened at Dixie, it’s easy to see why so many investors believe Great Bear Resources is one of Canada’s biggest mining success stories since the start of the 2000’s. Great Bear Resources Ltd. continues to be a well-financed gold exploration company managed by a team with a track record of suc-

cess in mineral exploration. The company controls over 300 km2 of highly prospective tenure across four projects: the flagship Dixie Project (100% owned), the Pakwash Property (earning a 100% interest), the Dedee Property (earning a 100% interest), and the Sobel Property (earning a 100% interest), all of which are accessible yearround through existing roads.

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Springpole Deposit hosts potential 24 million oz of silver and 5 million oz of gold By Kevin Vincent

With a $28.7 million raise in late August and what one veteran mining observer described as “the best quality gold development assets under one company’s roof”, First Mining Gold is poised to make big news in 2021. A Pre-Feasibility Study is underway on the company’s Springpole Project, 110 km northeast of Red Lake. The study should be finished in early 2021 and permitting is on-going with submission of the Environmental Impact Statement targeted for 2021 as well. First Mining believes Springpole is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in Canada, currently hosting a mineral resource base of 4.67 million ounces of gold in the Indicated category and 0.23 million ounces of gold in the Inferred category. Like many companies, First Mining Gold had to pause during the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic as they demobilized operations at Springpole and the Goldlund projects from late March to late May, during which time they had no reported cases of the deadly virus. The company has been moving

ahead following the release of an impressive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) that it finalized in 2019.

PEA Highlights: · Large open-pit-able resources: · Indicated Resource: 139.1 Mt at 1.04 g/t Au, 5.4 g/t Ag, containing 4,670,000 ounces of gold and 24,190,000 ounces of silver · Inferred Resource: 11.4 Mt at 0.63 g/t Au, 3.1 g/t Ag, containing 230,000 ounces of gold and 1,120,000 ounces of silver · Significant infrastructure in-place or proximal to project: 72-man camp onsite, winter road access, logging road within 10 km, and power lines nearby · Project is located in a pro-mining jurisdiction within Treaty Nine and Treaty Three First Nations Agreement lands · In November of 2015, First Mining acquired Gold Canyon Resources Inc., which wholly owned the Springpole Gold Project. First Mining believes Springpole is one of Canada’s largest undeveloped gold projects, covering a land position of nearly 42,000 hectares.

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The 2019 Springpole Gold Project PEA evaluated recovery of gold and silver from a potential 36,000 tonne-per-day open pit operation, with a process plant that includes crushing, grinding and flotation, with fine grinding of the flotation concentrate and agitated leaching of both the flotation concentrate and the flotation tails followed by a carbon-in -pulp recovery process to produce doré bullion. The company says updated metallurgical test work has demonstrated the potential for significantly improved gold and silver recoveries was included along with updated operating and capital cost estimates. The mineral resource calculations provided in the 2019 Springpole Gold Project PEA were not impacted and remain the same as were stated in the 2017 Springpole Gold Project PEA. Capital costs for the processing facility were estimated to be USD$519 million. In June 2020, First Mining struck a deal with First Majestic Silver Corp. where First majestic agreed to buy half the company’s silver production – the deal was worth US$22 million. In addition to Springpole, in early September, First Mining reported that Auteco Minerals Ltd., First Mining’s partner on its Pickle Crow Gold Project in northwestern Ontario, increased its current drill program at Pickle Crow from 10,000 metres to 45,000m. As part of its earn-in agreement with First Mining, Auteco has actively been exploring the Pickle Crow deposit, with one diamond drill rig in operation since May 2020 and a second drill rig mobilized to site in July. To expedite potential resource growth and test multiple step-out targets, a third rig is scheduled to be mobilized in late September 2020. Based on initial exploration results and observations to date, Auteco’s drill program has been expanded Cont’d on pg. 54


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Page 53 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


Located near Dryden looks to create 450 jobs

Shortly after the takeover, Treasury initiated a number of programs to advance both the Goliath and Goldlund gold projects. Those activities included:

