Eastmain Resources (TSX: ER; US-OTC: EANRF) has resumed exploration across its three properties in Quebec’s James Bay region. The company will focus on expanding the existing Eau Claire deposit at its flagship 20,068-sq.-km Clearwater property with 4,000 metres of drilling, with additional field-based work planned for the Radisson and Reservoir projects.
“Eastmain has one of the premier land positions in James Bay,” Blair Schultz, the company’s interim president and CEO, said in a release. “As a result of recent success in the region, this winter saw a significant claim staking rush around our properties. With sufficient funding in place, we are eager and ready to commence our field season and test a variety of high-priority targets.”
Schultz added that the company’s focus at Eau Claire will be on extending the high-grade schist (HGS) veins, which, based on their thickness, are potentially able to considerably grow the current resource, if extended.
At Clearwater, Eastmain plans to start an exploration program in late July, along the Knight-Serendipity (KS) Horizon and the Serendipity-Natel deformation corridor, with electromagnetic surveys used to map out prospective zones. Around 4,000 metres of drilling is planned for the Eau Claire deposit to extend the HGS veins and test the resource below the 1,000-metre level — the existing deposit has been tested down to a depth of 900 metres.
Eastmain also plans to complete prospecting, mapping and sampling at its Radisson and Reservoir projects. The Radisson project covers a 25 km by 4 km greenstone belt with banded iron formations and sits 160 km northwest of Clearwater. Reservoir is 50 km west of Clearwater and features disseminated sulphides within shear zones in a porphyry-style setting.
The Eau Claire deposit at Clearwater hosts both open-pit and underground resources. In the open-pit category, measured and indicated resources total 1.2 million tonnes at 5.86 grams gold per tonne for a total of 228,000 oz., with additional inferred resources of 43,000 tonnes at 5.06 grams gold, containing a further 7,000 gold ounces. Underground measured and indicated resources stand at 3.1 million tonnes grading 6.3 grams gold, containing 625,000 oz. and inferred resources are at 2.3 million tonnes at 6.56 grams gold, totalling 493,000 oz. gold. Open-pit resources are based on a 0.5 gram gold cutoff grade, whereas underground resources are estimated using a cutoff grade of 2.5 grams gold.
A preliminary economic assessment completed for the project in 2018 outlines an operation extracting 1.6 million tonnes at 3.78 grams gold from the open pit and 4.8 million tonnes at 5.24 grams gold from the underground portion. The resulting mine, with a 12-year life, would produce an average of 86,100 oz. annually in the first 10 years of operations at all-in sustaining costs of US$574 per ounce. The associated net present value estimate for the project, at a 5% discount rate, came in at $260 million.
— This article first appeared in our sister publication, Canadian Mining Journal.