MERN - Québec Mines

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February 2002

Québec mining exploration
Highlights 2001

Given the number of important discoveries made throughout the year, the diversification of targeted commodities, and the very favourable perception of mineral exploration companies regarding Québec's mineral potential, the number of exploration projects and the amounts invested remained stable relative to last year. A significant increase in the number of diamond exploration projects in the Near North region was noted, however.

The Abitibi Subprovince

This region remains a prime target for base metal and precious metal exploration. Maude Lake Exploration obtained promising drill results on its Comtois property, located west of Lebel-sur-Quévillon. South Malartic Exploration continued stripping and drilling programs, which yielded interesting gold intersections. A bulk sampling program on the Fenelon project, located 95 km northwest of Matagami, was completed by International Taurus Resources and Fairstar Explorations. Approximately 14,000 metric tonnes of ore were extracted and processed, from which 4,213.4 ounces of gold were recovered. Major General Resources and Cameco Gold continued their drill program on the Despinassy property, located 55 km northeast of Amos. Cambior and Aurizon Mines, joint owners of the Sleeping Giant mine, located 70 km north of Amos, announced an increase of their mining reserve estimate following an exploration program. In the Desmaraisville area, stripping by Ressources Nomans helped outline a new gold-bearing vein system. On the Fenton property, south of Chapais, investigations by Sudbury Contact Mines confirmed the highly auriferous nature of the deposit.

On August 17th, Agnico-Eagle Mines inaugurated the Penna shaft at the Laronde mine. An important exploration program is underway at depth on zones 20 North and 20 South and on the El Coco property, adjacent to the Laronde mine. The Explorers Alliance Corporation obtained encouraging results on its Bonhomme property in Beschefer Township. West of Joutel, Cancor Mines continued their work on the Gemini project. Southern Africa Minerals Corporation completed a 2-hole drill program on the Caber North property and, in partnership with SOQUEM INC., a 4-hole program on the Caber property. In the Chibougamau area, Loubel Exploration and Inmet Mining Corporation completed a drill program on the Lemoine property. Aurora Platinum Corporation released drill results throughout the year from the Midrim-Belleterre projects in the Témiscamingue region. The company also revealed it had discovered a kimberlite pipe on the property. In September, Loubel Exploration announced the first results from its prospecting campaign on the Kelly Lake property. These new discoveries, combined with the advanced exploration programs conducted on known deposits, illustrate the attractive mineral potential of the Abitibi and Pontiac subprovinces.

Baie James

In the Baie James region, numerous exploration programs yielded significant results for gold, base metals, platinum group elements, and diamonds. For instance, Matamec Explorations announced drill intersections in iron formation on the Sakami property. A study conducted by the INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) confirmed the economic potential for chromium and PGE, of the Menarik property held by Ressources Minières Pro-Or. On the La Grande Sud project, work by Cambior and Virginia Gold Mines led to the discovery of a new auriferous zone. Sirios Resources and SOQUEM INC. outlined a new type of gold mineralization on the Aquilon property. Investigations by Virginia Gold Mines on the Eleonore property led to the discovery of new corridors with porphyry-type copper, gold, and silver mineralization in dioritic to tonalitic intrusions.

In the Eastmain area, SOQUEM INC. and Eastmain Resources detected several new highly auriferous veins, west of the Clearwater deposit.

Baie James Diamond exploration

Majescor Resources continued its till sampling program and geophysical surveys in the Wemindji area. Their results confirmed the potential for the discovery of kimberlite pipes. In the same area, Dianor Resources announced the presence of a clear yellow, octahedral to cubic microdiamond in a lamprophyre dyke on the Yasinski North property. In the Baie James Lowlands sector, Poplar Resources announced the discovery of kimberlitic indicator minerals on the Nottaway property.

In the Monts Otish area, Ashton Mining of Canada and SOQUEM INC. announced they had intersected in drillhole two kimberlitic bodies spaced one kilometre apart. Following this announcement, several exploration groups acquired properties in this area and north of Lac Mistassini, making the region one of the prime target areas for diamond exploration in Québec. Given the new discoveries of gold mineralization, porphyry-type, and massive sulphide mineralization, as well as the confirmed diamond potential of the Near North region, the level of interest should remain fairly high in this area for the year 2002.

St. Lawrence and Appalachians

In 2001, Niocan continued the procedures to obtain an authorization certificate in order to finance the production startup costs of its niobium deposit in the Oka Carbonatite Complex. Near Thetford-Mines, Ressources Allican discovered PGE concentrations in chromitites from the Hall deposit and from the Starcore showing. On the Sainte-Marguerite property near Causapscal, Ressources Appalaches cut two new quartz and massive sulfide veins in drillholes. In Boisbuisson Township, Système Géostat International cut important Cu and Ag values in the Cu-Ag-rich cap rocks of the old Mines Madeleine deposit.

Ungava Through

In the Ungava Trough, Canadian Royalties and Ungava Minerals outlined interesting PGE mineralization in the Expo-Ungava zone and on a new property (Phoenix). The mineralization consists of massive sulphides and is located near the base of a Raglan-type ultramafic sill (TK sill). In the Rae Province (or southeast Churchill), the company WMC Exploration completed several thousand kilometres of airborne geophysical surveys, as well as prospecting, geological mapping, and drilling programs for their Québec-7 project. A few Cu-Ni showings were discovered and drill-tested during the summer and fall, 2001. In the fall of 2000, WMC had acquired mineral exploration licences covering nearly 13,000 km².


Appalaches Resources and Marum Resources outlined an important EM conductor south of the B-20 property. This property, along with the Baie des Sables property, are located along the northeastern and eastern margins, respectively, of the Rivière-Pentecôte anorthosite.

Geological mapping

In the Far North region of Québec, geological mapping at 1:250,000 scale by Géologie Québec helped detail the geology and assess the mineral potential of the northeastern Superior Province, thus opening new territories to mineral exploration. NTS sheets 34K, 34L, 34O, 35B, and the southern half of sheet 35G were mapped.

Dimension stone

The search for new dimension stone deposits was concentrated in three areas. In the Portneuf region (NTS 31P/01), A. Lacroix et Fils Granite proceeded with stripping and sampling work in a greyish black, coarse-grained tonalitic and dioritic gneiss. The property is identified as the Lac-Gaulois property. In the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region (NTS 22E/14), A. Lacroix et Fils Granite also began stripping and sampling work in a greyish pink, medium-grained migmatized gneiss, on the Rivière-des-Prairies property. In both cases, the properties were developed and operations began over the course of 2001. In the Bas-Saint-Laurent region (NTS 21N/07), Glendyne conducted an extensive drill program in order to increase reserves in its black slate deposit mined for the production of roof tiling.

Industrial minerals

The Magnola plant operated by Noranda, located in Asbestos in the Eastern Townships, increased its magnesium metal output. McKenzie Bay International, in partnership with SOQUEM INC., commissioned a bankable feasibility study on the Chibougamau vanadium project. Raymor Industries acquired the facilities at the former Beacon mine east of Val-d'Or, with the objective of building a pilot plant to produce lithium metal from spodumene extracted from the LaMotte deposit located near Amos, in the Abitibi region. In conclusion, industrial mineral prospecting activities in southern Québec remained stable in 2001, mainly due to the efforts of the various regional mining exploration funds.

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