By Kevin Vincent

source growth potential. We are pleased to have added the Goldlund gold project into our development timeline, and combined with the existing infrastructure in the region, and pending further economic and technical evaluation, it is expected to generate substantial co-development synergies as the properties are further advanced,” added Ferron. The Goliath project consists of the construction, operation, decommissioning, and remediation of an open-pit and underground gold mine and associated infrastructure. The project could create up to 450 jobs during construction and 250 jobs during operations over the life of the mine. The company continues to complete requirements for final authorizations and permits.

· Completion of an economic evaluation of a Goliath plus Goldlund scenario. Technical studies are underway to support this analysis, including plant and processing facilities, mining optimization, and an evaluation of potential operations at Goliath (underground and open pit) combined with Goldlund open pit mining scenarios. Future technical studies are also anticipated to include an optimization of the tailings storage facilities to review potential efficiencies that may be gained from developing the two projects in tandem. Results of this study are anticipated in late 2020. ·The commencement of a 25,000-metre drill program. Drilling at Goldlund will be focused on infill and expansion starting with Zone 1, 4 and 8. At Goliath, drilling will continue to focus on potential expansion of the east C Zone within the resource area in addition to exploration drilling on the prospective regional targets recently identified through IP and soil sample programs. · Environmental baseline collection commenced to assist with the development and permitting activities for Goldlund. Treasury Metals has

Cont’d from pg. 52

$30.4 million capital raising. First Mining entered into an earnin agreement with Auteco on March 12, 2020 whereby Auteco may earn up to an 80% interest in PC Gold Inc., the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary that owns Pickle Crow. The company also holds a large equity position in Treasury Metals Inc. that is advancing the Goliath-Goldlund gold project towards construction. On June 3, 2020, First Mining

entered into a share purchase agreement with Treasury Metals, pursuant to which Treasury Metals will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Tamaka Gold Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. First Mining’s eastern Canadian property portfolio also includes the Pickle Crow, Cameron, Hope Brook, Duparquet, Duquesne, and Pitt gold projects.

It’s been a busy summer for little-known Treasury Metals. The company released a steady flow of news throughout the middle of 2020, mostly focused on financing and its Goliath Deposit, 20km east of Dryden. The company also announced the successful takeover of the neighbouring Goldlund Deposit, previously owned by Tamaka Gold Corporation. “Completion of this acquisition comes at a transformational time for our shareholders and solidifies the Goliath and Goldlund projects as among the largest undeveloped gold assets in Canada,” said Greg Ferron, CEO of Treasury. “The close proximity of the GoliathGoldlund gold projects create a multi-million ounce, district-scale opportunity with significant re-

from 10,000m to 45,000m, with a 24-person, all-season camp to be established on site to support exploration activities. To date, nineteen drill holes totalling 4,464m have been completed. Assay results and drill highlights will be reported in an upcoming news release. Auteco’s aggressive drill program is fully funded following its recent

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also engaged additional support to assist with ongoing permitting efforts at Goliath and continues to engage and discuss operational and development plans with regional Indigenous communities, the public, and local stakeholders. The Goliath Gold Project completed its Environmental Assessment with the federal government granting approval in August of 2019. The company says the project benefits from excellent access from the Trans-Canada Highway 17 and close proximity to the City of Dryden. A range of equipment, supplies and services required for mining development is available in Dryden. The Goliath Gold Deposit was discovered by Teck Exploration Ltd. in 1990. Between 1990 & 1998, Teck drilled 349 holes and the program culminated in 1998 with an underground development program. The Goliath Gold Project is an amalgamation of two historic properties, the Thunder Lake Property

purchased from Teck Resources Limited and Corona Gold Corporation, and the Laramide Property, transferred to Treasury from Laramide Resources Ltd. upon the Company’s spin-out in 2008. Treasury Metals has since brought the Project to a level sufficient to begin the company’s Feasibility Study. Successfully completed Goliath Gold Project programs include:

