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Posts tagged ‘St Andrew Goldfields (SAS)’

Low-hanging fruit

June 26th, 2015

GTA Resources considers mining near-surface, high-grade Ontario gold

by Greg Klein

For the majors, the really big new gold deposits seem more and more elusive. But GTA Resources and Mining TSXV:GTA thinks it might have found enough low-hanging fruit to make a substantial impact on a small-cap company. Recently optimized high-grade pit shells have GTA examining the possibility of low-cost production at the Northshore project, 125 kilometres west of Hemlo.

GTA Resources considers mining near-surface, high-grade Ontario gold

A program of shallow infill drilling would help determine
the viability of small-scale mining at GTA’s Northshore project.

“We knew we had a high-grade zone within the Afric deposit,” CEO Wayne Reid says of Northshore’s June 2014 resource estimate. “And we wanted to know what could be put in shallow pits as a high-grade resource because it might be very simple to mine this stuff in an open pit with very little stripping and truck it to an existing mill.”

In a joint venture with Balmoral Resources TSX:BAR, GTA has completed a 51% earn-in and acts as operator of the 337-hectare project on the Hemlo-Schreiber Greenstone Belt. Based on 52 holes totalling 11,390 metres, the Afric zone’s resource used a 0.5 gram-per-tonne cutoff to show:

  • indicated: 12.36 million tonnes averaging 0.99 g/t for 391,000 ounces gold

  • inferred: 29.58 million tonnes averaging 0.87 g/t for 824,000 ounces

Intrigued by the high-grade areas close to surface, GTA commissioned an engineering study that detailed two pit shells within the existing resource. In results released this month, two options were provided within each shell, with those for the West area showing:

Pit Pws 28

  • indicated: 56,825 tonnes averaging 2.92 g/t for 5,335 ounces

Pit Pws 31

  • indicated: 100,665 tonnes averaging 2.8 g/t for 9,062 ounces

For the East area, the two options showed:

Pit Pws 28

  • inferred: 62,809 tonnes averaging 2.86 g/t for 5,775 ounces

Pit Pws 31

  • indicated: 91,449 tonnes averaging 2.38 g/t for 6,998 ounces

  • inferred: 287,060 tonnes averaging 2.63 g/t for 24,273 ounces

For both East and West areas, pit 28 totals 5,335 ounces indicated and 5,775 ounces inferred. Pit 31’s total comes to 16,060 ounces indicated and 24,273 ounces inferred. The strip ratio for each pit came to 0.5 and 0.8 respectively.

If a low-cost mining scenario proves possible, such numbers could offer significant opportunity for a company like GTA, Reid says. An affable Newfoundlander who’s been a professional geologist for close to 40 years, he looks back on a career largely focused on Archean gold deposits, mainly in the Timmins camp but also in Red Lake, along with base metals and uranium experience.

Reid spent over 20 years in senior roles with the Noranda/Hemlo group. He’s also served as manager of Canadian exploration for Echo Bay Mines and exploration manager for St. Andrew Goldfields TSX:SAS, in addition to positions with other companies. Reid initially staked and began exploration at Brewery Creek and took part in the team that sunk the first holes in Newfoundland’s Boundary deposit, which became the Duck Pond mine.

Looking at Northshore’s optimized pits, he says, “I think that if our preliminary numbers can be verified you could have a good profit without needing a lot of capital. What we need to do now is put some economic numbers on that and also firm up those ounces.”

To accomplish that, Reid wants to do shallow infill drilling, baseline environmental studies and a mini-bulk sample ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 tonnes, depending on what permitting allows. A four-kilometre road linking to the Trans-Canada Highway would need upgrading. “We’ve already talked to some existing mills within a 150-kilometre radius of the deposit,” Reid says.

With $600,000 now in the till, GTA hopes to raise more money soon through a flow-through share offering which would allow further work to resume around mid-summer.

I think it would take one key person to co-ordinate it. After that, it’s all contracting—the mining, the trucking, the milling.—Wayne Reid, CEO of
GTA Resources and Mining

While the Hemlo-Schreiber Greenstone Belt discovery remains GTA’s flagship, the company’s also active farther east, between Timmins and the Borden Lake deposit acquired by Goldcorp TSX:G earlier this year. Now in the second year of a 100% option on the Ivanhoe project, GTA expanded its claims by 40% over the last year to compile a 13,258-hectare land package. An interpreted extension of the Destor Porcupine fault zone extends across the northern part of the property.

Last year’s prospecting identified four areas of gold mineralization on the Destor Porcupine break and a porphyry trend. Samples graded up to 4.1 g/t and 18.1 g/t. Magnetometer and induced polarization surveys followed, with IP finding several high resistivity and chargeability targets that appear to coincide with the mineralized areas. With additional fieldwork to come, drilling is tentatively planned for late summer or early fall.

In Reid’s home province and near the Duck Pond mine he helped explore, GTA optioned claims earlier this month that comprise part of the Burnt Pond zinc-copper property. “We’re going to do a geophysical program to better identify some VMS or base metals targets and get ready to drill them,” he says. The plan is to take advantage of Newfoundland’s 50% rebate on exploration costs. Surveys could begin in summer or fall.

Back in Ontario but currently on the backburner is GTA’s Auden property, immediately south of Zenyatta Ventures’ (TSXV:ZEN) Albany graphite project.

If all goes well at Northshore, the high-grade, near-surface areas could potentially “make serious money for our market cap,” Reid emphasizes. For the exploration company to go into production, “we would have to get the right people in the right places,” he explains. “I think it would take one key person to co-ordinate it. After that, it’s all contracting—the mining, the trucking, the milling.”

