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On July 11, 2019 White Gold (.V: WGO) put out a press release indicating that it had identified new district scale high-grade gold trends on its properties in the Yukon. We had some follow-up questions and White Gold sent us over the answers.
How did White Gold select the areas to deploy the GT probe?
All of our exploration targets are generated and progressed using the proprietary, data-driven program – Drones to Drills, the brainchild of famed prospector Shawn Ryan, our Chief Technical Advisor. This program allows us to move quickly and efficiently, maximizing every exploration dollar we spend. Starting with drone imagery, IP resistivity and Lidar, we are able to cover a lot of land quickly and inexpensively. Soil sampling allows our team to test for gold anomalies and the presence of other pathfinder elements in the ground. This is particularly effective on the Yukon’s unglaciated land because the mineral profile in the soil is indicative of the rock directly below it. Next, we bring in the innovative GT Probe, which is a track-mounted device designed to drive a cased hole through the soil profile to the bedrock interface. At this stage, we are not looking to hit the deposit itself, but rather confirm the presence of gold before moving to drilling. At the Vertigo target at JP Ross, we have now moved to the next stage – RAB drilling. The RAB drill allows us to drill cheap, fast, 100m holes to quickly test new targets. After all of these boxes have been checked, we move on to RC or Diamond drilling, using these more expensive resources sparingly and efficiently.
Can you describe how the GT Probe operates and what the samples it produces actually look like?
The GT Probe is a track-mounted device designed to drive a cased hole through the soil profile to the bedrock interface, with samples of rock and soil collected from the final 30 centimetres of the hole and analyzed for gold and other pathfinder elements. The depth of each hole to bedrock is up to two metres with holes located on two-metre-to-five-metre intervals on lines designed to cut across defined soil anomalies. The GT Probe is used as a cost-effective intermediate step between soil sampling and drilling, providing similar data to traditional trenching but with minimal environmental impact and more representative sampling.
How quickly can the GT Probe take a sample?
It only takes about 5 minutes for the GT Probe to take a single sample. This is repeated along lines consisting of two-metre-to-five-metre intervals. This quickly gives data comparable to that achieved through traditional trenching at a small fraction of the cost, time and environmental impact.
In the press release, you talk about “district scale mineralization modelling”. Can you describe how that model is being developed and give some indication of the size of the trend you are looking at?
The model of the Vertigo and surrounding targets has been the result of our unique approach to exploration which includes soil sampling, lidar and IP (induced polarization) resistivity testing as well as GT Probe sampling and RAB, RC and diamond drilling. This exploration work has demonstrated the presence of district-scale mineralization along an 18-kilometre structural trend that hosts the Vertigo discovery as well as other high probability targets including the Stage Fright, Sabotage and Topaz targets. Many of these targets display the same mineralization style as the Vertigo discovery and have returned multiple high-grade surface samples including 304.3 g/t, 156.2 g/t, 139.9 g/t, 135.6 g/t and 132.9 g/t gold. The newly identified trends discussed in this news release on the Stage Fright, Sabotage, Topaz and Vertigo targets are all located within 10 kilometres of the original Vertigo discovery. Follow-up work for these targets will include prospecting and RAB (rotary air blast) drilling. Several additional targets have also been identified on the JP Ross property and will be tested in due course.
You indicate in the release that White Gold plans 17,000 meters of diamond drilling this season. Are these going to be shallow holes or will you be looking at some deeper holes?
This season we will complete approximately 17,000 meters of diamond drilling and 7,500 meters of RC drilling. Of these 17,000 meters, 10,000 meters will focus on the Vertigo target to define the geometry of mineralized structures along trend, and evaluate the lateral and vertical continuity of the mineralization. This includes evaluation of the target across the currently defined width of the zone and up to 500 m of strike length along the core of the system. The Vertigo system starts from surface and our intention this season is to chase the mineralization down dip with holes up to 300 meters.
We will also be completing approximately 6,000 meters of diamond drilling on the Golden Saddle and Arc deposits. At the Golden Saddle, drilling will focus on the expansion of the GS West zone, both along strike and downdip. Limited historic drilling has occurred between the GS West and the GS Main and one of the company’s key objectives for the 2019 season will be to expand this zone and explore the potential continuity between the two zones. Drilling will also be conducted on the GS Main and GS footwall and will focus on infilling gaps in the current model, particularly the high-grade core. Drilling activity on the Arc will focus on the expansion of the deposit along strike, and targeted infill drilling to evaluate continuity on higher-grade (greater than two g/t Au) areas within the model. Diamond drilling on the Golden Saddle and Arc will also test depths of up to approximately 300 meters, but with a focus on near-surface announces surrounding the deposit. Numerous other targets are known on the property and additional drilling may be conducted in these areas as warranted.
Most exploration companies would be very happy to have delineated a high grade – low strip ratio pitable 43-101 silver resource pretty much as soon as they began to explore their property. For Marcio Fonseca, CEO of Goldplay Exploration (V.GPLY), that was just the beginning.
Goldplay holds a concession called San Marcial in Sinaloa, Mexico, in a historical multi million ounce mining district named Rosario next to major players such as Fresnillo and First Majestic. The concession is 1,250 hectares and it runs 6.0 kilometers along a gold-silver mineralized trend. The 43-101 compliant resource was found in the first 500 meters of that trend. Fonseca was, and is, pretty certain that there are other, valuable, mineralized areas within the concession, within the already defined additional 8 targets in the 6 km trend
On July 10 Goldplay put out a press release announcing that it had encountered a broad, high-grade gold (Au) zone, on surface, at the Nava Target, 300 m along strike, west of the original gold bearing Nava trenches. In that release Fonseca states, “A high grade gold zone containing 24 m at 2.11 g/t Au, has provided the Company with encouragement that the Nava target could host a significant body of gold mineralization in a low sulphidation epithermal system, with thickness and grades attractive for potential low cost open pit development. Located west of the previous Nava trenches, it opens up a large unexplored area between the trenches and along strike for additional exploration potential for new discoveries in the San Marcial Project. The drilling program in progress will test below these two Nava target areas for depth continuity and additional understanding of the mineralized system.”
In a phone interview, Fonseca elaborated, “This is a brand new discovery. We did the basics and we found brand new gold mineralized showings at surface. No one knew it was there. It is 300 meters away from where the artisanal miners are working, showing typical textures of a wide low sulphidation epithermal system.”
