The articles in this issue are available in a printable format. Click on the printer icon below to begin printing. The page setup was designed for printing in portrait format.




Mineral Exploration:
New highs for Québec in 2006!

On November 1, 2006 , there where more than 175,000 active claims in Québec, which is a 10-year high.

In addition, chances are that exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures in Québec for 2006 will top the $200-million mark for the third year in a row. In fact, preliminary data on company spending intentions indicates that $234 million will have been invested in Québec. It should be noted that about sixty mining companies raised more than $1 million in financing for their work:
  • 48 companies had a budget between $1 million and $5 million (including 42 junior companies);
  • 6 companies had a budget between $5 million and $10 million (including 3 junior companies);
  • 5 companies had a budget over $10 million (including 3 junior companies);

Based on the data for 2005, most exploration expenditures were allocated to work outside mine sites ($180 million, 88%). A large part of this work was managed by junior companies ($111 million) and senior companies ($63 million). The chart below shows 2005 exploration expenditures by commodity. Uranium stands out, with an increase in exploration investments of more than 300% compared to 2004.

For more information about the highlights of exploration work in the province, see  Report on Mineral Exploration Activities in Québec in 2006 (DV 2007-02 ).

Please note that this report will also be available at Québec’s PDAC booth.


A new geological map of the Abitibi Subprovince

By Jean Goutier and Mario Melançon

Next March, at the annual convention of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC 2007), in Toronto, a preview version of the new geological map of the Abitibi Subprovince will be unveiled. This geological region, one of the most prolific in the world in terms of gold, copper, zinc and silver production, is the largest Archean volcanosedimentary belt in the world (~2.7 billion years). The new map will therefore highlight new exploration sectors, mainly for copper, zinc, gold and silver.

This new version of the geological map of the Abitibi Subprovince substantially updates previous editions by the MER-OGS (1984) and Hocq (1990). The most significant changes are in the northern portion of the Abitibi Subprovince. They include:

  • identification of an old volcanic sequence dated at 2791 Ma (in the past, the oldest known rocks were 2730 Ma in age);
  • recognition of nine episodes of volcanism and two episodes of sedimentation;
  • better distinction between types of plutons; and
  • extension of the alkaline volcanics of the Chapais-Chibougamau area to the west.

New dating of volcanics containing lenses of massive sulphides (Cu-Zn-Ag-Au) highlights the presence of new episodes of polymetallic mineralization, such as at 2736 Ma (Gémini-Turgeon), 2721 Ma (Estrades), 2718 Ma (Gonzague-Langlois) and 2706 Ma (Abcourt) as opposed to classical episodes, at 2730-2725 Ma (Normétal-Joutel-Selbaie-Matagami) and 2701-2697 Ma (Horne, LaRonde). Some areas also display geological characteristics (lithology and age) analogous to those of the rock hosting the giant Kidd Creek Cu-Zn-Ag deposit in Ontario.

Other dating shows that the episode of alkaline volcanism and deposition of alluvial-fluvial sediments in the northern portion (Haüy and Waswanipi formations) is not as old as expected (~2690 Ma rather than 2715-2705 Ma). These rocks are therefore close in age to the Timiskaming-type sedimentary and volcanic rocks in the southern portion of the Abitibi Subprovince that are associated with major structures and many gold deposits (e.g. Kirkland Lake area in Ontario ). Accordingly, in the north, the shearing bordering these rock types represents corridors prospective for the discovery of new gold deposits.

The synthesis map emphasizes regional correlations, new U-Pb dating and geology issuing from recent work by Géologie Québec, which is available in SIGÉOM. It features a legend showing the temporal correlations between the volcanic, plutonic and sedimentary units. This version will be used as a base for a small-scale georeferenced map.

For details about new dating in the Abitibi Subprovince , please see the following documents: RP-2005-01, RP-2005-02, RP 2006-04.


