Highlights for the first six months of 2002
A. Moukhsil, P. Doucet, S. Lachance, S.
J. Moorhead, P. Houle
The number of important discoveries that occurred
throughout Québec during the first half of 2002, combined
with the increased variety of targeted substances and the very favourable
perception that mining exploration companies have with regards to
the mineral potential of Québec have helped maintain the
number of exploration projects under way
In the Baie-James region, diamond exploration is
booming. North of the MontsOtish, following the discovery of
the "Renard 3" diamond-bearing kimberlitic
body announced on March 28, 2002, Ashton Mining of Canada and
SOQUEM INC. drill-tested three additional targets centred
on geophysical anomalies. On June 13, 2002, the three targets
were confirmed as diamond-bearing kimberlite intrusions,
i.e. "Renard 4, 5 and 6". On May 29, 2002,
Dios Exploration Inc. announced that a vast majority of pyrope garnets
discovered on the 33 Carats property, north of the Monts Otish,
consisted of G10 garnets.
On February 11, 2002, Majescor Resources and
Canabrava Diamond Corp. revealed the presence of over 500 indicator
minerals on the Mistassini project, south of the Monts Otish.
On April 24, 2002, Melkior Resources reported the presence
of indicator minerals in till samples collected on its Otish property.
On June 7, 2002, Pure Gold confirmed the discovery of a new
kimberlite pipe, dubbed H-1, on the Lac Beaver project, south
of the Monts Otish.
In the Wemindji area, Majescor Resources indicated
it was zeroing in on a kimberlite, and that a glacial dispersal
train had been confirmed in the till, with 12,350 indicator
minerals. On March 11, 2002, the company announced the discovery
of a kimberlite sill in Wemindji. In the same sector, Dianor Resources
announced the first diamond discovery of the year, with the presence
of two micro diamonds (yellow/beige and white/frosted) recovered
from two xenolith-rich lamprophyre dykes. In the Baie-James Lowlands, Poplar Resources reported the discovery of kimberlite
indicator minerals on the Nottaway project.
In the Monts Torngat area, Diamond Discoveries
International Corp. reported in early June that a detailed examination
of samples collected during a previous field campaign on their property
in the Monts Torngat area yielded some 60 red rubies (red corundum)
and over 900 pink rubies. Twenty red ruby stones are more than
2 mm in two dimensions. The remaining red and pink stones measure
between 0.5 and 1.0 mm. These rubies were found in a lamprophyre
or kimberlite dyke traced over more than 4 km along strike.
In March 2002, Géologie Québec published, in
conjunction with the Geological Survey of Canada, a document (PRO
2002-03) revealing the discovery of chrome-rich picroilmenite
grains in esker sediments of the Lac Bienville area (NTS 33P).
This confirmed a new area of interest for diamond exploration in
the Nord-du-Québec region.
West of Matagami, TGW Corporation completed an
important geochemistry survey on all the eskers located on its Roussillon
property. A few samples contained picroilmenite and pyrope grains
with fragile surface textures (indicating local transport).
Base and Precious Metals
Abitibi/Témiscamingue and Pontiac
During the first six months of 2002, several companies
involved in the search for precious metal and polymetallic deposits
were active in the Abitibi and Pontiac geological subprovinces,
mainly in the Témiscamingue region and west of Matagami.
Various companies reported significant results. Maude Lake Exploration,
on the Comtois property (west of Lebel-sur-Quévillon),
obtained good gold grades. Atlantis Exploration reported promising
results on the Abitibi project (11.38 g/t Au over 1.13 m
in 14 intersections) following an encouraging drill program.
A new gold zone was uncovered on the Croinor project by South-Malartic
Exploration. Near Lac Pelletier (Rouyn-Noranda), interesting results
were released by Thundermin-SOQUEM and Ressources Itaminéraque,
including 885 g/t Au over 1 m. At the LaRonde mine,
Agnico-Eagle continued its exploration program on the
El Coco property, where a few drillholes yielded fairly promising
results of 0.10 ounce per tonne of gold over 9.2 feet.
Gold grades were also reported on the Shawkey project by Western
Québec Mines (20 g/t Au over 3.8 m; 152.6 g/t Au
over 0.35 m and 119.2 g/t Au over 0.2 m).
West of Joutel, Cancor Mines announced in March 2002, positive
results following an airborne MEGATEM geophysical survey completed
on the Gemini and Turgeon properties. About ten important isolated
targets were identified. The company plans to ground-truth,
and eventually test these anomalies in an upcoming drill program.
In May 2002, the Matagami division of Noranda inc. issued a
statement announcing its intention to idle production at the Bell
Allard mine, in Matagami, for one month starting June 29, 2002,
due to low zinc prices and high metal inventories on world markets.