In the press release Goldplay states, “There is a common presence of many high-grade gold results of up to 10 g/t Au from previous channel sampling in shallow historical underground tunnels at the Nava discovery and they have been followed up by high-grade gold in surface channel sampling along strike, up to 9 g/t Au, suggesting the possibility of a significant expansion to the size of the Nava Target and defining an immediate drilling target.”
“We are also doing surface work to identify additional targets in the same zone,” said Fonseca. “We have a wide zone. 24 meters of 2.1 gpt gold which is open West to East. Now we need to drill. 150 meters below surface.
For Fonseca these results are a call to action, “We’re drilling right under the trench.”
In fact, the drilling program which was initiated one month ago as part of the resource expansion program is proving positive. “We’ve completed the first drill hole, below another target where surface trenching reported 56 m @ 196 g/t Ag, ” said Fonseca. “We have the samples in the lab and we are waiting for results. We are pretty sure the mineralization is there”.
“If you look at Figure 5 in our most recent press release. Target #1 is our silver resource, and next to this target is #2 where we have just completed first hole ( 280 m long) expanding resources into Faisanes. Target #3 is the Nava gold zone we have found and are drilling. We think it may be connected to targets #9 and #8,” said Fonseca. “These are new targets we’ve developed. We think there is gold there. We’re the first company to drill in the area in at least ten years.” The Exploration team is discovering more gold mineralization at targets #5 and #6 in a geological setting that resembles dacite-rhyolite dome systems typical to host multimillion ounces deposits.
Finding gold as gold’s price is firming is exactly the boost that a junior explorer needs.
“The geology at San Marcial looks a lot like El Barqueno,” said Fonseca. “Agnico Eagle bought the company for $205 million in 2015.” Along with being a professional geologist, Fonseca was an investment banker for years. He knows how to do the comparable valuation. Right now, Goldplay has a market cap of $6.15 million.
“We have a series of NDAs signed with producers,” said Fonseca.
“Right now, we are doing the Phase One drilling,” said Fonseca. “A thousand meters but we have the drill on site. We’re planning six drill holes, but we have all permits and authorizations to drill 69 holes and we have recently completed an oversubscribed financing without warrants.”
What all this adds up to is a steady news flow from a very prospective, gold and silver, near-surface targets in a property to define new discoveries and expand the current resource.
Some time ago I interviewed Fonseca and he told me that his only question when looking at a property was, “Is this a mine?” Right now, the indications at the San Marcial Project are that there are at least two potential mines. With more to follow.
But that is the surface, is there serious host rock? Do these resources and potential deposits come from the same system?
We’ll await the news but Fonseca knows what he is looking for, “Is this a mine?”
Leprechaun Deposit High-Grade Main Zone Expanding with New Drilling: 4.24 g/t Au over 74.0m, 6.94 g/t Au over 24.0m & 10.03 g/t Au over 19.0m, Valentine Gold Camp, NL
The summer drilling campaign at the Leprechaun Deposit continues to intersect new high-grade gold mineralization with abundant visible gold in the Main Zone corridor. This latest drilling has expanded the high-grade area within the Main Zone corridor to a strike length over 480 meters with a width of 30 to 100 meters and extending from surface to more than 300 meters depth, beyond the bottom of the Leprechaun pit (see Figures 1, 2 and 3). The new drilling along the Main Zone is oriented at high-angle to and through the shallow SW dipping en-echelon stacked QTP-Au veining and verifies the continuity of the high-grade gold zone from surface to depths greater than 300 meters, a fact particularly significant in areas of limited previous drilling along the northeastern portion of the Main Zone gold corridor.
- Main Zone: VL-19-711 intersected 4.24 g/t Au over 74.0 meters including 9.01 g/t Au over 2.0 meters, 35.54 g/t Au over 4.0 meters, 10.78 g/t Au over 3 meters and 17.10 g/t Au over 3.0 meters, as well as 6.94 g/t Au over 24.0 meters including 18.47 g/t Au over 4.0 meters and 20.35 g/t Au over 3.0 meters (Figure 2).
- Main Zone: VL-19-715 intersected 2.62 g/t Au over 31.0 meters including 8.11 g/t Au over 2.0 meters, 13.79 g/t Au over 2.0 meters and 5.36 g/t Au over 2.0 meters, as well as 1.03 g/t Au over 15.0 meters near surface. This hole was drilled parallel and flanking drill hole VL-19-711, assisting in further defining the outer boundary of the high grade Main Zone. Assays are pending for VL-19-719 (Figure 2).
- Main Zone: VL-19-703 intersected 10.03 g/t Au over 19.0 meters including 86.08 g/t Au over 2.0 meters and 3.59 g/t Au over 31.0 meters including 9.84 g/t Au over 2.0 meters, 10.22 g/t Au over 2.0 meters and 8.57 g/t Au over 4.0 meters (Figure 3).
- Main Zone: VL-19-710 intersected 1.93 g/t Au over 53.0 meters including 19.64 g/t Au over 2.0 meters as well as 5.06 g/t Au over 5.0 meters and 4.42 g/t Au over 5.0 meters.
- Main Zone: VL-19-705 intersected 2.40 g/t Au over 11.0 meters and 1.68 g/t Au over 11.0 meters, VL-19-707 intersected 2.15 g/t Au over 12.0 meters including 6.56 g/t Au over 2.0 meters and VL-19-713 intersected 1.23 g.t Au over 10.0 meters .
- Hanging Wall DDH’s, drilled towards the southeast, intersected significant gold mineralization in both the hanging wall and at deeper levels of the Main Zone corridor including 1.90 g/t Au over 18.0 meters including 5.13 g/t Au over 2.0 meters in VL-19-709, 4.53 g/t Au over 6.0 meters in VL-19-706, 4.55 g/t Au over 3.0 meters in VL-19-704, 3.39 g/t Au over 4.0 meters in VL-19-708, and 3.52 g/t Au over 4.0 meters in VL-19-712.
- The high-grade gold core of the Main Zone corridor of the Leprechaun Deposit now extends continuously for more than 480 meters along strike, extends from surface to a depth of more than 300 meters, and has a true width that ranges from 30 meters to more than 100 meters. Additional planned drilling is expected to increase the strike length of the high-grade core of the Main Zone corridor towards both the northeast and southwest.
- The 2019 drilling program is nearing completion at the Leprechaun Deposit. Following completion of this drilling program, the 3 drill rigs will move to the Marathon Deposit to complete a more than 17,000-meter infill and step-out drilling program.
