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Exploration by junior firms reduced despite interest generated by mapping.

Exploration by junior firms reduced despite interest generated by mapping

Although there are an impressive number of mining and exploration operations in the Kirkland Lake gold camp, activity has reduced over the past few years.

Statistics from the resident geologist's office show a 20-percent reduction in active claims, with 22,554 active in January of this year, compared to 27,400 in January of 1988.

There appear to be fewer small companies active in the exploration field, something attributable to the discontinuation of the federal flow-through share financing program. Its replacement, the Canadian Exploration Incentive Program, was cancelled before the exploration community utilized it.

Much of the current activity has resulted from the Kirkland Lake Incentive Program, a federally funded geological mapping exercise undertaken in the early 1980s. The release of those maps sparked a great deal of exploration, particularly in Harker-Holloway Township north of Kirkland Lake along Highway 101.

There was a recent release of geological maps of the greenstone area further north, but there wasn't a similar response of exploration activity. The lack of interest can be traced to the changes in government funding programs and the lack of access to the land.

The adjoining area of north-western Quebec, including the popular Casa-Berardi region, has seen a great deal of exploration activity. However, Quebec still has a modified flow-through program, and the region has a well-developed infrastructure, the result of a post-war government road building program.

The current focus of exploration activity in Kirkland Lake continues to be along the Highway 101 corridor from Matheson to the Quebec border, an area where American Barrick began production at the Holt-McDermott Mine in 1988.

The mine, employing about 200 people, has reserves of about 600,000 ounces, or about 10 years of production at last year's level of 63,354 ounces. In addition, the company is exploring in the adjacent Mattawasaga and Three Star/Worvest zones, drifting from the 250-metre level of Holt-McDermott.

The Matawasaga Zone reportedly has 1.7 million tons of ore grading at .12 ounces of gold per ton. Three Star/Worvest has 1.75 million tons grading at .14 and .15 ounces of gold. Total reserves in both areas is an estimated 456,000 ounces of gold.

Canamax Resources suspended mining in 1989 at its Holloway Township property because of insufficient tonnage. In 1988 the company mined 38,765 tons of ore which produced 5,391 ounces of gold.

Greater Lenora Explorations, once a major player in local prospecting, did no development on its Golden Harker property last year. Earlier exploration work had indicated reserves of 500,000 tons of ore grading at .16 ounces of gold. A 1,000-foot shaft and a decline to the 500-foot level were developed. There are currently 16,500 tons of ore grading .073 stockpiled on surface.

In nearby Garrison Township, Jonpol Explorations and T & H Explorations outlined reserves of 303,600 ounces of gold (1.3 million tons grading .23). Development work included a 476-foot shaft, a 600-foot crosscut and 400 feet of drifting. However, a major underground exploration program was not completed after LAC Minerals cancelled its option on the property.

The Iris property, owned by Perrex Resources and Alberta Gold, and the Buffonta property, owned by Silverside Resources, Proteous Resources and LAC, each reportedly have about 100,000 ounces of gold, but no work was done in the past year.

Further west, in Hislop and Beatty townships near Matheson, four companies have identified reserves. The most promising is being developed by Stroud Resources. Reserves on the Creek Zone of 1.1 million tons of ore grading at .184 ounces of gold were identified in 1989 diamond drilling.

Goldpost Resources controls two properties in Hislop, with a 3,000-foot decline ramp sunk on the New Kelore property. As well, a shaft was sunk to the 475-foot level and a 1,500-foot ramp was sunk to test the South Zone. Reserves are 835,544 tons at 0.17 ounces, for a total of 142,042 ounces of gold.

Noranda Explorations identified 18,000 ounces of gold on the nearby Matachewan Consolidated property, but there was no activity during 1989.

Another Matheson-area property is the Blue Quartz owned by Central Crude and Joutel Resources in Beatty Townships. The companies have reported identifying reserves of 128,000 tons of ore grading at .86 ounces of gold.

Significant exploration and development has also gone on in the Virginiatown area, but the most promising project depends on the resurrection of the Kerr Mine. The mine, owned by Golden Shield Resources, went into receivership last July.

GSR Acquisition Corp. and Deak Resources plan to reopen the mine and mill this year. In 50 years of operation the mine produced more than 10 million ounces of gold. Current reserves are 3.2 million tons of ore grading at .123 ounces of gold per ton, for 393,000 ounces of gold.

Armistice Resources has outlined 500,000 tons of ore grading at .15 ounces of gold per ton adjacent to the Kerr Mine which it plans to explore via the 3,850-foot level of the Kerr. The program depends on a resumption of underground minging.
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Title Annotation:Gold Mining Report
Author:Wroe, John
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Words:859
Previous Article:Flag conducting only gold exploration in Sudbury.
Next Article:Gold exploration in Wawa steady, but less intense.
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