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Ontario

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Fall 2019

Publications mail agreement #40934510

M-PIN, one year later The new golden age of the Superior East Region

Mining in Northwestern Ontario


Published by:

DEL Communications Inc. www.delcommunications.com President and CEO: David Langstaff Managing Editor: Cindy Chan cindy@delcommunications.com Sales Manager: Dayna Oulion dayna@delcommunications.com Advertising Sales: Ross James, Nick Miller, Gary Seamans Cover Photo Courtesy of: RED PINE EXPLORATION INC.

Production services provided by: S.G. Bennett Marketing Services Art Director/Design: KATHY CABLE Advertising Art: DAVE BAMBURAK

in this issue Message from the Ontario Prospectors Association executive director, Garry Clark.................................................................. 4 Message from the president of the Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association, Mike Grant...................................

6

Mining in Northwestern Ontario............................................................... 8 Generation Mining: Marathon property updates........................... 10 M-PIN, one year later................................................................................... 12 Argo Gold: Reviving an old gold mining camp.............................. 14 The new golden age of the Superior East Region........................ 20

Š Copyright 2019 Ontario Prospector. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in and the reliability of the source, the publisher in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions, or statements made by advertisers. Articles and advertisements in this publication are not solicitations to buy, hold or sell specific securities; they are for information only. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers or employees. Investors should be aware that risk is associated with any security, strategy or investment and are advised to seek the counsel of a competent investment advisor before making any investment, or utilizing any information contained in this publication. Subscription, advertising and circulation information can be obtained from the publisher.

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Ontario Prospector FALL 2019 3


Message from the Ontario Prospectors association

Ontario prospectors association 941 Cobalt Crescent Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5Z4 T: (807) 622-3284 TF: 1 (866) 259-3727

executive director

Garry Clark

The past summer has seen exploration on a roller coaster.

ministration System (MLAS) to create a more user-friendly

There has been an increase in the price of gold due to the

interface;

instability of trade around the world and the conflicts be-

• reviewing the plans and permits process focused on

tween various nations. The other side of the pricing has seen

streamlining the system and providing a more effective

copper stagnant and cobalt dropping. The positive effects on

consultation process;

exploration in the province really haven’t been seen. There is less exploration off mine sites this year than has been seen in many years.

• providing input on protected areas and land use issues across the province; • interacting with other stakeholders on the issues effecting

Speaking with prospectors and juniors, they are putting interesting projects together and are ready for the investors coming back from the summer break. There is a noticeable change in the prospector and junior acquisitions on the new computerized claim system. It is seen that prospectors that usually work within a short distance from their residence are acquiring ground across Ontario. In a limited exploration environment, there are still some great success stories across the province. Gatling Exploration in the Larder Lake area, Great Bear Resources in Red

access to mining lands; • providing the Ontario Exploration Corporation (the Prospectors Funding vehicle). The fund has been in place since 2002 assisting prospectors across the province; and •o  perating and delivering the Ontario Prospectors Exploration Showcase to bring explorers, government and contractors together from April 6 to 8, 2020 at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay. The OPA would like to wish all explorers extreme success

Lake, North American Palladium (great palladium prices)

this fall and winter with their exploration projects and hope

near Lac Des Iles and Manitou Gold in the Wawa area have

to see the results of your projects presented in Thunder

all been making headlines with their exploration. It would

Bay at the Ontario Prospectors Exploration Showcase from

be great to see more of this when the markets turn and the

April 6 to 8, 2020. The 2019 NEOMMS will be held in Timmons, Ont. at the

investors realize exploration is the best game in town. The Ontario Prospectors Association continues to be ac-

Ramada Inn from Oct. 1 to 2. The theme is “To 2020 and

tively engaged in:

Beyond”. The keynote speaker for the dinner will be Robert

• providing direction to MNDM on the Mining Land Ad-

McEwen, executive chairman of McEwen Mining. l

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message from the president of the northwestern ontario prospectors association

