Gold Canyon Resources (GCU-V) boosted total ounces in its latest resource update, but it did so at the cost of grade.
The company announced the latest calculation for its Springpole gold project, located 110 km northeast of the Red Lake mining camp in Ontario, with a 128.2-million-tonne indicated resource grading 1.07 grams gold and 5.7 grams silver per tonne for 4.41 million oz. gold and 23.8 million oz. silver.
Inferred mineral resources came in at 25.7 million tonnes grading 0.83 gram gold and 3.2 grams silver per tonne for 690,000 oz. gold and 2.7 million oz. silver.
The estimate updates a calculation released in February that outlined a 1.2 million indicated oz. resource at a higher grade of 1.26 grams per tonne. Inferred resources from the earlier report tallied 2.45 million oz. from 60 million tonnes, with an average grade of 1.27 grams gold. Overall grades have fallen 19% from the February estimate.
The last round of ounces were generated using a cut-off grade of 0.4 gram per tonne gold, and despite the drop in average grade, the deposit benefits from maintaining ounces with increasing cut-off grades — which could provide flexibility when it comes time to develop the deposit.
When the cut-off grade increases to 0.6 gram, the deposit projects 3.85 million indicated oz., and when it reaches 0.8 gram, the estimate outlines 3.24 million oz. gold.
But with the lower grade, the new estimate doesn’t have admirers across the board.
CIBC analyst Jeff Kileen says his firm is lowering its price target to $2.55 from $3, due to lower grades affecting the resource model.
After wrestling with the new numbers, the market seems to be siding with the company, with Gold Canyon shares climbing as much as 10% to $1.45, after initially dropping to $1.31 on the news.
Gold Canyon says the new resource will be the foundation for a preliminary economic assessment expected in early 2013.
The latest estimate incorporated 36,000 metres of drilling that weren’t included in the February estimate. The metres were cut with a diamond drill rig that focused on infill and stepout holes.
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