- A 2,400-meter HQ core size geotechnical drilling program, using a fourth drill rig, will commence mid-July, focused on testing the open pit wall strength at both the Leprechaun and Marathon deposits. This work is being completed in advance of the PFS on schedule for release in Q1 of 2020.
TORONTO, July 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Marathon Gold Corporation (“Marathon” or the “Company”) (TSX: MOZ) is pleased to announce continued excellent results from infill drilling along the Main Zone corridor of the Leprechaun Deposit. These drill holes, as well as the previously released 2019 drill holes collared along the upper edge of the Main Zone corridor (refer to Figure 1), are part of the series of planned infill drill holes that will cover a more than 800-meter strike length of the Main Zone corridor. These drill holes are designed to penetrate down through the shallow SW dipping, stacked gold-bearing QTP-Au veins which form the dominant vein orientation within the Main Zone corridor of the Leprechaun Deposit, increasing the width of the Main Zone corridor and improving the continuity of high-grade mineralization extending from surface beyond the bottom of the open pit into potential future underground resource development. The current drilling program is designed both to further confirm the geological model for the Leprechaun Deposit and to continue to upgrade Inferred resource material into the Measured and Indicated resource categories.
“These new wide intervals of high-grade gold at Leprechaun continue to expand the size and grade of the high-grade Main Zone while the lower grades in the hanging wall will assist in reducing the overall strip ratio of the Leprechaun open pit,” said Phillip Walford, President and CEO of Marathon Gold. “The 2019 Leprechaun drilling campaign, which is nearing completion, has succeeded in stitching together the high-grade areas of the Main Zone. Drilling has commenced at the Marathon Deposit and we look forward to the new Leprechaun Deposit resource estimation due in September.”
Mr. Walford added “The gold price is enhancing our project as well. The press release for the PEA released October 30, 2018 considers after tax of project payback, IRR and NPV with changes in gold prices in Table 4. The base price used for the study was $ 1250 USD per ounce of gold gives an after-tax project payback of 2.5 years, an IRR of 30%, and an NPV of $ 432 M USD with a 5% discount rate. The highest gold price used in the sensitivities in Table 4 was $ 1350 USD per ounce of gold and that gives an after-tax pay project payback of 2 years, an IRR of 36%, and an NPV of $ 616 M USD with a 5% discount rate. That is a marked improvement from the base case. With the gold price slightly above $1400 today, all of these economic parameters are higher yet.”
TABLE 1: Significant assay intervals, Leprechaun Deposit, Valentine Gold Camp
|DDH||Zone||Section||From||To||Core Length (m)||True Thickness (m)||Gold g/t||Gold g/t (cut)|
Three figures accompanying this announcement are available at:
Please view the new video posted on our website www.marathon-gold.com showing layout plan for future mine site.
Marathon acknowledges the financial support of the Junior Exploration Assistance Program, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Quality Assurance-Quality Control (“QA/QC”)
Sherry Dunsworth, M.Sc., P. Geo., Senior VP of Exploration, Marathon’s Qualified Person, has reviewed the contents for accuracy and has approved this press release on behalf of Marathon. Thorough QA/QC protocols are followed including the insertion of blanks and standards at regular intervals in each sample batch. Drill core is cut in half with one half retained at site, the other half tagged and sent to Eastern Analytical Limited in Springdale, Newfoundland. All reported core samples are analyzed for Au by fire assay (30g) with AA finish. All samples above 0.10 g/t Au in economically interesting intervals are further assayed using metallic screen to mitigate the presence of coarse gold. Significant mineralized intervals are reported in Table 1 as core lengths and estimated true thickness (80% – 90% of core length).
Marathon is a Toronto based gold company rapidly advancing its 100%-owned Valentine Gold Camp located in Newfoundland and Labrador, one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world. Marathon has confirmed the feasibility of the Valentine Gold Camp, which currently hosts four near-surface, mainly pit-shell constrained, deposits with measured resources totaling 1,166,500 oz. of gold at 2.18 g/t, indicated resources totaling 1.524,900 oz. of gold at 1.66 g/t and inferred resources totaling 1,531,600 oz. of gold at 1.77 g/t. The majority of the resources occur in the Marathon and Leprechaun deposits, which also have resources below the current open pit shell. Both deposits are open at depth and on strike. Gold mineralization has been traced down almost a kilometer vertically at Marathon and over 350 meters at Leprechaun. The four deposits identified to date occur over a 20-kilometer system of gold bearing veins, with much of the 24,000-hectare property having had only minimal exploration activity to date.
The Valentine Gold Camp is accessible by year-round road and is in close proximity to the provincial electrical grid. Marathon maintains a 50-person all-season camp at the property. Recent metallurgical tests have demonstrated 93% to 98% recoveries via conventional milling and an average of 65 to 72% extraction rates for 23 mm (1/2 inch) material via lower cost heap leaching at the Marathon and Leprechaun Deposits respectively.
To find out more information on the Valentine Gold Camp project, please visit www.marathon-gold.com.
|For more information, please contact:|
|Christopher Haldane||Phillip Walford|
|Investor Relations Manager||President and Chief Executive Officer|
|Tel: 1-416-987-0714||Tel: 1-416-987-0711|
|E-mail: email@example.com||E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org|
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Except for statements of historical fact relating to Marathon Gold Corporation, certain information contained herein constitutes “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements include statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or include words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “believes”, “considers”, “intends”, “targets”, or negative versions thereof and other similar expressions, or future or conditional verbs such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “would” and “could”. We provide forward-looking statements for the purpose of conveying information about our current expectations and plans relating to the future and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. By its nature, this information is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties that may be general or specific and which give rise to the possibility that expectations, forecasts, predictions, projections or conclusions will not prove to be accurate, that assumptions may not be correct, and that objectives, strategic goals and priorities will not be achieved. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to those identified and reported in Marathon Gold Corporation’s public filings, which may be accessed at www.sedar.com. Other than as specifically required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, whether as a result of new information, future events, results or otherwise.
