Saturday 19th October 2019

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Posts tagged ‘Confederation Minerals Ltd (CFM)’

The Red Lake resurgence

September 16th, 2019

Miners and explorers seek ever more gold from this busy Ontario district

by Greg Klein

Miners and explorers seek ever more gold from this busy Ontario district

Benefiting from reinterpretation of past work, Great Bear now
has three rigs drilling Dixie Lake. (Photo: Great Bear Resources)

 

A new gold producer on the way, attention-grabbing assays from a well-financed junior and high hopes for the price of gold—could that in any way explain the current excitement at Red Lake? A region that’s produced 30 million ounces since its first rush in 1926 still has more gold to mine and, explorers believe, more mines to find.

Just as Newmont Goldcorp TSX:NGT was considering the sale of its Red Lake operations, Pure Gold Mining TSXV:PGM began building Madsen Red Lake, billed as Canada’s highest-grade gold development project. But, as far as juniors are concerned, the district’s biggest newsmaker has been Great Bear Resources’ (TSXV:GBR) Dixie Lake property.

While focused on British Columbia’s Golden Triangle in 2017, Great Bear optioned Dixie from Newmont, also getting decades of data from over 160 historic holes. Given the succession of companies that drilled and departed, the data might have seemed more encumbrance than encouragement. Undeterred, Great Bear geologists began relogging core to “resolve geological differences between generations of work dating back to the 1980s and provide a coherent framework for the company’s own drilling.”

The prepping paid off. That summer’s Phase I program found success with its first hole and reached up to 16.84 g/t gold over 10.4 metres in hole #5 at the Dixie Limb zone. As the campaign progressed, the company tripled its turf to cover a potential gold-bearing structure of regional significance.

Miners and explorers seek ever more gold from this busy Ontario district

Pure Gold conducts underground test mining at Madsen Red Lake.
(Photo: Pure Gold Mining)

More expansions followed, with assays reaching up to 26.91 g/t over 16.35 metres at the newly discovered and near-surface Hinge zone. Financings came through too, most notably with an $11.1-million infusion that included a total of $5.7 million from McEwen Mining TSX:MUX and Rob McEwen himself, progenitor of Red Lake’s last renaissance. The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame credits him with transforming the Goldcorp mine “from a 50,000-ounce producer in 1997 to a 500,000-ounce producer in 2001, while cash costs fell from $360 per ounce to $60 per ounce over this period.”

The stock soared past $2 from about $0.58 pre-McEwen. The grades, discoveries and financings continued, even with what president/CEO Chris Taylor called “the cheapest discovery hole we’ve ever had.” That happened after a keen-eyed geo spotted high-grade visible gold on unassayed core that had been neglected for 12 years. Clearly, the company was on to something when its management decided past operators had overlooked Dixie’s promise.

Great Bear now has three rigs at work.

But this is no spectator sport, as the inevitable influx demonstrated. One of the more recent arrivals was Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA, which earlier this month optioned about 6,700 hectares from Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST. But the attraction was base metals more than the yellow stuff. Belmont’s new Fredart/Gerry Lake and adjoining claims show a geological setting similar to Pistol Bay’s Garnet Lake, the companies stated. Using a 3% zinc-equivalent cutoff, Garnet’s 2017 inferred resource showed 2.1 million tonnes averaging 5.78% zinc, 0.72% copper, 19.5 g/t silver and 0.6 g/t gold. 

Miners and explorers seek ever more gold from this busy Ontario district

Visible gold attests to Great Bear’s confidence in Dixie Lake.
(Photo: Great Bear Resources)

An historic, non-43-101 resource for Belmont’s Fredart zone estimated 385,000 tonnes averaging 1.56% copper and 33.6 g/t silver. Historic drilling on the acquisition’s Joy-Caravelle area shows non-43-101 results including 21.6% zinc and 0.13% copper over 0.25 metres.

Up to recently, Pistol Bay’s portfolio had been about 25 kilometres northeast of Dixie Lake. But the company moved closer in July, with an option on 2,130 hectares southeast of Great Bear. Part of the former Goldpines claims, the property’s past work consisted mainly of geochemical sampling.

