Resource and current exploration program
2.23Moz at 7.8 g/t Gold Inferred Resource
The mineral Resource estimation was prepared in accordance with the JORC Code (2012 edition) by reputable Australian firm Cube Consulting Pty Ltd with oversight from Auteco personnel. The Resource estimate as at February 2022 which was released on 15 February 2022 is presented in the table below.
Independent JORC 2012 Inferred Resource Estimate
|Mineralisation Domain||Lower Cut-off||Tonnes (Mt)||Gold Grade (g/t)||Gold (Moz)|
Auteco Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate as at 31 December 2021.
Since September 2020, Auteco has added 1.2Moz of Inferred Resource at a discovery cost of A$17.58 (US$12.591) per Resource ounce. The speed and low cost at which the Resource has grown highlights the quality and huge remaining growth potential of the Pickle Crow mineralised system.
Auteco commenced a Stage 2 50,000m diamond drill campaign in June 2021 following the success of its previous 45,000m drill campaign. The dual strategy of driving near-mine Resource growth combined with early-stage exploration targeting will continue to be the focus of the drilling program.
High-grade gold in one of Canada’s most prolific gold belts
Multiple advanced gold projects have been developed in the area over the past few years including:
- Red Lake High-Grade Gold Camp operated by Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN): historic production of over 27 Moz at +20 g/t gold
- Musselwhite deposit operated by Newmont Goldcorp 2.3 Moz Reserves
- Madsen Project operated by Pure Gold Mining: 2.06 Moz @ 8.9 g/t gold (Indicated) & 0.47 Moz @ 7.7 g/t gold (Inferred)
- West Red Lake Project operated by West Red Lake Gold: 1.09 Moz @ 7.6 g/t gold (Inferred)
- Springpole Lake Project operated by First Mining: 4.67 Moz @ 1.04 g/t gold (Indicated)
There are a number of high-priority targets at the Pickle Crow Gold Project that have either not been followed up or have had little or no modern exploration test work undertaken on them. These include multiple unmined lode positions surrounding the historic underground workings, including potential new high-grade gold lodes as well as a number of shallow, near surface, broad mineralised zones that require exploration testing regionally across the 190 km2 project area.
A history of highly successful high-grade gold mining
The Pickle Crow deposit was originally discovered in the early 1930’s and commenced commercial production in 1935. The mine operated until 1966 during which time it produced 1.5 Million oz of gold at an average grade of 16 g/t gold.
Various operators held the property since before the regional ground position was consolidated by TSX listed PC Gold in 2014. PC Gold was acquired by First Mining in 2015.
Historical data was recovered, digitised and verified in 2008 by PC Gold who completed drilling within the known veins from the existing historic mine. No further exploration was then conducted at the property subsequent to First Mining’s acquisition of the project in 2015; First Mining released a NI 43-101 compliant resource.
Above: Location map showing the Pickle Crow Gold Project, located in a Tier 1 jurisdiction within the Uchi Geological Sub-Province host to +35 MOZ of historic production
Geology and mineralisation
The Pickle Crow Gold Deposit is a high-grade, shear-hosted, mesothermal Archean lode gold deposit. The deposit occurs primarily within mafic volcanics and banded iron formation (BIF) units in the Pickle Crow assemblage of the Pickle Lake Greenstone Belt in the Uchi Lake Sub-province of the Superior Craton of the Canadian Shield.
Mineralisation is focused around steeply northwest dipping, regional scale shear zones with the bulk of the mineralisation hosted near the Main Break structure, proximal to the highly strained, unconformable boundary between the Pickle Crow assemblage and the mafic-intermediate volcanics of the younger Confederation assemblage. A restricted, late-basin, Temiskaming-like sedimentary assemblage has also been identified in the hangingwall of this structure.
Multiple mineralisation styles have so far been identified on the property:
- Quartz-Gold-Tungsten (+/-Tourmaline) Veins: These were the main focus of historical mining, frequently grading +15 g/t gold.
- Banded Iron Formation (BIF) Mineralisation: Stringers and sulphide mineralisation replacing iron minerals in the banded iron-formation.
- Shear-Zone Hosted Mineralisation: Wide zones of shearing and alteration with discontinuous quartz veining and disseminated pyrite. Previously unmined and underexplored.
- Quartz-Arsenopyrite stockwork veins in BIF: Underexplored mineralisation style.
Historical mining was focused on mining the quartz-gold-tungsten veins, the largest of which was the No.1 Vein (900 metre surface strike, mined to >1,500 metres below surface).
Excellent location and infrastructure
The Pickle Crow deposit is located in the Tier-1 Mining Jurisdiction of Ontario, Canada. The project is 400 km North of Thunder bay on State Route 590 with grid power less than 5 km from the project. There is year-round, paved road access to the project, as well as commercial flight access to Sioux Lookout located 2 hours’ drive to the South. Local services including shopping, hospitals and heavy equipment rental are located less than 5 km from the project in the town of Pickle Lake. The region has a recent history of mining and a skilled workforce is available in the region.
A 225tpd mill gravity mill was constructed on the Project in 2006 but never commissioned. Offices and core facilities are in good condition. Exploration can be conducted year-round.
Excellent conventional gold recoveries of more than 98% gold recovered from the historic mining operation. During the successful operation of the Pickle Crow mine from 1935 to 1966, recoveries of +98% were reported from a gravity plus cyanidation circuit. Gravity recoveries for the period 1935 to 1948 are reported at +40%, increasing to around 60% in the later years of the mine with improving technology.