Mike Grant

O

n April 2, 2019, during the Ontario Prospectors Exploration Showcase (OPES), the Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association (NWOPA) held its

annual general meeting (AGM) and annual awards dinner. Elections at NWOPA’s AGM brought one new face to the board of directors. Jessica Bjorkman departed after seven years, her latter two years spent as vice-president and president. Her sister, Ruth Huber, is our newest board member. NWOPA extends its sincerest thanks to Jessica for her years of service and inspiring leadership. The 2019-2020 board can be viewed at NWOPA’s website (nwopa.net). The 2019 NWOPA Awards Dinner was once again well-attended. Recipients of the Dave Christianson Lifetime Achievement Award, the Dan Calvert Distinguished Service Award, the Bernie Schnieders Discovery of the Year Award and the Developer of the Year Award were honoured together with the winner of Lakehead University’s Bernie Schnieders Memorial Award. All award winners can be viewed on NWOPA’s website. As a departing gift to the membership, Jessica presented a very diplomatic challenge to the Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (MENDM), who was in attendance, to have the massive inefficiencies of Ontario’s new digital Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) resolved in short order. Jessica’s open letter can be read in the most recent edition of the Claim Post at nwopa.net/claim-post.html. The NWOPA board’s top priority will continue to be its efforts to see MLAS improved. In mid-August, a board representative met with the senior manager of Mining Lands to present and discuss a prioritized list of features that are a relentless source of frustration to prospectors trying to obtain and administer mining rights in Ontario. Also, director Breanne Beh arranged for her company’s lands manager to participate in a working group of Mining Lands and industry representatives that is addressing these problems. On a more upbeat note, Thunder Bay Mining Day 2019 was a booming success with record numbers of exhibitors, attendees and sponsors. The organizing committee estimated that some 3,000 people came out in the spectacular weather to enjoy the activities and learn about our indus-

6 Ontario Prospector FALL 2019


try. I invite you to visit thunderbay-

On behalf of the members of the

miningday.com for more details and

NWOPA board, I hope that you are

some great pictures. Congratulations

having a safe and enjoyable season

to all who participated and support-

on the land and that in the review of

ed this seventh annual event – and

your data you find at least an option-

please remember the sponsors.

able property, if not the beginnings

In support of Mining Day, the Thunder Bay chapter of Women in Mining (WIM) hosted a barbecue. The proceeds, $1,500 in sales and corporate donations, will support

The NWOPA board’s top priority will continue to be

of a new mine. We hope to see you at

its efforts to see

our Christmas party on Friday, Dec.

MLAS improved.

6 at the DaVinci Centre in Thunder Bay to talk about your success. l

WIM’s scholarship fund for students in a mining-related field, ideally at an institution in northwestern Ontario. More information is available at wimnwo.com/copy-of-sponsors or email Pam Coles at pcoles@lakeheadu. ca. NWOPA is seeking members to serve as mineral sector representatives on the Local Citizens Committees (LCC) that advise the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) regarding land use and forestry activities. If you are interested, there are further details at nwopa.net/ land-use-issues.html or you can contact me directly at lcc.lakeheadforest@gmail.com.

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Mining in P Northwestern Ontario

recious metal prices strengthened in 2019, therefore providing direct benefit to New Gold Inc., Harte Gold Corporation, Barrick

Gold Corporation, Newmont Goldcorp Inc. and North American Palladium Ltd., and their mines in Northwestern Ontario. As of Aug. 28, the price of gold was $1,542.00 per ounce (U.S.) and palladium was $1,441.00 per ounce (U.S.). Robust gold prices provide a level of confidence

with respect to future mine development including: Greenstone Gold’s Hardrock Mine, Treasury Metal’s Goliath Project, Pure Gold’s Madsen Mine, Rubicon’s Phoenix Project and First Mining Gold’s Springpole Lake Project. Greenstone Gold (Centerra Gold and Premier Gold) have $54 million budgeted for 2019 expenditures at the Hardrock Mine, including detailed engineering, infill drilling, indigenous consultation, permitting, project support and property acquisition. If all timelines are met, Greenstone Gold states that a production decision could be made in late 2019, with construction leading to production by 2021. Openpit mine life is 15 years, with underground resources (future shaft) significant as well. Treasury Metals received Federal EA approval in August for the Goliath Deposit, located east of Dryden. Detailed engineering, community consultation and permit(s) acquisitions are in progress. A business decision on construction could then be made by the end of 2019; if that decision is positive, mine and mill construction could begin in 2020. Mine life (open-pit and underground) is 13 years. Down hole IP and fieldwork east of the deposit are underway as well. Pure Gold completed their Feasibility Study for the Madsen Mine project (located west of Red Lake) in early 2019. A decision to proceed to construction

By John Mason, P. Geo., D. Sc., Project Manager, Mining Services, Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission

was made following financing (August). Current gold resources suggest a 14-year mine line. In Q3, Wabauskang First Nation and Lac Seul First Nation signed a Project Agreement with Pure Gold. Madsen will be Northwestern Ontario’s next gold producer. Rubicon Minerals Corporation released a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Phoenix Gold Project, Red Lake. Life of Mine would be 6.2 years with approximately 500,000 ounces of gold produced.

