Gold and silver remain the preferred targets for North American mineral explorers, with thousands of campaigns ongoing across the globe. Here is a look at eight such companies.
Alamos Gold (TSX: AGI; NYSE: AGI) is a Toronto-headquartered intermediate gold producer with four operating mines in North America: the Young-Davidson and Island Gold underground mines in northern Ontario; and the Mulatos and El Chanate open-pit, heap-leach mines in Mexico’s Sonora state.
The company also has exploration and development projects spread across Mexico, Turkey, Canada and the United States. The company has set aside a global exploration budget for 2019 of $33 million, of which US$19 million will be spent at Island Gold for defining near-mine resources. It has also budgeted US$6 million at Mulatos and Lynn Lake, its feasibility-stage, open-pit gold project in Manitoba.
As of Dec. 31, 2018, the company reported global proven and probable reserves of 9.7 million oz. gold (199 million tonnes grading 1.51 grams gold per tonne) and global measured and indicated resources of 7.2 million oz. gold (202 million tonnes grading 1.11 grams gold).
The company met its production guidance in 2018 for the fourth straight year, producing 505,000 oz. gold at all-in sustaining costs of US$989 per oz. gold. It ended the year debt-free and with a strong balance sheet, including cash and equivalents of US$206 million and US$400 million in an undrawn credit facility.
In February the company said it would double its dividend in 2019 of US1¢ per common share and will distribute quarterly rather than semi-annually. Last year the company distributed US$7.8 million in dividends.
Alamos was formed in February 2003 through the amalgamation of Alamos Minerals and National Gold, and since its inception has been led by president and CEO John McClusky, who was named Ontario’s 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Vancouver-based Doubleview Capital (TSXV: DBV; US-OTC: DBLVF) is focused on North America, with a special interest in British Columbia. Its three key projects are Hat, Red Spring and Mt. Milligan North.
Its flagship asset is the Hat property, a copper-gold porphyry project in northwestern B.C., 95 km southwest of Dease Lake. The company says it found the deposit in early 2014 from a greenfield prospect in its first drill season. In June 2018, the junior signed an option agreement with Hudbay Minerals, under which Hudbay can earn up to a 65% interest in the property. Doubleview subsequently announced that Hudbay initiated the first induced-polarization geophysical survey program on the 63 sq. km property in July 2018.
Red Spring is a copper-silver-zinc-gold project, 120 km north of Smithers. Doubleview president and CEO Farshad Shirvani describes Red Spring as a “stratabound, ‘redbed’-type of copper deposit similar to those in several very large European and Asian copper mining districts.” The property was discovered and drilled in the 1970s. In February, the company announced it had done an 88 km airborne geophysical survey of the property.
Doubleview’s 18 sq. km Mt. Milligan North property, 165 km northwest of Prince George, is near the Mt. Milligan copper-gold mine.
Toronto-based Eastmain Resources (TSX: ER; US-OTC: EANRF) is exploring for high-grade gold in Quebec’s James Bay region.
Its “triangle of success” has three main assets: the Clearwater project, host of the high-grade Eau Claire resource, amenable to open-pit and underground mining; the Eastmain Mine project, a past-producer with updated resources and growth potential; and the Éléonore South Joint Venture with Goldcorp (TSX: G; NYSE: GG) and Azimut Exploration (TSXV: AZM) on a large land package next to Goldcorp’s Éléonore mine — the region’s largest gold mine.
As of February 2018, measured and indicated resources at Eau Claire total 4.3 million tonnes at 6.18 grams gold for 193,000 contained oz. gold, plus 2.4 million inferred tonnes at 6.53 grams gold for 500,00 contained oz. gold.
The Eastmain Mine project hosts 899,000 indicated tonnes at 8.19 grams gold per tonne for 237,000 contained oz. gold, plus 579,000 inferred tonnes at 7.48 grams gold. The resource also has minor copper and silver.
At the joint-venture property, Eastmain is exploration manager of the earlier-stage asset.
Toronto-based Galway Metals (TSXV: GWM; US-OTC: GAYMF) continues to work at its flagship Clarence Stream gold project in New Brunswick, as well as its past-producing, high-grade Estrades polymetallic project in northwestern Quebec, 95 km north of the town of La Sarre.
Galway argues that it has a “new vision for two previously misunderstood projects” that present it with a “golden opportunity.”
Galway expects to update its resource estimate for Clarence Stream before the end of 2019. The current resource includes only the South and North Zones, and since it was released in September 2017, the company has carried out more drilling, totalling 3,000 metres.
The North and South Zones host 390,000 contained oz. gold within 6.2 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 1.96 grams gold per tonne, and another 277,000 oz. gold contained within 3.4 million inferred tonnes grading 2.53 grams gold per tonne.
Estrades is a volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, with a resource that was revised upwards to 1.5 million indicated tonnes grading 3.55 grams gold per tonne, 122.9 grams silver per tonne, 7.20% zinc, 1.06% copper and 0.60% lead. Another 2.2 million tonnes stand in the inferred category at 1.93 grams gold, 72.9 grams silver, 4.72 % zinc, 1.01% copper and 0.29% lead.
