MERN - Québec Mines - Highlights for the first six months of 2002

August 2002

Highlights for the first six months of 2002

A. Moukhsil, P. Doucet, S. Lachance, S. Perreault,
J. Moorhead, P. Houle
Géologie Québec

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.

Far North

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.

Far North

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.

Ungava Trough

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).

Industrial Minerals

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.

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