The Eastmain Belt:
the emergence of a new gold camp

By Daniel Bandyayera and Patrick Houle

Discovery of the Roberto deposit

In 2003, Virginia Gold Mines Inc. discovered the Roberto gold deposit on the Éléonore property, northeast of Opinaca reservoir (Baie James territory), triggering a major staking rush in the Eastmain Belt. The Roberto deposit has now been traced by drilling over a strike length of 1.9 km and a depth of 1300 metres, and remains open in all directions. With estimated resources of three to five million ounces of gold, the Roberto deposit is one of the most significant discoveries made over the past 15 years in North America. In addition, land can still be acquired for exploration in the Opinaca geological subprovince, since a large part of the area remains available for staking.

Gold exploration is booming

The Éléonore property’s gold mineralization, associated with metamorphosed and metasomatized sediments, confirms the potential for high-grade gold mineralization of the Eastmain Belt, including the Eau Claire deposit held by Eastmain Resources Inc.

Exploration in this area has been so successful that it is currently one of the most promising targets for mineral exploration in Québec. For example, Everton Resources Inc. and joint-venture partner Azimut Exploration Inc. have discovered a 1.7-km gold zone, which includes the Inex Zone (3.03 g/t Au over 1.5 m), northeast of the Roberto deposit and a northeast-oriented anomalous gold corridor, 12 km long, with, at each end, the Claude target (1.0 g/t Au over 21.5 m) and the Manuel showing (12.01 g/t Au over 4.6 m on surface). The Eastmain Resources Inc., Goldcorp Inc. and Azimut Exploration Inc. joint venture recently reported an intersection grading 1.49 g/t Au over 16.0 metres on surface, from a new showing in a 10-km-long anomalous gold corridor on the Éléonore South property. The showing, known as the JT Target, is in mineralized sediments that have many points in common with the Roberto deposit. Several other gold showings were reported in 2006 by various companies in the area, including Beaufield Resources Inc., Arianne Resources Inc., Sirios Resources Inc. and Golden Valley Mines Ltd.

Regional exploration guides

As shown in the Roberto mineralized system, the P1 fold hinges and transversal or longitudinal deformation zones that affect the rock are favourable sites for remobilization, hydrothermal replacement and local enrichment of the gold mineralization. Consequently, most of the gold mineralization targets occur:

  1. along the contact between the sediments and the volcanics,
  2. in the contact zone between the La Grande and Opinaca subprovinces, and
  3. in the eastern part of the LaGuiche Basin (Beaumier, 2006).

Geology of the Opinaca sector

The Eastmain Belt is about 300 km long and 10 to 70 km wide. It is composed of assemblages of volcanic and sedimentary rock belonging to the La Grande Subprovince, and of paragneiss belonging to the Opinaca Subprovince . The latter forms a turbiditic basin similar to the Quetico basin in Ontario. The Opinaca sector borders the Lower Eastmain and Middle Eastmain segments.

In summer 2006, Géologie Québec began a three-year mapping program of the sector. Preliminary results from mapping of NTS sheets 33 C/09 and 33 C/16 show that the geology of the Opinaca sector is centred on the Kasipaskatch synvolcanic plutonic dome, a multiphase synvolcanic intrusive body, 15 km in diameter, consisting of diorite, monzodiorite and porphyritic tonalite, located in the middle of Opinaca reservoir. All the volcanosedimentary units of the La Grande Subprovince are draped around the plutonic dome. They are composed, from base to top, of pillowed or brecciated basalts, intermediate to locally felsic volcaniclastics, and clastic sediments with well-preserved primary structures. Although the sedimentary and volcanic sequences are generally in fault contact, conglomerates or conglomeratic sandstones can locally be observed unconformably overlying the volcanics.

