VANCOUVER — From new holes to old cores, and from gold to tungsten, Mega Precious Metals (TSXV: MGP; US-OTC: MPRXF) has been uncovering potential at the Monument Bay project in northeastern Manitoba.
The company is targeting shallow mineralization in its 29-hole drill program and the effort is already paying off, with results expanding gold–tungsten structures towards surface.
In the latest results, hole 532 returned 55 metres grading 3.33 grams gold per tonne and 0.05% tungsten (WO3), starting from 80 metres downhole and including 14 metres of 5.67 grams gold and 0.16% WO3. Nearby, hole 527 cut 37.6 metres of 3.06 grams gold and 0.07% WO3, starting from 60 metres downhole and including 17.7 metres of 5.33 grams gold and 0.12% WO3.
Most of the recent holes have targeted mineralized structures in the western half of the Twin Lakes deposit, and the intercepts show that these structures extend towards surface and carry grades comparable to the well-mineralized structures in the deposit’s eastern half.
“These results either correlate well to or are better than the estimated grades in our June 2013 gold-only resource estimate,” Mega president and CEO Glen Kuntz said. “These gold–tungsten results have the potential to change the economics of the project, and we are excited at the continuity of the multiple high-grade structures along strike and at depth.”
Meanwhile, a program to re-assay old, untested cores is churning out promising results. The last six holes returned such intercepts as 20 metres grading 2.38 grams gold, including 0.98% WO3 over 2.1 metres; 19 metres of 1.56 grams gold, including 81 metres of 4.64 grams gold and 0.27% WO3; and 43 metres of 1.66 grams gold, including 5.71 grams gold over 10 metres.
Like a lot of previous operators, Mega was originally not looking for tungsten at Monument Bay. That changed in mid-2012 when a master’s student working at the site realized there was scheelite hiding alongside other minerals in the quartz veins.
Around the same time, Mega discovered mineralization in the project’s large dyke, which earlier models assumed did not bear gold. Earlier operators also saw the project as an underground mine and focused on deep drilling, while Mega sees open-pit potential at Monument, and is testing for shallower mineralization.
By the time 2013 rolled around, Mega found itself looking for gold and tungsten in a wider range of host rocks and at shallower depths.
These new concepts also meant much of the historic core needed re-assaying, because its dyke intercepts had been ignored and its shear zones only tested for gold. Since then Mega has re-assayed 130,000 metres of core as part of its old core assay program.
This re-assaying effort has added 650,000 oz. to the gold resource at Monument. Now the cores are being assayed for tungsten as well, and the work continues. The company expects the tungsten assays will increase the project’s gold-equivalent grade by 20–30%.
Mega plans to incorporate the results from 12,000 metres of new drilling and 8,000 metres of historic core re-assaying into a resource estimate before year-end.
There are three deposits along 8 km of strike at Monument Bay: Twin Lake, Mid East and the AZ zone. Twin Lakes is by far the largest, hosting 3 million of the project’s 3.6 million oz. gold. Most of these ounces come from the site’s open-pittable resources, which totals 67 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 1.3 grams gold, plus 25.9 million inferred tonnes averaging 0.7 gram gold. A small underground resource adds 133,000 measured and indicated tonnes grading 5.5 grams gold.
Monument Bay is located near the Manitoba–Ontario border, 570 km northeast of Winnipeg. Mega envisions building a small open-pit mine at the site, with a 5,000-tonne-per-day throughput.
The project is accessible by road when the ground is frozen, but Manitoba’s Northern Development Strategy is building a network of all-season roads in the region. Once this work is complete, a road will reach within 52 km of the project. Power lines also pass by at about the same distance.
Mega is raising funds to continue its work at Monument. The company just announced plans to raise up to $3 million by selling non-flow-through units at 11¢ apiece and flow-through units at 12¢ apiece. Each unit will consist of a share and half a warrant exercisable at 15¢ for 18 months. The flow-through monies will fund exploration at Monument while the non-flow-through monies will provide general working capital.
Mega’s share price was unchanged on news of the latest Monument drill results, sticking at 10.5¢. The company has a 52-week share price range of 8.5¢ to 27¢, and 129 million shares outstanding.
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