The Abitibi Gold Belt is an area that extends from Wawa, Ontario in the west to past Val-d’Or, Quebec in the east. The Abitibi Gold Belt, located within the broader Abitibi greenstone belt, owes quartz-carbonate, vein-style mineralization to much of its huge gold endowment. The several gold deposits in the belt appear to be in clusters and to identify particular districts of mining. In total, since 1901, over 190 million ounces of gold have been produced by the Abitibi Gold Belt.
Along the Larder Lake-Cadillac and Destor-Porcupine fault zones, the most significant concentration of gold deposits is.
The main hydrothermal routes for gold-bearing hydrothermal fluids are these two enormous structures. The overall gold content of the belt, including production, measured and indicated reserves, and resources, has been determined to be more than 300 million ounces of gold, making it one of the largest prospective gold regions in the world.
The faults were created by changes in the tectonic plates of the earth that caused underground mineral-rich water to move closer to the surface of the crust of the earth to form gold-rich quartz veins around these faults.
There are 21 gold deposits in the Abitibi greenstone belt that hold over 3 million ounces of gold in each deposit. Some 124 mines were put into production during the last century. This includes the biggest gold mine in Canada, the Canadian Malartic gold mine in Agnico Eagle/Yamana. The Malartic gold mine is adjacent to the Parbec Project at the discovery stage of Renforth Resources and 12 km from the Marban Project at O3 Mining.
With robust sample assays and drill results continuing to be published, it is evident that both higher-grade gold deposits at depth and lower-grade, near-surface, open pitiable deposits remain prospective for the Abitibi Gold Belt.
Notably, the developing Chicobi Gold Belt is within the extensive Abitibi Gold Belt, where Kenorland Minerals and others are currently exploring.
O3 Mining Inc. [OIII-TSXV; OIIIF-OTCQX], supported by Osisko Mining Inc. [OSK-TSX], benefits from acquisition, exploration, and development by the Osisko Group of companies. O3 Mining has assembled a number of 100 percent -held highly prospective gold properties covering approximately 133,557 hectares in Quebec and 25,000 hectares in Ontario since its launch in 2019, two of which have entered the preliminary economic assessment stage. The aim of the company is to become a producer of multi-million ounces of high growth gold.
O3 Mining controls 66,000 hectares in the productive Val-d’Or mining camp and over 50 km of strike length along the Cadillac-Larder Lake Fault, one of the main conduits for gold deployment, through the consolidation of prime gold prospects. O3 Mining also has properties in the Quebec area of Chibougamau.
On the Marban Project near Val-d’Or, where over 600,000 meters of exploration has been completed and a 45,000-metre resource expansion drilling program is underway, a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) has been completed. This project is 12 km from Canada’s largest gold mine, the Canadian Malartic open-pit mine, and 8 km from the Kiena mine.
With a positive after-tax IRR of 25.2 percent and an after-tax NPV of $423 million, the Marban PEA demonstrates the project’s potential to become a major North American gold producer. The PEA envisages an open pit of 11,000 tonnes per day with a mine life of 15.2 years and a stable economy at a US$1,450/oz gold price, attractive cash and all-in-sustaining costs, and low capital expenditure. The output is set at over 130,000 oz of gold annually in the first 12 years, peaking at more than 161,000 oz in year nine. The initial capital expenditure will be $256 million, including facilities for mine pre-production and refining.
O3 Mining plans to bring Marban, followed by the development of other mines, into production on its own. With Marban’s Capex at $256 million, half of it could be raised by equity markets and the other half through a loan. At a nearby operating mill, custom milling could be feasible, resulting in $100 million less in Capex costs.
O3 Mining has planned a 100,000-meter “brownfield” drilling expansion program along the Marban trend at its Alpha site.