Metallogenic setting of the Opinaca sector

The transition zone between the Opinaca and La Grande subprovinces was influenced by a significant hydrothermal and porphyritic system, centred on the Kasipaskatch multiphase intrusive dome (middle of Opinaca reservoir). The system gave rise to several associations of auriferous mineralization, characterized by significant networks of metasomatic veinlets and by tourmaline and aluminosilicate alteration. The main mineralizations are:

  1. Roberto-type mineralization, associated with corridors of metasomatic stockworks
This mineralization is observed in sediments, conglomerates and felsic tuffs. The first generation of metasomatic stockworks is folded and dismembered. Regionally speaking, it is possible that the hydrothermal fluids that formed the Roberto deposit were generated at a deeper level than the Ell Lake Intrusion, probably at the level of the Kasipaskatch Pluton.

Roberto-type metasomatic veins in an andalusite- and sulphide-bearing wacke located 17 km west of Roberto, northwest of the Kasipaskatch plutonic dome.

  1. Mineralization associated with tourmalinized volcanosedimentary sequences

Several phases of tourmaline-bearing white pegmatite were injected into the volcanosedimentary sequence. Locally, a dense network of these veins led to the pervasive tourmalinization of the host rock. The pegmatitic bodies can contain up to 20% centimetric tourmaline.

  1. Mineralization associated with hydrothermal breccias

Hydrothermal breccia in a wacke: the fragments are cemented by the biotite-hornblende-garnet-sulphide assemblage.
Mineralized hydrothermal breccias were developed in the basalts and wackes. The network of fractures gradually filled with biotite, garnet, black chlorite and local tourmaline, while amplifying the brecciation of the host rock. In the final stage, a mineralized brecciated rock resembling a monogenic conglomerate was formed.
  1. Mineralization associated with basalts

This type of mineralization is often observed on pillow borders, or locally in brecciated basalt. It occurs in the form of massive to semi-massive pyrite in the interstices between pillows. Near the mineralized zone, gradual garnet, biotite and tourmaline enrichment of the host rock has been observed.

  1. Mineralization associated with the contact between basalts and QFP dykes
Major mineralized zones, decametric in thickness, have been observed along quartz feldspar porphyry dykes cutting across the basalts. The contact is often deformed or sheared and the basalt is transformed into garnet amphibolite.

Highly disseminated mineralization in the contact zone of a QFP dyke cutting across basalt.
  1. Mineralization associated with mudstones

Horizons of mudstone, metric in thickness, often occur within the basalts or tuffs, or at the contact between basalts and clastic sediments. They are often rusty, pyritized and silicified.

  1. Mineralization associated with conglomerates

All the types of conglomerate mapped contain either fragments of sulphides, or fragments of mineralized rock or of rock containing metasomatic and epidotized veins. This suggests the existence of some mineralization prior to the formation of the sedimentary sequence. Mineralization associated with the hydrothermal alteration of conglomerates or with zones of deformation crosscutting them has also been observed.

  1. Mineralization associated with regional deformation zones
Massive sulphides (pyrite-pyrrhotite-arsenopyrite) in a regional deformation zone at the contact between the basalt and the conglomerate.
This type of mineralization has been observed in the conglomerate south of the Roberto deposit and in the sheared contact between the basalt and the conglomerate to the east and west of the Kasipaskatch Pluton. Disseminated sulphides are preferentially concentrated in sandy conglomeratic horizons. These are mylonitized and rusty zones containing disseminated to semi-massive sulphides (pyrite+pyrrhotite+arsrnopyrite).

Metallogenic setting of the Éléonore sector

The Éléonore sector hosts two main systems of gold mineralization:

  1. Porphyry-type mineralization
It consists of Au-Cu-Ag mineralization in diorite. Epidote-bearing stockworks gradually grade into tourmaline-quartz-epidote stockworks and finally into a system of tourmaline-chalcopyrite-pyrrhotite-pyrite-garnet stockworks near the mineralized zone. The mineralization observed consists of pyrite, pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite, either massive or in veinlets, grading up to 3% Cu and 19 g/t Ag