8 Ontario Prospector FALL 2019


First Mining Gold continues work with the federal govern-

Benton Resources has acquired the Thunder Bay North

ment on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Spring-

and Escape Lake palladium deposits, located north of Thun-

pole Lake Gold Deposit, located east of Red Lake. The request

der Bay.

to Ontario for all weather road access started in 2018. Lithium remains a sought after commodity globally for high temperature glass and electric vehicle battery applica-

New Gold Inc.-Rainy River produced 66,000 ounces of gold in Q2 and launched an exploration program on the Intrepid North area.

tions: Exploration projects by Avalon Advanced Materials

Mineral exploration dollars are elusive on many fronts.

(north of Kenora), Frontier Lithium (north of Red Lake), Ar-

Bucking that trend is Great Bear Resources, 2019 NWOPA

diden (northeast of Armstrong) and Rock Tech Lithium (south of Beardmore) have lithium deposits totalling approximately 25 million tonnes that potentially can assist to address EV demand five years out. The global lithium industry is shifting toward hard rock deposits, as opposed to brines, making the

recipient of the Bernie Schneiders Discovery of the Year Award, who have embarked on a 90,000-metre drill program on the Dixie Lake gold project, located southeast of Red Lake. l

Northwestern Ontario deposits extremely attractive. Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. (Zen Graphene Solutions) completed a bulk sampling program on the Albany Graphite Deposit located proximal to Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst. Nine-hundred ninety tonnes of ore was drill extracted by reverse circulation drilling, which was then refined by SGS Laboratories to 99.8 per cent pure “graphene pre-cursor material”. The final product will then be available for customer testing, with the graphene market being the priority. Superior Lake Resources will reopen the Winston LakePick Lake Mine Zinc Mine located north of Schreiber. Potential production is forecast, by the company, to commence within three years. Two million tonnes of 15 per cent zinc ore will feed a 1,000-tonne-per-day mill, for eight years. North American Palladium is investing over $20 million in mineral exploration at the Lac des Iles Mine and Sunday Lake for 2019. Workforce growth is forecast at 19 per cent over the next three years as Lac des Iles expands to become one of Canada’s largest underground mines. Newmont Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine production has been severely impacted by an underground fire in March. Aggressive exploration continues. Underground mine rebuild is well underway. Generation Mining has acquired the Sibanye-Stillwater Marathon palladium-copper deposit. Ontario Prospector FALL 2019 9


Generation Mining:

Marathon property updates By Cindy Chan “The expiration assets out of Pine Point were put into Generation Mining,” Levy explains, adding that Pine Point had been around since the 1990s. Discovered in the 1940s to 1950s, the Marathon property was developed from 1985 to 2010 by various companies with over 203,000 metres of drilling in 1,094 holes. Marathon PGM Corporation eventually owned the property, and completed a feasibility study in 2008 and another in 2010. Stillwater Mining, which operates out of Montana, took over the property in 2010 for US$118 million. “Stillwater had worked on this asset for a few years,” Levy says. Eventually, after extensive permitting and additional studies, Stillwater placed the property on care of maintenance as palladium hovered near $500 per ounce. In 2016, South

G

eneration Mining may be a relatively new company, but its roots go far deeper than what meets the eye. Generation Mining, incorporated in January

African miner Sibanye purchased Stillwater, becoming

2018, is a mineral exploration and development company

were interested in the Marathon property,” Levy says. “We

which focuses on palladium, copper, zinc and molybdenum

closed the deal on July 10.”

Sibanye-Stillwater. “We approached Sibanye-Stillwater in early 2019 that we

projects in Canada (more details can be found on its website at

Generation Mining acquired the Marathon Palladium

genmining.com). Generation Mining holds majority interest

Project by purchasing the initial 51 per cent interest for $6

in an advanced project called the Marathon Palladium deposit

million, with an option to increase that holding to 80 per cent.

in Northern Ontario, as well as four promising explorations in

According to Levy, below is what Generation Mining has as

British Columbia, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories.

historic resources from the Marathon deposit in the southern

Jamie Levy, president and CEO of Generation Mining, says

property:

the company is actualy a spinout of a company called Pine

• 3,591,000 ounces of palladium

Point Mining, which was taken over by Osisko Metals Inc. in

• 908,000 ounces of platinum

February of 2018.

