CEO David Palmer of Probe Metals (TSXV: PRB) is at it again — consolidating yet more ground near the company’s growing Val-d’Or East gold project in Quebec.
Just a month after Probe announced two property deals on the same day with two separate TSX-listed juniors that extended the Val-d’Or East project’s land package to the south, Palmer has struck an option deal with Richmont Mines (TSX: RIC; NYSE: RIC) to earn a 60% stake in the Monique gold property, 25 km southeast of Val-d’Or East.
The Monique property, consisting of 22 mining claims, hosts an inferred resource of 107,500 tonnes grading 4.88 grams gold per tonne for 16,850 oz. gold.
It also contains a small past-producing open-pit mine that yielded 55,000 oz. gold at 2.3 grams gold between 2013 and 2015.
The mineralization at Monique is similar to the Val-d’Or East project’s New Beliveau deposit, with quartz-tourmaline veins and disseminated sulphides in mafic to ultramafic host rocks.
The New Beliveau deposit, which sits around the past-producing Beliveau underground mine, has an inferred resource of 9.1 million tonnes grading 2.63 grams gold for 770,000 contained oz. gold. (The past-producing mine — operated by Cambior from 1989 until 1993 — churned out 170,000 oz. gold at a grade of 3.15 grams gold.)
“The Monique option is an important piece of land in our consolidation strategy and ties in well with the Bonnefond North acquisition announced in December,” Palmer tells The Northern Miner via email. “It is an interesting area, as we have the confluence of two gold trends occurring within our new property boundaries: the Beliveau mine trend, which extends south of the old Beliveau mine, and the Monique mine trend, which extends west from the Monique option into the Bonnefond North property.
“Not only do we have two under-explored gold trends to work on, we also have the potential intersection of these two trends, which to a geologist is an attractive target,” he adds. “Now that the critical pieces have been put together, we will focus on advancing exploration programs. Work has already begun, so we expect 2017 to be a good year for results.”
In addition to the Monique option, Probe also announced on Jan. 17 that is has acquired a 100% interest in the Boudrias property, which represents the northern extension of the Monique property and the eastern extension of the Bonnefond North property, which it acquired from QMX Gold (TSXV: QMX) in December.
Folding in the latest Monique and Boudrias property deals, Palmer’s consolidated Val-d’Or East land package now stands at 236 square kilometres.
Since August 2016, Probe has drilled 11,500 metres at its New Beliveau deposit, which remains open in all directions.
The company says that results show more potential for both near-surface bulk tonnage and deeper, higher-grade mineralized systems.
Exploration last year found a high-grade zone at depth in a diorite dike returning intervals of up to 12.6 grams gold over 7.3 metres. The company also completed a 220 line km induced-polarization (IP) survey covering more than two-thirds of the original claim block, aimed at better defining known mineralized systems and identifying targets around New Beliveau.
This year Probe plans to diamond drill 50,000 metres at the Val-d’Or East project to expand the known mineral resources and test high-priority satellite gold targets, including at its Bonnefond North and Cadillac Break East acquisitions.
About 35,000 metres of the 2017 drill program could expand the New Beliveau deposit laterally in all directions, as well as at depth along parallel diorite dikes similar to those hosting the past-producing Beliveau mine. Two drill rigs are testing the new gold zones in the diorite dikes. Another 15,000 metres of drilling will focus on high-priority gold targets surrounding New Beliveau and elsewhere on the project, with the hope of finding high-grade mineralization.
Probe plans to expand its IP surveys to provide coverage over the new Bonnefond North property, which is contiguous to the New Beliveau target and contains the potential southern expansion of the Beliveau mine trend, as well as the potential western extension of the Monique mine trend.