Drilling has started on Gordex Minerals’ Cape Spencer gold property i n New Brunswick in an effort to expand known reserves of the currently producing open pit deposit and to test other zones on the property.
The drilling is part of a comprehensive, $1-million exploration program, funded by a limited partnership in return for flow-through shares of Gordex. Other preliminary work is being done over the entire 1,500-acre property.
The Cape Spencer mine is the only gold mine in New Brunswick and the first heap leach mine in Canada, although it is still technically in a demonstration phase. Commercial production is not expected to begin until at least the second quarter of 1987.
Meanwhile, the first demonstration heap of 30,000 tons has yielded 1,450 oz of gold says President Hal Pawson. The company had projected recovering 1,500 oz during 1986, so it will likely exceed that estimate by the end of the year. Application of cyanide solution to the heap will likely be curtailed at the end of October, but leaching will continue throughout the winter months and the company will assess the efficacy of operations during the winter.
Recovery rate has been about 75% — quite favorable compared to heap leach operations elsewhere which average about 60%-70%. An additional 15,000 tons of ore has been put on the pad and leaching started.
Director Paul Zed says problems earlier this year in the ion-exchange cyanide recycling plant — new technology which promises to reduce cyanide costs for the operation — have been worked out. The bugs in the system never affected production, says Mr Zed.
Gordex has also acquired two groups of mining claims contiguous to the Cape Spencer property.
In other news, the company says it has started negotiations for a joint venture in a strategic metal.