by Stockwatch Business Reporter
New York spot gold added $14.90 to $1,896.10 on Tuesday. The TSX-V rose 3.71 points to 712.54 while the TSX gold index rose 5.96 points to 366.84. Most Canadian gold miners regained altitude today, with Oceanagold Corp. (OGC) gaining seven cents to $2.26 on 2.87 million shares. The stock got as high as $4.01 in late July, but it had been falling since then on an assortment of news from its Haile, Macraes and Waihi mines. McEwen Mining Inc. (MUX) was strong, adding eight cents to $1.45 on 721,000 shares.
Steve Robertson's Sun Metals Corp. (SUNM) fell three cents to 13 cents on 3.19 million shares on word that it has drilled a 44-metre interval averaging 1.08 grams of gold and 28.2 grams of silver per tonne, plus 1.57 per cent copper at its Stardust gold and copper project in north-central British Columbia. The hit was augmented by a 13.9-metre zone averaging 2.12 grams of gold and 53.6 grams of silver per tonne, plus 3.05 per cent copper. Two other holes produced metals, but over lesser intervals and with lower grades.
Those two holes also probed the 421 zone, one toward the north and one, along with the newsworthy test, at the southern end, toward the main Canyon Creek area. The tests now suggest that the 421 and Canyon Creek zones are part of a 900-metre-long corridor of continuous high-grade copper and gold mineralization. Mr. Robertson, president and chief executive officer, cheered the rich hit, noting that his crews can track the high-grade mineralization, which "revealed to us a lot about this robust system."
Mr. Robertson took what was then a private company public in the spring of 2018 as the qualifying transaction for North Bluff Capital Corp. At the time, the Canyon Creek area of Stardust held an estimated 985,000 tonnes indicated at 1.59 grams of gold and 36.8 grams of silver per tonne, plus 1.34 per cent copper, with another 1.99 million tonnes inferred at 1.72 grams of gold and 30.5 grams of silver per tonne, plus 1.24 per cent copper -- about 165,000 ounces of gold and nearly double that as a gold equivalent.
The Canyon Creek resource is unchanged but in the fall of 2018, Sun Metals' drill hole No. 421 intersected an unexpected and rich zone, which returned a 36.5-metre hit that averaged 4.47 grams of gold and 84.6 grams of silver per tonne, plus 3.89 per cent copper -- a promising interval roughly split between copper and precious metal content. Other high-grade intersections followed, including one last year that returned 2.61 grams of gold and 44.3 grams of silver, plus 2.49 per cent copper, over 58.1 metres -- a copper hit that had Mr. Robertson enthused, but with a gold kicker that "makes this discovery even more captivating."
Drilling has now wrapped up for the season, just 12 metres short of the 12,000-metre target, with plenty of assays to come in the weeks ahead. Mr. Robertson does not say what lies ahead -- more drilling next year is certainly in the cards, but when Sun Metals might have a revision to the 2018 resource estimate for Stardust, or the beginnings of a dream sheet, is unclear.
Daniel Wilton's First Mining Gold Corp. (FF) added three cents to 49 cents on 2.55 million shares. The company is enthused with word from Auteco Minerals Ltd., its partner on the Pickle Crow project in Northwestern Ontario, that its maiden drill program has hit a 0.6-metre zone averaging 99.35 grams of gold per tonne. A second hole produced 19.64 grams per tonne over 1.6 metres and a third managed 24.45 grams per tonne over 1.7 metres. The grades of the first and third holes were bolstered by 0.3-metre subintervals that averaged well over 100 grams of gold per tonne.
The assays, from 15 of the first 19 holes, produced plenty of gold, but all the intersections where short, with the longest hit coming in at 2.24 grams of gold per tonne over 7.6 metres. A few other intervals topped four metres in length, but with gold grades of three grams per tonne or less. Auteco, which can earn an 80-per-cent interest in Pickle Crow, is sufficiently enthused that it has begun a 45,000-metre follow-up drill program to expand the mineralized zone and define an initial resource estimate.
Pickle Crow, a high-grade mine that yielded 1.5 million ounces at 16.1 grams per tonne from the 1930s to the mid-1960s, had seen little work since then. First Mining acquired the property in 2015 when it merged with Akiko Levinson's Gold Canyon Resources Inc. and Peter Hooper's PC Gold Inc. The project was a PC Gold property, and Mr. Hooper, that company's president and CEO, had been exploring "strategic options" for furthering the project for some time. First Mining did some drilling on Pickle Crow, but by the end of 2019 it too was looking for options, strategic or otherwise. Mr. Wilton, CEO, finally arranged the option with Auteco, which agreed to spend $10-million over five years to earn its 80-per-cent interest.