mapping, diamond drilling, trenching, airborne (EM/mag) and ground geophysical (IP) surveys, downhole geophysical surveys, mobile metal ion (“MMI”) soil surveys, metallurgical testing, resource estimation and environmental studies. A total of 170,135m has been drilled by Treasury on the property since 2008 including 501 newly collared holes, 30 re-entry holes and four (4) wedge holes. Treasury has advanced environmental and socio-economic studies including a submission of an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (“CEAA”) for review. The main area of gold, silver and sulphide mineralisation and alteration occurs up to a maximum drilltested vertical depth of ~805 metres, over a drill-tested strike-length of approximately 2,300 metres within the current defined resource area. Gold mineralized zones remain open at depth.

·More than 170,000 metres in total by Treasury Metals Inc. of diamond drilling on lands ·Three NI 43-101 compliant Resource Estimates since 2008 · Full Environmental Baseline Study Program completed ·Updated PEA announced in March 2017 ·Feasibility level Metallurgical testing Since acquiring the Property Treasury has completed extensive exploration including geological Page 55 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


Minister Rickford

Adamant to Involve First Nations in Ring of Fire Development

Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines is being totally transparent when it comes down to how he feels about the storied Ring of Fire mining region – he sees it happening - and he’d like it to be sooner than later. In a Zoom webcast with northern Ontario party members September 21st, Greg Rickford was asked to update progress on the Ring of Fire. He pointed out that the First Nations communities of Webequie and Marten Falls are central to the process. “The communities are building the roads that will open up the territory. What those agreements set out was a plan to support them as the parties of record to build the corridor, the road if you like, what we are calling the corridor to prosperity,” said Rickford. “Since then, they have taken leadership roles in the environmental assessment process specifically for those corridors pertinent to them,” he added. “This has been a frustrating file for me,” Rickford told attendees. “Now and during my federal capacity (as a former MP for the region) we haven’t seen the progress that, now especially, the market is demanding. So we are hopeful that if we focus on building a road, legacy infrastructure, that a mine will follow.” Rickford didn’t mince words when he expressed his feelings about the previous Ontario Liberal governments impact on the Ring of Fire

Webequie First Nation Chief Cornelius Wabasse, Marten Falls First Nation Chief Bruce Achneepineskum, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford at PDAC 2020. Credit: Government of Ontario

potential. “I think the previous government was more interested in framework agreements for agreements to build framework that would give you an agreement to build a framework for the Ring of Fire – something like that. I know that millions and millions of dollars were spent and there’s no shovels in the ground and as we speak, the road going north past Aroland is under construction under the auspices of winter road and is in fact the start of the corridor into northern Ontario.” Rickford says the road will lead to other social, health and economic benefits for the region. “It’s no secret that those communities are not part of the Watay Power distribution, they’ll need a power supply as will mining operations up there. It doesn’t make any sense to focus on diesel generation. We’ve got other opportunities ranging from natural gas to SMR’s and or an electricity network built out from Geraldton,” said Rickford, whose cabinet portfolio also includes Energy and First Nations relations. “I think we are in a place now where we will be able to build out a regional assessment with the federal government with commitments not to interfere and build in the mining assessment in that process.” “If we can do that, it protects the roads from the regional assessment, this sounds very bureaucratic but in my mind its very clear

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and we can actually get down to the business of building a corridor into that place.” “We are working very closely with Greenstone and Greenstone Gold,” said Rickford. “There’s an improving possibility that Greenstone Gold could hear about construction plans in the not too distant future. And if we do that, we could see a situation where Greenstone would become an epicentre, or the center of gravity for development into the Ring of Fire. The timelines fit, we now have, not just the enthusiasm but the active participation by member communities and we’re more hopeful than we’ve ever been - and the market as well.” Rickford believes key players like Noront and others know that he and Premier Doug Ford have been working closely with all stakeholders in an effort to make certain the Ring of Fire development benefits everyone. “Noront says there are new investors that are ready to do this because they think they are working with a government that has signaled loud and clear to the mining sector that we are ready to transform and take Ontario’s rightful place in mining. If our track record is any indication – I think we are in a good space.” “Our record with opening mines or moving mines through critical operating milestones are any indication – this project is tracking well.”


