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St. Andrew Goldfields seeks permit to boost Stock mill's production.

St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd. Stock Mine site is geographically positioned to take advantage of any upswing in the precious metals market with claims that stretch more than 12 miles directly along the Destor-Porcupine fault.

"It's all excellent ground, but unfortunately with the times financing is difficult to obtain to explore it, explains Ed Bettiol, general manager of the Stock Township operation.

"It would cost in the millions when it comes to exploration dollars. There are at least five very significant zones indicated that warrant a lot more work. In addition there is a lot of ground, especially at depth, that warrants drilling," he explains.

The Stock Mine has been mining ore from Goldpost Resources' Hislop Township property as a joint venture, but it is temporarily closed for the winter. The intent is to reopen and enter a second phase of mining in April, provided the price of gold is "acceptable."

Throughout the winter all efforts will focus on developing additional stope areas because the Stock Mine is currently developed for only about one year's production. Ramping is under way from the sixth level to access ore zones at the seventh level and to establish drill stations for deeper exploration.

The company has prepared a five-year plan that would see the mine access several more ore bodies to provide for the mine's future as a major employer in the Matheson region.

The transferring of the dormant Taylor headframe and hoist to the Shoot Zone is being considered. However, there is ore reasonably close to the Taylor shaft.

"The Taylor shaft was sunk to a porphry zone that turned out to be low grade, but 700 feet south of the workings there is another area that should be explored," says Bettiol.

"Just west of the Taylor shaft we have what appears to be one of our better-looking ore bodes with drill-indicated reserves in the order of 250,000 tons grading at .21 ounces of gold per ton," he adds.

"Unfortunately, to access this ore zone, the shaft would have to be deepened and 2,800 feet of drifting would have to be done. We're looking to see if funds can be made available to move the Taylor headframe and sink a shaft into the Shoot Zone which has 600,000 tons of ore grading at .16 ounces of gold per ton. That would prolong the life of the mine (Stock Township) because all the ore would come here for processing," says Bettiol, referring to engineering drawings.

But money is the key, and there is a shortage of it when it comes to exploration.

Much of the company's five-year plan relies on bringing the mill up to its 1,000-ton-per-day capacity. The company has applied to the Ministry of the Environment for a permit to mill at full-capacity. The general manager admits that the company is in "dire need" of that permit.

"We hope to have the permit for the spring, when we reopen Goldpost," says Bettiol.

He describes the land owned by the company as one of the best and most promising properties left in the country. Referring to the more than 5,000 acres of claims directly over the Destor-Porcupine fault, he says, "it hasn't been tickled over 12 miles."

But the land atop the famous vault didn't always belong to the mine. The land, looked at enviably by many mining and exploration firms, was collected by means of a variety of separate acquisitions through the astute efforts of the recently deceased Harry Michie, vice-president of exploration, who was also credited with the Stock Mine discovery.

St. Andrew Goldfields holds the distinction of being one of the very few mines which actually began production when other mines and exploration projects were either being shelved or put on hold.
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Title Annotation:Mining Report; St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd. Stock Mine site
Author:Nash, Jeff
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Nov 1, 1991
Previous Article:Noranda pushing on despite lack of investor interest.
Next Article:Tailings operation closed by Eastmaque.

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