By NICK STEWART
Even now, Aubrey Eveleigh is in disbelief.
A few weeks ago, MetalCORP, for whom Eveleigh is COO and vice-president of exploration, was able to snatch up two sizeable land packages in the shadow of the famed Hemlo deposit, roughly 350 kilometres east of Thunder Bay.
“It’s a real coup to get, and I can’t believe we were able to stake it,” Eveleigh says.
“I can’t believe it even came open, and it’s almost as though it just fell through the cracks. We’re very excited about this, and I can’t emphasize enough the potential in this property. I don’t know where else you could go in the world and try to get next to a $16 billion deposit.”
Known separately as the Fearless and Python properties, the sites make for a combined total of 21,400 acres just two kilometres east of Hemlo, which was said to contain nearly 23 million ounces of gold.
Held by Lac Minerals since 1981, and then rolled into Barrick Gold, neither property has seen much exploration.
This lack of attention to the fearless property surprises Eveleigh, as it abuts a major gold deposit and the Hemlo mine, and is even tied onto its tailings pond. What’s more, the characteristics of the rock is highly similar to that of the Hemlo property, giving MetalCORP even more confidence in its potential.
While the raw potential of the fearless site has piqued Eveleigh’s interest, sporadic exploration on the property throughout the last 26 years has turned up the Gouda Lake gold zone, which MetalCORP has since inherited.
At roughly 250,000 tonnes, Gouda Lake has graded approximately 4.0 grams of gold per tonne, providing the company with “a good starter deposit.”
As the deposit has not been drilled to depth, Eveleigh expects the zone may well provide interesting results as the company moves forward with its exploration efforts.
Adjacent to Fearless is the Python property, which also holds some potential for future exploration for the company.
However, as the geology changes across this area, the mineralization changes as well offering up base metal assays.
Drilling conducted through the late 1990s turned up various mineralized zones of anomalous copper, zinc, molybdenum and nickel. Grab samples have turned up historical assays grading as high as 1.2 per cent nickel, 0.2 per cent copper and 0.4 per cent zinc, though Eveleigh is quick to point out that Python has seen a mere 10th of the exploration done on Fearless.
The untapped promise shown by either property has not been lost on outside investors, as Eveleigh has already been fielding offers of financing.
“The lack of exploration on those sites is hard to believe in this day and age. Given where gold has been going, I think it’s going to be a real asset for MetalCORP going forward.”
The company is wasting no time taking a look at its new acquisitions, having already begun airborne surveys. State-of-the-art surveying equipment will be used, allowing for penetration to a depth of 600 metres.
As a basis of comparison, Eveleigh points out that the company’s typical airborne surveys see to a depth of 300 metres at best, and that the equipment used in 1980s-era exploration at Fearless and Python would have seen only to 50 metres. As a result, he expects to find much better results and with much greater accuracy that has been found on the property to date as modern technology is applied to an old property.
This survey work is expected to last through the beginning of October, when a drill will immediately be moved over from the nearby Big Lake property to begin testing out targets derived from the surveys. This accelerated approach to exploration is a sign of MetalCORP’s belief in the significant role the Fearless property is expected to play as the company moves forward, Eveleigh says.
“We’re coming in with a fresh look, we’re very aggressive, we have the money and the staying power to explore here, and we’re hoping to possibly find another big gold deposit like Hemlo. Fearless is the one property that’s got a lot of similarities to the [Hemlo] mine site, so we’re excited to start."