• 365,000 ounces of gold

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• 881,000,000 pounds of copper

On July 25, 2019, Generation Mining announced its passive

• 6,515,000 ounces PD EQ

seismic program on the Sally area of the Marathon property.

• 1.45 g/t PD EQ grade into the Main Zone

The Sally area is located 20 kilometres from the Town of

Eighty-five per cent of palladium is used for autocatalysts.

Marathon and 15 kilometres northwest along strike from the

A typical automobile uses three to seven grams of palladium.

main Marathon PGM-Cu deposit. The survey is designed to

A worldwide deficit in palladium pushed the price to a record

identify the potential for higher-grade PGM deposits at depth.

high of $1,600 per ounce earlier this year.

“Seismic has been used for a long time. Passive seismic is a

The Marathon property is a three-hour drive from Thunder Bay, Ont. It is located on the Trans-Canada Highway – next to

relatively new tool for mining although it has been used in oil exploration for some years,” Levy says.

the Marathon airport – served by the CPR main rail line and

The 200-sensor passive seismic survey commenced on

will have abundant power available from grid when a major

July 19, with results slated to come out mid-September.

new power line being built from Wawa to Thunder Bay is

Passive seismic detects the earth’s natural low frequency

completed (it will cross directly over the Marathon property).

signals, which differs from active seismic since it doesn’t

Marathon’s main deposit dips moderately west, providing optimal open-pit mining conditions. Mineralization ranges

require a strong source to induce seismic waves, therefore environmentally benign and cost-effective.

from four metres to a maximum thickness of 185 metres,

“Our overall goal is to find a higher-grade deposit while at

averaging 35 metres. The deposit is open at depth with

the same time examining the economics of the current deposit

potential for UG expansion from the bottom of the pit.

at these near-record palladium prices,” Levy says. l

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Ontario Prospector FALL 2019 11


M-PIN, one year later By Alex Parsons

C

anada’s mining industry is vast and full of opportunity, which makes it a very attractive place to start a career for people of many backgrounds and skillsets. Unfortunately, internationally trained professionals coming to Canada have historically had to face many challenges before being able to work in the industry: language barriers, unfamiliar climates and unrecognized talent are just a few of the major roadblocks that newcomers have faced. The representation of immigrants and visible minorities in the Canadian economy was 23 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively; however, the representation of these under-represented groups in mining was only 13 per cent and nine per cent, respectively. Clearly, the sector still has some work to do in attracting this growing source of labour. While the mining industry continues to face challenges from a tight labour

WE’RE MORE THAN JUST RIGGING AND WIRE ROPE

market, companies and human resource organizations have created programs to help immigrants acclimate to Canada and enter its mining industry, and one of the latest projects is celebrating its landmark first year. The Mining Professional Immigrant Network (M-PIN) is a joint effort between the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR), The Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and Professions North/Nord (PNN), with funding provided by the Government of Ontario. Since September 2018, M-PIN has helped internationally trained professionals become aware of opportunities and secure good jobs in the Ontario mining sector, and helped the sector itself by filling labour market shortages and increasing newcomer representation in mining. “Only one year in, we have been astounded by the inter-

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est and community that has developed around the project,”

highly skilled, internationally trained talent. Shivan Singh, an

says Jennifer Wright, senior director of diversity and em-

engineer from South Africa who had only moved to Canada a

ployment initiatives at MiHR. “M-PIN has had a big impact on

month prior, found the meeting he attended in February to be

many internationally trained professionals looking to get into

more helpful than he had imagined – he met his future em-

the mining industry, as well as the industry itself, and it has

ployer there.

only just begun.”

“I struggled to see opportunities in Northern Ontario in my

Functioning as both an online and in-person networking

field,” Singh says. “However, when I reached Canada, attending

group, the free program has already accomplished its goals

an M-PIN event and going to job fairs that Professions North/

to adapt, test and evaluate innovative engagement methods

Nord put me in contact with, I saw there are opportunities

to better integrate immigrant talent into the Ontario mining

here.”

industry, and continues to innovate. Over 150 internationally

Networking with other newcomers at the M-PIN event also

trained professionals and employers have connected at in-per-

helped Singh learn how to get an engineering license in Ontar-

son networking events held at venues across Ontario, and over

io, something that had been causing him a great deal of stress

170 have connected online through ENSEMBLE, The Mining

overseas.