Lake Ell diorite (Éléonore sector): proximal alteration and porphyry-type mineralization: tourmaline-quartz-garnet-sulphide (chalcopyrite-pyrrhotite-pyrite-arsenopyrite) stockworks
  1. Hydrothermal-replacement mineralization

The Roberto deposit is part of this type of Au-As-B-Sb-rich mineralization, consisting of pyrrhotite, pyrite and arsenopyrite. It is genetically associated with stockworks of tourmaline-biotite-garnet-arsenopyrite-pyrrhotite metasomatic veins. The hanging wall of the Roberto deposit is characterized by the presence of wacke with stockworks of metasomatic veins composed of hornblende-tourmaline-epidote-garnet, frequently containing aluminosilicates in positive relief. The footwall of the mineralized zones consists of turbiditic units that have not been affected by any hydrothermal alteration.

Two types of alteration can easily be recognized in the Éléonore sector:


Proximal alteration at the Roberto deposit: stockworks of folded veins of tourmaline-quartz-sulphide in the mineralized layers.
  1. a distal alteration formed by the andalusite-muscovite±cordierite assemblage. This aluminosilicate alteration is traceable for hundreds of metres around the mineralized zones;
  2. an alteration proximal to the mineralized zones, formed by the tourmaline±epidote±quartz±sulphide assemblage.

References

Beaumier, M., 2006 - L’or dans les sédiments de lacs dans la partie orientale du Bassin de LaGuiche, Québec Exploration 2006, résumés des conférences et des photoprésentations, page 48.


Dramatic increase in uranium exploration in Québec

By Serge Perreault, M.Sc., P. Geo.
Assistant to the Director General
Géologie Québec directorate

The mining community's interest in uranium has risen dramatically in Québec, after 22 years of relative inactivity. This keen interest in uranium is directly related to its spot market price, which reached a peak of US$72 per pound at the end of January 2007. As a result, exploration expenditures for uranium, which were only in the tens of thousands of dollars in 2000, rose from $1.36 million and $4.3 million in 2004 and 2005, respectively, to $16 million in 2006 (data from Natural Resources Canada and preliminary actual ISQ data for 2006). These expenditures were distributed over roughly 40 projects, mainly located in the Grenville Province (in the Témiscamingue area (Kipawa), in the Outaouais Region (Fort-Coulonge), in the Laurentides Region (Mont-Laurier), in the Côte-Nord Region (Baie-Johan-Beetz – Aguanish), in the sedimentary basin of the Monts Otish (northeast of Chibougamau) and in the eastern portion of Nunavik (in the Core Zone) and the metasedimentary rocks of the Torngat Orogen (Lake Harbour Group).

Two sectors have attracted the attention of the mineral exploration community in 2006 because of the results obtained and the opening of new exploration territories: the Monts Otish basin and the Core Zone area in Nunavik.

The Monts Otish basin, Québec's Athabasca ?

The uranium potential of the Monts Otish Paleoproterozoic sedimentary basin is often compared to the Athabasca Mesoproterozoic sedimentary basin in Saskatchewan (the Athabasca basin accounts for one-third of world supply). There are several uranium showings typical of unconformity-related uranium deposits (e.g. Camie River and Beaver Lake) in the Monts Otish basin. The Otish Supergroup is characterized by fluvial deposits at the base (Indicator Group) and marginal basin deposits near the top (Genest, 1989). The Indicator Group is composed of sub-arkosic to arkosic sandstones. These rocks are cut by dikes and sills of Paleoproterozoic gabbro.

In 2006, several companies were active in the Monts Otish area, including Cameco (the world's largest low-cost uranium producer, with a 20% market share) and junior Strateco Resources Inc. The promising results obtained by Strateco Resources on the Matoush property (A.A. Matoush showing) highlight the potential of vein-type mineralization associated with a shear zone in sedimentary rocks.

