“Hope Brook was a past producer. It was originally found by BP Selco in 1983 and it was put into production in ’87. It was sold to Royal Oak in the early 90s and produced until 1997 when it shut down, in part because the gold price was so low. The general view was that the property was mined-out and that there was not a lot left.
“We were very fortunate to be able to make a deal on the property in March. We were looking at it from two points of view. Firstly, when you look at the pre-production resource, it was about 1.6 million ounces at 4.5 g/t. Only 752,000 ounces were mined, so we felt the possibilities of there being more left were pretty good. Secondly: obviously, at $400 gold in the 90s a lot of the lower grade would not have been of interest, but at $1300 to $1400 an ounce the economics change.
“Our approach on this drill program has been to begin the process of validating these historical targets. And we have some new geological ideas; a lot of the work in the 80s was very much stratigraphically approached. There wasn’t the appreciation of the role of structure as much in those days. And induced polarization techniques were still in their infancy.
“These are early results, and while we love those values what’s exciting is that we are really starting to figure out this system. It’s far more open, and there’s a lot more potential than previously realized. If you look at the historic long section you see that they gave up further down. The reality is they didn’t test it fully. The more we do, the more we see this zone is not closed off at depth nor is it at strength. As we put together the overall picture I’m quite confident we’ll have even more targets than we do now. So it’s a very good start considering we’ve only been drilling since mid-September.”
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