MAS Gold (TSXV: MAS) has completed a 3,500-metre drill program in Saskatchewan, targeting the Point gold prospect on its Preview Lake property and the North Lake gold prospect on its North Lake property. Point sits 60 km northeast of La Ronge, Sask., and North Lake is 5 km northeast of Point.
“It has been in a bit of a slowdown for a number of years, because our joint-venture partner went through receivership,” MAS president and CEO Ron Netolitzky says in an interview with The Northern Miner.
MAS signed a fifty-fifty joint-venture with Golden Band Resources in June 2012 on half of its La Ronge greenstone belt properties. The joint venture includes the North Lake, Preview Lake and Greywacke projects, as well as the Elizabeth Lake volcanogenic massive sulphide project.
The terms of the joint venture are still intact, but Netolitzky says MAS is renegotiating the deal. The company is refocusing on exploration, including another look at the La Ronge belt.
“It’s a user-friendly area,” Netolitzky says. “We can operate most of our properties without the use of airplanes or helicopters. We can drive up to virtually every one of our projects — between that and ATV trails, we can get virtually everywhere.”
The company drilled 13 holes totalling 1,950 metres at the Point prospect and 10 holes totalling 1,540 metres at the North Lake prospect.
MAS designed the program to confirm historic drill results, infill and step out from known zones, and obtain core for metallurgical testing. At Point, it wants to confirm environmental and structural controls, and at North Lake it wants to collect core for metallurgical tests.
In February 2019, the company twinned two historical holes at Point. Between 1984 and 1989, Saskatchewan’s Mining and Development drilled 35 holes at the Point prospect. During that time, it discovered the Contact Lake gold deposit south of Point and put that into production. In 1988, the company changed its name to Canadian Mining and Energy Corporation, or Cameco. When the gold price dropped, it shut down work at Contact Lake.
“They never went back to Point Lake, which was one of their premier targets, historically,” Netolitzky says.
MAS drill holes confirm that Cameco’s target at Point Lake is there. Highlights include 5.32 grams gold over 3 metres from 32 metres downhole, 14.38 grams gold over 7 metres from 20 metres downhole, and 9.27 grams gold over 3 metres from 24 metres downhole.
The company is waiting for assays from 20 more holes.
Preview Lake resides within a national park, while North Lake, sitting on the other side of a highway, does not. The Saskatchewan government allows mining inside the park, but Netolitzky says it’s a little more restrictive than being outside the park.
“We feel there’s a significant potential at North Lake for a larger, low-grade open pit there, which would work very well with some small, high-grade deposits in the park that could be mined from an underground perspective,” Netolitzky says.
Small operators mined gold at North Lake as early as the 1920s, and the project was drilled as recently as the 1970s.
Unlike with Point, where historical core no longer exists, MAS has access to North Lake core, which it says is intact and in good shape. It intends to run the first metallurgical tests at North Lake later this year.
“One of the issues we find in these particular delta rocks is that the gold is pretty unobstrusive,” Netolitzky says. “It doesn’t look very exciting. Most of those rocks I wouldn’t have assayed in my early days.
“We know at our other project, Greywacke — which is very similar — that recoveries on a gravity circuit are quite phenomenal, so we want to confirm if that’s the case for these other deposits,” Netolitzky says.
The company tabled a resource estimate at its Greywacke North gold deposit on its Greywacke property in 2016, outlining 255,500 indicated tonnes grading 9.92 grams gold for 81,500 oz. gold, as well as 59,000 inferred tonnes at 7.42 grams gold for 14,100 oz. gold.
“From a small, shallow, underground operation, it could make you some money,” Netolitzky says. “Not a huge amount, but in this day and age, it’s a good start. And if we can double or triple it, it’s something to go along with everything else.”
MAS wants to drill some of the project’s satellite deposits this year, including the nearby Greywacke South and Lyons targets. It wants to drill 1,000 metres at Greywacke South and 500 metres at Lyons in 2019, as well as resample a 2012 test mine pit.
The company recently closed the first tranche of a $700,000 private placement. The company issued more than 1.7 million shares at 12¢ apiece for nearly $270,000.
MAS Gold shares are trading at 9¢ in a 52-week range of 4¢ to 16¢. The company has a $4-million market capitalization. Its focus this year is North Lake, with a secondary focus on Greywacke. It’s also looking at potential acquisitions.
“The problem with historical production on the La Ronge belt is that there have been successful mines, but nobody has worked on putting a package together, so they have operated under very short mine lives, like three or four years,” Netolitzky says.
“We’re focused on two areas that we think are too far apart to use the same mill, but we have an area in the south end of the belt that could support operations, and one on the north end.”