According to Strateco Resources Inc. and previous work carried out by Uranerz Exploration and Mining in 1984, the active channel facies in the sandstone of the Indicator Group is favourable for the emplacement of uranium mineralization. The unit is cut by a post-deposit fault and by gabbro sills that played an important part in mobilizing and concentrating uranium along the fault, which makes the property more interesting. The best recent intersections obtained in drilling are:

  • 2.1% U3O8 over 12.4 m including an intersection grading 4.7% U3O8 over 3.3 m (hole MT-06-30, December 22 press release by Strateco Resources).
  • 1.01% U3O8 over 14.1 m including 2.01% U3O8 over 5.2 m (hole MT-06-4, December 22 press release by Strateco Resources).

The company traced the Matoush structure (fault) over a strike length of 8 km; it has been tested by drilling over nearly 730 metres. Strateco Resources Inc. also mentioned that the true width of the mineralized intervals had not yet been determined.

The Matoush uranium showing differs from the unconformity-related uranium deposit model. Instead, it is similar to uranium-bearing veins associated with shear zones, except that the mineralized zone lies above the unconformity in the sandstone units and not in basement rock as it does at Rabbit Lake or Beaverlodge in northern Saskatchewan (production of more than 25,000 metric tons of U from 1950 to 1982).

The Core Zone of the Nouveau-Québec and Torngat orogens, a new Rössing?

The Core Zone represents new territory for uranium exploration. It attracted attention following the discovery of zones of anomalous uranium values in lake-bottom sediments collected by the MRNF in 1997. In addition, new uranium showings discovered there in 2006 suggest that this area could become a uranium metallogenic province.

The Core Zone (formerly known as the Churchill Province or Rae Province ) forms the basement of the eastern portion of Nunavik. It is wedged between the Paleoproterozoic volcanosedimentary and magmatic rocks of the Nouveau-Québec Orogen (Labrador Trough), to the west, and the Torngat Orogen, to the east, at the Québec–Labrador border. All of these rocks have been affected by the deformation and metamorphism episodes of the Trans-Hudson Orogen (~1.85 to 1.75 Ga). The Core Zone is mainly composed of Archean to Mesoproterozoic tonalitic gneiss, granitoids and mafic intrusions. The Core Zone is divided into several lithotectonic domains, separated by wide deformation corridors; Wardle et al., 2002). Veins and dikes of syn- to late-Hudsonian granitic pegmatite cut across the Archean basement of the Core Zone and the rocks of the Nouveau-Québec and Torngat orogens.

Between the formation of the Archean basement and its exposure on surface (about 2.5 billion years (Ga), the formation of Paleoproterozoic volcanosedimentary sequences (~ 2.1 to 1.85 Ga) and the final emplacement of the last granitic magmas in the form of pegmatites (about 1.75 Ga), more than 750 million years elapsed during which uranium could be mobilized and transported in the course of episodes of erosion, deformation and metamorphism, then deposited and concentrated in the form of mineralization in sedimentary rocks, granites and pegmatites or in structural traps. Accordingly, the huge area covered by the eastern portion of Nunavik, east of the Labrador Trough, is fertile ground for various types of uranium mineralization including:

  • mineralization associated with Rössing-type (Namibia) granitic intrusives (production of 3,711 metric tons at an average grade of 330 ppm U in 2005, representing 7.7% of global production; Rössing Mine Plc) and Madawaska-type (Ontario) granitic intrusives (total production of 4.54 mt at 0.0997% U3O8 and 4,295,281 kg U from 1957 to 1982; Alexander, 1982);
  • mineralization associated with uranium veins related to major Beaverlodge-type shear zones;
  • mineralization associated with unconformity-related uranium or with Athabasca-type sedimentary rocks in the Lake Harbour and Hutte Sauvage groups.

However, it is very likely that the primary uranium mineralization potentially present in the Lake Harbour and Hutte Sauvage groups was remobilized into units or structures favourable for uranium accumulation following the metamorphism and deformation of the Trans-Hudson Orogen.

