It is one thing to find a gold deposit, it is another to find an economic gold deposit.
For GGX Gold’s (V.GGX) Gold Drop project one huge attraction is that the property is less than 60 kilometres from the Kinross Kettle River-Buckhorn mine and mill. A mill which is running at half capacity due to lack of ore.
In the past several years Kinross has taken over most of the Greenwood area. GGX is drilling right beside them.
The Gold Drop property is a past producer with a historic production of 7572 tonnes at an average grade of 5.2 g/t Au and 93.4 g/t. The majority of this production was prior to 1942 although limited mining continued into the 1980s. The historic production was from three main veins: Amandy, North Star and Gold Drop and there was limited production from a fourth, the Roderick Dhu.
For GGX the challenge is to “follow the trend”. In their preliminary exploration work, they have seen rock bearing 10 ounces of gold per ton at surface and samples with up to 1290 grams per ton. Now GGX is undertaking systematic exploration of the property.
To facilitate that exploration GGX has a phase 1 exploration permit which enables the company to establish up to 20 drill sites (up to 3000m) and up to 25 excavator trenches on the property and is valid until Dec. 1, 2018.
On January 10, 2018 the company reported the receipt of soil sample analytical results from the 2017 fall program on the Gold Drop Property. This program identified several soil gold anomalies in the Southwest Zone, including numerous samples exceeding 0.01 ppm Au (including high values of 0.061, 0.073 and 0.088 ppm Au). The most distinct anomaly or anomalies is in the COD North area, where anomalous values are concentrated between two historical workings. The soil sampling program extended the target area for at least 600 meters northeast of the area of 2017 drilling and trenching.
The company is finding surface vein systems which the company wants to drill off. Work on the property to date has been focused on developing drill targets. Now GGX is looking forward to commencing a winter drill program to test those targets
GGX has managed to consolidate the claims surrounding the Gold Drop property. With those claims has come a good deal of past production work including shallow adits which are strike with known, productive veins.
Ultimately GGX is looking to test the overall gold resources on the Gold Drop property. While high-grade rock is important, from a mining and milling perspective, having a lot of lower grade near surface material may determine if the property can be economically mined. In a recent press release, the company reported “Bedrock quartz samples from the small hand pit material returned values of 4.97 g/t and 30.7 g/t Ag. Samples of boulder material found outside of the small adit returned values of 1.28 g/t Au and 6.97 g/t Ag.”
GGX sees its role as exploring and developing the property rather than mining it. Gold Drop’s proximity to the Kinross River-Buckhorn mill and the fact that Kinross owns much of the property surrounding Gold Drop is very suggestive.
It would make sense for Kinross to follow developments at Gold Drop closely. After all, Kinross knows the history, knows that the property is mineralized and knows that, historically, gold has been taken from the property at relatively low cost.
At the same time, GGX is very aware that, initially, interest has to focus on near-surface material. While the gold-bearing systems may extend at depth, GGX wants to put together an attractive package of near surface gold-bearing rock.
As GGX explores and drills the Gold Drop property it is very open to business arrangements to push the project forward and expedite the understanding of the property. An earn in arrangement where another company would undertake a larger drilling program to delineate the resource could make sense. And while Kinross would be the obvious choice as an earn in partner, it is also possible that another exploration company might joint venture the project.
For GGX, the Gold Drop property is a potential company maker. If the current drilling program is successful and near surface gold is defined, being bought by Kinross or another larger gold company looking for inexpensive reserves would make a lot of sense. With each sample taken and each hole drilled, GGX is improving its understanding of the Gold Drop property. It is this understanding which really adds value to the property. Packaging a property for an earn in or joint venture or outright sale takes time. With each sample, each drill hole, GDX is derisking what looks like a very marketable gold deposit.