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Page 57 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


Rainy River Mine

planning full production by years end By Kevin Vincent

Things are getting back to a “new normal” for many of northwestern Ontario mining operations and that includes New Gold’s Rainy River Mine near Fort Frances. Following a two-week voluntary suspension of production in mid-March due to COVID-19, the mine resumed operations at reduced levels in early April to allow the non-local workforce to be safely reintroduced. Early in the second quarter, the mine utilized its local workforce and gradually began to safely reintroduce a portion of the non-local workforce to advance the ramp-up of operations. It didn’t take long for production levels to resume a sense of normalcy. Rainy River management worked with surrounding Indigenous and local communities to implement and coordinate actions that reduced the risk of the spread of COVID-19. Enhanced precautionary measures relating to COVID-19 were implemented throughout the operation. During the 14-day suspension a minimum crew was retained to monitor and maintain essential activities, ensure there was no impact on the environment and fully implement sanitization practices throughout the mine site, camp, and mobile and fixed equipment to ensure a safe working environment for employees. During this period, the team also advanced preventative maintenance work at the mill facility, stockpiled ore for the rampup period, supplied NAG material for the tailings management area and monitored water levels.

In September, the company announced it had implemented a new, on-site testing protocol utilizing COVID-testing devices from Guelph-based manufacturer Precision Biomonitoring. Their screening device delivers results in just over an hour. Testing uses nasal swabs, and more recently, saliva swabs to determine if an employee is positive for the virus. New Gold was one of the first companies in the mining industry to adopt the technology when it was first approved by Health Canada in June. On the production side, during the second quarter, the open pit averaged 126,512 tonnes per day. Mining productivity increased during the quarter from approximately 100,000 tonnes per day in early April to approximately 140,000 tonnes per day in June, achieving pre-suspension productivity levels. New Gold is a Canadian-focused intermediate gold mining company with two assets in Canada, the

Rainy River gold mine and the New Afton gold-copper mine, as well as (its formerly) 100% owned Blackwater development project. The company announced on July 9, 2020 that it entered into an agreement with Artemis Gold Inc. to divest Blackwater for C$190 million in cash, an 8% gold stream and a C$20 million equity stake in Artemis. New Gold’s vision is to build a leading diversified intermediate gold company based in Canada that is committed to environmental and social responsibility. On the financial side, the company says production estimates for the year have been lowered, primarily related to the impact of COVID-19 in the first half of the year, resulting in lower tonnes and slightly lower grades milled for the full year. Cash costs and operating expense for the year have been slightly increased primarily due to lower sales. The total capital for the year has increased by less than $10 million due to a portion of the Tailings

Picture: Rainy River Mill located near Fort Frances

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Management Area construction that was originally scheduled for completion in 2021, now accelerated for completion in 2020. In the meantime, the company let go of the Blackwater Project in mid-year. “The divestment of the Blackwater Project completes another key transaction for New Gold that allows us to retain exposure to Blackwater through the gold stream and our equity position in Artemis. We believe that Artemis is the best positioned team to advance the project for the benefit of all stakeholders, including the host communities and partners. We look forward to participating in the future success of Blackwater and wish the team well.” said Adams. “This transaction, along with the US$300 million partnership with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan as well as the recent restructuring of our balance sheet through the US$400 million bond offering that funded the redemption of the 2022 senior notes provides us with additional liquidity and financial flexibility as we transition to the next phase of our growth plan.”