Diversity Network. Some industry human resource members

Singh is only one of hundreds whose professional lives

have also participated in inclusion and diversity training to

have been enhanced by the network. Even for those unable

better recognize, address and prevent potential barriers to em-

to attend physical meetups, M-PIN’s online presence has also

ploying newcomers.

grown dramatically since its inception, and continues to grow

The program has already seen a wealth of success. For Lisa

strong still.

Demmer, Rock-Tech’s former marketing and relationships

“The Mining Professional Immigrant Network was a great

manager, this success came in the form of a shifted perception

opportunity that I think we really turned into something spe-

after attending an M-PIN networking meetup in January.

cial,” says Ryan Montpellier, executive director of MiHR. “2019

“We have a much greater appreciation for the challenges that newcomers face, even when they’re highly skilled,” she

saw a real difference in our efforts to strengthen and diversify the talent pool for the Ontario mining industry.”

says. “For an engineer with such excellent education and ex-

Newcomers and employers alike can look forward to even

perience to take well over a decade to receive a professional

more networking events coming in 2020, with enhanced

designation in Ontario, that certainly still means that there is

training classes incoming as well. Blogs, webinars, discus-

a lot of work to do.”

sion forums, a shared calendar and more can be found on

Despite the several challenges that lie ahead, other companies have already started warming up to the benefits of hiring

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Ontario Prospector FALL 2019 13


Argo Gold: Reviving an old gold mining camp By Delio Tortosa and Judy Baker Uchi Gold Mine ca. 1940. (Source: Red Lake Heritage Centre)

A

fter a 25-year lag in gold ex-

Argo Gold’s Uchi Gold Project of 22

which was later purchased by Barrick

ploration in the Uchi Gold

square kilometres of 100-per cent

Gold Corp. The mines on these patents

Camp, Argo Gold Inc. has

owned claims is the highly prospec-

underwent mine rehabilitation from

been reviving exploration discovery

tive yet relatively unexplored ground

1996 to 1998 and have received limit-

interest in the ‘shadow of the head-

immediately south and on trend with

ed exploration since the mines closed

frame’ south of the historical Uchi

the historical mines. In the 1930s, sev-

during the Second World War.

Gold Mine with its high-grade Uchi

eral companies were amalgamated

Notably, the rocks and geological

Gold Project in Northwestern Ontar-

into a large property holding, which

structures associated with the Uchi

io.

became the Uchi Gold Mine Camp. A

Mines extend to the south onto Argo

During the mid-1930s to the early

settlement was established near the

Gold’s Uchi Gold Property. During the

1940s, four gold mines were devel-

main Uchi Mine shaft, which includ-

early days of exploration in the 1930s,

oped by Uchi Mines Ltd. under the di-

ed a hotel, school, post office, bank,

prospectors were able to identify sig-

rection of Jack Hammel, a well-known

curling rink, community hall and 15

nificant prospects on the Barrick Gold

mine developer in the Red Lake area.

dwellings providing housing for min-

patents to the north due to much bet-

The gold mines are in the southeast

ers and their families.

ter rock exposure, whereas companies

end of the Birch-Uchi Greenstone

Uchi Gold Mines Ltd. was later tak-

exploring to the south had thicker

Belt, about 100 kilometres east of the

en over by Little Long Lac Gold Mines

overburden cover (one to three me-

prolific Red Lake Greenstone Belt.

Ltd., which became Lac Minerals Ltd.,

tres) and thus few outcrop prospects

14 Ontario Prospector FALL 2019


Woco Gold Project location and regional geology (after GSC OF 4256; OGS Map P3460). Argo Gold’s Uchi Gold projecton trend property with historic gold mines and recent prospects.

were identified. Argo’s exploration

initiated by St. Jude Resources, and

program on the Woco Vein in 1993,

approach is using modern tools and

by persistent prospecting and utiliz-

which was designed to test the vein

techniques to offset this limitation

ing various exploration methods, the

at shallow depths. Chester Kuryliw,

(geophysics, geochemistry including

Woco Vein was discovered near sur-

a well-known geologist, logged and

biochemistry, surface stripping, map-

face. The narrow vein was stripped

sampled the core, and to his surprise

ping and sampling).

and sampled returning modest but

noted that the vein increased in width

In the early 1990s, exploration on

good gold grades. With this informa-

up to two metres at greater depth and

Argo Gold’s Uchi Gold Project was

tion in hand, St. Jude initiated a drill

carried visible gold with assays of up

Ontario Prospector FALL 2019 15


Bill Kerr, lead exploration geologist on the UchiWoco Gold Project.

