VANCOUVER — “It’s been exciting — there are a lot of good things going on here that just all seem to be aligning,” said Precipitate Gold (TSXV: PRG; US-OTC: PREIF) president and CEO Jeffery Wilson in an interview from his Vancouver office.
Wilson was discussing Precipitate’s Ginger Ridge target in the Dominican Republic, where the results of a recent geophysical survey aligned with surface soil and trench gold–silver anomalies.
He could, however, have been describing the company’s larger Juan de Herrera property, or even the entire 120 km long Tireo gold trend on which Juan de Herrera is located, which stretches from the Dominican’s south coast up to the northeast corner of Haiti.
The Tireo belt is a busy place. Precipitate’s ground is at the south end of the trend, near the town of San Juan de la Maguana. Some 20 km northwest is Romero, where GoldQuest Mining (TSXV: GQC; US-OTC: GDQMF) has turned a discovery into a 2.4 million oz. gold deposit in two years. Goldquest is primed to publish a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for Romero in the coming weeks and will resume drilling on the gold property even sooner, testing its main deposit and satellite targets.
Another 30 km northwest along trend is the Candelones gold project, where Unigold (TSXV: UGD; US-OTC: UGDIF) is testing targets around a newly defined 2 million oz. inferred resource. A few kilometres east, Newmont Mining (TSX: NMC; NYSE: NEM) and Eurasian Minerals (TSXV: EMX) are advancing their joint-ventured La Miel gold, which is on the Haitian side of the border, as is Majescor Resources’ (US-OTC: MUXFF) Somine gold property 30 km along trend northeast.
Precipitate is glad to be part of the action, after having spent 2013 awaiting an exploration permit. The permit was finally granted in January — 18 months after Precipitate applied — and within weeks crews were cutting lines in preparation for an induced-polarization (IP) survey.
While there, workers extended a trench that early last year returned 1.5 grams gold per tonne and 20 grams silver per tonne over 13 metres. Extensions to the northeast and southwest both stayed in mineralization, boosting the overall trench result to 32.5 metres of 1 gram gold and 18 grams silver. In addition, a new trench dug perpendicular to the initial trench returned 15 metres averaging 1.6 grams gold and 25 grams silver.
Those are promising early stage results, but it wasn’t until Precipitate received the IP results that Wilson and his team got really excited. What they saw was a map of chargeability highs aligned almost perfectly with the areas of known surface gold–silver mineralization. In addition, the strongest chargeability response came on the most northwesterly line of the survey, and the zone remains open to the northwest.
“I was flabbergasted at how well everything lined up,” said Michael Moore, Precipitate’s vice-president of exploration. “My experience with geophysics is usually that you end up with more questions than answers, but the first line we got back correlated so well with the geochem and the trenching that I honestly thought something was wrong. But they just kept lining up.”
Surface and geophysical anomalies correlated in the discoveries at Romero and Candelones.
“This is great — just like at those other discoveries, we’re seeing this correlation between the surface sampling and the geophysics of the subsurface,” Wilson said. “And for us, it’s right at surface.”
The fact that mineralization appears to start at surface at Ginger Ridge is noteworthy, because the Romero and Candelones deposits do not reach the surface. Both of those zones are covered by cap rocks — a rhyolite at Romero, a limestone at Candelones — that created the deposits by containing the mineralizing fluids, but that also kept the mineralization at depth.
Moore thinks a similar cap rock set-up was responsible for the mineralization at Ginger Ridge. In the time since, however, the area has been tilted almost 90 degrees, so the limestone unit that once capped the zone now plunges down beside it.
Making the most of its first chance to really explore at Juan de Herrera, Precipitate had crews expand the soil-sampling grid around Ginger Ridge. The effort more than doubled the strike length of the gold-in-soil anomaly to 2,000 metres. The zone averages 750 metres wide and blankets most of the eastern slope of its namesake Ginger Ridge.
“We only spent $85,000 to get the IP, trenching and sampling done,” Wilson said. “IP was a relatively inexpensive tool to gather some pretty compelling data.”
That data has outlined a set of drill targets. And Precipitate has permission to drill, having just been granted a drill permit for Juan de Herrera. That means only one obstacle to drilling remains: money. The company is not bereft of funds — it has $600,000 on hand — but Wilson acknowledges his team has to complete a financing before it can get drills turning.
Wilson is optimistic about that challenge. For one, many mining investors remember well what happened when GoldQuest hit its discovery hole at Romero: Shares jumped tenfold within days, and within a few months had climbed from 6¢ to almost $2. Many of those who profited from that play or watched it happen know Precipitate has similar ground with similar geochemical and geophysical signatures.
It helps that Precipitate has only 29 million shares outstanding — a tight share structure that gives Wilson room to raise capital without flooding the market with shares.
And sustained activity along the Tireo trend is helping all those exploring there. With its Romero PEA almost complete, GoldQuest says it is looking for another discovery, which means it is drill testing targets near Precipitate’s lands. Unigold is also drilling.
“If you start at the far south end of the Tireo volcanic belt, swing through our ground and through Romero and north to Unigold’s land, and then go over the border into Haiti to Eurasian’s ground and Majescor’s project — that whole whack of volcanic rock is a hell of a belt, and is very underexplored,” Moore said. “I say with all sincerity: If this were anywhere in Canada somebody would have flown this whole thing tip to tail with some detailed geophysics, and exploration would be much further ahead.”
A week after news of its IP results Precipitate’s share price gained 4¢ to reach 17¢. The company has a 52-week share price range of 7¢ to 19.5¢.
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