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Noranda pushing on despite lack of investor interest.

Matheson's gold potential is well known in geological circles, but the sliding price of gold and a lack of investor interest has rendered the region a "no man's land" when it comes to exploration.

Only companies such as Noranda, with tempered exploration budgets and mines that were able to make positive production decisions prior to the investment crash, have kept the gold fires burning.

St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd.'s Stock Township Mine and American Barrick Resource's Holt-McDermott Mine are the only two mines producing in the Matheson region. Royal Oak Resources' Ross Mine in Hislop Township was closed in 1989.

The Stock Mine has more than 12 miles of unexplored prime territory sitting directly atop the Destor-Porcupine fault - the same fault that fostered the famous Timmins gold camp. No drills have touched ground on the property in 1991.

Nevertheless, the published mineable ore reserve at the Stock Mine is about 200,000 tons grading at .165 ounces of gold per ton.

The mine's two-year-old mill is currently churning 550 tons of ore per day, down from 1,000 tons. The Ministry of the Environment limited the mill to 550 tons. Some of the ore feeding the mill comes from Goldpost Resources. St. Andrew inked a deal with Goldpost a year ago whereby St. Andrew mines Goldpost's Hislop East gold deposit and keeps half of the profits.

Immediately available reserves at the Hislop East property were estimated in late 1990 at 285,000 tons of ore grading at .18 ounces of gold per ton. The total estimated reserves on the property have been pegged at 835,544 tons grading at .17 ounces of gold per ton.

Most of the exploration and mining companies that have managed to weather the shattered investment market are focusing on either Hislop, Beatty, Harker or Holloway townships.

American Barrick's Holt-McDermott Mine is the best example of that. Claimed by both Kirkland Lake and Matheson as "their mine." Holt-McDermott is located in the Harker-Holloway goldfields.

$300 MARK

Gold production from the region's newest mine began in 1989 at Holt-McDermott's 1,500-ton-per-day mill. The mine has remained healthy because the cost to produce an ounce of gold has been kept below the $300 mark.

The company is currently exploring the Mattawasaga Zone. In 1990 proven and probable reserves stood at 2.5 million tons grading at .138 ounces of gold per ton. There are a possible two million tons averaging .134 ounces of gold per ton.

On the exploration front, Noranda has managed to brighten its future gold prospects immensely in Matheson's Harker-Holloway area.

Perhaps the best known and most promising play in the Harker-Holloway area belongs to Noranda and Freewest Resources Inc. Noranda owns a 60-per-cent interest in the property, with Freewest holding the balance. More than 165,000 feet of drilling completed in January on what is known as the Lightning Zone confirmed preliminary reserves of at least four million tons grading at an impressive .25 ounces of gold per ton.

The deposit is a prospector's paradise according to the Ontario Geological Survey's 1990 report of activities.

"Some of the best intersections include 64.3 feet grading .43 ounces of gold per ton, 75.5 feet grading .34 ounces, 40 feet grading .65 ounces and 100 feet grading .25 ounces.

"A second zone 1,200 feet below surface contains more intersections, including 124 feet grading at .24 ounces of gold per ton, 72 feet grading .29 ounces, 36 feet grading .42 ounces and 86 feet grading .29 ounces."

And it is not surprising that the deposit is located on the Destor-Porcupine fault.

And the good news continues.

Noranda, Freewest Resources and Newmont Mining can earn a 70-per-cent interest in the Teddy Bear Valley Mines property right next door. The property hosts the downdip extension of the neighboring Lightning Zone and reveals equally impressive results.

Noranda Exploration and Alban Explorations Ltd. are concentrating on Hislop Township. Exploration continues on a 12-claim package optioned from Matachewan Consolidated Mines.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Mining Report; Noranda Exploration Company Ltd.
Author:Nash, Jeff
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Nov 1, 1991
Words:660
Previous Article:Gone but not forgotten, Paymaster may reopen.
Next Article:St. Andrew Goldfields seeks permit to boost Stock mill's production.
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