Vancouver-based Metallis Resources (TSXV: MTS; US-OTC: MTLFF) is exploring in northwestern B.C.’s Golden Triangle region, where it has its wholly owned Kirkham property — prospective for gold as well as copper, silver and nickel.
The Kirkham property is 65 km north of Stewart, B.C., and the property’s northern border is contiguous to Garibaldi Resources’ E&L Nickel Mountain project, whereas the northeast corner of Kirkham is within 12 km of the Eskay Creek mine, and the eastern border is within 15 km of Seabridge Gold’s KSM deposits and Pretium Resources’ Brucejack mine.
The Kirkham property was assembled over the years by world-renowned copper-gold expert Rodney Kirkham, and vended into Metallis.
Metallis says the property features several geological environments — magmatic sulphide, porphyry and shear vein — and has the “potential for a world-class mineral discovery.”
In November, Metallis reported that the first-ever drill program at the Cole and Nina targets totalled 1,645 metres of diamond drilling, and resulted in two porphyry system discoveries. The assays at the Cole target included a high-grade gold zone discovery containing 11.18 grams gold per tonne over 7.7 metres.
Nevada Exploration (TSXV: NGE; US-OTC: NVDEF) describes itself as exploring for large, new Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada’s underexplored covered valley basins by incorporating the latest in undercover exploration technology.
The Vancouver-based company is led by an experienced management team that has been involved in many discoveries in Nevada — including Lone Tree and Rabbit Creek — and is advancing a portfolio of new, district-scale gold projects along Nevada’s Cortez trend.
In February, Nevada Exploration reported another round of drill results from its South Grass Valley project, where it says its early, wide-spaced drill holes continue to intersect characteristic Carlin-type gold deposit geological controls, together with anomalous Carlin-type pathfinder element concentrations over a target area at least 3 km along strike.
CEO Wade Hodges says that “as we keep taking these large step-outs, we’re seeing that this system is still open, really in all directions and at depth. The last three holes all bottomed in increasing silicification, which we now know in hole 6 and hole 7 is associated with consistent runs of increasing gold concentrations … we have the pieces to look closely at the different bedrock units, interpret the project geology and focus on identifying the controls to vector towards potentially high-grade mineralization. We are now busy using these latest assay results to update our exploration model and lay out a clear plan for the next phase of drilling.”
In January, Nevada Exploration closed a $658,000 private placement, with proceeds to be used for more core drilling at South Grass Valley and for general working capital.
Toronto-based junior Probe Metals (TSXV: PRB; US-OTC: PROBF) is led by president and CEO David Palmer and chairman Jamie Sokalsky — a former president and CEO of Barrick Gold, with Probe Metals having been formed as a spinoff after Probe Mines Ltd. was bought by Goldcorp in 2015. Goldcorp still owns a 13.7% stake in the Toronto-based junior.
Probe is exploring for gold in Quebec’s Abitibi region, with its flagship being the Val-d’Or East gold project outside the city of Val-d’Or.
Combining open-pit and underground material, total indicated resources at Val-d’Or East stand at 9 million indicated tonnes grading 2.35 grams gold per tonne for 682,400 oz. gold, plus 9.3 million inferred tonnes at 2.41 grams gold for another 722,100 oz. gold.
In February Probe reported high-grade gold results from recent drilling at the Val-d’Or East Courvan property.
Probe president and CEO David Palmer says that “in a very short space of time, the Courvan property has been elevated into a priority area for generating potential new gold resources. The area is characterized by thick, high-grade gold zones that are interpreted to be part of the same system responsible for the mineralization that comprises the current National Instrument 43-101 gold resource, 1.5 km east. The Courvan area, as well as the ground in between, has become a priority focus for the [year-end] drill program, as we look to extend these mineralized zones and expand our resource base.”
SILVER RANGE RESOURCES
Led by seasoned president and CEO Mike Power, Silver Range Resources (TSXV: SNG; US-OTC: SLRRF) bills itself as a high-grade, precious metals project generator.
The Vancouver-based junior has 42 properties mostly across Nevada and northern Canada, including 16 projects, and it says it is “ready to deal.”
Silver Range’s as-yet-unoptioned Tree River property in Nunavut covers 393 sq. km, located 155 km southeast of Kugluktuk (Coppermine). The host rock is a regionally extensive, 15 to 20 metres thick, Archean quartz-pebble conglomerate, analogous to the rich Pilbara or Witswaterand deposits formed in the 2.9- to 2.7-billion-year-ago “great gold deposition event” time window.
Silver Range has optioned its South Kitikmeot gold project in Nunavut to Amaroq Gold. The seven properties cover 728 sq. km that encompass all open iron-formation-hosted gold occurrences in the favourable host metasediments in the area, which includes the Lupin mine and Back River project.