Vancouver-based company hits rare mineral deposit in Red Lake area.
Drilling for gold in a geological structure east of Red Lake has resulted in the discovery of an entirely different, yet valuable, mineral deposit.
Gold drilling programs at the Springpole property, located 70 miles east of Red Lake, have been disappointing for officials of Akiko-Lori Gold Resources, Noranda Minerals and Goldfields Canadian Mining. However, the companies have located a deposit of fluorite.
"The discovery could make the site economically viable to the point where any gold we find would just be gravy," said Albert Raponi, secretary/treasurer for Vancouver-based Akiko-Lori.
Raponi said exploration work at the site has led to the discovery of a significant deposit of fluorite. Following processing, the material is used in creating such diverse products as toothpaste, hydrofluoric acid and specialty steel.
While the potential magnitude of the find has taken company executives aback, the find itself was not totally unexpected.
"It was a surprise, but not a complete surprise," said the company director. "It was located in a geologically interesting area and we investigated it as part of the drilling program.
"You have to realize that 100,000 million tons at 15 per cent is still 15,000 million tons of fluorite," Raponi said, as he commented on the potential of the deposit.
If brought into production, the site could be an economic boon for the company and its partner in the project, Noranda Minerals, as well as for the community.
Brian Atkinson, resident geologist in Red Lake, said the deposit could have a significant influence on both the companies and the Red Lake area.
The discovery is significant because of the scarcity of the mineral. According to a spokesman with the Canadian Chemical Producers Association, Canada's current production of the material is limited, and most fluorite used here is brought in from foreign sources.
Raponi said the deposit has graded as high as 39 per cent, but the average grade is approximately 15 per cent fluorite.
Akiko-Lori and Noranda can each earn 35-per-cent interest in the property by spending $20 million over the next 10 years. The remaining 30-per-cent interest in the 14,500-acre property is held by Goldfields.
The 221-claim Springpole property, located between Birch and Springpole lakes, was also the subject of a winter drilling program which located gold deposits with an average grade of .16 ounces per ton.
"We have the assay results, but the deposit is not as wide as we would like," Raponi said during a telephone interview.
The winter drilling program was conducted to determine the feasibility of the open pit potential of the Portage gold zone. Drilling programs at the site located an estimated 7.9 million tons of reserves with an average grade of .07 ounces of gold per ton.
An additional drilling program was scheduled to commence last month. The program will focus on both the Main and the Fluorite zones which were identified by a previous Goldfields exploration program.
"We'll be looking at zones that they (Goldfields) didn't," Raponi said.
He added that the program will also double check the results of the previous drilling program which located the fluorite deposit.
Akiko-Lori was also involved in a summer drilling program in northeastern Ontario. In a joint venture, the company has an option to earn a 50-per-cent interest in the Catherine gold property, southeast of Kirkland Lake, from Goldfields by spending $1 million over the next three years.
The property hosts a splay of the Larder Lake break.
Raponi said the drilling program includes sinking three or four holes to a depth of more than 1,000 feet. Tests on samples from three of the holes showed grades of up to .089 ounces over 3.1 feet.
The company's exploration program also discovered 13 surface gold showings with values of up to 3.88 ounces.
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|Title Annotation:||Mining Report; Akiko-Lori Gold Resources; Red Lake, Ontario|
|Publication:||Northern Ontario Business|
|Date:||Oct 1, 1990|
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