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Matachewan mine looks to have the longevity to last

Alamos exploration push hits on new gold zone at Young-Davidson Mine
Underground crusher at the Young-Davidson Mine (Alamos Gold photo)

The exploration dollars Alamos Gold is sinking into its Young-Davidson Mine are already paying off.

A new gold zone has reportedly been discovered at the Matachewan Mine based on the results from an underground exploration program that the Toronto gold miner has been running at the northeastern Ontario operation.

Alamos released new drill results on May 14 from that program, showing, what the company said, is a “new style of higher-grade gold mineralization” in zones in the hanging wall of the deposit, and located between 10 and 200 metres away from existing mine infrastructure. The gold grades, Alamos said, are “well above” the current mineral reserve grade of 2.31 grams per tonne of gold.

Alamos allocated $12 million for this year’s exploration budget at Young-Davidson, up from the $8 million spent in 2023. On tap for 2024 is 21,600 metres of underground drilling and 1,000 metres of underground development to extend drill platforms.

Most of this drilling is geared to extending mineralization where most of the mine’s gold reserves and resources are located, along with testing out specific areas around the deposits where high-grade gold had been previously found.

The purpose of the exploration program is to extend mineralization further out from the areas already being mined and build up more reserves and resources for the future to add some longevity to Young-Davidson’s operating life. In particular, there’s a hanging wall area of the deposit where high-grade drill hits have previously been pulled.

Young-Davidson had 15 years' worth of gold reserves stored up, as of the end of 2022, and has kept at least a 13-year cushion of reserves since 2011. 

Alamos said earlier this year that the deposit remains open at depth and to the west, and there’s good reason to believe mining will continue there for some time to come.

“The new zones being discovered in the hanging wall highlight the significant exploration potential outside of the syenite,” said John McCluskey, Alamos president-CEO. “This is a new style of higher-grade mineralization, near our existing underground infrastructure, which has the potential to provide meaningful production upside.”

Syenite is the host rock which holds most of the gold reserves and resources at Young-Davidson.