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Wawa gold explorer plucks new president from Wesdome's ranks

Michael Michaud brings a geologist's eye to advance Red Pine Exploration's Wawa Gold Project

In its search for a new leader, Wawa gold hunter Red Pine Exploration snagged someone with familiarity of the Michipicoten greenstone belt.

Michael Michaud will bring fresh eyes to Red Pine’s Wawa Gold Project when he relinquishes his title as Wesdome Gold Mine’s senior vice-president of exploration on July 11 and takes the helm as president-CEO of the Toronto junior miner on July 19.

Red Pine made the announcement in an April 22 news release.

He replaces Quentin Yarie who stepped down in late February. Yarie has been with the company since 2009 but will stay on in an advisory role through the transition.

Michaud, a geologist with more than 30 years of experience in Canada and internationally, has been Wesdome’s exploration chief since 2017. Wesdome operates the Eagle River Mine, located off Highway 17 between Wawa and White River. Before that stint, he was IAMGOLD’s chief geologist and worked in exploration for St. Andrew Goldfields.

The Wawa Gold Project is two kilometres south of the town of Wawa, just 500 metres from the local airport runway.

The company has been drilling on a regular basis on its Surluga and Minto deposits since acquiring full ownership of the project three years ago, completing more than 76,000 metres in that span. The project contains 700,000 ounces of gold in the indicated and inferred categories with a new resource estimate due some time during this year’s third quarter.

The Wawa camp has been, and continues to be, a prolific mining region.

Red Pine’s 7,000-hectare land package hosts 10 former gold mines that ran independently from the late 1800s to the 1980s. The company has been exploring the area to pull the untapped resources into one cohesive body.

Last summer, Red Pine inked a royalty deal with Franco Nevada that pumped $6.8 million into the project.

“We are extremely pleased to have attracted someone of Mr. Michaud’s calibre to lead Red Pine during the next phase of the company’s progression,” said board chair Paul Martin in a release.

“His endorsement of Red Pine is a strong statement on the future potential of the Wawa Gold Project and our goal of expanding the resources on our large, relatively underexplored, claim block located in a very active gold district in northwestern Ontario.”

In a statement, Michaud expressed his excitement to unlock the project’s potential.

“Exploration success over the past several years has not only identified high grade mineralization outside of the previously mined zones but has also confirmed the potential to host a sizable gold deposit near surface.”