White Gold Corp. Identifies New District Scale High Grade Gold Trends on and Contiguous to Vertigo Discovery, JP Ross Property
White Gold Corp. (TSX.V: WGO, OTC – Nasdaq Intl: WHGOF, FRA: 29W) (the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has identified multiple new high-grade gold mineralization trends across its JP Ross property further adding to the Company’s pipeline of regional gold discoveries. The new trends were identified on the Stage Fright, Sabotage, Topaz, and Vertigo targets, all located within 10 km of the Vertigo Discovery. Several additional targets have also been identified on the JP Ross and will be tested in due course. Highlights to date include multiple bedrock samples from trace to 4.65 g/t Au and multiple surface samples from trace to 94.4 g/t Au. These newly discovered mineralized zones were identified using the innovative GT Probe, a proprietary device enabling fast and cost-efficient direct bedrock sampling. These are the first results from the Company’s $13 million fully funded 2019 exploration program, backed by partners Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (TSX: AEM, NYSE: AEM) and Kinross Gold Corp (TSX: K, NYSE: KGC). The 2019 program includes 17,000 metres of diamond drilling which is underway on the Vertigo target (JP Ross property), Golden Saddle & Arc deposits (White Gold property) and QV property, Yukon Canada.
- GT Probe (top of bedrock) sampling yielded results ranging from trace to 4.65 g/t Au, including samples returning 4.65 g/t Au, 4.64 g/t Au and 4.57 g/t Au. 17 samples returned grades of above 1 g/t Au, with anomalous samples clustered in multi-station hits, up to 20m in width, defining multiple zones of mineralization.
- Surface sampling yielded results from trace to 94.4 g/t Au. 11 samples from the area returned >1 g/t Au including highlights of 94.4 g/t, 80.6 g/t, 23.3 g/t, 9.11 g/t, 6.09 g/t & 5.6 g/t Au. All results were associated with elevated Ag (up to 226 g/t), As, Bi, & Pb (up to 2.06%).
- The high-grade GT Probe results on the JP Ross property further support the district scale mineralization modeling produced by the Company through prior soil sampling, Lidar and IP-Resistivity testing. Follow up work for these gold trends will include prospecting and RAB drilling.
- 17,000 metres of diamond drilling is underway on the Vertigo target (JP Ross property) Golden Saddle & Arc deposit (White Gold property) and QV property, with assays to be released in due course.
Images to accompany this news release can be found at http://whitegoldcorp.ca/investors/exploration-highlights/.
“We are very excited by these newly discovered trends confirming additional near-surface high-grade gold mineralization on our JP Ross property in close proximity and with many similarities to our Vertigo discovery. The results also further validate the district-scale opportunity across our unique portfolio of assets and demonstrate the effectiveness of our systematic and data driven exploration methodologies,” stated David D’Onofrio, Chief Executive Officer. “The White Gold region of the Yukon escaped glaciation, unlike many regions globally, allowing us to utilize more efficient exploration techniques, including soil sampling and our proprietary GT Probe to sample the bedrock. With the success so far in our 2019 program, we continue to be increasingly optimistic that our propriety exploration methodologies will continue to produce more discoveries on our 1 million+ acre land package which represents over 40% of the prolific and under explored White Gold District.”
GT Probe Results
The GT Probe is a track mounted device designed to drive a cased hole through the soil profile to the bedrock interface with samples collected from the final 30cm of the hole and analyzed for gold and other pathfinder elements. The depth of each hole to bedrock was up to 2m with holes located on 2-5m intervals on lines designed to cut across defined soil anomalies. The GT Probe is used as a cost-effective intermediate step between soil sampling and drilling, providing similar data to traditional trenching but with minimal environment impact and more representative sampling. The latest high-grade GT Probe results on the JP Ross property further support the district scale mineralization modeling produced by the Company through prior soil sampling, Lidar and IP-Resistivity testing.
The results to date on the JP Ross further expand on the high-grade discovery made at the Vertigo target in 2018 which returned drill results including 31.35 g/t Au over 6.10m from surface and 17.34 g/t Au over 10.67m and multiple surface samples exceeding 100 g/t Au. GT Probe results this season have confirmed the presence of additional mineralized structures on the Vertigo target as well as the continuity of these structures to other targets, demonstrating a district-scale system of high-grade gold mineralization.
Highlights of results from GT Probe testing on the JP Ross property targets are outlined below:
|Line ID||Target||Au (g/t)|
*Represent consecutive samples at 5m spacing.
- Located 10km northwest of the Vertigo.
- Prospecting on the target returned assays from trace to 94.4 g/t Au. 11 samples from the area returned >1 g/t Au including highlights of 5.61, 6.09, 9.11, 23.3, 80.6 & 94.4 g/t Au. All associated with elevated Ag (trace to 226 g/t), As, Bi, & Pb (up to 2.06%).
- 12 GT Probe lines completed. Anomalous results > 1 g/t Au associated with the western and southeastern lines (trace to 4.64 g/t Au).
- Western lines correspond with strongly anomalous prospecting samples (trace to 80.6 g/t Au) along a N-NE trending zone of quartz veining/brecciation (Loki Vein). The SE lines have individual results from trace to 4.57 g/t Au and form an E-W trending corridor of anomalous Au over 110m strike length that is open in both directions.
- Interpretation of the results is ongoing, but initial indications are that the mineralization is associated with a series of N-NE and E-W trending structures.
- Located 7.5km northwest of the Vertigo.
- Consists of multiple zones of anomalous Au in soils over a 1.5km x 5km NE trending area with values from trace to 1,908.3 ppb Au.
- Detailed infill soil sampling focused on a 450m x 500m area within the Sabotage area in 2018, and returned discreet E-NE and NW trending gold in soil anomalies with values from trace to 295.3 ppb Au.
- Numerous prospecting samples and abundance alteration in the area, results including 1.15 g/t Au & 15.35 g/t Au. The samples are within an apparent N-NW corridor associated with GT Probe anomalies of 4.12 g/t Au & 4.65 g/t Au on separate lines.
- Located immediately south of the Vertigo and road accessible.
- Consists of a series of NE and NW trending gold in soil anomalies over a 500m x 1,500m area with values ranging from trace to 284ppb Au.
- GT Probe sample across a 300m long NE trending soil anomaly returned results from trace to 2.04 g/t Au, and prospecting resulting from trace to 5.24 g/t Au.
- The mineralization is interpreted to be associated with a NE trending structure and follow up work on the target and additional soil anomalies in the Topaz area is ongoing.
- To date, at least 12 mineralized structures are recognized on the Vertigo target over a 2,200m x 650m area, and consist of W-NW trending, steeply dipping zones of quartz veining, brecciation, and fracture-controlled mineralization with disseminated to vein-controlled pyrite-arsenopyrite-galena and locally, visible gold mineralization. The mineralization observed at Vertigo is associated with strongly elevated Ag-Pb-Bi (+/-As-Te) and consists of zones of strong alteration, brecciation, quartz veining and oxidized sulfide mineralization within a felsic gneiss unit.
