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Northwestern gold hunter bumps up the ounces at Pickle Lake

AuTECO Minerals posts new gold estimate at historic Pickle Crow Gold Project
AuTECO's core shack at its Pickle Crow Project in northwestern Ontario (Company photo)

The mineralized ground around a historic Pickle Lake gold mine is showing plenty of signs of new life.

AuTECO Minerals was pumping the tires of its Pickle Crow Gold Project last week after posting a new resource estimate demonstrating that they’ve grown the gold resource there by 24 per cent, up to 2.8 million ounces since the last count early last year. 

The average grade is 7.2 grams per tonne. The 530,000-ounce boost  That’s on the back of almost 70,000 metres of drilling last year and over the winter.

All of this estimate is categorized as inferred resource, meaning the available geological information is limited. More closed spaced drilling of a deposit or resource is done to upgrade it to the indicated category, a higher category of confidence.

AuTECO calls Pickle Crow a “stand out,” in delivering a rare combination of both high grades and scale. And there’s more to come, they said.

The Australian company has been exploring and drilling around the former Pickle Crow Mine but has also been stepping outside of the traditional mine trend to discover new zones close to its central Pickle Crow deposit. 

This latest update includes a first-time resource estimates of 133,000 ounces from some new satellite deposits that show potential to add more ounces in the future.

The company has a huge swath of property in the Pickle Lake area that once hosted one of the highest grade gold mines in Canada. In its day, Pickle Crow was one of Canada’s highest grade gold mines, producing 1.5 million ounces at 16 grams per tonne on its run between 1935 and 1966.

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What really stands out for the company is that a good chunk of the reported gold mineralization, of more than a million ounces, is within 250 metres of surface, That provides the possibly of open-pit mining. 

AuTECO said it will evaluate both pit and underground mining scenarios this year. 

With $10.4 million (Australian) in the bank, the company is heading out into the field this summer to do some grassroots prospecting in stepping up its regional exploration program. 

AuTECO has 500 square kilometres of property at its disposal and plans some sampling and mapping to identify targets in promising but underexplored areas, then bring in the drill rigs.

Since acquiring Pickle Crow in March 2020, AuTECO said it has grown the gold resources by 244 per cent, having started with a maiden resource of 800,000 ounces.

“This significant increase in the resource confirms Pickle Crow as one of the best undeveloped high-grade gold resources,” said Darren Cooke, AuTECO’s CEO in the release.

“There are very few 2.8Moz resources at a grade of 7.2g/t gold globally, let alone in a Tier-One jurisdiction with the kind of upside we see at Pickle Crow, both near mine and regionally. 

“We are entering a very exciting phase with our strategy of defining high-grade gold near the ‘headframe’ and across our district scale underexplored landholding as well as investigating the best way to leverage off existing significant underground workings and open pit material,” Cooke said.