Its flagship project – Upper Beaver – and surrounding properties are located east of Kirkland Lake near the small community of Dobie.
President and CEO Charles Page, one of the founding members of the company that was established 20 years ago, said he always knew “they had something valuable.”
“We have had this property a long time but when we first put it together, gold was $400 an ounce and then it went down to about $260. It didn't make sense at those gold prices so we kept adding more ground and doing some exploration along the way.”
The company plans to sink a shaft at Upper Beaver next year and expects its first gold pour in 2016. In 2007, Queenston raised sufficient capital to allow it to move Upper Beaver to the next stage and to further explore the surrounding deposits.
“This capital allowed us to do a lot of drilling on these and the geological ideas and notions came true and we found a much larger resource sitting there,” Page said.
The nearby 100-per-cent-owned deposits include Upper Canada, Anoki- McBean and Bidgood.
The Upper Beaver is a former mine and produced 140,000 ounces of gold between 1912 and 1972.
“We drilled beneath the old workings and found a new deposit,” said Bill McGuinty, vice-president of exploration. “The mine closed because when they got down to a certain level, they encountered a troubling ore body and they could not figure out what was going on. What we have found is that the geology further down is much more predictable.”
Six drills are working on Upper Beaver and seven others are advancing the other deposits, which all have the potential for near surface development.
“These could be open pit or maybe a ramp but none of them require a shaft at this time,” McGuinty said.
Upper Beaver could initially produce 120,000 ounces of gold along with more than five million pounds of copper. The other deposits could provide additional feed.
“We can see the vision of our production increasing from 120,000 ounces to 200,000 ounces. We are starting with one project but there is a long-term plan here,” Page said.
Having more than one deposit in the area provides an advantage for the company.
“We secured a large land package here and we were able to do that when no one else was looking in the area,” Page said. “They were wandering into other jurisdictions like South America, Asia or Africa and we stayed home and did our thing and put this package together.”
The Upper Beaver also has a substantial copper component which will generate a good deal of revenue and cash flow from its sale.
“It means a different process but it is valuable to get that copper out of it since it will pay for a large portion of our mining costs here,” he said.
Plans, at this time, indicate a stand-alone mill at the Upper Beaver site will be built and it will be expandable to allow for additional circuits to facilitate the other deposits. The mill will extract both gold and copper.
Exploration will remain a focus for the company and is an important part of its success.
“We are venturing off into a different status here by moving from an exploration company towards more of a development and production scenario but we still haven't forgot our exploration roots. That is what got us here,” Page said.
“As a geologist, the dream is always to make a discovery and ultimately be involved in moving that discovery towards a mine. Not many people get that opportunity, so what we have put together in Queenston, obviously that opportunity exists.”