He adds, “Now if someone wanted to take it out and buy it from us, we’d be open to that also.”

Undaunted by dogma

April 25th, 2014

Kapuskasing Gold wants to prove, once again, that Mike Tremblay’s right about Ontario’s newest gold district

by Greg Klein

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He might have spent over 20 years as a voice crying in the Kapuskasing wilderness, but prospector Mike Tremblay saw his theories validated by a 2010 discovery on property he staked. That was the Borden Lake project in what Probe Mines TSXV:PRB calls Ontario’s newest gold district, the Kapuskasing structural zone. Now as an adviser to Kapuskasing Gold TSXV:KAP, Tremblay wants to open up more of this almost unexplored region.

The Kapuskasing zone sits tantalizingly close to a number of gold camps. Yet it’s received surprisingly little attention. Having grown up in the nearby town of Chapleau, Tremblay says locals often asked, “Why do we have mines all around us but there’s no mines here?” His response: “It was because of this great big Kapuskasing structure that nobody was exploring in.”

Kapuskasing Gold wants to prove, once again, that Mike Tremblay’s right about Ontario’s newest gold district

Tremblay says he was “lucky enough to learn from really smart people, the kind of people who would take you under their wing and teach you.” But something about the region close to home intrigued him. “I always had that contrary, stubborn streak in me, so you couldn’t tell me that something wasn’t possible.”

While working with Noranda Mines he learned about a VMS target that the company walked away from. Tremblay staked it in 1987, lost it at one point, re-staked it and, along with partner Jack Robert, finally sold it to Probe.

That was in March 2010. By June of that year the company had flown a VTEM survey. That summer they hit, eventually announcing a 91-metre intercept averaging two grams per tonne gold from one of six near-surface mineralized holes over a potential 250-metre strike.

Vindicated, Tremblay and his collaborators sought new turf in the Kapuskasing. Meanwhile by January 2013 Probe revealed a global resource of 5.19 million ounces indicated and 1.18 million ounces inferred. In May of last year Agnico Eagle TSX:AEM took a 9.9% stake in Probe. Then in November Tremblay, Robert and Probe won the 2013 Ontario Prospectors Association Award. The OPA credited the “new and unique discovery” to the fact that Tremblay and the others showed themselves “undaunted by dogma.”

Early this year Tremblay and his staking team sold two more properties, “my dream concepts in the area,” to Olympic Resources. He also joined as an adviser, helping transform the company into Kapuskasing Gold.

The acquisitions are Borden North, two claim blocks totalling 6,800 hectares by the Kapuskasing zone’s eastern margin about 60 kilometres north of Probe’s resource, and Rollo, a 7,136-hectare property just east of the zone.

“On Borden North there’s a big S-fold up in the mafic volcanics, so if there was anything it would fatten out in the fold, it would be a structural trap,” Tremblay explains. “When KAP got involved, we staked ground around it to cover all the potential.”

“Rollo was another one that I generated,” he adds. “I once worked with a prospector in his 80s. He was 18 years old in 1933, when they made some big discoveries in the region. So he had intimate knowledge of the area and he told me about this gold showing on a portage on what is now the Rollo project. So when that ground came open, 20 years after he passed on, I remembered he talked about a porphyry on that portage where he panned gold. That was the enticement to get the other guys to put in money.”

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Quarterly records

October 9th, 2012

Gold producers with higher ounces for Q3

by Greg Klein

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With third quarter results rolling in, some miners are competing with each other to announce record-high gold ounces for their companies. Here’s a look at five companies that released Q3 production numbers on October 9.

Q3 marked a record 32,137 gold ounces for Avion Gold’s TSX:AVR Tabakoto open-pit and underground operation in Mali. That’s an increase from 28,640 ounces in Q2 and the third consecutive quarterly record. The company now expects to exceed its 2012 guidance of 95,000 to 102,000 ounces. Avion produced 91,200 ounces in 2011.

Gold producers with higher ounces for Q3

Liquid gold pours from Nevsun Resources’ Bisha Mine, which produced 98,000 ounces in Q3 2012.

Avion holds an 80% interest in Tabakoto. The company emphasizes that its southern Mali operation had uninterrupted production despite the sectarian violence centred in the country’s north following a March 22 military coup.

The company closed October 9 at $0.88, two cents above the day’s opening price. With a market cap of $390.71 million, Avion’s 52-week high and low are $2.31 and $0.41.

Another Q3 record-setter, St Andrew Goldfields TSX:SAS reported 25,742 gold ounces from three mines in Ontario’s Timmins Mining District. The Q2 total was 23,106 ounces. Q3’s breakdown comes to 13,147 ounces from the Holt underground mine, 5,408 ounces from the Holloway underground mine and 7,187 ounces from the Hislop open pit. All three share the Holt Mill.

Last month the company re-filed documents on Sedar to correct an overstatement of the inferred category for Holt and Holloway. The corrected estimate for Holt shows 1.09 million ounces measured and indicated, and 229,000 ounces inferred. The measured and indicated numbers include proven and probable reserves of 415,000 ounces. Holloway’s corrected estimate shows 110,000 ounces measured and indicated, and 452,000 inferred. M&I includes proven and probable reserves of 31,000 ounces. These figures correct an overstatement of 665,000 inferred ounces for Holt and 44,000 inferred ounces for Holloway.

Nevertheless the company maintains it’s on track to meet 2012 guidance totalling between 90,000 and 100,000 ounces for all three mines.

St Andrew opened October 9 at $0.47 and closed on $0.465. SAS has a market cap of $171.23 million, a 52-week high of $0.65 and a low of $0.305.

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