The Rouyn Property is located about 4 km south of Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. With a long history of mining, the city of Rouyn-Noranda offers many advantages for mining exploration, including political and social stability, good access and infrastructure, skilled mining personnel, and one of the most mining-friendly jurisdictions in the world.
The Rouyn Property covers a 12-kilometre stretch of the Cadillac-Larder Lake Break, covering a total area of nearly 2,700 hectares.
Because of its large size, the property has been subdivided into seven major "Blocks" (from west to east): Augmitto, Cinderella, Durbar, Lake Gamble, Wright-Rouyn, Astoria and Lake Bouzan.
Along with prospecting which dates back to the mid-1920s on the Rouyn property, underground exploration and development work was done intermittently from 1926 to 1995 initially at the Astoria site and later at the Augmitto site. As a result of this historical work, the Rouyn property already hosts significant underground infrastructure including a 515 m deep shaft and over 5 kilometres of lateral workings at Astoria. At Augmitto, there is a 250-metre shaft and a 1,142-metre exploration ramp plus ventilation raises and extensive drifting on several levels. From 1990 to 1995, a total of 163,122 tonnes averaging a recovered grade of 5.32 grams of gold per tonne were mined from the Astoria mine.
One characteristic of gold deposits in the Abitibi is that they tend to be located near major fault zones, which acted as conduits along which gold-bearing solutions traveled before forming deposits in nearby geological structures. The Cadillac-Larder Lake Break is one such major fault zone. It extends more than 250 kilometres east-west from west of Kirkland Lake, Ontario to east of Val-d'Or, Quebec and has yielded more than 100 million ounces of gold from mines such as Lakeshore, Macassa, Kerr-Addison, Doyon, Bousquet, LaRonde, East-Malartic, Canadian Malartic, Kiena and Sigma-Lamaque.
Gold values are widespread on the Rouyn property, where gold occurs in two main mineralized zones: 1) in silicified and brecciated, fuchsitic carbonate-altered rocks (altered ultramafic rocks of the Piché Group); and, 2) in silicified and veined meta-sediments that structurally underlie the Piché Group. The carbonate rocks typically contain coarse free gold in quartz-veined and brecciated lenses with accessory sulphide minerals, while gold in the meta-sediments is characterized by a strong association with sulphide minerals and fine-sized free gold. In addition to gold mineralization just along the Cadillac Break itself, there is also a promising gold target in the Wright-Rouyn block along the extension of the former producing Stadacona mine which had produced 467,000 ounces of gold between 1936 and 1958.
Drilling is recommended to test the continuity of mineralization to the east and west of a diabase dyke which cuts across the structure. Historical drilling on this structure was limited to about 150 metres vertical.
Mineral Resource estimates, compliant to NI-43-101 regulations, have been completed for two distinct deposits, namely the Astoria and Augmitto deposits.
Results are tabulated below:
|Augmitto deposit (cut-off: 3.4 g/t Au)|
|Category||tonnes||Grade (g/t Au)||Ounces of gold|
|Measured + indicated||247,000||6.08||48,200|
|Astoria deposit (cut-off: 3.0 g/t Au)|
|Measured + indicated||1,429,564||5.18||238,084|
In 2016-2017, Kinross Gold Corporation drilled a total of 24,149 metres in a program focussed on the Astoria and Lac Gamble deposits, with the aim of identifying high-grade shoots at depth within the broad mineralized gold corridor represented by the Piché Group. Several high grade intercepts were obtained over core lengths ranging typically from 3 to 5 metres and reaching up to 30 metres. Some of the better intercepts at Astoria were 5.4 g/t Au over 30.1 m (including 23.7 g/t Au over 4.1m) in hole AS-17-678, and 19.3 g/t Au over 4.1m in AS-17-678W. Other significant results at Astoria include 11.6 g/t Au over 4.7 m and 5.3 g/t Au over 13.0 m respectively in holes AS-17-669 and AS-17-676W. A recent interpretation of the Kinross drilling suggests that the Footwall and Lower Piché zones may be merging at least locally, providing significantly wider mineralized zones.
At Lac Gamble, the better intercepts obtained by Kinross reached 7.9 g/t Au over 5.9m, 14.7 g/t Au over 3.0m and 10.0 g/t Au over 3.0m.
Although no compliant mineral resource estimate has yet been done at the Gamble Lake zone, an internal (“in-house”) estimate of the “Potential” was recently prepared by Yorbeau’s staff for the Gamble Lake zone, using the polygonal method, a cut-off grade of 3.4 g/t Au and a minimum horizontal thickness of 2.8 metres. Similarly, a revised in-house estimate of “Potential” was prepared for the Astoria zone to take into account the drilling done by Kinross Gold in 2016-17.
The summary of the Potential at Gamble Lake and Astoria is shown below:
|Potential1 (cut-off: 3.4 g/t Au) max influence 40m|
|tonnes||grade (g/t Au)||ounces of gold|
|Gamble Lake||1.0-1.4 Mt||7.2-8.8||0.3-0.4 Moz|
|Astoria||2.9-3.6 Mt||6.1-7.4||0.6-0.9 Moz|
|Total Gamble + Astoria||4.1 - 5.0Mt||6.4 - 7.8||0.8 - 1.3 Moz|
1The above estimate of Potential, while done according to industry best practices, does not constitute Mineral Resources that can be reported in accordance with NI 43-101 regulations because they were not done by an independent person and are not supported by a full independent Technical Report. The potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature as there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.
Subject to additional drilling in some sectors where drill spacing may be too large, the above Potential may be increased significantly. Consequently, if the influence of some of the holes is increased to 75 metres, the above Potential may be increased as follows:
|Potential1 (cut-off: 3.4 g/t Au) max influence 75m|
|tonnes||grade (g/t Au)||ounces of gold|
|Gamble Lake||1.7-2.0 Mt||7.7-8.5||0.4-0.6 Moz|
|Astoria||4.0-5.0 Mt||6.6-7.4||0.9-1.2 Moz|
|Total Gamble + Astoria||6.0 - 7.0Mt||6.3 - 7.7||1.2 - 1.7 Moz|
1 The above estimate of Potential, while done according to industry best practices, does not constitute Mineral Resources that can be reported in accordance with NI 43-101 regulations because they were not done by an independent person and are not supported by a full independent Technical Report. The potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature as there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.
In summary, by combining Mineral Resources of 207,000 ounces at Augmitto, with Potential ranging (depending on drill hole influence) from 0.8 to 1.7 million ounces at Gamble Lake and Astoria, it can be seen that Rouyn has potential host between 1.2 and over 1.5 million ounces of gold within drilled off sectors. Of course, additional “in-fill” drilling is required before compliant Mineral Resources can be estimated and reported. It is important to note that all zones remain open at depth.
The Company signed a definitive agreement in December 2018, whereby IAMGOLD has the option to acquire a 100% interest in the Rouyn property. In order to earn the purchase option, IAMGOLD must make cumulative cash payments of C$4 million and fund C$9 million dollars of exploration expenditures over a 4-year period, including no less than 20,000 metres of diamond drilling within the first two years. The drill program started in January 2019 with the goal of converting well established exploration potential into mineral resources, initially at the lac Gamble zone and subsequently at the Astoria deposit.