Maple Gold Mines (TSXV: MGM; US-OTC: MGMLF) has converted more than 450,000 oz. gold to the indicated category in an updated resource estimate for its wholly owned Douay gold project in northern Quebec.
The previous resource estimate, released in April 2017, did not include the 23,000 metres drilled last year or 7,000 samples of previously un-assayed historic core, all of which was included in the updated numbers.
“We are pleased with the results of the resource update, which have confirmed our confidence in the robustness of the mineralized intrusive-hydrothermal system at Douay, as well as with the demonstrated potential for additional resources at higher than previous deposit average grades,” Fred Speidel, the company’s vice-president of exploration, tells The Northern Miner.
“The modifications to some of the block-model parameters have given us a more refined and constrained result, and we look forward to the next resource update later in the year that will incorporate results of this winter’s drilling and further model refinements.”
The 370 sq. km gold project in the Abitibi greenstone belt has 9.38 million tonnes grading 1.59 grams gold per tonne for 479,000 contained oz. gold in the indicated category and another 84.15 million tonnes averaging 1.02 grams gold for 2.75 million oz. gold in the inferred category. The estimate uses a base case cut-off grade of 0.45 gram gold.
Douay is 81 km east of Hecla Mining’s (NYSE: HL) Casa Berardi gold mine and 123 km southeast of Detour Gold’s (TSX: DGC) Detour Lake gold mine. The gold project is 50 km north of the past-producing Sleeping Giant mine, an orogenic gold deposit, and 66 km south of Selbaie, a volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit.
The company has three contracts for six diamond drills and one reverse-circulation (RC) rig for its 25,000- to 30,000-metre winter drill campaign. (The RC rig will do the top-of-bedrock drilling.)
Drilling started with a single rig on Jan. 16.
“We are currently drilling with two rigs on existing permits and will be expecting a third shortly,” Speidel writes in an email from site. “The initial two (somewhat deeper) holes are complete and looked promising visually. We will ramp up quickly to the full complement of 6-8 diamond drills and 1-2 RC rigs as soon as we obtain our additional drill permits, so as to get as much as possible of our planned 25,000- to 30,000-metre drill program done during the winter season.”
Speidel isn’t ruling out a summer drill campaign. But for now, the work plan over the summer involves geological mapping, rock-chip sampling and new target definition in the central part of the property, which has more outcrop.
“We have completed our Remote Spectral Geology project for the project area and vicinity, and will be targeting the hotspots from that work in our summer 2018 mapping and geochemical sampling program in the central portion of the property that has a fair amount of outcrop,” Speidel says. “Targets from this work will be added to follow-up targets from winter 2018 drilling to form the basis of further drill campaigns.”
Most of the gold found at Douay so far is associated with a syenite gold system that forms part of a 7 km long trend of mineralized zones. These zones are found within the central part of the project’s strike length, which stretches 55 km along the Casa Berardi Deformation Zone.
The intrusive-related mineralization style is also present at several other gold deposits that have been discovered in recent years, such as Canadian Malartic, now owned by Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX: AEM; NYSE: AEM) and Yamana Gold (TSX: YRI; NYSE: AUY), 157 km south of Douay; Osisko Mining’s (TSX: OSK) Windfall project, between Val-d’Or and Chibougamau in the Abitibi; and Alamos Gold’s (TSX: AGI; NYSE: AGI) Young-Davidson mine, 60 km west of Kirkland Lake in northern Ontario.
The company’s shares ended the day up 4% to 28.5¢ a piece, within a 52-week trading range of 21¢ (December 2017) to 46¢ (March 2017).