Lake Harbour Group

The Lake Harbour Group (2.1 to 1.9 Ga) is a volcanosedimentary sequence of the Torngat Orogen. It is composed of quartzofeldspathic, aluminous and graphitic paragneiss, of sequences of calcitic and dolomitic marbles and calcsilicate rocks, and of quartzite and mafic volcanic rocks. These rocks are cut by the Nuvilik mafic suite and by granitoids and pegmatites.

The Lake Harbour Group (2.1 to 1.9 Ga) is a volcanosedimentary sequence of the Torngat Orogen. It is composed of quartzofeldspathic, aluminous and graphitic paragneiss, of sequences of calcitic and dolomitic marbles and calcsilicate rocks, and of quartzite and mafic volcanic rocks. These rocks are cut by the Nuvilik mafic suite and by granitoids and pegmatites. Since the last two years, the junior mining company URANOR explore this area.

The gneissic basement of the Core Zone

The Rae North uranium property, held by the Azimut Exploration Inc. and Northwestern Mineral Ventures Inc. joint venture, is located south and southeast of the village of Kangiqsualujjuaq, at the mouth of the Rivière George, on the east coast of Ungava Bay. The basement of the property is composed of tonalitic and granitic gneiss and of Late Archean granite and pegmatite intrusions. There are also several tectonic outliers of the supracrustal rocks of the Lake Harbour Group and of the Nuvulialuk mafic suite (Verpaelst et al., 1999).


The main mineralized zone is located in a strongly anomalous radiometric zone (from 2,000 to 30,000 counts per second), which is about five kilometres long. Uranium anomalies have been detected in the lake-bottom sediments and preliminary analysis of the helicopter-borne radiometric survey identified 14 anomalies more than one kilometre long, including 7 that are over three kilometres in length. Uranium mineralization has been observed in pegmatites, granites and gneisses. Uraninite has been observed and analyzed by electron microprobe in samples from two sites. Analysis of twenty-two samples revealed grades over 0.05% U3O8 (500 ppm) from 10 different uranium showings in the Rae-1 Zone of the Rae North property. Fourteen samples returned values higher than 0.1% U3O8 (or 1000 ppm); the best values obtained were 0.59%, 0.57%, 0.46%, 0.3% and 0.22% U3O8.

Further south, on the Rivière George property consisting of seven claim blocks distributed between the Rivière George and the Québec–Labrador border, in the area of lakes Brisson and Mistinibi, Freewest Resources Canada discovered four uranium showings. These occurrences of uranium mineralization are located within granitic pegmatite dykes that cut across the gneissic basement of the Core Zone. The mineralized zone is 700 metres wide and nearly 2.6 km long. The best values obtained were 0.384 and use 0.132% U3O8, in grab samples from the Stewart Lake Trend in Block 1. The grades from grab samples of bedrock and erratic blocks range from 100 to 1000 ppm. On the Abigail showing, analysis of a sample from a two-metre-wide granitic pegmatite dyke returned a grade of 0.369% U3O8.

Databases for exploration

There are still huge areas where little exploration for uranium has been done because of a lack of radiometric and geological data. The geochemical survey of lake-bottom sediments conducted in 1997 in Nunavik, by the MRNF and five private sector partners, brought to light significant zones anomalous for uranium along and east of the Rivière George and in the area at the border between Québec and Labrador, between the 54th and 58th parallels. The Géologie Québec directorate published a special-edition map, updated in January 2007, entitled “ Uranium in the secondary environment and uranium mineralization". The map highlights the geochemistry of lake-bottom and stream sediments and known mineralization from the SIGÉOM database.

References

ALEXANDER, R.L., 1982, Geology of Madawaska Mines Limited, Bancroft , Ontario , in Uranium deposits of Canada , CIM special volume 33, p. 61-69.

GENEST, S., 1989, Histoire géologique du bassin d’Otish, du Protérozoïque inférieur, Québec, thèse de doctorat non publiée, Université de Montréal.