An NSR held by Perry English on Fredart hints at the prospector’s impact on the district. English sold the Dixie and Packwash properties to Great Bear and, under an LOI signed earlier this month, will vend Red Lake’s Camping Lake and Bruce Lake projects to Prime Meridian Resources TSXV:PMR.

Spurred on by recent grab samples as high as 19 g/t, 23.3 g/t and 126.5 g/t gold, Pacton Gold TSXV:PAC plans 10,000 metres of drilling to begin next month at its Red Lake project. Historic work included sampling, trenching and drilling.

A more advanced project towards the district’s eastern reaches, First Mining Gold’s (TSX:FF) Springpole reached PEA in 2017 with an indicated 4.67 million gold ounces and 24.19 million silver ounces, along with an inferred 230,000 gold ounces and 1.12 million silver ounces.

Proximal to both Newmont Goldcorp and Pure Gold, Nexus Gold’s (TSXV:NXS) McKenzie project underwent a spring field program that scored a sample result of 135.4 g/t gold. In August the company signed an LOI with privately held Hawkmoon Resources that could have the latter company acquire or JV on Nexus’ Canadian projects.

With a Phase I drill program of at least 2,500 metres well underway, BTU Metals TSXV:BTU hopes to find evidence that Great Bear’s high-grade LP fault structure crosses BTU’s Dixie Halo property.

Under an LOI signed last week, Maxtech Ventures CSE:MVT would acquire the Panama Lake project from Benton Resources TSXV:BEX. The latter company assembled the property by staking, last year adding the former Goldcorp Ben Lake project. This year’s drilling produced assays up to 1.23 g/t gold over 6.5 metres.

Some other companies in the district include Confederation Minerals TSXV:CFM, which last May added the Leo property to its Red Lake portfolio with the company’s 70%-held Newman Todd property.

This month GoldON Resources TSXV:GLD completed prospecting and soil sampling on its West Madsen project optioned from Great Bear last May. GoldON sees rare earths as well as gold potential in the property.

Meanwhile Madsen begins construction, with commercial production expected by the end of 2020. The project came together quickly after Pure Gold, then called Laurentian Goldfields, assembled claims including the former Madsen mine in late 2013 and early 2014. Within five years Pure Gold built a resource of 2.06 million ounces indicated and 467,000 ounces inferred. That includes a probable reserve of 3.51 million tonnes averaging 8.97% for 1.01 million ounces that’s expected to keep the mine busy for 12 years.

Deep-pocketed support comes from AngloGold Ashanti NYSE:AU, Eric Sprott, Rob McEwen and Newmont Goldcorp, who collectively hold over 30% of Pure Gold.

Although the district’s success stories encourage enthusiasm, Red Lake also spawned a cautionary tale. Rubicon Minerals TSX:RMX notoriously skipped feasibility to take its Phoenix project directly from PEA to production in 2015. Six months later the mine shut down. The explanation: Unexpectedly complex geology. The resource shrank dramatically, from 1.13 million gold ounces measured and indicated in 2013 to just 106,000 ounces in 2016. Inferred fell from 2.22 million ounces to 307,000 ounces.

Later that year the company sought creditor protection.

But last month Rubicon bravely unveiled a new PEA with “a lower margin of error and risk.” Still a far cry from the 2013 estimate, however, are the current numbers of 589,000 ounces measured and indicated, along with 540,000 ounces inferred. Chastened, the company plans to begin feasibility studies in Q1 2020.

