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Red Pine Exploration puts protocol in place to avoid future assay snafus

Wawa gold exploration company implements quality control measures on drill result reporting
Core shack at Red Pine Exploration's Wawa Gold Project

A Wawa gold exploration company, eager to earn back investors’ confidence, is making changes in how it handles its drill assay results. 

After an assay manipulation scandal was revealed earlier this month, Toronto’s Red Pine Exploration said it’s making some quality control changes to increase accountability in how drill assay results will be handled, recorded and disseminated for its flagship Wawa Gold Project.

Red Pine announced this new protocol on the back end of a May 30 news release unveiling the latest batch of drill results from its resource expansion drilling program in Wawa. 

These protocols are being introduced after Red Pine accused its former CEO, Quentin Yarie, of selectively manipulating assay results, recording them as more higher grade than what they actually were, and then filing them into the company’s drill database.

Until it was able to sort out the mess, Red Pine was forced to retract years of reported assay results.

Yarie resigned from the company last February. Management maintains Yarie’s abrupt departure was not orchestrated as they had no idea of the assay reporting scandal until late April. 

They claim that Yarie manipulated certain assay results between 2015 and early 2024. The actual and accurate results were emailed by Activation Laboratories to Red Pine, but addressed only to Yarie. The company claims Yarie downloaded the manipulated results into the company database, which are used to calculate the gold resource estimate for the project.

Among the new measures being introduced, Red Pine said certificates from the assay lab will be sent to “at least two members of the senior management team” and the results will be directly accessible from the lab via a web portal.

The company said it’s now cleaned up its drill log library in time for a resource update for Wawa coming out soon. A new CEO with a geology background, pulled from the ranks of Wesdome, is set to take reins in July.

Red Pine said in May that it would refer this matter to the Ontario Securities Commission and is considering legal options.

The commission has not responded if it received a request from Red Pine nor if they are launching an investigation.

Yarie also worked for MacDonald Mines, a junior miner operating in the Sudbury area that recently retracted drill assay results from one of its mineral prospects. MacDonald management did not respond to Northern Ontario Business when asked if its past connection with Yarie prompted an internal investigation.

Since 2021, Red Pine has completed 67,000 metres of drilling at Wawa.

Red Pine stock, which dropped from 21 cents a share on April 30 to 8 cents on May 1, when the scandal broke, has slightly rebounded to 9.5 cents at the close of trading on Friday.