The discovery of more high-grade mineralization at the Island Gold Mine has prompted Alamos Gold to boost its exploration budget by 20 per cent.
Surface and underground exploration in three areas is yielding strong and encouraging results so far this year at the mine located 83 kilometres northeast of Wawa.
The budget is going from $15 million to $18 million. Two drill rigs are being hauled in to increase the number on the property to eight.
This year’s exploration program is targeting three main areas – the Main Extension; the Eastern Extension; and the Western Extension – along the two-kilometre-long Main Zone of the Island Gold deposit.
The plan is this year is to drill 45,000 metres underground and on surface to delineate existing gold resources and to step out to find more.
Already this year, they’ve exceeded the original plan by drilling 33,800 metres and punching 115 drill holes.
“Island Gold continues to exceed expectations,” said president-CEO John McCluskey in a statement.
“(Last year’s) exploration increased mineral reserves in both size and quality. Results this year are demonstrating the potential to enlarge the mineral resource across multiple extensions of the ore body. We have increased our exploration budget to fund eight drill rigs to accelerate our drilling progress through the remainder of the year.”
This continues a strong trend at the mine since 2014, which has seen mineral reserves increase 383 per cent in ounces and 60 per cent in grade.
Last year’s exploration program resulted in an 18 per cent mineral reserves to 887,000 ounces and an 11 per cent increase in grade to 10.20 grams per tonne.
A big part of this growth is the success of a drilling program started in 2015, which focused on upgrading a portion of the large inferred mineral resource base.