Confederation Minerals president/director Brian Bapty on the Newman Todd option in Ontario’s Red Lake camp

April 22nd, 2013

…Read More

Red Lake reports

April 8th, 2013

Confederation/Redstar and Rubicon work towards Ontario gold PEAs

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Should Newman Todd begin with a small starter pit or go directly underground? That’s the question Confederation Minerals TSXV:CFM will address with its just-commissioned preliminary economic assessment, to be released later this year. On April 8 the company announced another batch of assays from its winter drill campaign in northwestern Ontario’s Red Lake Greenstone Belt. Some highlights include:

  • 1.92 grams per tonne gold over 36 metres, starting at 103 metres
  • (including 7.56 g/t over 1 metre)
  • 1.3 g/t over 38 metres, starting at 75 metres
  • (including 9.1 g/t over 1 metre)
  • 2.62 g/t over 19 metres, starting at 202 metres
  • (including 10.9 g/t over 1 metre)
  • 63.1 g/t over 0.5 metres, starting at 297 metres
  • 1.21 g/t over 22 metres, starting at 297 metres
  • (including 8.66 g/t over 1 metre)
  • 1.82 g/t over 16 metres, starting at 53 metres
  • (including 2.54 g/t over 9 metres).
Confederation/Redstar and Rubicon work towards Ontario gold PEAs

Mineralization closer to surface distinguishes
Newman Todd from other Red Lake projects.

The down-hole depths provided don’t reflect vertical depths. Intercept true widths weren’t available. No topcut was applied to assays.

Confederation describes the Newman Todd structural/alteration system as approximately 200 metres in width, with significant intercepts to depths of 850 metres from surface. Most of the April 8 assays came from drilling “within a relatively restricted area” about 200 metres along the zone’s strike length and at least 50 metres on sections perpendicular to strike, the company added. The maiden resource and PEA will focus on the project’s Hinge zone.

“One of the things with Red Lake and this type of geology is that it tends towards more vertically oriented systems,” Confederation president/director Brian Bapty tells ResourceClips. “But we have a very, very long strike length of 1.8 kilometres with good grades near surface. So if you look at other people drilling at Red Lake, they tend to be drilling quite deep. We can find near-surface ounces, which are cheaper to drill, but they don’t speak to the size of the opportunity.”

With size, however, comes challenges. “One of the problems of having a strike length of 1.8 kilometres by at least a kilometre deep is that it would take us years and cost millions to drill the entire thing out. So we want to focus our business plan on the most economic ounces, on what’s the best way forward—a starter pit or direct to underground. Answering those questions early is important to us.”

More assays are pending and drilling continues. Winter allows work on a frozen lake and marsh, Bapty points out. “After break-up we can move back onto solid ground.”

Confederation funds and operates the project under option with Redstar Gold TSXV:RGC. With its initial $5-million work requirement already complete, Confederation can achieve a 50% interest by paying Redstar $75,000 and 150,000 Confed shares. The PEA, along with another 500,000 shares, would boost Confederation’s portion to 70%.

Next Page 1 | 2

Small Cap, Big Plans

September 20th, 2011

Otterburn drills Palladium-Platinum in Finland

By Greg Klein

(UPDATE: Effective Sept. 26, 2011, Otterburn Ventures Inc will change its name to Finore Mining Inc. The company’s CNSX trading symbol will change from OTB to FIN.)

Nano-caps—companies with market caps often well below $75 million—”have the greatest potential for outsize performance,” according to Paul Zweng, a Portfolio Manager with Resource Venture Advisors. “You can literally generate 10-times returns with these tiny companies.” Needless to say, there is risk. “That is why you really need to understand the geology, the prospectivity and the management team,” he emphasizes. “Are these people who can husband their money and their resources carefully?”

Following Zweng’s advice, these would be the criteria to evaluate Otterburn Ventures’ recently optioned Läntinen Koillismaa Project (LK) in Finland. A palladium-platinum property with gold, copper and nickel, it’s further advanced than the projects Zweng referred to, despite Otterburn’s nano $14-million cap. LK already has a resource estimate, an experienced drill team, a highly regarded management team and, Otterburn President Steven Green says, plenty of blue-sky potential.