Photo of the Woco Gold Vein looking south.

sive effort was made to look for suit-

Gold outcrop. Given the evidence of

able gold prospects. When we dug into

widespread gold mineralization at all

the assessment files on Woco Gold, it

known outcrop defining a material-

became obvious that this was an excel-

ly mineralized gold corridor from the

lent acquisition, and so with some per-

past-producing Uchi Mine to Woco

year later, a second drill program was

sistence a deal with the private compa-

and further southwest to Northgate,

completed which outlined a steeply

ny and owner of the property (former

Argo Gold staked another 8.4 square

plunging quartz lense or shoot with

president of St. Jude Resources). Sim-

kilometres along the mineralized Uchi

high-grade gold down to 150 metres.

ilarly, a separate deal was reached on

corridor in 2018. Argo Gold’s Uchi Gold

Argo Gold’s winter drill program in

the adjoining Northgate Gold situated

Project now covers five kilometres of

2019 confirmed the historical discov-

several kilometres southwest of Woco

multiple mineralized trends made up

ery with drill intercepts including 132

and following a similar regional trend.

of materially mineralized outcrop and

grams per tonne gold over 1.8 metres.

In 2018, Argo Gold continued to ac-

confirmed high-grade gold mineral-

In 2016, Argo Gold was founded

quire ground in the camp with the

ization to the current drilling depth of

to acquire high-grade gold projects in

acquisition of the Geisler Patents con-

200 metres.

Photo of helicopter transferring the drill rig February 2019.

to one to three ounces per ton gold. A

Northwestern Ontario and an exten-

16 Ontario Prospector FALL 2019

taining the known mineralized Rain-

In the spring of 2017, Argo Gold


Drill rig on the first hole of the Woco Gold Vein.

raised financing to initiate exploration at all of its 100-per cent owned gold projects including several gold project peripheral to Wesdome’s Eagle Mine in the Wawa area and in Northwestern Ontario, the Uchi Gold Project and the McVicar Lake Gold Project. Exploration was carried out at the Uchi Gold Project by Argo Gold Team Geologist William Kerr. Early in the season, the Woco Vein was cleared and sampled and the 1993 drill holes were located and probed. Later in the season – after acquisition of additional ground – Northgate Gold – to the southwest along the mineralized corridor – was cleared and sampled. Northgate Gold has wider shear-hosted gold mineralized quartz veins at surface. The probe work at Woco was possible as most of the 1993-94 drill casing was still in place on the Woco and a Reflex crew was able to do a down-

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17


Uchi Break, a structure closely associated with the historic Uchi Mines to the north. Several holes intersected the Uchi Break, which varied from a zone of massive sulphide (mostly pyrrhotite and pyrite with anomalous gold 0.5 gm/t and manganese 0.6 per cent) in the north, to a zone of metasediments with quartz veining and containing ductile shear zones, in the south. Argo Gold also drilled the Northgate Gold intersecting a shear-hosted quartz vein system that was drilled by Northgate Exploration in 1959 after visible gold was identified in outcrop the 1930s and later. Argo Gold veriLongitudinal section on the plane of the Woco Gold Vein, trending at 020o and dipping – 85O W with gold assays.

fied the presence of a gold mineralized shear-hosted vein system at Northgate Gold where all three drill holes

hole orientation survey. Although

mineralized zone and intersected

the core racks had collapsed and the

a quartz vein almost two metres in

writing on the plastic tags had faded

length with well-disseminated, fine-

after 25 years, the historical drill logs,

grained, visible gold containing 132

assays and downhole surveys were

grams per tonne gold over 1.8 metres.

to the east-northeast for a total strike

then incorporated into 3D modelling

This was the verification we need-

length of 250 metres. There are sever-

software. From the 3D model, plans

ed for the historical drill holes with

al historical drill hole intersections on

and sections, we could see that the

high-grade gold values. Drilling along

this gold prospect from the late 1950s

strike extension had not been tested

strike confirmed that the mineraliza-

(0.37 opt/3.3 ft, 0.27 opt/12.1 ft, 0.19

and the Woco Vein was still open at

tion occurs in shoots. A fan of two

opt/ 4.8 ft), but little information is

depth. After some data compilation,

drill holes targeted the Woco Vein at

available from drilling the mid-1930s.