This area is considered by O3 Mining as a brownfield since it is more or less surrounded by numerous mining operations. O3 Mining invested in artificial intelligence technology, which identified 25 goals, including 10.4 g/t gold over 3.0 meters in the Simkar Zone on the Alpha site, to advance the property’s exploration potential, as confirmed in December 2020. This project reflects a regional-scale opportunity with the Alpha property spreading over 20 km east-west.
There are 12 drill rigs working at present. With a total of 150,000 meters of drilling planned on its projects and taking into account known geological data, the company expects resource estimates that have already taken place to be increased. Environmental baseline studies for the different projects are starting.
O3 Mining is progressing toward its target of developing a gold portfolio of 6.8 million ounces. To date, the company’s properties host resources in the Measured and Indicated categories, totaling 4.3 million ounces grading 1.03 g/t gold and 2.5 million ounces grading 1.20 g/t gold in the Inferred category.
As with other Osisko Group firms, O3 Mining’s management has extensive experience. Jose Vizquerra, the President and CEO, heads the group. With Osisko Mining holding a 30.3 percent interest, management with 6.4 percent and institutional investors holding 22.0 percent, outstanding shares equal 60.3 million. Investments and cash stand at C$60.8 million. The gold zone of Val-d’Or is a Tier 1 mining jurisdiction and the flow-through funding benefit for exploring the company’s excellent gold prospect portfolio is in Quebec.
Renforth Resources Inc. [RFR-CSE; RFHRF-OTC; A2H9TN-FSE] is a Canadian junior resource company seeking to show once again that in the vicinity of existing mines, the best place to find new mineral discoveries is.
After assembling a portfolio of properties situated in historic Canadian mining camps in Ontario and Quebec, the Toronto-based company is testing the theory.
Renforth has $6.7 million in cash and securities on hand and full ownership of many properties, including the Parbec flagship property, a gold bulk tonnage project located next to the Canadian Malartic open-pit gold mine, located in Malartic, Quebec. The Canadian Malartic mine, owned jointly by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. [AEM-TSX, NYSE] and Yamana Gold Inc. [YRI-TSX; AUY-NYSE], ranks as the largest gold mine in Canada.
Parbec holds an Indicated Resource of 104,500 ounces of gold in 1,82 million tonnes at an average grade of 1,78 g/t gold, and an Inferred Resource of 177,300 ounces of gold in 3,12 million tonnes at an average grade of 1,77 g/t gold, according to a May 2020 estimate.
In the fall of 2020, the company launched a 15,000-meter drill program with the goal of adding ounces to the May 2020 estimate. The program, which involves infill drilling inside the modeled mineralized areas, on strike and down dips and step-outs down-dip to assess Parbec’s depth potential, will re-start soon with 9,600 meters of drilling completed in 2020.
At a time when gold and copper prices are expected to increase, any progress at the drill bit level will likely have a positive effect on Renforth shares trading at $0.05 in a 52-week range between $0.03 and $0.10 on January 15, 2021, leaving the junior with a market cap of $12.7 million based on 255 million outstanding shares.
In addition to Parbec, Renforth also owns the Malartic West, a copper/silver discovery site outlined on the surface, intended for future exploration, and Surimeau properties, both adjacent to the Canadian Malartic mine. Surimeau hosts polymetallic mineralization and, for the first time, represents the consolidation of four historical properties into one.
The presence of sub-surface VMS mineralization was demonstrated by a small, exploratory drill program testing a 20-km geological/geophysical anomaly at Surimeau; assay results are pending for what Renforth considers a new VMS discovery.
Renforth owns the Nixon-Bartleman property in Ontario, which straddles the prominent Destor-Porcupine Fault and hosts quartz mineralization of over 500 meters of exposed gold. Located west of Timmins, approximately 10 km southwest of, and on strike with the Pan American Silver [PAAS-TSX, NASDAQ] Timmins West and Bell Creek mines, the project has been the scene of significant historical work, but no previous attempts to quantify a deposit.
Zach Flood, Kenorland’s President, and CEO said that the discovery, made during an inaugural 15-hole drill program on the 37,480-hectare property, was “nothing short of amazing.”