Otterburn drills Palladium-Platinum in Finland

Value for money was what brought Otterburn to Finland and LK. The company pulled out of a venture in Tanzania when drill results turned spotty. “We decided we’d better preserve our cash and look at properties elsewhere,” Green explains. “Shortly thereafter, the opportunity in Finland came up. After the Tanzanian experience, we really wanted to see the stability of the country and the stability of the mining environment. Then on top of that you’re looking for all the usual things related to a potential property—that it’s underfunded but doesn’t have any serious flaws, that politically and environmentally it looks like it has growable mineralization. That’s what attracted us to LK. I went over in mid-July, and what I found were four interesting properties. A good, small, knowledgeable staff was on site; they knew what they wanted to do and why they wanted to do it. It looks like there’s a lot of potential along strike and at depth. It has power, a lot of infrastructure. This is a country that is quite interested in mining. In fact, the local community could actually get involved in funding. There’s a nearby vanadium mine that they’re opening, and the community is actually investing in it. We thought we had a much more attractive place to do business.”

A February 2011 resource by Nortec Minerals estimates 60,332 ounces palladium, 19,492 ounces platinum, 6,497 ounces gold, 4,908 tonnes copper and 3,464 tonnes nickel indicated and 378,263 ounces palladium, 133,007 ounces platinum, 91,279 ounces gold, 63,153 tonnes copper and 40,534 tonnes nickel inferred. The estimate covers just two of LK’s four properties and suggests potential large-tonnage, open-pit mining.

A JV with Nortec came through last August, granting Otterburn the option to acquire up to an 80% interest in LK. The agreement has Otterburn earning the initial 49% by paying Nortec $4.5 million, issuing Nortec $2 million in shares and spending $5 million on the project. As for the additional 31%, Otterburn must pay Nortec $3 million, issue Nortec $1 million in shares and spend $5 million. Otterburn must also issue 400,000 common shares to Nortec and 1.85 million common shares to a third party as a finder’s fee.

Green says that even without the extra financing that Otterburn is now working on, the company has enough cash on hand for up to a year of drilling. The next program starts in November, despite LK’s location 65 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle.

“There are sections in all four properties which are on hard ground; they can be drilled any time of the year,” Green says. “There’s an all-weather highway right in the middle of it, power lines right through the middle of it and a rail head about 40 kilometres south. A two-hour drive along the highway takes you to the city of Oulu, which has the main airport and a seaport leading to the Baltic.”

It looks like we could turn this into a potential operating deposit which would give us revenue. We’re in a stable environment; we’ve got room to grow; and we’ve got a good team in place —Steven Green

Green explains that, apart from drilling, geophysics normally constitute the largest exploration expense, and this is an expense Otterburn won’t face for some time, thanks to the advance work done by Nortec.

As it explores the property further, Otterburn intends to apply for a listing on a more senior stock exchange.

Returning to Zweng’s criteria for a successful nano-cap—”the geology, the prospectivity and the management team”—it’s time to ask whether the company is led by “people who can husband their money and their resources carefully.”

A geologist with over 25 years’ experience, Green has worked for Freeport McMoRan, Noranda, Santa Fe Pacific Gold and Cambior. Most recently, he took charge of geological data for Fronteer’s US operations. With experience in Alaska and northern Canada, he’s undaunted by Finland’s Arctic.

CEO/Director Peter Hughes is co-founder of Pirie Hughes Consulting and has over 25 years of management experience in pharmaceuticals, alternative energy and mineral exploration.

Director David Eaton also acts as CEO/Executive Director of Jayden Resources and Managing Director of the Baron Group, a few highlights of his more than 20 years experience building junior resource companies.

Geological Adviser Lawrence Dick is noted for a number of significant discoveries and holds or has held senior positions with companies including Jayden Resources, Sprott Resource, Golden Fame Resources, Evolving Gold, Timmins Gold and Confederation Minerals.

As if he’s directly addressing Zweng’s criteria, Green sums up the LK Project this way: “We have an interesting platinum-palladium property with gold, copper and nickel. It looks like we could turn this into a potential operating deposit which would give us revenue. We’re in a stable environment; we’ve got room to grow; and we’ve got a good team in place.”

At press time Otterburn had $3.5 million in cash and 38.4 million shares at $0.34 for a $13.1 million market cap.

Disclaimer: Otterburn Ventures Inc is a client of OnPage Media.

Disclaimer: Jayden Resources Inc is a client of OnPage Media.