By IAN ROSS
Young-Shannon Gold Mines president and CEO Greg Lipton subscribes to the old miner’s adage that new deposits can be found next to the old mine shafts, in the so-called ‘shadow of the head frame.’
The Toronto junior miner plans aggressive exploration work this year on two gold
plays at some former mine properties near Espanola and Gogama in northeastern Ontario.
Lipton says his company’s criteria for selecting properties is choosing projects at a relatively advanced stage. Both their McMillan and Chester projects meet those guidelines.
The company has international ambitions, but would like a good stable of Canadian properties with known gold zones.
On both properties, Lipton’s company and their partners are applying modern exploration techniques to expand some very rich gold zones.
Young-Shannon reported “impressive” gold assay results from exploration drilling at McMillan, located near the LaCloche Mountains, 14 kilometres south of Espanola.
Gold was found on the property in the 1920’s followed by the development of an 875-foot vertical shaft and a 125-ton per day mill. It operated until 1937 and produced 60,000 tons of gold ore at a recovered grade of 0.18 ounces per ton for 10,800 ounces of gold.
Historical records indicate gold mineralization continued below the 900-foot level, but a grade of 0.20 ounces per ton was considered uneconomical then.
Lipton says during the 1930s, if gold was found near surface, a shaft was sunk and miners followed the mineralization through drifts and cross-cuts until miners ran out of ore. He says these deposits showed merit at depth with potentially more ore existing.
At Espanola, they applied modern geophysics and found a new gold zone.
“We uncovered a zone well below the workings from the 1930s and this may pay off.”
The mine was dewatered in the mid 1980s by a previous company with underground sampling ranging from 0.07 to 0.48-ounces-per ton gold. But follow-up diamond drilling was never carried out to further extend the mineralization.
Young-Shannon acquired a 50 per cent option in 2004 from their present-day partners, MBMI Resources which had found mineralization below the old workings extending to the east and west, and at depth.
During a recent winter drilling campaign, one drill hole returned assay results of 4.29 grams per tonne (0.14 ounces) gold over 1.85 metres. It included one section of 13.82-grams-per tonne (0.44 ounces) over 0.3 metres and a second section of 12.00 grams per tonne (0.38 ounces) gold over three metres.
The assay results show the gold zone continues at depth. The companies plan to further enlarge and define the zone this year.
Further north of their flagship Chester Township property, Lipton’s been encouraged by the gold grades recovered in expanding a zone extending east of an old shaft. The geology indicates more gold at greater depths.
The property, which has been heavily explored, since the 1930s, is located 20 km southwest of Gogama, is just west of Highway 144 between Timmins and Sudbury.
Mineralization at their C-Zone runs east of the old shaft under Three Ducks Lake.
A 2002 resource estimate shows an indicated resource of 222,000-tons of gold at 0.354 ounces per ton, capable of producing 78,588 ounces of gold.
“We’ll be looking at a much deeper drilling program at Chester,” says Lipton, “but we potentially have a joint venture partner on that property in the near term.”
In January, Young-Shannon signed a letter of intent with an undisclosed potential partner that may spend $2.2 million in exploration costs to earn a 46 per cent interest.
Lipton says if both properties proved economical, he’d like to see Young-Shannon take them through to production.
On the web: www.youngshannon.com