- GT Probe sampling on the Vertigo in 2019 was designed to evaluate extensions of the mineralized structures to the west and south based on detailed soil sampling, prospecting and geophysical surveys. The GT Probe returned multiple anomalous samples across several lines with values ranging from trace to 2.39 g/t Au.
- Additional prospecting across the trend also returned significant results with individual surface samples ranging from trace to 17.95 g/t Au. Highlights include surface samples of 17.95 g/t Au, 10.1 g/t Au, 9.89 g/t Au, and 7.6 g/t Au. All are associated with strongly anomalous Ag (up to 104 g/t Au), As, Bi, & Pb (up to 0.48%).
The analytical work for the 2019 drilling program will be performed by ALS Canada Ltd. an internationally recognized analytical services provider, at its Vancouver, British Columbia laboratory. Sample preparation was carried out at its Whitehorse, Yukon facility. All RC chip and diamond core samples will be prepared using procedure PREP-31H (crush 90% less than 2mm, riffle split off 500g, pulverize split to better than 85% passing 75 microns) and analyzed by method Au-AA23 (30g fire assay with AAS finish) and ME-ICP41 (0.5g, aqua regia digestion and ICP-AES analysis). Samples containing >10g/t Au will be reanalyzed using method Au-GRAV21 (30g Fire Assay with gravimetric finish).
The reported work will be completed using industry standard procedures, including a quality assurance/quality control (“QA/QC”) program consisting of the insertion of certified standard, blanks and duplicates into the sample stream.
About White Gold Corp.
The Company owns a portfolio of 22,040 quartz claims across 35 properties covering over 439,000 hectares representing over 40% of the Yukon’s White Gold District. The Company’s flagship White Gold property has a mineral resource of 1,039,600 ounces Indicated at 2.26 g/t Au and 508,700 ounces Inferred at 1.48 g/t Au. Mineralization on the Golden Saddle and Arc is also known to extend beyond the limits of the current resource estimate. Regional exploration work has also produced several other prospective targets on the Company’s claim packages which border sizable gold discoveries including the Coffee project owned by Newmont Goldcorp Corporation with a M&I gold resource(1) of 3.4M oz and Western Copper and Gold Corporation’s Casino project which has P&P gold reserves(1) of 8.9M oz Au and 4.5B lb Cu. For more information visit www.whitegoldcorp.ca.
- Noted mineralization is as disclosed by the owner of each property respectively and is not necessarily indicative of the mineralization hosted on the Company’s property.
Jodie Gibson, P.Geo., Vice President of Exploration for the Company is a “qualified person” as defined under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, and has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “proposed”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. In this news release, forward-looking statements relate, among other things, the Company’s objectives, goals and exploration activities conducted and proposed to be conducted at the Company’s properties; future growth potential of the Company, including whether any proposed exploration programs at any of the Company’s properties will be successful; exploration results; and future exploration plans and costs and financing availability.
These forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions and estimates of management of the Company at the time such statements were made. Actual future results may differ materially as forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to materially differ from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors, among other things, include:; expected benefits to the Company relating to exploration conducted and proposed to be conducted at the Company’s properties; failure to identify any additional mineral resources or significant mineralization; the preliminary nature of metallurgical test results; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, including to fund any exploration programs on the Company’s properties; business integration risks; fluctuations in general macroeconomic conditions; fluctuations in securities markets; fluctuations in spot and forward prices of gold, silver, base metals or certain other commodities; fluctuations in currency markets (such as the Canadian dollar to United States dollar exchange rate); change in national and local government, legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments; risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations pressures, cave-ins and flooding); inability to obtain adequate insurance to cover risks and hazards; the presence of laws and regulations that may impose restrictions on mining and mineral exploration; employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; availability of increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development (including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses, permits and approvals from government authorities); the unlikelihood that properties that are explored are ultimately developed into producing mines; geological factors; actual results of current and future exploration; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be evaluated; soil sampling results being preliminary in nature and are not conclusive evidence of the likelihood of a mineral deposit; title to properties; and those factors described in the most recently filed management’s discussion and analysis of the Company. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the Company believes, or believed at the time, to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure shareholders that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking statements, as there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information, or the material factors or assumptions used to develop such forward-looking information, will prove to be accurate. The Company does not undertake to release publicly any revisions for updating any voluntary forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable securities law.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange (the “Exchange”) nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
Chief Executive Officer
White Gold Corp.
Just off the phone with Marcio Fonseca, CEO of Goldplay Exploration (V.GPLY). I am writing up our conversation now but the key takeaway is that today’s news release is the beginning of a significant news flow with drill results and trenching results on no less than eight target areas coming over the next few months.
Goldplay already has a 43-101 compliant resource estimate for its silver target which is well to the east (along strike) of the Nava gold target which was reported today.
With the firming precious metals markets, Goldplay’s expected news flow could be exactly what smart investors will be looking for here in the dog days of summer.
We’re hoping to have the interview up at motherlodetv.net later on tomorrow.
Goldplay’s Nava Gold Discovery Continues to Grow as New Surface Continuous Channel Sampling Returns Wide Gold Intersection of 24 m at 2.1 g/t Au, Including 5 m @ 4.0 g/t Au
Goldplay Exploration Ltd. (TSXV: GPLY, FRANKFURT: GPE, OTCQB: GLYXF) (“Goldplay” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that a broad high grade gold (Au) zone has been encountered, on surface, at the Nava Target, 300 m along strike, west of the original gold bearing Nava trenches at the San Marcial Project, Sinaloa, Mexico, as recently announced (see News Release dated 16 April 2019).
High grade gold results of up to 10 g/t Au from previous channel sampling in shallow historical underground tunnels at the Nava discovery have been followed up by high grade gold in surface channel sampling along strike, up to 9 g/t Au, suggesting the possibility of a significant expansion to the size of the Nava Target and defining an immediate drilling target.
The Nava gold discovery is located approximately 1.5 kilometres to the west (Figure 1) of the San Marcial NI 43-101 resource (see News Release dated 7 February 2019), supporting an attractive gold-silver mineralized corridor for discoveries and potential resource expansion within the San Marcial Project. The Nava discovery is a wide zone with pervasive hydrothermal alteration (silicification + hematite), at least 500 meters long x 100 m wide (Figure 2), hosting banded quartz veining and stockwork mineralization.
