VANCOUVER — Drills at Temex Resources’ (TSXV: TME) Whitney gold project near Timmins, Ont., are finding high grades while the company upgrades the main deposit for a planned bulk sample and initial economic study.
Temex kicked off a 3,000-metre drill program in April focused on the 110 zone, which sits near an old, high-grade miner with near-surface mineralization. The program is designed to upgrade confidence in the known resource, but drills are also stepping out along strike. Twelve of the drill program’s first 14 holes hit the targeted gold-bearing quartz vein structure, and eight holes returned visible gold.
Hole 329 returned the year’s highlight to date: 6 metres grading 49.53 grams gold per tonne, starting 28 metres downhole and including 1 metre of 288 grams gold. Other notable intercepts included 8.2 metres grading 5.04 grams gold starting 17 metres down hole 333, 17.6 metres grading 3.24 grams gold from 30 metres down hole 339 and 4.5 metres carrying 48.09 grams gold from 20 metres down hole 340.
The intercepts added confidence to the known resource. Two other holes extended the known strike 50 metres east. Hole 327 cut 8.1 metres grading 2.46 grams gold, and hole 330 returned 26 metres averaging 1.44 grams gold.
Temex updated Whitneys’ resource in January. The measured and indicated count stands at 3.2 million tonnes grading 6.85 grams gold, plus 995,000 inferred tonnes averaging 5.34 grams gold.
This year Temex will probe the gold-bearing structure at the 100 zone to a 50-metre vertical depth and inform the engineering and geotechnical preparations for an open-pit bulk sample in 2015, which would later feed a preliminary economic assessment.
The 110 zone is on the Whitney property’s eastern side, near the past-producing Hallnor mine. Mineralization at 110 is typical of the Timmins region, with gold hosted in sheeted vein stockworks surrounded by quartz, sericite and disseminated pyrite alteration halos. But the structure at 110 differs from similar Timmons-area zones because of its orientation: it dips just 40 degrees, which means some of it can be mined via an open pit.
Initial metallurgical test work on lower-grade Whitney material showed that gravity concentration and cyanide leaching recovered 94–97% of the contained gold. Temex plans to complete more metallurgical testing this year.
Whitney is in the heart of the Timmins gold camp: it is 4 km south of Lake Shore Gold’s (TSX: LSG; NYSE-MKT: LSG) Bell Creek mine and mill complex and 12 km northeast of Goldcorp’s (TSX: G; NYSE: GG) Dome mine and mill. The Timmins camp stretches out along 10 km of strike and has produced more than 70 million oz. gold.
The Whitney property includes five historic mines that collectively produced 2.4 million oz. gold. The Hallnor mine had the highest grades of the five operations, having produced 1.7 million oz. gold between 1938 and 1968 from ore bearing an average grade of 13.7 grams gold.
Whitney is a joint venture with Temex owning 60% of the project and serving as operator and Goldcorp holding remainder. Goldcorp, however, has elected not to contribute to the 2014 work program, despite having supported the $3.5-million program at a joint-venture committee meeting in January. Temex could cover Goldcorp’s part of the costs. If it does, the major’s interest in the property would decline.
The program calls for 7,000 metres of drilling this year. The second 4,000-metre campaign will test deeper targets that offer potential for the early stages of an underground operation. The current resource is constrained to within 500 metres of surface and Temex has a list of deeper targets to explore, including several vein extensions in the Hallnor-110 area.
In March Temex closed a financing, raising $2.8 million by selling 25.2 million flow-through units at 11¢ each. Each unit comprised a flow-through share and a half-warrant to buy another flow-through share for 18¢ within two years. After the raise, Temex had $4.8 million on hand.
On news of the Whitney drill results Temex’s share price gained half a cent to close at 7¢. The company has a 52-week share price range of 6¢ to 18¢, and 186 million shares outstanding.