a drilling plan was designed to test

150-metre depth with some visible

Additional drilling is required to con-

the core of the high-grade vein, the

gold in the quartz, and the deeper hole

tinue to determine the strike length,

strike extensions and depth extent

intersected a wider altered zone in the

depth extent and high-grade controls

to 200 metres. With funding for a

hanging wall of the Woco vein. A fan

of Northgate Gold and potential for a

2,500-metre drill program, Argo Gold

of three drill holes was positioned to

deep-seated feeder system.

carried out a helicopter supported

intersect the plunging shoot down to

Current exploration work involves

drill program in the winter of 2019 at

200-metre depth. All of the three drill

a detailed biogeochemical sampling

the Uchi Gold Project focused on the

holes intersected the Woco vein with

survey at the Uchi Gold Project. The

Woco Gold Vein, Northgate Gold and

two drill holes showing visible gold.

program is designed to follow up on a

the Uchi Break – a zone 300 metres

Additional drilling is required to con-

spring 2019 geochemical orientation

east of Woco consisting of fracturing,

tinue to determine the strike length,

survey, which successfully identified

mineralization, veining and shearing

depth extent and high-grade controls

known gold mineralization. The de-

extending south/southwest from the

of the Woco Vein and potential for a

tailed geochemical survey will sample

historic mines to the north.

deep-seated feeder system.

a 600-metre wide swath along five ki-

intersected the vein system including intersecting 34 grams per tonne gold over half a metre. In addition, the mineralized zone was extended 50 metres

The initial drill hole at the Woco

Argo Gold also drill tested a geo-

lometres of the Uchi mineralized cor-

Vein targeted the historic high-grade

physics anomaly associated with the

ridor. Approximately 1,100 samples

18 Ontario Prospector FALL 2019


will be collected on a 60-by-60-metre

Several successful examples of mines

Lake gold discovery and First Mining

diamond pattern.

in these types of high-grade gold set-

Gold’s continuing feasibility study on

There is minimal outcrop at the

tings are the Island Gold Mine, Ala-

the Springpole Gold Deposit by New

Uchi Gold Project, which now con-

mos Gold and the Eagle River Mine,

Mining Gold in the northern part of

sists of 22 square kilometres of mineral claims and identifying areas of anomalous gold mineralization under overburden will provide important in-

Wesdome Mines, Wawa. Exploration activity and staking has increased in the Red Lake and

the Birch-Uchi Greenstone Belt. Argo Gold’s exploration activity at the Uchi Gold Project in the south end of the Birch-Uchi Greenstone Belt has poten-

formation. Argo Gold does have very

the Birch-Uchi Lake areas driven in

tial to lead the next wave of high-grade

high-quality AEM/AMAG geophysics

part by Great Bear Resources’ Dixie

gold discoveries in the area. l

coverage for the Uchi Gold Project, which defines the mineralized Uchi Corridor and is useful in identifying crosscutting structures and lithologies that are potentially gold bearing. The combination of geological and structural mapping at known outcrops, geophysics and pending geochemical gold anomalies will be a powerful combination of information to advance exploration activities at Argo Gold’s Uchi Gold Project, which covers five kilometres of multiple mineralized trends in the Uchi mineralization corridor. Future exploration at the Uchi Gold Project will also focus on extending the depth of the high-grade Woco Vein, additional drilling along strike and at depth at Northgate Gold which also hosts up to one ounce per ton gold intercepts. Digital GIS and oriented optical borehole structural mapping tools are being evaluated to better understand high-grade structural controls. The current Woco drilling along with the historical drill holes from the mid-1990s has identified a steeply plunging lense (-70o NNE) of highgrade gold mineralization on a NNE trending, steeply west-dipping structure, which is still open at depth. Closely spaced plunging shoots characterized the Uchi Gold Mine to the north is an encouraging trend that could assist with understanding the periodicity of high-grade shoots and lode vein systems at Argo Gold’s Uchi Gold Project. Ontario Prospector FALL 2019 19


The new golden age of the Superior East Region Mike Timmins.

T

he Superior East Region of Ontario has seen exploration and mining activity since the turn of the century. However, compared to other mining

camps in Canada, it’s generally underexplored. But there are three companies set to make the most of their respective properties in the area.

