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Posts tagged ‘Rubicon Minerals Corp (RMX)’

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. For Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST, however, the attraction is base metals more than the yellow stuff. The company’s Garnet deposit features a 2017 inferred resource showing 2.1 million tonnes averaging 5.78% zinc, 0.72% copper, 19.5 g/t silver and 0.6 g/t gold, using a 3% zinc-equivalent cutoff. 

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 Pistol Bay’s Fredart zone estimated 385,000 tonnes averaging 1.56% copper and 33.6 g/t silver. Historic drilling on the company’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.

HFT speed bump gets green light as OSC approves Aequitas Neo Exchange

November 17th, 2014

by Greg Klein | November 17, 2014

A new bourse that intends to block high frequency trading, Aequitas Neo Exchange received regulatory approval from the Ontario Securities Commission on November 17. With the go-ahead taking effect March 1, Aequitas Innovations says it’s on track to launch its trading and listing platforms during the first half of next year. “The private markets platform will then follow, subject to regulatory approval.”

HFT speed bump gets green light as OSC approves Aequitas Neo Exchange

The new exchange’s primary distinction will be processing delays, or “speed bumps,” as well as higher fees directed at HFT traders. The OSC lists Aequitas Innovations owners as Barclays Corp, CI Investments, IGM Financial, ITG Canada, OMERS OCM Investments II, PSP Public Markets and RBC Dominion Securities. “Before launching operations, the ownership structure will be further expanded, with the aim of reaching an optimal representation of all types of market stakeholders—both small and large,” Aequitas stated.

In a September Financial Post op-ed, David Beatty argued that “HFT firms buy and sell ahead of others, and sell or buy back milliseconds later at absolutely no risk and for great profit. When a traditional trader does this, he is illegally front-running the market.”

Beatty, an Aequitas supporter who holds board positions with a number of companies including Rubicon Minerals TSX:RMX, added: “For a number of dominant HFT market participants, these companies have simply become a commodity, traded not for their fundamentals, but for how they fit in an algorithm executed almost at the speed of light.”

In October the TMX Group announced it would apply a speed bump to its Alpha exchange. Speaking to the National Post, ITG Canada managing director Doug Clark called the plan “TMX Group’s attempt to compete with Aequitas.”

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%.

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Premier President Ewan Downie on Ontario gold assays of 297.61 g/t over 1m

April 28th, 2011

“The East Bay Project is a joint venture we’ve had for several years. Back in 2004-2005, we drilled off a deposit called the Green Altered Zone in the East Bay ultramafic trend in Red Lake—which isn’t the main mine trend, but it’s another favourable alternation horizon. We drilled around, did some feasibility work, and then it just sat on the shelf. Then, a few years back, Rubicon Minerals Corporation TSX:RMX discovered the F2 Zone, and we’ve been following its development. Goldcorp owns adjacent claims to F2, and they’ve been drilling off their own mineralization there. They’ve learned the style of mineralization, and Rubicon has helped us understand what structure they were looking at. East Bay is a fairly large project, and we have multiple similar structures to the F2 deposit that are completed untested by drilling. So in 2010, we did a winter program, and we intersected about an ounce and a half in a narrow-vein structure. It’s best to drill this target in the winter because of the dip of the rock, but we did a follow-up hole last summer; and we hit six ounces per ton, approximately 200 metres north of the original intercept. So this winter [2011], we completed a multihole drill program to follow up those first two high-grade intercepts.

“The first two holes that we released late last week were further step-out holes to the north. So, we’ve now extended the high-grade, narrow-vein structure to a strike length of 400 metres along strike. It remains open, and is wide open down dip. We drilled multiple more holes and are waiting on assays. It’s an early-stage target, and now we’ve identified that there are two parallel horizons. Hopefully, they’re continuous. It’ll take a lot more drilling to establish continuity. Right now, we’re contemplating putting a barge on the water and drilling there, or doing some additional land drilling—drilling down dip like we did last summer.

“As far as these assays are concerned, I’m a huge fan of narrow-vein, high-grade mineralization. That’s what’s made Red Lake. Any time you hit high grade in Red Lake it’s exciting, so we’re looking forward to the follow-up results to this.

“What Rubicon’s done is very positive for the East Bay trend, and it’s inspired us to go back and look at this joint venture with Goldcorp, which has resulted in a discovery already that could become pretty significant with additional drilling.

“We have another JV meeting in about a month—which we do every quarter—and by then we should have all of the results from this drilling. Then we’ll discuss what we do next on East Bay. Hopefully we’ll continue drilling this summer. We’ve got additional targets that remain untested. Right now we’ve got four holes over a strike length of 400 metres, so we need a fair amount of additional drilling before we look at a resource estimate. The objective is to drill off a sufficient resource that would justify an underground program.

“We’re still drilling on our main JV, which is the Rayhill Bonanza Project. We’re expecting, hopefully, some pretty exciting results in the coming week.”

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