In the Témiscamingue region, Tom Exploration inc. reported
at the end of January, results from its first drillhole on the Laverlochère
property, adjacent to the Midrim-Belleterre-Angliers
properties held by Aurora Platinum Corp. Drillhole LA-01-01
intersected 409 m grading 0.17% Ni and 0.01% Co,
including a higher-grade section of 194 m at 0.19% Ni
and 0.01% Co. Partners Loubel Exploration inc. and Tom Exploration
inc. completed several drillholes on the Kelly Lake property, west
of Belleterre. These drillholes yielded encouraging Cu, Ni, Co,
Pt and Pd intersections.
In the Near North region, numerous work programs
yielded significant results for gold and base metals. Virginia Gold
Mines and TGW Corporation released results from the Poste Lemoyne
property following the completion of mechanical stripping, detailed
mapping and channel sampling conducted in the fall 2001 (up
to 12.8 g/t Au over 9 m). This work was focussed
on the Orfée zone. On February 5 and 22, 2002, the gold-bearing
zone hosting the Orfée showing was confirmed by drillhole
on the same property. The drill program successfully demonstrated
the continuity of the gold-bearing zone over a lateral
distance of 275 m, down to a vertical depth of 150 m.
The best grades were obtained in drillhole PL02-20, with 12.83 g/t Au
over 11.65 m. Three trenches blasted on the Ouf and Surouf
showings exposed semi-massive to massive sulphide zones over thicknesses
of 2 to 13.5 m. Grab samples yielded grades of 2.23% Zn,
0.63% Cu and 8.5 to 15 g/t Ag. Virginia Gold Mines
and Cambior, in Caniapiscau (Noella permit), announced the discovery
of several gold showings namely distributed along an iron formation
horizon, with gold grades reaching up to 27 g/t Au in
grab samples. On June 19, 2002, Matamec Explorations reported
the extension of gold zones 25 and 26 in the Sakami area. Drill
results are very encouraging. Drillhole EX-31 reached both zones
(25 and 26). The intersection of zone 26 yielded grades of
1.37 g/t Au over 10.76 m, including 1.76 g/t Au
over 5.76 m, whereas the intersection in zone 25 yielded
2.52 g/t Au over a total core length of 27.15 m,
including a section of 4.69 m at 5.47 g/t Au.
Appalaches Resources and Marum Resources reported
good results from a drill program on the Inco Grid, on property B20
(Rivière-Pentecôte anorthositic Suite).
Mineralized horizons about ten metres thick, with massive sulphide
sections grading up to 1.2% Ni; 1.6% Cu; 0.13% Co
and 0.4 g/t Pt were reported. On the Main Grid on the
same property, four out of eight drillholes intersected nine mineralized
zones between 4 and 65 m thick, with massive sulphide
zones that yielded grades up to 1.6% Ni; 1.5% Cu; 0.18% Co
and 0.2 g/t Pt. Additional drilling is planned on the
property during the summer 2002.
St. Lawrence Platform and Appalachians
Allican Resources completed mapping and systematic
sampling of all known chromite showings in the area. Assays from
eight grab samples collected on the Starchrome showing yielded grades
up to 13.37 g/t Pt+Pd, whereas grab samples from the Nayes,
American Chrome Jr. and Colline Nadeau showings yielded grades ranging
from 0.24 to 0.77 g/t Pt+Pd.
Virginia Gold Mines Inc. and BHP Billiton Inc.
reported interesting results from drillholes completed in the winter 2002
in different sectors (Nancy, Nancy East, L and Gagnon) on the Gayot
property. Assay results vary from one sector to the next, but range
between 0.9 and 9.03% Ni, and between 0.33 and 0.79% Cu.
Individual assays yielded up to 15.2% Ni and 15.04 g/t
Pt+Pd in the Nancy sector.
Following their Ni-Cu-PGE discovery on the Phoenix
property in Nunavik (Ungava), Canadian Royalties launched its second
exploration campaign on June 27, 2002. On this property, the mineralization
consists of massive sulphides found near the base of a Raglan-type
ultramafic sill (TK sill).
On February 26, 2002, Raymor Industries Inc. announced
it was about to begin construction of a commercial pilot plant to
produce high-purity lithium metal from spodumene extracted from
the La Motte deposit near Amos, in the Abitibi region. On April
22, 2002, McKenzie Bay International Ltd. reported the positive
conclusion of a feasibility study on the Lac Doré vanadium
project, southeast of Chibougamau. Engineering firm SNC Lavalin
Inc. concluded its feasibility study with a recommendation to develop
an open pit mine, and a processing plant, on the site of the Lac
Doré vanadium deposit. The study reveals that the Lac Doré
project could produce high-purity vanadium destined
for the production of vanadium electrolyte "VE". Based
on a marketing study by Secor, there is a strong demand for vanadium
batteries requiring high-purity VE, which indicates
an excellent economic potential.