He said that “We found a new and very significant gold system around five kilometers off the Route du Nord in Quebec, completely concealed undercover, through our systematic approach to grassroots exploration. This discovery is in an area of the belt with no known mineral occurrences or historical drilling.”
In 2017, Kenorland acquired Frotet by staking and then chose Sumitomo Metal Mining Canada [US-OTC:SMMYY] for it. Sumitomo has a majority interest in the project and financed the exploration drill program, while Kenorland remains the operator of the project.
Since its founding by Flood and three former colleagues in 2016, Kenorland has focused on project generation and greenfields exploration in mining-friendly jurisdictions with large mineral endowments.
Flood said that “Over the past four years, prior to going public, we had raised a total of $3 million through private placements and leveraged that into $15 million of partnered-funded exploration. We’ve grown the company and advanced the portfolio in an organic and sustainable manner with minimal dilution to shareholders.”
The company, he continued, employs a scientific and risk-based exploration strategy, which, he said, is based on the identification and acquisition of large, underexplored geologically prospective terranes areas and the screening of large-scale geochemical and geophysical surveys for these areas. Kenorland currently holds mineral rights of over 400,000 hectares.
In 2017, Kenorland also acquired a 100% interest in the Taurus copper-gold-molybdenum project in eastern Alaska. Between 2017 and 2019, the company completed regional soil sampling programs, an airborne ZTEM and magnetic survey covering the entire 45,900-hectare property, and 9,000 meters of drilling that was funded by Freeport McMoRan [NYSE:FCX].
Flood added that “The project currently hosts a number of known of porphyry related systems and over 30 km2 of related hydrothermal alteration. This is a very large footprint and we suspect there are other porphyry centers that have not been discovered. The regional geochemical and geophysical surveys we completed identified a few significant anomalies which we plan to advance and drill test in 2021.”
The mineralized porphyry systems at the Tanacross Project, he noted, are the same geological age and setting as the copper-gold-molybdenum-silver deposit of Western Copper and Gold [TSX:WRN; NYSE:WRN] Casino in the Yukon, about 180 km southeast of Tanacross, and is one of Canada’s largest copper-gold ventures.
Recently, the reverse takeover completed by Kenorland with Northway Resources Corp. brought the Healy Project into the exploration asset portfolio of the company. Newmont [TSX:NGT; NYSE:NEM]) optioned for the 18,470-hectare discovery-stage property and is lies approximately 45 km southeast of the Northern Star Resources [ASX:NST] Pogo mine, which produced 3.9 million ounces. By 2019, of gold.
After multiple years of systematic reconnaissance exploration, including regional stream sampling, Newmont had originally found and staked Healy in eastern Alaska. In a region with no reported mineral occurrences, follow-up ridge and spur and wide-spaced soil sampling contributed to the identification of a previously unknown gold system, which was expressed as several substantial gold-in-soil anomalies.
An initial 10-hole, reconnaissance style, reverse circulation drill program on Healy was completed by Northway in 2019, confirming the presence of a significant gold system. Multiple drill-ready targets that Kenorland intends to test in 2021 have been identified by follow-up geochemical and geophysical surveys in summer 2020.
Flood said that “Following completion of the transaction with Northway, we now have around $9.5 million in the treasury. We will be fully funded going into 2021 and plan to spend up to $7 million on sole-funded exploration while also managing over $4.5 million of partner-funded exploration.”
As he continued, the majority of the total exploration budget is mainly focused on advancing our ventures in Frotet, Tanacross, and Healy.
The Company also has a pipeline of greenfield exploration projects in addition to its three flagship assets, including the 161,025-hectare Chebistuan Project, located in northern Abitibi, optional for Newmont, the 51,257-hectare Chicobi Project, located in central Abitibi, optional for Sumitomo, and the Hunter and O’Sullivan Projects, both 100% owned by Kenorland.