After spending the winter and spring dewatering a former gold mine in northwestern Quebec, Wallbridge Mining has started ramp development in preparation to extract a 35,000-tonne bulk sample.
Since the Sudbury junior miner picked up the Fenelon gold property in late 2016, they’ve updated the mineral resources, released a positive pre-feasibility study, and found more gold by drilling off existing zones and discovering several new ones.
Now the company has started an 8,000-metre underground program as part of their stope to fill in and expand the high-grade mineralization they found last year.
Deeper drilling takes place later this year to test the depth of some known high-grade gold shoots.
Ultimately, the bulk sample and underground program will help Wallbridge make a decision, early next year, on whether or not to go into production.
The Fenelon gold property is a former open pit and underground gold mine in northwestern Quebec, near the Ontario border.
The 1,052-hectare property is in the same Abitibi region gold trend that hosts the Detour Lake gold mine.
In a June 13 statement, Wallbridge president Marz Kord said once the dewatering was done, the old underground workings at the 5228 and 5213 levels were “found to be in excellent shape.”
“With ramp development now underway, we are on track to reach the next 5195 level and start ore production from the first long-hole stopes next quarter.”
Later this year, a 10,000-metre surface drilling campaign also will start to follow known mineralized zones and expand resources at depth, further away from the mine workings.
Attila Pentek, Wallbridge’s vice-president of exploration, said each drill hole is testing multiple zones, given the nature of the geological structure at Fenelon.
It helps during the bulk sampling stage but also sets them up for potential future production.
"The 18,000-metre drill program planned for 2018 will also test other zones outside of the current resource to be used towards an updated resource estimate in early 2019."