A broad 42 m (31 m true thickness) wide gold mineralized zone was intersected in the latest surface channel sampling program at trench SMtr-020 – including 24 m at 2.1 g/t Au, 5 m at 4.0 g/t Au and an additional 5m zone at 3.5 g/t Au (Table 1). Figure 3 displays the continuity and consistency of gold grades, up to 9 g/t Au, within the main 24 m interval of the channel and a lower grade halo immediately on the footwall of the mineralize zone.
The discovery of this new gold mineralized channel opens up the possibility of connecting the mineralized zone previously discovered at SMtr-003 with SMtr-020 with still significant exploration potential for discovery of new gold mineralization along the strike in the Nava target.
Goldplay President and CEO Marcio Fonseca commented, “A high grade gold zone containing 24 m at 2.11 g/t Au, has provided the Company with encouragement that the Nava target could host a significant body of gold mineralization in a low sulphidation epithermal system. Located west of the previous Nava trenches, it opens up a large unexplored area between the trenches and along strike for additional exploration potential for new discoveries in the San Marcial Project. The drilling program in progress will test below these two Nava target areas for depth continuity and additional understanding of the mineralized system.”
Table 1 Nava Zone – Gold results from Trench SMtr-020
Sample Length (m)
True Thickness (m)
Grade Au (g/t)
Cut-off grade Au (g/t)
Channel lengths are measured along each trench commencing at the northern end. True thickness from 120m to end of trench estimated based on interpreted orientation of host geology. All numbers are rounded. Mineralized zones are calculated allowing for maximum 2 m of internal waste, using cut-off grades of 0.1 g/t to define the broad, mineralized zone and 0.5g/t for the wide gold intersection of 24 m @ 2.1 g/t Au
The Nava Zone consists of a set of NE trending gold mineralized epithermal quartz veins, as well as a zone of intense stockwork. The veins are interpreted to be in a low sulphidation regime and hosted within a porphyritic dacite and a lapilli tuff unit, in proximity to the contact between lapilli tuff and porphyritic dacite package (Figure 4). The most recent geological exploration in the San Marcial project are supporting the interpretation of possible dacitic dome-style mineralization in a typical low sulfidation epithermal system. The Nava Zone has no previous drilling.
As recently reported (see News Release dated 16 May 2019), Goldplay is progressing diamond drilling program at its San Marcial Project, including not only drilling in the vicinities of the resource area, aiming resource expansion, but also in the new discovered exploration targets. The company has planned two shallow diamond drill holes at Nava (Figure 2) to test, firstly below the high grade SMtr-020 trench and, secondly, to test depth extensions below the eastern zone which consists of mineralized trenches SMtr-002 and SMtr-003, and underground tunnels with grades previously reported up to 10 g/t Au.
Figure 4 shows a cross section of the first proposed drill hole at Nava and the interpreted extension of the mineralization below the SMtr-020 high grade gold trench, which Goldplay will drill test at a vertical depth of approximately 150 m.
The Company has placed a high priority on exploration activities at Nava following this gold discovery supported by 500 m strike length of gold mineralization associated with a pervasive alteration and intensive stockwork system. This defines a potential open pit target for future drilling and resource definition.
Geological mapping and additional surface channel sampling will be carried out to also test for extensions of the mineralization along strike to the ENE and WSW. The main objective is to define potential links with other targets to the north of Nava (3), such as Chachalaca (9) and Micuines (8) (Figure 5), which defines an exploration corridor of at least 2.5 km along the strike. The Company continues to advance surface exploration at other targets at the San Marcial Project as identified by soil and rock sampling in the exploration program completed in the first half of 2019.
The scientific and technical data contained in this news release related to the San Marcial Project was reviewed and/or prepared under the supervision of Marcio Fonseca, P.Geo., a non-independent qualified person to Goldplay Exploration Ltd. who is responsible to ensure that the geological information contained in this news release is accurate and who acts as “qualified person” under the National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure of Mineral Projects.
Quality Assurance Program and Quality Control Procedures (“QA/QC”)
Goldplay has implemented QA/QC procedures which include insertion of blank and standard samples in all sample lots sent to SGS de México, S.A. de C.V laboratory facilities in Durango, Mexico, a subsidiary of SGS Canada Inc, for sample preparation and assaying.
About Goldplay Exploration Ltd.
Goldplay owns a >250 sq. km exploration portfolio in the historical Rosario Au-Ag Mining District, Sinaloa, Mexico. Goldplay’s current focus includes resource expansion and exploration aiming new gold and silver discoveries at the San Marcial Project, as well as a follow up exploration program at the El Habal Project.
The San Marcial land package consists of 1,250 ha, located south of the La Rastra and Plomosas historical mines and 20 km from the Company’s 100% owned El Habal Project in the Rosario Mining District, Sinaloa, Mexico. San Marcial is an attractive, near-surface high-grade silver, lead and zinc open pit project for which a NI 43-101 resource estimate was completed by Goldplay in early 2019. It is a low risk resource development stage project, fully permitted for all exploration activities and with support and authorization by local communities to carry out all necessary work on the project.
San Marcial exhibits significant exploration upside supported by regional exploration programs completed by previous operators who identified 14 exploration targets within its 100% Goldplay-owned concessions. Some of these exploration targets consist of old shallow pits, caved shafts and historical underground workings in areas with extensive hydrothermal alteration, hosted by major regional structures, with field and sampling evidence of a highly prospective geological environment for gold and silver discoveries.
The El Habal Project is a drilling stage project. The oxidized gold mineralized zone outcrops along a series of rolling hills with evidence of historical shallow underground mining along a 6 km long prospective corridor. The El Habal Project is located near the historical gold-silver Rosario Mine which reportedly operated for over 250 years. Goldplay’s team has over 30 years of experience with senior roles in exploration, financing, and development in the mining industry, including over ten years of extensive exploration experience in the Rosario Mining District, leading to previous successful discoveries. A current NI 43-101 report on the El Habal Project is filed on SEDAR.
Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking statements and information that are based on the beliefs of management and reflect the Company’s current expectations. When used in this press release, the words “estimate”, “project”, “belief”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “plan”, “predict”, “may” or “should” and the negative of these words or such variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. Such statements and information reflect the current view of the Company. Risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in those forward-looking statements and information. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Mr. Marcio Fonseca
P. Geo, President & CEO
Goldplay Exploration Ltd.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
SOURCE Goldplay Exploration Ltd
For further information: +1 (604) 202 3155, Email: email@example.com
Over at North of 60 Mining News there is an excellent article on Golden Predator’s (V.GPY) efforts to bring the Brewery Creek mine back into operation in the Yukon.