Trillium Mining Corp. This early-stage, Toronto-based exploration company headed by CEO Mike Timmins is focused on its highgrade gold assets in the Wawa Gold Camp. The property covers about 6,000 hectares of the Goudreau Lake Deformation Zone and is contiguous to east of Alamos’ Island Gold Mine. Their activities cover over eight kilometres of mineralized horizons. Trillium is private and a relatively young company, having been established in 2017. “We have three principal assets – the past-producing Edwards and Cline Mines and our regional land position, which has been named Highland,” Timmins explains, adding that all three mines comprise the Trillium Gold Project. The Edwards Mines, acquired by Trillium in 2017, operated in two different eras. It first operated in the late 1930s and was closed just before the Second World War. River Gold then operated the mine from 1996 to 2001. “It produced around 144,000 ounces at 13 to 15 grams per tonne,” Timmins says. “Key features at Edwards are the relatively 4.5-by-4.5-metre mine portal and decline down to about 300 metres vertical. Also, all of the electrical infrastructure is in place and in great shape.” The Cline Mine was acquired by Trillium in 2016 and was a small mine producing about 60,000 ounces at six to seven grams per tonne. Like Edwards, it operated in the late 1930s and shut down in 1939. Over the years, Cline has been the focus of many exploration companies and, most notably, Noranda, which made the Lake Zone discovery. 20 Ontario Prospector FALL 2019


Filling out the development pipeline at Trillium is Highland, their regional land position.

Wesdome Gold Mines Production is also coming from Wesdome Gold Mines,

“There are over 18 historical gold targets regionally and

says Michael Michaud, vice-president of exploration. Wes-

the two most advanced have had large bulk samples taken.

dome is a junior gold producer with one producing mine

The Markes and Vega Zones will be the focus of our inves-

called the Eagle River Mine in northwest Ontario, outside

tigations in the next several months,” Timmins says. “These

of Wawa as well.

satellites give some sense that we are seeing the scale required for a modern, tier-one mining operation. “We are excited because this is the first time one company has had the opportunity to advance all three of these assets with a strategy and supportive shareholders.” Timmins adds the company’s goals are to 1) establish themselves in the community, 2) compile all of the historical and new 2019 data and information and 3) begin to plan

“Our goal with this mine is incremental increases in gold production year over year,” Michaud says. “The goal is to increase the underground mining rate where reserves stand at just over 12 grams per tonne; however, our average head grade for the first half of 2019 has been 20.9 grams per tonne, due to a new high-grade zone called the 303. The increased production rate from the higher-grade underground mine would replace the lower grade Mishi open pit, which is only 2.0 grams per tonne, both feeding a central

how to approach the project and expand its current a gold

mill. In order to ramp that production up, we need to ex-

resource.

plore around the Eagle River Mine, and that’s really what

“The key to success here is to build a significant, high-qual-

we’ve been doing over the last several years.”

ity resource in an area of the country where communities

Michaud says Wesdome has ramped up its diamond-drill-

support our activities, this is what our team works on every-

ing program from somewhere around 25,000 metres per

day,” Timmins explains.

year to over 100,000 metres per year.

Ontario Prospector FALL 2019 21


“We’re aggressively exploring and increasing the production rate from underground,” he adds.

Red Pine Exploration Red Pine Exploration’s flagship project is the Wawa Gold Project located in Wawa, Ont. The property comprises 6,500 hectares, just two kilometres southeast of the town of Wawa. It encompasses eight past producing mines from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. “When we started working on this property in late 2014, there was already an identified resource called the Surluga Deposit,” Mia Boiridy, head of investor relations and corporate development, says. “This area was the site of the first gold rush in Ontario and the region was known for its high-grade gold mines.” For the past four years, the Surluga Deposit has been the company’s focus. They reissued a resource for Surluga in June of 2019, bringing it up to over 500,000 ounces at a grade of over five grams per tonne. “We made another discovery, the Minto Mine South Deposit. We issued resource for it in November of last year,” Boiridy says. “That’s 100,000 ounces at 6.8 grams per tonne on average. “We recently started drilling the Cooper Structure, one kilometre northeast of Surluga, and we think Cooper is similar to Minto,” she adds. Red Pine Exploration’s overall goals with the Wawa Gold Project is to prove up over one million ounces of gold near-surface on the property package, and show that Surluga extends at depth in terms of mineralization. “What’s interesting is there is historical infrastructure there with these old mines. We could have access by using existing infrastructure, if it’s in good standing,” Boiridy says. “We have two identified resources, but there are six additional exploration targets. We could have potentially eight deposits on our land package. “We’ve worked, for the past four years, on proving that there was high-grade mineralization at Surluga and Minto. Now it’s going to be proving that there’s more than just the two. We feel confident that there will eventually be an operating mine on our land package.” l 22 Ontario Prospector FALL 2019


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