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Natural Gas Available for Mines in Northwestern Ontario

Pictured: Certarus natural gas compression facility in Red Rock ON

One of Certarus’ newest natural gas compression facilities is operating in Northwestern Ontario. The compressed natural gas (CNG) company’s hub in Red Rock, east of Thunder Bay, has been supplying natural gas to utilities and asphalt plants since June 2020 and its team is working to convert mining and other long term industrial clients over to CNG. Certarus is the North American market leader in bulk compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery, with over 460 CNG trailers in its fleet. It supports industrial operations such as mines, pulp mills, asphalt plants and grain dryers decrease their heating, drying, processing and power generation costs while also reducing their environmental footprint.

and 15 mobile compressors to supply natural gas to remote communities and industrial clients across Canada and the US. Specifically, for Northern Ontario, Certarus has facilities in Red Rock and Timmins, allowing us to serve the northwest and northeast parts of the province as well as Northwestern Québec.” The company is currently commissioning a third Ontario compression hub in Mount Forest.

Certarus pulls natural gas from the pipeline and compressed into tube trailers, thus allowing a significant volume to be transported to end users. Once at a client site, the trailers are connected to a pressure reduction system which depressurizes and warms the gas to the client’s specifications. Instead of off-loading into storage tanks, the trailers are left onsite until the gas is consumed. Certarus’ remote monitoring and dispatch system ensures the timely switching of trailers. Certarus sources gas closer to clients, thus reducing transportation risks associated with sourcing fuel by truck in Southern Ontario or by rail in Western Canada. Bertram added that “With natural gas being available without a gas line, operators are displacing fuels such as diesel, fuel oil and propane with a cleaner, more cost-effective solution.” Certarus also provides incremental natural gas to grid-connected users when the utility can’t meet the demand or performs line maintenance.

Headquartered in Calgary, Certarus builds three to four new compression facilities every year. According to Dan Bertram, Certarus’ VP of Corporate Development, “Certarus leverages its 15 fully redundant fixed compression hubs Pictured: Portable asphalt plant in Northwestern Ontario using CNG Page60 60 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


Page 61 ML&EN NW Ontario Report 2020 Page


Golden Goliath drills turning on

Kwai Property, Red Lake/Dixie Lake Area By Kevin Vincent

Golden Goliath Resources put drills into the ground just a few weeks ago and the company is eager to split the core and get it to the lab. The company was excited to announce this Fall that the diamond drilling program on its Kwai property in the Red Lake mining district got underway in mid-September. Given the fact that their closest mining neighbours are Great Bear Resources and BTU Metals, it’s no wonder they’re excited. “We could not be more pleased with the results!” said Golden Goliath CEO Paul Sorbara as the program began. “The airborne geophysics and the IP showed us much more

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than we expected, and it is all good. The till sampling program was excellent, with a total of 62 gold grains in 17 samples being classified as “Pristine”, indicating a local source for the gold. And best of all, they build up into a dispersion train that can be traced back to the two primary IP anomaly trends along the basalt and the shear zone parallel to the felsic tuff-basalt contact. We have the money, we have the evidence that the Pakwash Break is pregnant, we have the targets identified by IP and the gold grains and we have the drill. We could not ask for more at this stage.” Those public comments by Sorbara were made just before the company started drilling which began in mid-September. Drilling itself is expected to take about 70 to 80 working days, with two shifts per day. The company says lab turn-around time for analyses is “uncertain at this point”. The have a core-handling facility in Ear Falls. The program is designed to test the Pakwash Break along 10 kilometers of strike length with approximately 40 holes totaling 6,000 meters. Although the main focus of the drilling is aimed at the Pakwash Fault and associated deformation zones, a number of other splay faults and parallel IP trends will be tested. The company says another gold particle build up was noted near a central shear-fault in the mid-section of the tuff sequence. “Two other IP trends also occur south of the known tuffs which have yet to be mapped, resulting in a total of five structures that need to be tested. This and the fact that the stratigraphy can be traced northward through the BTU Property to the Great Bear (GBR) Dixie Property gives management confidence the company is in a good location for locating potentially, new gold deposits.”


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