VERPAELST, P , BRISEBOIS, D., PERREAULT, S., SHARMA, K.N.M., DAVID, J., 2000, Géologie de la région de la rivière Koroc (24 I) et d’une partie de la région d’Hébron (14 L), Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, RG 99-08, 62 pages.

WARDLE, R. J., JAMES, B., SCOTT, D. J., HALL, J., 2002, The Southeastern Churchill Province: synthesis of a Paleoproterozoic transpressional orogen, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences; volume 39, No. 5, pages 639-663.

Additional suggested reading on the types of uranium deposits in Canada and around the world:

Geology of Canadian Mineral Deposit Types , edited by O.R. Eckstrand, W.D. Sinclair and R.I. Thorpe, Geological Survey of Canada, Geology of Canada, No. 8, 1995. See sections 1.1, 1.2, 7, 8.1, 12, 13, 14, 21 and 22 on uranium deposits.

Dahlkamp, F.J., 1993, Uranium ore deposits, Springer-Verlag, New-York Berlin Heidelberg; 460 pages.

Van der Leeden, J., Bélanger, M., Danis, D., Girard, R., Martelin, J., 1990, Lithotectonic domains in the high-grade terrain east of the Labrador Trough (Quebec), in the Early Proterozoic Trans-Hudson Orogen of North America, Lewry, J.F. and Stauffer, M.R., Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 37, pages 371-386.


Manitou Goldex project:
An innovative partnership to rehabilitate the abandoned Manitou mine site

The Manitou-Goldex project is the first of its kind in terms of rehabilitation. The Manitou site will be rehabilitated by covering its tailings with mine tailings from Agnico-Eagle Mines’ Goldex Mine. The tailings from the Goldex mine are cyanide- and sulphide-free and have good neutralization potential.

The project consists of building a pipeline between the Goldex mine and the abandoned Manitou site to transport the Goldex mine tailings. The cost of the project has been estimated at $47 million; it will be carried out over a period of 12 years.

Resulting from more than a year’s worth of discussions and negotiations, this government-industry partnership has many advantages and is perfectly consistent with sustainable development principles. It represents an estimated savings of $12 million for the government and helps to reduce the long-term management costs of industry tailings. It also substantially reduces the area disrupted by mining activity by avoiding construction of a large tailings impoundment near Val-d’Or. In addition, it will require the use of fewer natural resources (sand-gravel-clay) than building a new tailings impoundment and rehabilitating the Manitou site.

A framework agreement was signed by the partners—the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. and the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs—when the project was announced by Minister Pierre Corbeil and industry representatives on November 28, 2006, in Val-d'Or.

Work on the Manitou site began in January 2007.


Gold in lake sediments in the Caniapiscau area, Côte-Nord Region

New analyses of lake sediments carried out in 2006 in the Caniapiscau area have led to the identification of 108 areas with anomalous gold values, which represent new prospecting targets. The element associations observed in these anomalous areas suggest that there is potential for the following types of gold mineralization:

Element associations

Type of mineralization

Au-Fe-U

Olympic Dam-Kiruna

Cu-Mo-Au-Ag-Se

Porphyritic deposit

Au-W

Gold-bearing quartz vein

Au-Ag-Se

Quartz vein without sulphides

Au-As-Sb

Roberto

Au-Ag-Se-W-Bi-B

Skarn



Nearly 6100 samples were processed by ACME Analytical Laboratories. Gold and silver were reanalyzed using a better detection limit, while niobium, bismuth, antimony and tungsten were analyzed for the first time. These trace elements are particularly useful in prospecting for gold.

In 2006, the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, in cooperation with the Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation, the Centre local de développement de Caniapiscau and the firm Exploration Québec-Labrador reanalysed lake-sediment samples collected in the 1980s. The sediment samples were from almost all over the Caniapiscau RCM’s territory, north of the Manicouagan reservoir.


The Caniapiscau area analyses are accessible via SIGEOM.