Our friend, Golden Predator CEO, Janet Lee-Sheriff is quoted as saying, “”In 2012, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Golden Predator signed a socio-economic accord for the Brewery Creek project and have established a strong and respectful working relationship. Combining this with the demonstrated support of the Yukon Government to resume mining activities, without re-entering the permitting process, will provide the company a clear path forward to restart the Brewery Creek mine in a timely manner that benefits our shareholders, the First Nation, the community of Dawson (City), and the entire Yukon.”
Aben Resources Announces the Commencement of Diamond Drilling at the Forrest Kerr Gold Project in BC’s Golden Triangle and the Completion of Drilling at the Justin Gold Project in the Yukon
Aben Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: ABN) (OTCQB: ABNAF) (Frankfurt: E2L2) (the “Aben or the Company”) announces the commencement of diamond drilling at the Forrest Kerr Gold Project in BC’s Golden Triangle and the completion of the 2019 drill program at the Justin Gold Project in the Yukon. The Company is planning to start with another 5000-meter drill program at Forrest Kerr this year that can be expanded to 10,000 meters as results dictate. Aben Resources is well funded with over $5 million in the treasury.
ABEN COMMENCES 2019 DRILL PROGRAM AT FORREST KERR PROJECT, BC
The 2019 drill exploration program at the Forrest Kerr Gold Project has now seen the mobilization of the drill and the start of drilling commenced. The size and scope of this years drill program will start out with 5000 metres and will increase based on exploration and drilling success. The initial drilling will be focused within and peripheral to the North Boundary Zone, which has previously returned high-grade results such as 38.7 grams/tonne (g/t) (1.12 oz/t) gold over 10.0 m (from 114.0-124.0 m) including 331.0 g/t (9.65 oz/t) gold over 1.0 m in hole FK18-10. Initially drill testing will focus on the potential for a northward extension of the high-grade mineralized core at North Boundary and to test for potential connectivity with historic high-grade gold discoveries such as 326.0 g/t gold reported in 1991 by Noranda in drill hole RG91-16 (located 200 m to the south of the North Boundary mineralized core). 2018 drilling was hampered by limited permitted pad locations as a result of extensive forest fire activity in the area. Over the winter season, an additional 45 drill pad locations have been approved by government agencies, allowing maximum flexibility for testing new geophysical and geochemical targets and for investigating evolving geological theories.
Forrest Kerr Project, Golden Triangle, B.C., location map:
Drill activities will also target polymetallic mineralization at the South Boundary Zone where broad intercepts of gold-silver-copper-zinc values in quartz veins were discovered in holes FK18-19, 20 & 21. An airborne magnetic survey was completed in May across the entire Boundary Zone, over an area that measures in excess of 2.0 km x 4.0 km. The magnetic geophysical data has thus far correlated well with geologic surface observations and should help delineate important geologic structures that influence mineralization.
Airborne Magnetic Survey from Boundary Zone on the Forrest Kerr Project:
Drilling to date has targeted near-surface, high-grade precious metal mineralization. Observations from past drilling and recently-acquired geophysical data (details below) support the theory that mineralization encountered may be related to deeper-seated and/or larger structurally-related systems. The Golden Triangle area is host to numerous world-class porphyry deposits (Galore Creek, Copper Canyon, Red Chris), in addition to numerous high-grade gold deposits (Brucejack, Snip, Premier). Aben intends to carry out deeper drilling during the 2019 season to test for these deposit types. Management cautions that past results or discoveries on proximate lands are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be achieved on the Forrest Kerr property.
In addition to the exploration activities at the Boundary Zone, Aben anticipates that a high priority target recently identified in the Forrest Zone (located 13 km south of Boundary) will also be drill tested this summer. The area of interest at Forrest Kerr is defined by highly anomalous gold-in-soil and gold-in-rock values coincident with a strong geophysical conductive anomaly originally reported in 2013.
Aben’s President and CEO Jim Pettit remarks, “The Company looks forward to continued success as we start our fourth season of exploration and drilling at the Forrest Kerr Gold Project. With the addition of the recently completed airborne magnetic survey to our extensive historic and more recent data compilation, we hope to gain greater understanding of structural influences in the highly mineralized Boundary Zone and, further to all this, we now have approval for 45 more drill pad locations that will allow us to optimize the targeting of prospective zones, both new and old.”
Forrest Kerr Project Exploration Target map:
Soil Sampling Map at Forrest Zone:
COMPLETION OF DRILLING AT THE JUSTIN GOLD PROJECT IN THE YUKON
The Company would also like to announce the completion of the 2019 drill program at the Justin Property in the Yukon where a total of 1556 metres utilizing both a diamond drill rig and a rotary air blast (RAB) drill to test for mineralized extensions on high priority targets.
The diamond drill rig completed 963.0 m in four holes at the POW Zone, an area that contains gold-bearing vein, breccia and skarn replacement mineralization as proven in surface sampling and recent drill programs (60.0 m grading 1.19 g/t Au in drillhole JN11009). The 2019 POW drilling sought to evaluate the potential to host bulk-tonnage gold mineralization and to test for the continuity of higher-grade skarn mineralization along strike. All four diamond drill holes encountered sulfide mineralization and have now been sent off site for analysis. Four rotary air blast holes were also completed at the POW Zone in order to test for the subsurface extension of semi-massive sulfide veinlets (pyrite + arsenopyrite +/- galena) discovered on surface.
The majority of RAB drilling took place at the recently discovered (2017) Lost Ace Zone, a gold-bearing vein system that has returned significant gold mineralization in trenching (chip sample averaged 20.8 g/t Au over 4.4 m including 88.2 g/t Au over 1.0 m). The first ever drilling at Lost Ace totaled 462 meters in 16 holes. Several drill holes at Lost Ace successfully intersected mineralization at the contact between a pebble conglomerate and an underlying phyllite unit where visible gold was discovered in surface sampling in 2018. The association of gold mineralization at this contact shares many characteristics with the mineralized setting at the adjacent 3-Aces project.
Aben Resources will be reporting the results from the 2019 exploration project at Justin in the upcoming weeks. To date, the Property has produced gold mineralization hosted within sheeted vein arrays, stockwork, breccias and skarn replacement mineralization with several other mineral occurrences that warrant further evaluation.
