A two-year drilling program by Eastmain Resources (ER-T) at the Eau Claire gold deposit in the James Bay region of Quebec has significantly increased the known resource.
A new calculation based on drilling in 2003 estimates the indicated resource at Eau Claire to be 1 million tonnes grading 9.5 grams gold per tonne, based on a 4-gram-per-tonne cutoff grade. Cutting back high-grade assays brings the grade down to 8.2 grams per tonne. An inferred resource, based on a 2.5-gram cutoff grade, stands at 2.1 million tonnes averaging 6.5 grams per tonne, a grade that was not significantly affected by cutting.
Reducing the cutoff grade to 1 gram per tonne gives a total resource — all classed as inferred — of 5.6 million tonnes at 5.4 grams gold per tonne, or 4.7 grams per tonne after cutting back high grades.
The mineralized bodies are 15 quartz-carbonate-tourmaline veins plus a sulphide zone. Lower-grade gold values in the amphibolite host rocks are included in the low-grade resource.
Eastmain also notified its joint-venture partner SOQUEM that it has spent the $2.5 million required to earn a 75% interest in the project under their agreement. SOQUEM had previously earned a 50% interest from Eastmain in 1999, by spending $2 million under an earlier option agreement.
In the space of two years, the drilling at Eau Claire has doubled the size of the known resource. At the end of 2001, the deposit had an indicated resource of 972,900 tonnes grading 9.6 grams gold per tonne and an inferred resource of 509,665 tonnes grading 3.8 grams per tonne.
The principal change has been in the size of the inferred resource, which has expanded along structural extensions of the veins intersected in deeper drill holes over the last two years.