Making use of the IntelligenceMine database of our sister company Infomine, The Northern Miner has compiled five projects recording the top gold intersections (grade multiplied by width) globally in December 2016, as reported publicly.
1. ERDENE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Mongolia-focused gold explorer Erdene Resource Development (TSX: ERD; US-OTC: ERDCF) took top spot, with drill results reported on Dec. 19 from its Altan Nar gold-polymetallic project in southwest Mongolia.
Hole 101 intersected 110 metres grading 9.3 grams gold per tonne (or 1,019 metres × grams gold per tonne); 32 grams silver per tonne; 1.4% combined lead-zinc, including 14 metres of 55.6 grams gold; 131 grams silver; and 5.6% combined lead-zinc.
“Hole 101 was heavily mineralized from surface to 170 metres deep, and includes the highest grades and most continuous zone — laterally and vertically — intersected to date at Altan Nar,” Erdene president and CEO Peter Akerley said in a release. “The results are a testament to what detailed exploration can uncover as we test new targets at Altan Nar and throughout the district, while advancing our flagship gold project at Bayan Khundii.”
However, Erdene makes clear that hole 101 was drilled to test a conceptual target at the intersection of a northwest-trending fault with the main northeast-trending shear zone in the project’s Discovery zone at a “low angle to the mineralized DZ trend,” and doesn’t represent the mineralized zone’s true width, which is unknown. Related nearby holes indicate a 25- to 35-metre true width of the northeast-trending mineralized zone.
Based in Halifax, N.S., Erdene Resource Development has explored and developed precious and base metal prospects in Mongolia’s Edren Terrane since 2009.
2. NEVSUN RESOURCES
Number two on the top gold list — not even counting a substantial copper content — is Nevsun Resources’ (TSX: NSU; NYSE-MKT: NSU) newly acquired, prefeasibility-stage Timok copper-gold project in eastern Serbia near the Bor mining and smelting complex.
The Timok copper-gold project consists of the massive to semi-massive sulphide mineralized Cukaru Peki Upper Zone (wholly owned by Nevsun) and the porphyry-style Lower zone (a joint venture with Freeport-McMoRan [NYSE: FCX]).
In results released on Dec. 7, Nevsun tallied four stellar new massive and semi-massive sulphide intersections the Upper Zone:
• 171 metres grading 4.9% copper and 5.21 grams gold per tonne (or 890 metres × grams gold per tonne) in hole 160114;
• 98.8 metres of 9.8% copper and 8.86 grams gold (879 metres × grams gold per tonne) in hole 160117;
• 182 metres of 4.2% copper and 4.80 grams gold (875 metres × grams gold per tonne) in hole 160121; and
• 86 metres of 9.5% copper and 8.83 grams gold (846 metres × grams gold per tonne) in hole 160119.
Timok’s Upper Zone hosts 1.7 million tonnes of indicated resource grading 13.5% copper and 10.4 grams gold per tonne, plus 35 million inferred tonnes grading 2.9% copper and 1.7 grams gold.
Nevsun says another 18,500 metres of drilling is in progress to improve confidence in the resource.
See more about Timok in Nevsun’s corporate video: https://vimeo.com/173926603
3. OSISKO MINING
Osisko Mining’s (TSX: OSK) early-stage Windfall Lake gold project in northwestern Quebec’s Urban Township slid into the third spot, with results released on Dec. 5 from an ongoing 150,000-metre drilling program.
The best new hole was 16-760, which intersected 5.7 metres (from 226 metres) grading an uncut 148 grams gold per tonne (844 metres × grams gold per tonne), or 65 grams gold, when cut to 100 grams gold per tonne.
The latest drilling is part of an expansion program that includes step-out drilling up to 800 metres northeast of the main deposit.
Osisko plans to carry out 250,000 metres of drilling in 2017, which would bring total drilling at the project to 400,000 metres.
Osisko raised another $14 million in December by private-placing 4.43 million flow-through shares at $3.15 per share, with Dundee Securities acting as sole agent.
See a 3D visualization of the Windfall Lake deposit in Osisko’s corporate video:
4. GOLDEN STAR RESOURCES
Golden Star Resources (TSX: GSC; NYSE-MKT: GSS) took fourth place with a golden intercept at its operating Wassa gold mine in southwestern Ghana, which is transitioning from an open-pit mine to a high-grade underground operation. Golden Star started mining from underground in July 2016, and declared first commercial production on Jan. 1, 2017.
As announced on Dec. 5, the first nine holes of an infill-drilling program targeting the high-grade B Shoot zone of Wassa Underground returned an intersection of 31.7 metres (from 297 metres) grading 23.75 grams gold per tonne (753 metres × grams gold per tonne) in hole 16DD009.
Other highlights are 8 metres (from 57 metres) of 13.9 grams gold in hole 16DDD002 and 18.7 metres (from 323 metres) of 4.25 grams gold in hole 16DD004.
The Toronto-based firm anticipates that gold production will ramp up during 2017, as mining accesses the higher-grade B Shoot area of the Wassa Underground orebody.
Golden Star expects to have produced at least 100,000 oz. gold in 2016, but will release its yearly results later in January, as well as new reserve and resource number during the first quarter of 2017.
Global gold miner OceanaGold (TSX: OGC; US-OTC: OCANF) tabled strong drill results from its new open-pit Haile gold mine in South Carolina, as part of a report on its exploration activities in the U.S., New Zealand and the Philippines.
In the Dec. 12 press release, the company highlighted a 66-hole infill drilling program at the Horseshoe deposit at Haile, with intercepts including: 16.6 metres (from 439 metres) grading 29.90 grams gold per tonne (496 metres × grams gold per tonne) in diamond drill hole 578; 72 metres (from 403 metres) at 5 grams gold in hole 557; and 43 metres (from 392 metres) at 9.5 grams gold in hole 573.
OceanaGold says the results of the exploration program at Haile will be a major input into an optimization study underway and on schedule for completion in mid-2017.
The company started milling ore at Haile on Dec. 29, and plans to produce 150,000 to 170,000 oz. gold at Haile in 2017 at all-in sustaining costs between US$500 and US$550 per oz. gold.
As of late December there were 675,000 tonnes of ore stockpiled on surface, including 275,000 tonnes grading 2.3 grams gold of sulphide ore, 245,000 tonnes grading 0.6 gram gold oxide ore and 155,000 tonnes grading 1.1 grams gold of transitional material.
The company has permanently closed its Reefton gold mine in New Zealand, which was put on care and maintenance in early 2016. Reclamation will take several years to complete.