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Auteco Minerals builds gold ounces at Pickle Lake

Australian explorer keeps drilling and discovering new mineralization around former gold mine
Auteco Minerals camp photo
(Auteco Minerals photo)

An Australian junior mining company poking around an old Pickle Lake gold mine continues to find exploration success.

After finishing up a 45,000-metre drilling program last month, Auteco Minerals posted a new resource update  for its Pickle Crow Project, showing an inferred gold resource of 1.7 million ounces at 8.1 grams per tonne, up 71 per cent from their previous estimates.

The high-grade side of that estimate shows 1,470,000 ounces at 10 grams per tonne.

The Perth-headquartered company picked up Pickle Crow early last year through an earn-in, joint venture arrangement with First Mining Gold. They've been running an aggressive exploration program ever since at the historic northwestern Ontario gold mining camp.

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Auteco maintains Pickle Crow has plenty more gold to give.

Between 1935 and 1966, the underground mine was one of Canada’s highest grade producers, compiling 1.5 million ounces of gold at an average grade of 16.1 grams per tonne. That gold was mined from narrow high-grade vein quartz veins.

Auteco is still finding plenty of that style of mineralization but after combing through old mine data and through exploration they've been discovering broader zones of gold within banded iron formations, but of slightly lower grade. 

To that end, this new resource estimate includes a banded iron inferred resource of 240,000 ounces at 3.7 grams per tonne.

Auteco thinks it has the potential to be mined through open-pit methods.

This month, they kicked off a new 50,000-metre drill program with four rigs on the property, punching holes around Pickle Crow's former Shaft 3, at a new discovery zone called Carey, as well as doing some step-out drilling to find new veins and gold zones.

Ray Shorrocks, Auteco's executive chairman, was especially pleased with high-grade side of this new resource, calling it "exceptional." 

“Pickle Crow now has genuine scale and is truly high-grade by any measure. These factors highlight the quality of the mineralised system.

“And the good news continues to flow, with the new drilling program already intersecting significant high-grade mineralization outside the updated Resource envelope.”

Auteco posted some of its latest gold hits from the new program, including a 16.6 gram-per-tonne intersection over a 1.8-metre length of core and 21.2 g/t over 1.8 metres. Those results will be compiled in a new resource estimate for Pickle Crow, due out at year's end.

The company said it's full cashed up to keep exploring with $26.8 million at the end of March.