Additional info on the Justin Project can be found on Aben’s web site:
Cornell McDowell, P.Geo., V.P. of Exploration for Aben Resources, has reviewed and approved the technical aspects of this news release and is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
About Aben Resources Ltd.:
Aben Resources is a Canadian gold exploration company developing gold-focused projects in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. Aben is a well-funded junior exploration company with approximately 116.6 million shares issued and outstanding.
ABEN RESOURCES LTD.
JAMES G. PETTIT
President & CEO
For further information contact myself or:
Aben Resources Ltd.
Director, Corporate Communications
Toll Free: 800-567-8181
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be “forward-looking statements”. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address events or developments that management of the Company expects, are forward-looking statements. Although management believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements if management’s beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements, include market prices, exploration and development successes, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Please see the public filings of the Company at www.sedar.com for further information.
Almost exactly two years ago I was on the Yukon Mining Alliance Media Tour and went to the Victoria Gold (V.VIT) Dublin Gulch Eagle Mine project, 80 bumpy kilometres from Mayo, Yukon. There, VP Exploration, Paul Gray took us on a tour of the proposed mine site. There were some roads bulldozed out of the bush, drill collars, a large camp which was somewhat empty and a vision. John McConnell’s vision of a 200,000 ounce per year gold mine.
I reached McConnell by phone to get an update on the Eagle Mine. “It’s going pretty well right now,” said McConnell. “We’re working every day. Long days. The past year has been pretty much flat out and it’s put us about a month ahead of schedule. We’ve put the first ore through the primary crusher.”
“The build itself has gone pretty much according to plan,” said McConnell. “Though, at the beginning, we had the wettest May and June on record in 2018. It was so wet that Tara (Christie, CEO of Banyan Gold (V.BYN)) and I thought we might have to postpone our wedding so I could be on site. Fortunately, the weather got better and the wedding could go ahead. We had many of the mining CEOs in Canada up in Dawson.”
“Right now we are planning to do our first pour in mid-September and do a live broadcast during the Denver Gold Forum,” said McConnell. “We want to do a Grand Opening of the Mine on Victoria Day 2020 when we’ve achieved commercial production. Our stretch internal goal is to achieve commercial production by the end of 2019, but we are pretty certain to have achieved it by Q2 2020.”
Along the way to the first pour and eventual commercial production, Victoria has spent over 500 million dollars and has become the largest private employer in the Yukon. However, McConnell is most proud of the fact that we have now worked more than 1.5 million person-hours without a single lost-time incident.
“Victoria and our Construction Manager, JDS Energy & Mining Inc. created a strong safety culture right at the beginning,” said McConnell. “Early on, a contractor’s foreman was seen working up high on a piece of equipment without a safety harness. The foreman was suspended from the site for 100 days and that seemed to set the tone and show people we were serious about safety”
Creating a culture of safety is one job for a mining CEO, creating ongoing engagement with both the Government of the Yukon and the Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation, are two other vital elements of the job. “We get along well with the First Nation,” said McConnell. “But you have to constantly work at it. We’ve been through four chief elections.”
When you are in the Yukon you hear government people, First Nations members and resources workers all explain that the First Nations in the Yukon are a real level of government. Making sure that the Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation’s voice is heard at the Eagle Gold Mine and that their concerns are addressed is a big part of McConnell’s job. So, of course, is getting along with the Yukon government.
“Sandy Silver (the current Premier) is the MLA for Dawson City,” said McConnell. “Before that, he taught school in Dawson and his students’ parents were miners. He understands mining and he, and his government, are very supportive.”
In fact, the Government of the Yukon has what is probably the most effective mining support operation in Canada. Working with the Yukon Mining Alliance, Premier Silver and Energy, Mines & Resources Minister Ranj Pillai, have become fixtures at the major mining conferences all over the world.
While building the mine and tending to First Nations and Government of the Yukon relations would seem to be more than enough for McConnell to have on his plate, Victoria Gold’s investors had a surprise for him a couple of weeks ago. One of the company’s major shareholders, Orion Mine Finance Inc. came to an agreement with another of the major shareholders, Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. to buy out Osisko’s entire shareholding – some 154 million common shares.
In the press release announcing the transaction, McConnell is quoted as saying, “Victoria was pleased to play a small part in assisting Orion and Osisko as they re-balanced their equity portfolios to facilitate Orion’s renewed equity commitment to the Company’s strategic direction with respect to the Eagle Gold Mine. We are grateful for their combined support in funding the development of the Eagle Gold Project and, notwithstanding its equity divestment, Osisko remains a valued partner with a major economic interest in the mine via its royalty.”
In our conversation, McConnell said, “This was a complete surprise. We knew that Orion was impressed with the mine build and they indicated that they wanted to increase their holding. But they did not tip their hand at all about Osisko.”
“We were able to get language into the agreement to protect the other shareholders,” said McConnell. “Orion is friendly hands, great, long term, shareholders. They are really smart guys. Some of the best minds in the business.”
As a bonus, Osisko Chairman, Sean Roosen will remain on the Board. “Sean is a good friend and very strong technically and financially. And Orion likes him.”
That surprise out of the way we got onto Victoria’s share price. “Look, compared to our peers we are fairly valued,” said McConnell. “People are saying “Show me.” But our price as a producer should be different. Orion bought the Osisko shares at $0.46 which means they hold 38% at an average price of $0.48. They’re savvy investors and they see the payday. There will be stumbles at the startup. I get asked about the share price all the time and eventually, you get a bit numb. But shareholders have the right to ask.”
“There have been ups and downs the whole way. But we are four weeks ahead of schedule, we have an excellent safety record, good relations with our First Nation and with the Territorial Government. 50% of our employees are Yukoners and a high percentage of them are First Nation,” said McConnell.
“Right now, we are in a perfect storm for gold,” said McConnell. “I’m happy when gold is at $1250 and the Canadian dollar is at $0.80 USD. All our planning was based on those numbers. 70% of our costs are in Canadian.”
Gold over $1400 and the Canadian dollar at $0.76 makes John McConnell’s new gold mine a very profitable venture right from the go. The market will figure that out, eventually.
I am just finishing writing up my interview with John McConnell, CEO of Victoria Gold (VIT). As an aside in this interview, I complimented John on the excellent update videos he has been posting as the Eagle Mine goes forward. I kidded him about the fact that “the explosions” were the best part.
Five days later John posted this video and the explosion, lovingly filmed, is right up front. Coincidence? I think not.